If it was down to glossy magazines, we should all have a little black dress (LBD) in our wardrobes. It is considered a wardrobe staple and the ultimate essential to every capsule collection. But does your LBD actually need to be black? Is black really the solution to all our wardrobe problems?
Black is not the ONLY slimming colour!
Black appears to have a reputation for making you look slimmer. While there is some truth to this, it’s not the full truth. Darker colours in general absorbe the light more than their lighter colleagues and therefore appear to take up less space. Crazy, hey? So rest assured that a navy, dark grey, maroon or camel dress will also do the trick.
Just because it’s safe, doesn’t mean it’s you!
Yes, black is safe. Yes, black is easy (admittedly, shops are partial to its universal appeal and cash in on this permanent demand by means of permanent supply.) But just because it’s a quick fix to a wardrobe crisis doesn’t mean it’s the best fix. If you want to express your individuality and unique personality, you are often better served with a splash of colour. Because safe can mean boring and who wants to be boring?
Black doesn’t go with everything
If I had a penny every time someone said “black goes with everything“ – oh I’d be swimming in coins like Scrooge McDuck. Of course, there is no absolute right or wrong in any part of this discussion. But let’s say that some combinations are “better“, or harmonise more beautifully with each other based on their physical characteristics than others. So if you have based your capsule wardrobe around warm, light and bright colours like coral, cream, orange or light navy, then a harsh black dress will literally be the odd one out. Believe me, there is a limit to how versatile the LBD really is.
Black equals Power, but could it send the wrong message?
There is no such thing as a “neutral“ colour. Every colour carries a certain message, so it’s important to use colour wisely. Historically, the colour black is associated with anything that is to be taken seriously, ie men’s suit, shoes and evening dress. Others might see someone wearing black as professional, authoratitive, efficient, sophisiticated or sexy. But there is a danger that the desired effect backfires as black can also be perceived as cold, oppressive, aloof, menacing and boring. It can outrank other people in a meeting, so think twice before wearing it to a job interview, on a date, or for a speaking gig.
Truth bomb – Black doesn’t suit everyone!
Some women instinctively know to stay away from black and others learn this through a colour analysis because they realise that black isn’t their most flattering shade. As black falls into the deep, cool and bright category of the seasonal analysis chart, it only works for one quarter of all women – those with deep, cool and bright features. So what about the rest of us? What if you have a warm undertone or softer, lighter features? If you are keen to keep the “professional and sophisticated“ effect, the little black dress can easily be replaced with a little blue dress, a little brown dress or a little beige dress, depending on your colour season.
Shifting from black to a different colour can be a brave thing to do, especially if you haven’t experimented much with colour in the past. It might feel strange to stray outside your comfort zone at first, but wearing the right LBD (black, blue, brown or beige) that supports your natural colouring and your unique identity means that you will come across as more genuine, authentic and trustworthy. And who doesn’t want that?
If you are curious to find out which colour your LBD should be or to learn more about colour psychology, colour analysis and your style identity for speaking on stage, be sure to join my free Colour Challenge. I hope to see you there!