All Black

December 5, 2012

By Gabrielle.

I’ve noticed that all black daily uniforms garner such interesting responses from well-meaning bystanders. Everything from the observant “Black again?” to the helpful “You’d look gorgeous in coral!” to the somewhat depressing “Are you depressed?”

I think it’s chic, the all black ensemble. Like a blank palette that allows your life to explode in color or the ability to blend into any situation in which you could find yourself on a Wednesday afternoon at 6:00.

What’s your closet like? Are you drowning in a sea of inky colors? Do you dream in pink or vibrant florals?  How does black clothing make you feel: thin, stylish, and maybe even a little arty? (Me, too!)

P.S. — Emerson Fry knows how to wear black.

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Grace@ Sense and Simplicity December 5, 2012 at 10:15 am

While I love black (and do feel stylish wearing it) I also love to put a pop of colour somewhere in my outfit. Take right now for instance – I have charcoal gray pants and a black top with a turquoise scarf.

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2 Design Mom December 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Hey twinner! I’m wearing a turquoise scarf too. : )

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3 Tracy December 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

I could happily dress in all black, or hues of grey to black, all the time because I don’t have to think too hard to put an outfit together, it is slimming, and I love the sleek, sophisticated look it projects. My husband appreciates color, however. In fact when we were leaving Paris, he took me purse shopping for my souvenir. His only stipulation? Anything but black! I ended up with a lovely chartreuse bag that compliments wonderfully with all of my black outfits.

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4 Design Mom December 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm

A chartreuse bag from Paris? Oui oui!

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5 Sally from Little Hiccups December 6, 2012 at 3:58 am

I’m a big fan of a bright handbag with a black outfit. In fact, for all the hand bags I have in my closet not a single one of them is black. I can only remember ever owning one black handbag and that was back in the early 90′s! I keep thinking I should get a black bag as it will be practical and go with everything but seeing as I mostly wear all black I probably don’t really need one. Although a girl can never have too many handbags…

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6 Mary December 5, 2012 at 10:38 am

All black, with accent colors provided by extensive scarf collection. Simplifies my work morning and my life.

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7 Gina December 5, 2012 at 10:48 am

No, I have too much brown in my closet and not enough black though. I agree with you thought about it being more ‘chic’.

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8 Sonya December 5, 2012 at 11:21 am

I like black but if I am going to do a head-to-toe neutral, it will be grey. However, I love color, love it. I am really fair and look best in jewel tones, red in particular.

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9 Stella December 5, 2012 at 11:31 am

I have this ridiculous fear of wearing all black because when I was in elementary school I wore all black to school a couple of times and someone started a rumor that I was a witch…. and no one talked to me for several months. It was very traumatizing at the time (though now I can look back and laugh!), but I still can’t wear all black!! I know, ridiculous. I think it looks chic with a touch of color somewhere (a scarf, shoes, bag, etc.). Maybe I’ll have to try it sometime this winter season…

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10 Design Mom December 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Oh Stella! Those darn kids. Makes me feel all lecture-y and indignant. That would have been traumatizing for sure!

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11 marie December 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm

‘Like a blank palette…’ you put it so nicely ! and exciting ! i love black. and grey. and white. and yes, maybe because i don’t have to think about and can still trust in it. like jeans and white T (my other work and all day outfit love that always goes) but i also just love black. simply love. (except – i’d never sleep in black. no.)

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12 Jenni Bailey December 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I do a lot of black. I think it bugs my husband a bit. Today we were walking out of the house and he actually said, “Come on, Ninja.” He would love to see me in more color but I find black comfortable and easy (especially when I have to wake up every morning and start my Mom Routines). I’ll throw in a bit of green or a stripey tee shirt once in a while but black is my standard and I don’t see that changing drastically any time soon. I always warn him to be careful what he wishes for, though, as I fully intend to be a color-draped, flamboyant old lady.

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13 Design Mom December 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I remember a book that was popular with my mother’s reading groups when I was a kid. Something like When I’m An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple. (Not that exactly, I can’t remember the title.)

