Friday, 11 February 2011

Friend Friday - Colour Wars

Friend Friday is run by ModlyChic.  To participate email  This week we are talking about the use of colour in our wardrobes.

1. What color dominates your closet?
It is most definitely black.  Through grey seems to be catching up!  It's not that I am unadventurous with colour or don't like wearing it.  I actually love wearing colour.  I own many colourful pieces that I wear in warmer weather, but by far black seems to rule the roost because I wear it during winter and the winter here is loooooong!

Although I complain I wear too much black, I find I continually return to it when getting dressed as if I rather relish the challenge of remixing all my black pieces to make them interesting.  To be honest - I like black and really embrace wearing it in a myriad of shades, fabrics and textures.  I love the mystery, the drama, the glamour, the Gothic overtures, the rock and roll, the sex appeal and the luxuriousness of black.

When I am time strapped to think about getting dressed I find wearing black is a fail safe way to create a sophisticated, stylish and elegant look.  It also suits my skin tone.  Some years ago I had a colour analysis done, ironically to try and introduce more colour into my wardrobe, and my colour season is, even more ironically, Winter!  I was told if you are a Winter you fall into the only season whose colouring will find black very flattering.  The first thing I did after the analysis was to buy a black dress!

Known as the colour of protection black also serves as a form of armour in dress.  As a dancer I almost exclusively wear black in class and rehearsal (apart from when I did ballet and had to wear pink tights and shoes - the only non-black items I wore).  You spend a lot of time in front of a mirror being extremely self critical about everything you are doing and wearing black becomes a form of emotional protection against your own view of your self!

I've become a bit of an expert on mixing black with black, black with grey and grey with grey.  It would seem I'm gradually diluting towards white over time but I could do with moving sideways out of this part of the colour spectrum sometimes!

2. If money weren't an issue how would you change the color emphasis in your closet?

I would move to a warm country and wear all my pretty summer prints and whites all year round!  My summer and winter wardrobes are like chalk and cheese and I do have a lot of colourful summer clothes.

3. What is your mantra about mixing colors?

I'm not a bold or particularly great colour mixer.  Blocking clashing colours or mixing clashing prints has never really worked for me.  I don't go near acid brights or fluorescent colours.  You won't see me working neon unless I'm having to wear high visibility clothing on a building site or riding a bike.

If I work a colour it is generally in one printed piece or I'll wear a piece in one colour, say a red top with denim jeans or with a skirt or pair of trousers in a more neutral colour.   I do have a couple of good dresses in block colour which I will wear with a denim jacket or a black or neutral toned jacket.

I generally stick to the advice I got when I had my seasonal colour analysis done and avoid wearing the colours and tones of colours which don't suit me, especially near my face.  Having the analysis done has been really useful in that it sets boundaries for clothes shopping.  For instance I love canary yellow but I look hideous in it, so I would never buy something with yellow in it.  The exception would be if it was only a minor accent in a print where the base colour suited my skin tone and it wasn't worn near my face.

4. For you, how do you incorporate color into your outfits?
If it is warm there's no problem - I'm usually wearing something colourful!

Really black and darker colours like charcoal and navy are the basis of my winter wardrobe and these colours have been my staples for office work wear.  If I want to avoid all black/all grey/all navy I use nuetral accents in tones of paler greys and whites to break up the darker tones.

I also incorporate colour using accessories like shoes, scarves and bags (I rarely carry a black bag actually).  I do also like wearing printed pieces to break up an all black outfit.
5. Which blogger(s) do you think do a good job of incorporating color into their wardrobe? 
I do really enjoy seeing how other bloggers mix up colour.  Tops marks go to the fearless Franca of Oranges and Apples.  A few of my other favourites would have to be Be Fabulous Daily, No Guilt Fashion as it is very rare to see them in all black, and I love the colourful outfits of vintage clothing put together by Vintage Vixen.

But I don't want to only acknowledge good use of bright colours here because to me mixing black on black well is truly an art form.  The absolute master in the blogosphere in my eyes has to be The Divinitus.

People can make the scientific point that black is technically not a colour but in terms of pigments, combining all three primary colors (red, yellow and blue) and their second derivatives and you get..... black.


