Thursday, February 23, 2012

Make a real confession

Everything I read, and indeed many people I encounter on a daily basis, suggest I should wear more colours. You wear a lot of black, they say. You should be more adventurous, the books say.

But the thing is this: I really love black. I love rose pinks and creams and red and green and teal and orange too, but I love black with a passion.

I love that it covers you like a shadow and allows you to blend in seamlessly where ever you go. I love that hides a multitude of sins, including gluttony and sloth. I love that it it signifies an absence of colour yet is so welcoming to other colours, allowing a void that can only be enhanced by ivory or ginger or even navy.

I love that it makes crystals sparkle and pearls glow. I love that no other colour makes a simple shift so utterly adaptable to any occasion.  I love that it can be deep and glossy in a satin or silk, or frail and cloudy in a thin cotton. I love that it makes wool coats a little warmer.

I love that I can get out bed, slurp hot coffee while peering in my wardrobe, slip a black dress over my head and everything else will fall into place in seconds: shoes, scarf, blazer, earrings.

You can't categorise black. It can be painfully hip, deadly serious, low key, formal, casual or regal. It goes everywhere but makes no unreasonable demands for attention the way yellow or red do. It's not soft like pink and it's not high maintenance like white.

I applaud every colourful outfit I see and really enjoy watching how people of the blog universe mix their hues ... but I think we need to be a little more forgiving of black. It does us all a lot of favours.

The jacket is a recent thrift find - David Lawrence, 6.00 from Vinnies in Chatswood. There's those Vara pumps again - working overtime because they are so comfortable.

 The dress is from Jaeger in London. Jaeger is the one thing I have in common with Sylvia Plath - she loved it too.

The pin is a stonking big blister pearl in a weird oyster colour. I love it.

Meanwhile Ellie, who rather rocks black accents herself, found me and my black manifesto entirely unintersting.


  1. I also love how black can modestly step back and say, "This outfit is not about me. Take a look at this fabulous blouse/belt/scarf/pair of shoes, though!"

    Ellie is a lovely cat. I just want to pet her.

  2. I love black. I probably wear too much of it, but that's okay with me. I tried to branch out and wound up with a lot of grey, which is not as good as black. More black!

  3. I used to live in black I loved it so much. But these days it washes me out too much and I have to very careful how I wear it, with scarves to break it up around my face and a bit more make-up slapped on. I miss its versatility. By the way, that is a stonking pin if ever I saw one.

    The one thing I have in common with Sylvia Plath - and forgive me this indulgence but I just have to tell this story - is that I lived in what had once been her room in Whitstead - a Newnham College house in Cambridge - when I was doing my PhD. It was freaky to read how she listened from her attic room to Ted Hughes serenade her from a piano he'd dragged into the garden below, while I was sitting in that exact same room. Evocative to say the least.

    Think I might check out the Chatswood Vinnies - David Lawrence is currently my favourite brand.

  4. Oh, and regarding your earlier post on the great French equation, congratulations on deriving from first principles the mathematical basis of the "French effortless chic style" theorem. I'm sure you're the first to have managed it, and you could surely add "fashion analyst" to your long list of appellations.

  5. Hello Sheila! You're right - black is a great colour for a subtle statement. And you'd love Ellie - she has the sweetest nature and a coat as soft as a cloud.

    Hi Kelly - I try lots of alternatives to black and the closest I've found is brown. But sometimes no other colour will do - it has to be black. I've decided to embrace it!

    Hello there Jen - I am staggered by your Plath story! I think that is an amazing life experience. I've read a lot of the Plath biographies and think that the time when she met Hughes is one of the most interesting adn (in my opinion) pivotal in her development as a poet. You're lucky to have got so close to her. Have you written about this? I'd love to read it if you have.
    Oh, and take an extra shopping bag with you to Vinnies at Chatswood because you'll get an armful of great things.

  6. Hi Baxter, the full extend of my writing about my brush with Plath's life resides on your blog. Before 'meeting' you I didn't know any poets, so I was just excited to find someone who might actually be interested to hear my story. While I was there, though, I did once get a pair of 'tourists' who politely knocked on the door and asked if they could visit the room. I think that may have been what prompted me to find out who Sylvia Plath was (shameful admission) and to read a few o' them pomes. Disturbing stuff, but I suppose that was the point. Thanks for your interest and apologies for diverging from your subject matter, which I understand may not be best blog etiquette.