I’m typing this while wearing a pink sweater, and it feels weird.
Not the sweater itself (it’s actually very soft and reminiscent of what you’d see Moira Kelly wear in "The Cutting Edge," so it’s a dream), but the idea of wearing colour. In the winter. Or, anytime, really, since wearing black is the best and allows for more self-expression than any of us can possibly understand (until we’re all done reading this article).
And I get it: wearing black is a cop out. Anna Wintour hates when people wear black. The Dowager Countess on "Downton Abbey" once said, "Nobody wants to kiss a girl in black." Ninety-nine per cent of the time, I wear black when I need to feel like I have my act together and I in no way do. Wearing black is easy. It’s accessible. It’s foolproof.
But it’s also the bomb, and here’s why, according to me, someone currently wearing a pink sweater.
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Let’s get the most boring explanation out of the way: black allows room for error. It allows you to spill coffee on yourself, it allows you to avoid ironing (most of the time), it alludes to a sense of purpose, and you can mix and match various shades without looking like you fell into a fabric machine that somehow incorporated you into an intricately-made article. Currently, I am wearing black pants that I’m pretty sure I washed at some point over the last five days, but I’m also not sure because who cares? No one will be able to tell. I certainly can’t. But because black pants work with everything and hide my tendency to spill any liquid or solid on myself during every meal, this isn’t a problem. Black is ultimately the cotton underwear of the style world: essential for one’s well-being. If only so you don’t worry about how much chocolate you managed to get on yourself this afternoon.
2. Illusion of togetherness
We’re in a safe space, so we can be honest with ourselves and others: wearing all black makes us look like we know exactly how to dress. Black is "slimming" (I have no idea what that means, but I’ve read it a bunch so I wear black to any/all food-based gatherings, particularly when I know I will have to undo the top button of my jeans). Black is "chic." Black is powerful. Black is the tone preferred by the characters of "The Matrix," as well as most memorable movie villains. It says, "I’m here, I’m ready to rock, and likely even to roll." It’s "edgy" and it’s serious. Which is exactly why Batman wears so much.
Or, why I found solace this year layering a black jacket over a black top with black pants and black shoes. Power, thy name is monochromatic.
3. Room for self-expression
But here’s the thing about an all-black ensemble: we’ve never seen one that’s boring. It’s not 1994, and we’re not in cotton turtlenecks or Korn T-shirts and faded black jeans with dirty gym shoes — now, we’re grown-ass women (and men), so we can swing various textures, materials, and forms of layering. Black trousers with a sheer black tank and black leather boots isn’t boring or lazy, because they still allow you to express yourself in a way that’s unique to you. Your outfit tone is just one part of an extension equation — especially since it gives you room to play with your accessories and makeup.
4. But seriously: black clothes mean more room for louder makeup
As a recent wearer of non-traditional lipstick (see: green, blue, purple, and gold), I’ve got my freakish abundance of black clothes to thank for providing a neutral canvas on which to experiment, cosmetic-wise. Especially because I’ve tried the alternative: I tried wearing blue lipstick with a blue sweater. I tried red with red, and lots of pink with pink. I tried purple with purple, and . . . actually, that looked great. But most of the time, black let’s everything else stand out for a hot second — even if you’re pairing it with black lipstick.
5. We’re all still obsessed with '90s goth and the sooner we accept it, the better
If you were like me, you grew up in a town and went to a school where the '90s goth trend was terribly misunderstood. (Read: you may have told on the gothic girls at your school, and claimed they were worshipping the devil — like, say, the person writing this piece right now did.) But now, years out of the strange social bubble in which we interacted, we understand why Craft-inspired over-romanization never went everywhere: it’s amazing. Black lace, skirts, and black velvet help us reclaim the aesthetic that made our confused parents and teachers forbid us from living our best lives in the mid-to-late 1990s. Now, we’re in charge.
Which explains why, as a 30-year-old goth wannabe, I have just used the Internet to prove wearing all black all the time is a power move, and not because I secretly think I look like Stockard Channing in "Practical Magic. (Even though it’s not a secret — I totally do.)