  1. I love that photograph of your colourful sunmmer collection. The first time I ever visited your blog featured a photo of you in a summer dress in a field and it had me hooked.
    Grey and black are very easy to wear and in a work environment are often very appropriate. I was much lazier as a blonde feeling that my bright hair did all the talking. Now I'm black-haired I feel I have to make more of an effort to avoid blending into the background.
    I think that sewuinned top with the leather pants may be my all-time favourite outfit of yours. xxx
    PS Thanks for the mention, I'm honoured.

  2. I laughed as soon as I saw the top photo - it's completely the opposite to Franca's (I mentioned her too)! I agree that there's an art to wearing black with black - the only reason I cut down on the all-black outfits was because they lacked texture and, with the cheaper fabrics, a true depth of tone... (I sound like I'm auditioning for Pseuds Corner!)

  3. Perphaps you are so full of colours inside, that you have no need to wear them on the outside...
    Besos y buen finde!!!

  4. There is something extremely compelling about those photos of your identical t-shirts fading from blackest black to white.
    Dressing in black-black-black is interesting the way you do it because of the texture involved! There is much to be said for one bright and/or pattered item hidden somewhere in the black layers, though...

  5. Hello black lady! Like you I often default to black, but unlike you I don't think it does my complexion too good - it often makes me look haggard and tired, but that doesn't really stop me wearing it.

  6. beautiful post! I love mixing textures and I agree black outfits can be amazing when done right. I love yours! I do wear black still, but less so than before, my closet has exploded with colour in the last year :)

    xx Anika

  7. Great post! I like the round up of your summer prints, I've always meant to do a picture of those items in my closet myself.

  8. oh man, how i love all this black goodness! it's sort of refreshing to breaking up all-black with white and greys.

    speaking of prints in your post, though- you have some nice summery ones. i am steadily selling off mine (consignment). it's scary! but i over-indulged in print-mania when i lived in the caribbean, and now i want soothing neutrals with a pop of color sometimes...i cannot believe how much wildly-printed resort wear i'd accumulated! i do think prints are lovely, but somehow solids (sometimes plaids and stripes) suit me best now.

  9. i'm "Winter" too!
    thanks for the mention :)

  10. You always amaze me how you style black and black together, and it looks so chic! Can't wait to follow you this summer when you bring out some color too.

  11. OMG! I know you said that black dominates your wardrobe, but what a GORGEOUS collection of gorgeous, colorful, bold printed dresses you have.

    Anywa, it seems like a ton of us all said that black dominated our wardrobes, so you are not alone on that one!

  12. I had to laugh when the collage of all your outfits came up--it is SO you. I had my colors done many years ago and came up to be a winter also. But as I recall I was encouraged to wear jewel tones, but to avoid yellow.

  13. Summer is a natural time for more colour and more prints. But I loved that colourful dress you wore recently with a gilet and poloneck. I also agree that mixing blacks in an interesting way takes skill.

  14. You lead a very colourful life - think about all your travels and dancing:). I love your black collection - it NEVER looks the same, you're constantly mixing your pieces around and I love to see what you've come up with. What a wonderful pic of all your lovely spring/summer gear! xo

  15. I think I started reading after summer was over, so I've never seen all those bright clothes! Can't wait :) Not that your black winter self isn't awesome.

  16. Impressive black harmony and rock vibe !

  17. I love the mosaic of all your black outfits, mrs. b is right - it is the opposite of mine, but I love it! its great how you have interpreted the questions and how you make black and greys work for you. I think that is the most important thing, findings a style that's right for the individual. Though I do of course love the summer dresses and can't wait until it gets warmer and you start wearing them!

    Also, thank you for the shoutout!

  18. Great post! I love so much the collage of your outfits! And now I want to make one myself too! I have a suspicion that contrary to my own believes that I wear only darks and neutrals it'll turn out very bright and colorful! I haven't done my colors but I suspect I'm a winter too :)

  19. I am black in winter person too, I just love it! Its so interesting the detail you pay to colours that suit your skin tone, I never even think about that, except beige, beige makes me look like a corpse! x

  20. Thanks for all the comments everybody! It was quite funny putting the collage together and seeing how black and grey it turned out and it is, as Mrs Bossa puts it, even funnier when you compare it to the rainbow collage of Franca's post over at Oranges and Apples!


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