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Think and look at women that had style that stood out in the past. Would it be difficult to forget Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Princess Diana to name just a few? Each had a signature style often and how they wore clothing has inspired many women to the present for different reasons. But though these women used colour in their own way – black was often used in a way to bring out its class as they wore it. We remember these women mostly, often as younger women with style – but like a lot of older women they showed their dress sense as they got older and black was included in the ensemble as well. So do you ask, does black ever go out of style?
While women may want to be remembered I do recall the words of Coco Chanel “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman” She herself can be remembered for black it being her favourite colour and you can see many images of her dressed with black although it was not her only favoured colour.. She believed a woman’s radiance was accented by black.
Black is Timely
While colours like hot pink, bright hues, metallics, pastels, prints polka dots, tartans, and various other colours and materials do the rounds – black stays fairly set on being in a class of its own season after season. There is a good reason to see why black is not left out of the closet and is often worn regularly.
In past times black was mostly ascribed to those in mourning, servants or for shop girls. Coco Chanel’s fashion influence in 1926 changed all that. Her basic black classic was the little black dress – which was seen to be smart, elegant and attractive. We are ever reminded class wise the fashionable outfit that made Audrey Hepburn famous in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Adding the pearls made a striking effect. But the LBD as it’s acronym is widely known as was a stand-out in good taste and with a strong basis of minimalism where the fabric was concerned which Coco Chanel influenced with other styling factors such as comfort in wearing clothing. Up to that point, there had been issues with comfort and practicality in wearing apparel that women dealt with as “their lot”.
What is black?
While I may refer here to black as a colour – it is actually not a colour and rather gives depth and hues to colours. It is actually the “absence of colour”. Also noted as the opposite of white.
As quoted in this article from Color matters “If you ask a scientist about black and white he will give an answer based on physics and say black is not a color and white is a color. Ask a child with crayons and the child will say “Black is a color and white is not a color.” Whichever way it can be seen- whether black as a color or not – it certainly has an impact when associated with the human form.
Stock Photo from Maximleshkovich/Shutterstock
When you add black to an outfit.
Chanel’s influence subtlely has carried through the realms of fashion. I have had one woman comment that putting on black makes them feel immediately classy. Even if it is a black tee shirt!
Because women often feel that black is the perfect neutral – it will also be seen in different parts of an outfit. Making women feel comfortable that they have something to fall back on since it pairs so well with all colours..It makes the colours “pop”.
With black, they don’t feel sad or unhappy – but rather that it adds drama and elegance – but they can make it be casual for themselves too.
Women can feel that wearing black adds prestige, power, and authority. As Chanel would point out – you will be noticed rather than the dress if you choose this power colour.
Simone of Fifty Models
Can an older woman “easily” wear black?
It is often sited that black worn close to the face ages and drains the look of the face. In the art world back is used to give depth. Maybe this can be a reason why more depth can be seen in the face and a “pick up” of valleys and creases. There is controversy though if black is an aging colour or if it is just good at what it is – a neutral for all skin tones.
If you feel you have an issue with black (though like to wear it) an easy way around this may be to wear a small pop of colour or white in the form of a scarf or jewelry – so as not to make your face the focus. Whether you wear a large or dainty piece of jewelry is up to you – the judgment is out on which goes better with a black dress. A statement necklace is awesome in this capacity. Let your judgment be the guide.
A consideration if you have issues with the black close to your face is to have a scooped or v neck in your garment.
Like all clothing – make sure your black outfit is well fitting – so as to bring up the most stunning look of “you”.
Consider different layering in some cases with your black ie in textured pieces and with extra flounces, ruffles or fringes, and fluffy edgings.
Black too has a slimming appearance if your garment is well fitted. Who doesn’t want to look a little slimmer – particularly if you are an older woman?
Marina of Fifty Models
How popular is black?
QZ.com sites a study about the most popular colour of dresses sold. It seems at 38.5% black or some shade of black ranks as the first. The next the quote says is at 10.7% for white.
Popularity for black doesn’t seem to be waning since it doesn’t seem to ever go out of style.
Advantages of wearing black
Wearing black always looks more expensive than most colours (don’t forget any mending!) and remember a pop of coloured lipstick can make you be a standout.
It is a great deal more difficult to stain black than other hues (particularly eek white!)
You can be dressed for an occasion rather quickly.
You can use it as a type of uniform if you choose all black. Often it can be seen as a mainstay of your wardrobe being a neutral..
Doesn’t take much thinking if it’s your go-to colour.
You can look effortlessly elegant – particularly with accessories..
Lenita of Fifty Models
Be happy with wearing black and do it with confidence. Many women before you both old and young have worn it with confidence and elegance or comfort and practicality too. Whether it helps you have a smaller amount of clothing in your closet – so as to be a form of capsule dressing or it is part of a group of separates or a mainstay little black dress (or not so little!) be happy. Other women of all ages have been – while wearing black!
Have You Read: Boho: An Easy Style for Older Women
Deborah Hunter Kells
I have a wide range of interests and the top of my list is people and relationships. I appreciate our big wide world and nature which tries so hard to deal with what we do to it. As noted you will find a variety of topics covered (see Home page) My appreciation goes to my team and others whom I collaborate with to make this blog successful and resourceful. Thanks especially to my team: Sarah, Tina, and Billah (See footer for more of their details)