11 Feb 2020

The Power Of The Black Dress

The Power Of The Black Dress on vickiarcher.com


We over talk it, over wear it, ignore it and glorify it.

But the black dress is the one wardrobe essential we never really leave behind.

I crush on all-black and then renounce it for being dull. Who am I kidding? There is nothing dull about a good black dress if it is worn correctly. Speed watching who wore what the other night had me thinking an all-black dress very infrequently gets it wrong. It may be considered dull or unimaginative – that’s not really fair – we all know as much effort goes into choosing the right black dress as it does for a rainbow equivalent.


These fabulous women, celebrating 2016 and shot by Annie Leibovitz pay brilliant homage not only to the black dress but also to their signature styles. Each outfit may be uniform in colour but there is no sameness about any two.

The women are wearing the pieces, not the other way around, there is no doubt about that.


Choosing a black dress over a colourful option may seem easy, lame almost but it is most definitely not. A good black dress must work hard for the attention it deserves, whether it sparkles, covers-up, or accentuates.

I might even say it has to work harder than a multi-coloured peer for the same effect.


Some of us revel in all black and others feel it’s not for them.

Most women work it well and for those who don’t love an all-black outfit, it’s possibly more mental than the reality of how they look. Perhaps not uplifting enough? That’s when I feel it’s about how you wear it. The shoes, the hair, the jewels – even the make-up.



Recently I found myself in a ‘what to wear’ dilemma because I so frequently choose all-black when it comes to my best. My daughter’s wedding is coming up in a few months and I struggled to feel comfortable in anything other than that. The dilemma has passed, I forced myself to be creative and think outside my comfort zone and find an alternative. It’s not easy to commit to wearing something unfamiliar but I have and am delighted. Will I feel as much “me”? Probably not, but I am happy with my choice and won’t give it another thought. The flipside is to find a beautiful black number for her rehearsal dinner – so I will be happy on all counts.


What is it that makes me feel so right wearing all-black?

I like it with my grey hair; the contrast works.

Usually, a dark colour is more forgiving and flattering.

When I invest I feel an all-black is ageless and timeless.



These reasons could equally be applied to navy, cream or emerald green but for me, it’s never the same.


An all-black piece is – well – it’s forever. xv




Hard To Resist: Any Occasion, Now And Forever

mikado a-line   ||  beaded collar  ||  floral embroidered tulle  ||  tulle v neck  ||  sequinned v neck


turtleneck bow back   ||  asymmetrical sleeve  ||  wrap dress  ||  organza sleeve  ||  cap sleeve




this feature contains affiliate links

image, annie leibovitz for vanity fair 2016

 

 

 

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22 Comments

Nancy

Fun post, Vicki. Selecting the right black dress from the options you presented is almost like a question on Proust’s Questionaire in Vanity Fair. I agree with all your points. Sometimes black seems unimaginative, but actually provides the perfect canvas to present yourself. Enjoy your wedding journey!

Reply
Sunflower

I’m in the Navy Blue Club Vicki!!!
And feel very comfortable with this.
If the Black or Noir Club is your comfort/confidence/happy zone then stick with it is what I say!!!

Reply
Vicki

Yes! comfort is everything :)
Navy is beautiful… I don’t know why I don’t wear it more… note to me to do so…

Reply
Linda B

Black–how I love to wear it both casually and for dressing up. Don’t get me wrong–I love colors too. But I go through phases (like right now) where I want to wear at least some black, if not total black, nearly all the time. It is powerful yet anonymous at the same time.

Have fun picking out a fun dress for the rehearsal dinner!

Reply
Michelle

Other women often tell me that I “wear black all the time” It’s not true. I do primarily wear neutrals, including lots of black. The pop of color comes from my accessories or the occasional brightly colored cashmere sweater or coat.

Black is a mainstay of my wardrobe. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Reply
Vicki

Michelle, I agree and somehow I feel better to invest in black rather than other colours…
I am looking for a new handbag.. and I end up with the same problem… I always feel more prudent buying black!

Reply
Barbara

I am swithering what to wear for our 49th wedding anniversary dinner. Choice has narrowed down to a beautiful blue/green/purple silk dress or a black sil jersey dress with just the right neckline and shape. I think you have helped me make up my mind to add a just the right shade of pink velevet scarf to the black (preent many years ago from my husband). Thank you

Reply
Vicki

Go for it Barbara.. it’s also your instinctive choice and they are always the right ones. This dress sounds gorgeous and one you love.. so get the make-up done, the hair working and wear some fab earrings with your beautiful scarf… Congratulations :)

Reply
Teddee Grace

I absolutely feel my best in black. No other “color” does it. I’ve tried navy, gray, beige, whatever. I just don’t feel good in those colors and I like the fact that this non-color provides such a wonderful background for the colors I do like in accessories that enable you to draw attention to the parts of your being to which you want to draw attention.

Reply
Vicki

Agree, