Wednesday, 4 December 2013

It's Little Black Dress Season

It's that time of year again, when everyone is looking for something special to wear to the Christmas party, or some fabulous seasonal get-together. You just want to look outstanding, right? Ever since Coco Chanel declared that the height of sophisication was wearing a "little black dress", women in the millions have bought into the idea that black is THE ANSWER. No matter what the question, wearing black is the right thing to do. Even the phrase, "black tie" has been taken to mean: "it's a dressy occasion. What shall I wear? Oh, I know. Black." Black tie events have so many black dresses that they look like happy funerals. It's the woman in red that stands out. Or, indeed, any other colour. Wearing black is both good and bad. For some, it sets off their creamy skin and makes them look sophisicated and alluring. But this is not a universal truth. For some, black drains the colour from the skin, and the more mature the skin, the greater the drain. Anyone with a sallow complexion often tends to look worse than ill. "Everything goes with black," is ofen quoted as another reason to trot out yet another black outfit. This is probably one of the best reasons to wear the colour, because there's no denying that it sharpens other colours with its contrast. People rave about how slimming black is. But is it? A huge block of head to toe black has the same effect as a moving building. There's no sign of life there. Some women like the "disappearing act" that wearing black grants them, and if that is their choice, it's up to them. But why disappear? Why hide who you are? Sometimes, black might be a good choice, but certainly not the only choice. And it would be a black day if it were.