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14 melanie December 6, 2012 at 5:58 am

in the UK groups of women of a ‘certain age’ get together and all wear purple and red and go on wild days out, inspired by the poem you mention!! It’s such a great idea and certainly no all black outfits allowed…I wear black most days though!

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15 Amy December 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm

About a year ago I began transitioning my wardrobe to a neutral palate – black, grey, cream and sometimes navy. It makes shopping and putting together outfits much easier! Plus I feel like I am channeling my inner French woman!

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16 Design Mom December 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

I like the idea of being intentional about it.

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17 Danielle (elleinadspir) December 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm

My family is all from LA, but we were married here in OKC. Everyone asked if my family didn’t like my husband…nope, they love him. We just wear black to dressy events…always!

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18 Christa the BabbyMama December 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I’m nearly all black with the occasional spot of color. I find it looks put together and makes dressing a snap!

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19 Paris and France Photography December 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm

All black (like the rugby team) especially in winter. Colour comes by adding a scarf and a dash of something on the lips.

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20 Jen December 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Black is so easy and classy, I love it! In fact I can always tell my impulse purchases because my entire wardrobe is black, gray, black & white strips, and a hint of navy… if there’s a colorful top in there anywhere it was an impulse buy and I never end up wearing them. I do love throwing on a splash of color with a pretty scarf though!

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21 Churchill December 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Are there other colors?
OK, 98% of my closet is black, with sparing dashes of white, red and hot pink.
Why dilute it.
I truly noticed this ‘movement’ in Art School where I could go for days without seeing any color on any other student or faculty. Maybe gray. White doesn’t count as it is the absence of color.
Long live black

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22 Design Mom December 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Yes! This is true for me too. Any time I need to make a presentation as a designer, I’m always in black. Nothing else feels right.

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23 julia [life on churchill] December 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I just bought bright pink skinny pants at gap today. I wear a lot of black tops, black jackets, black boots. So I’m hoping the pants will brighten things up a bit. Also I bought a colorful scarves, I think scarves are such an easy way to add a bit of color!

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24 Winnie M December 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

My obsession for dressing in black started as a college student’s summer break job. I worked for a Japanese department store in NYC on Fifth Ave. I wore black every day from head to toe. That was our uniform, even in 90 plus degree weather it worked. Now as a mom of two toddlers, black will always be part of the momiform these days. And red lipstick!

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25 Design Mom December 6, 2012 at 8:27 am

Please tell me you worked at Takashimaya! It was my very favorite store in all of New York. I cried when they closed the doors.

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26 Genevieve December 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm

My son asked, “Black again, mom?!” as I was getting dressed this morning, so this conversation is right on topic!

Also, black = skinny in my book.

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27 Annik December 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I rarely wear all black, but when I do, I carry a bright purse, usually red or fuchsia.

I was surprised when I traveled to Italy this Fall to see that many Italian women, especially those working in boutiques, dress in all black. They were so very stylish!

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28 Jen | Family Sponge December 5, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I am more of a brown dresser. I have been known to go all brown and I feel very earthy and chic all in one.

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29 Kerry December 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I go back and forth. I used to wear all black mostly and definitely got the comments from friends, husband and others. Then added some color.. now back to mostly black. Maybe it’s the weather. But I always gravitate towards it. I want those shoes in the pic!

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30 Amy December 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I wore a lot of black when I lived in the Northeast. It goes with the winter there. But now, in Florida, I wear much MUCH more color

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31 Design Mom December 6, 2012 at 8:56 am

Oh I think that’s so true. Geography has such an affect on the colors that appeal to me.

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32 Bdaiss December 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm

If I emerge from the closet in all back I immediately hear a chorus of “Ninja!” from my husband and the two rug rats he’s trained. : ) I just threaten them with my king fu and throw on a colorful scarf/earrings/necklace. Watch out! Ninja Mama on the loose!

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33 Jasmine December 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Any idea what the sneakers are in the picture? I love and live in all black. Teensy pops of color like on the sneakers or a bright red lip are my favorite.

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34 Amber, theAmberShow December 8, 2012 at 9:11 am

I can’t believe I recognized them, but I totally did:

http://shop.emersonfry.com/ef-trainers-navy-yellow

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35 Natalie December 5, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Great post! I rarely do alllll black, but I would be happy if my entire closet were neutrals from white to black. I love browns and greys. I hereby decide to wear more all-black outfits – because I can!

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36 Design Mom December 6, 2012 at 8:57 am

Go for it!

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37 CMN December 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm

On an amusing note… a former co-worker used to refer to her all black days as wearing her “Princess of Darkness” outfit. It was totally awesome! We would laugh and declare it was the perfect day to be cranky, or crabby, or to rain down on some un-performing vendor who was missing dates. :)

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38 Marille December 6, 2012 at 1:47 am

I don’t do all black. Heck, I barely do black at all. Most of that time, I don’t feel like it suits me, or else it’s too harsh. Besides, color is just too much fun!

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39 Sally from Little Hiccups December 6, 2012 at 3:47 am

I like that you’re wearing black in your profile pic ;)

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40 Sally from Little Hiccups December 6, 2012 at 3:55 am

I tend to find myself wearing all black a lot of the time. Might be a hang over from my “gothically inclined” youth back in the olden days ;)
I do like to add a little touch of colour though: a bright scarf, purple shoes, red lipstick, patterned jacket, red handbag… Ok, so not all of those things at once! Black is such a good base and is an easy colour to wear for so many occasions. When I’m not wearing all black I tend to wear stripes (mostly navy and white). I must be wearing stripes a lot lately as the kids in my daughter’s kindergarten class keep asking me why I wear stripes all the time!

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41 Aline December 6, 2012 at 5:47 am

Funny to read it today. Right now I’m wearing a black shirt with jeans and a orange slipper! Yes, I love the “all black” style: it’s chic and helpful when we stay out all day long. And you know what? I just feel me as Audrey Hepburn when I’m with a black dress and black flats! It’s classic. But sometimes – specially when I’m feeling blue – I have to add some colour in my black style.

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42 Koseli Cummings December 6, 2012 at 5:47 am

I love all black. It looks so polished and chic. That may be the New Yorker in me. :)

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43 Lili December 6, 2012 at 9:11 am

“Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.” Beautifully said by Coco Chanel. I believe in that too.

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44 Jessica @ MrsDoll December 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm

I LOVE wearing all black. I think it has a very understated beauty.

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45 Kim @ design + life + kids December 7, 2012 at 6:42 am

I’ve been wearing all black for the last… 16 years and love it. Sometimes I’m asked to show my closest…and surprise it’s all black! I feel good in it + comfortable and I’m quite a happy person!

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46 Dee December 7, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I’m wearing all black right now. It’s part of my birthright, as a New Yorker, I think. I love it and it’s so easy. I think that others can view it as severe. I do it with fun accessories, and that helps. :)

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47 kimberly December 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I love all black, or mostly black outfits. Especially in Winter. I do look best in a jewel tones, so I like to add a bold scarf or hat or coat. I feel put together, slim, polished, and everything coordinates.

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48 Grace December 8, 2012 at 12:33 am

I do enjoy black, but 98% of my closet is grey and navy. I love the combo of the two :)

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49 rebekah December 11, 2012 at 8:55 am

All black makes me feel like a mime. I had on black skinny jeans the other day and a black long sleeve layering shirt, with a colored sweater on top. I was going to a party. I thought to myself, “I hope it’s not hot inside at the party because if I take off my sweater I will look silly.” I had on black sock and flats, too. :)

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50 Dasnia Gema January 20, 2013 at 11:37 am

I like the color black and enjoy the versatility and practicality of it, but I do think that with my features, I have darker tan skin, it can sometimes highlight my dark circles around my eyes. Colors, or atleast a burst of color here and there tend to change my mood and make me feel more cheerful (It might just be me.) Great post, and stylish conversation!

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51 Kavi September 17, 2013 at 10:25 am

I love love love the shoes in this picture, anyone know where I can get them?

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