Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wear No Black Week: The Recap

Almost two weeks later I'm finally getting around to writing the recap for Wear No Black week hosted by Urban Darling.  Believe it or not, I went a full 6 days after the challenge and still hadn't worn black - I'm just not gravitating toward it since the challenge!  Over the weekend was at the County fair in my home town and Iso many people I haven't seen in quite a while - the first thing I heard over and over was "You're wearing black, I'm telling!"

By the way, did I mention - I won the challenge???  I'm anxiously awaiting my Jill Milan clutch thanks to Urban Darling!

There was a time, not so long ago, that every outfit I wore contained some black (ok, mostly black).  It could have been as simple as my shoes, or as much as the majority of my outfit with just a splash of color.  I was a drone and often fell in to the black slacks and dress shirt slump that so many of us experience.  Right around that time I was talking with a friend/coworker and somehow the conversation came around to the fact that I didn't own anything in brown - not ONE thing in brown.  No shoes, no jewelry, not one item of clothing in brown.  I know I'm not the only one out there.  I worked for the State for over 6 years and I was surrounded by a sea of black pants and dress shirts.  During the challenge I didn't showcase any brown but I bring up this story for a reason.  I was avoiding color certain colors because I thought everything matched black.  I thought by sticking with tops in colors I was expanding my wardrobe because everything goes with black... right?

So how does one go about altering that mostly black wardrobe? 

1. Find your favorite color. 
Remember when you were a kid and you knew your favorite color?  Well pick your favorite color (black doesn't count) and start adding it to your wardrobe.  It might not be in your budget to run right out and purchase a top in that color, but how about adding a scarf or a statement necklace in that color? A pop of color can do so much for an outfit. 
Teal is one of my favorite colors and I love that this scarf adds that pop of color the outfit needed!

2.Choose a colorful pattern.
Adding a colorful pattern to your wardrobe gives you  multiple options of what you can wear with that piece.  The designer put those colors together because they look great together - use color patterns as a base for other outfits. 
I don't like the way these pants fit but I love the pattern in the top.  I can easily pair it with burgundy, purple, green or grey.

3. Restyle the items in your closet.
Perhaps you've already ventured into the realm of patterns.  Maybe you've already picked up a few things in beautiful colors.  Take a look at your non-black clothes to see what pieces might play well together.  Maybe you have a gingham top and a fun floral skirt... take a look at the two together.  You'll be amazed by the combinations you can come up with when you put certain colors next to others. 
I never thought the stripes and floral skirt would pair well but check it out!
4. Go with a different neutral.
I'm not against neutrals at all.  I think they play an important role in the wardrobe.  But if black is your only neutral, then you might be stuck in a rut.  Try adding beige, brown or navy.  You will be surprised how well these other neutrals will to with your colorful patterns or your statement pieces.
Grey is a great neutral that allowed me to easily avoid black.  And look at that unexpected pop of pink in the belt!
5. Know which black pieces your really need in your wardrobe.
The black things that I really value in my wardrobe are a cardigan, dress pants, skirt, "little black dress", a casual tank top and a dressy camisole - wow, that seems like a lot now that I've written it down.  I personally don't feel the need to have multiple black items unless they have a fun detail distinguishing them from the other black items in my closet.
Black skirt - a wardrobe staple!
Believe me, the transition from mostly black was not easy for me. I made a conscious decision to pick up something other than black when I went shopping.  I challenged myself to come home with colors and patterns.  It took me a while to accumulate enough non-black items to make a challenge like this possible.  I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone once a week and decide to wear no black!

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