3 Sep 2021

The Holiday Is Over: Back To Black

The Holiday Is Over: Back To Black on vickiarcher.com

IT FEELS LIKE, “back to school”.

My desire to refresh my black wardrobe essentials is a bit in the same vein. Funny how we can’t wait to float high on a wave of summer silks and satins and then when that passes we are excited and impatient for the winter woolens.

After an extended break where colour was king and comfort the rule of the day, I am ready for the uniformity of monochrome dressing. This is the wonder of seasonal life and what makes it bearable to farewell summer and welcome in the autumn. Black is not an exclusive choice but it is where I gravitate after a colourful sojourn. No doubt when I tire of a “city uniform”, I’ll be back searching for the vibrant.

For now, I am ready for tailored trousers and turtlenecks; sweater dresses worn with chunky boots. Cashmere sweats and hoodies or oversized sweaters accessorized with a scarf or three have suddenly appeared front of mind. I’m swapping out my wardrobe and drawers – the swimsuits and caftans are packed away to be replaced with the more heavy-duty.

Let’s start with the sweater dress.

I am a big fan of sweater dresses because they are easy.

You can wear them mid-calf or knee-length and be figure-hugging or relaxed, depending on your taste. Roll necks, round necks and boat necks all appeal to me. The same goes for the fabric – a jersey, cashmere, or a ribbed effect.

Wear them with or without tights depending on the month and try them with sneakers, loafers and boots. I like them with the chunky short boots popular this year and the Chelsea style of slip-on boot.

Sweater dresses are certainly not new – they won’t be our first rodeo but they are a tried and proven mid-season/winter fashion staple. They look equally great worn with a field jacket or an overcoat. A cute cardigan on top can do the job too.

The best news; a sweater dress gives all the style with none of the fuss.

Kick start “back to black” with one of these. xv

See my full EDIT of sweater dresses HERE.

they might look similar but they are all individual: different lengths, different neck styles, different fabrics and different pricepoints 

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Vicki, welcome back! I have missed you terribly but I know you’ve had a marvelous time under the sunny skies of your holiday destination. The mood has changed here literally overnight. Just yesterday I was working out in the garden under a strong summer sun and today, temps have dropped at least 15 degrees under raindrops. But it’s all lovely because that’s life: change.

So good to see you.


I really, really did, Anita..
Yes.. life is wonderful and all the changes make it so…. here in London it is 4 seasons in a day at the minute… but I know autumn is here and winter approaches… I look forward to it.. :)


Hi, Vicki …welcome back. Even the weather change might be frustrating but looking forward to a colourful autumn and cold dark winter days, I have to admit that I am very lucky to have my good old timeless sweater dress, of course in black. It’s three-quarters sleeved so I can wear it with a light turtle neck underneath.
since it is also a hand’s breadth above the knee it looks good with black thick tights and chunky boots. Although I always make up my mind, after a usually “white summer” never to wear black again, it is the best
choice anyway. I wish you a good and happy “new” start in Nottinghill.


Thank you Rena,
I know the sentiment around wearing black… and I am just the same… here I am again… wanting it all.. ha ha… that’s the joy of seasonal dressing, right?

Linda B

I am so glad you had such a marvelous summer holiday, Vicki! It is wonderful to travel again, though it is not quite the same as the old days still. At the moment, I wonder if it ever will be again–I’ve had to cancel a few little trips lately, with the surge of Delta here. But those were side trips to the long sojourn I am enjoying in Oregon. My second little granddaughter arrived here last week, and I am staying a few more months to help. Next week, my daughter and her family will move into their very own house; the timing isn’t ideal with a newborn and a two year old but it is so exciting for them. How wonderful it is to be part of this next chapter of family life! (The little unvaccinated ones were the reason I could not risk those side trips.)

As an auxiliary benefit, I get to have the joy of experiencing a real fall, which I have barely been able to do since I moved to Arizona 32 years ago. Autumn happens in November/December there, and is way more subtle. Here, it is starting to cool off and the first leaves are turning. I so love it! I am enjoying wearing more autumnal colors but haven’t broken out the black just yet. I don’t own a black sweater dress but you have convinced me it would be perfect. I am on the hunt for just the right one. Thanks for all the great recommendations.


Congratulations Linda, this is exciting to be together with your new baby granddaughter… the best!
My black sweater dresses (there have been a couple) have been the best successes in my wardrobe.. for look and comfort… Enjoy those beautiful autumnal shades and the crispy days…


Welcome back – I loved seeing your holiday photos. I would like to get a sweater dress this year but my brain says they work best on someone with less curves than me. I am definitely an hourglass figure, but I don’t want body con! Oh, and I don’t want to spends tons of money since I am a teacher and I kids are messy ☺️. Any suggestions????? LOL, this is like back to school for you, I am handing out research projects 😂


Katie, try a tighter version.. they can look great with curves… not skin tight but not square-shaped, either.. The norma Kamali or the Treasure & Bond are great options… the other trick is to buy a size up in this style and it gives a little bit extra breathing room. Curvy figures actually look wonderful in these :)


It does feel like back to school, and time for black.
Black leggings and a black turtleneck under a short caftan can cheer up a blustery winter day.


Hi Vicki!
Oh how I love the sweater dress!! My go to is giannetti.com for my cashmere sweater dresses in lots of colors.


THRILLED you got away and to such BEAUTIFUL PLACES!That should hold you for a few months!!My other blogging girlfriend went to Bora Bora and her blog post on that took me away for a few minutes…….Northern California STYLE.Looks like they got out just in time as Covid has hit hard there now.I got to go to New Jersey for a wedding which was a lovely get away for a wedding!I do not see this ending soon either………..all the GOOD shops are closing around me.Heard last night NORDSTROMS may be closing in my shopping town!Lets hope NOT as I love their cafe for salads…….and I walk Through………..and I was employee number 48501-7 back in the 80’s!
FALL HAS ARRIVED HERE TOO BUT WITH HIGH TEMPS……..yesterday 100 F.Makes for nice dinning outside at NIGHT TIME!


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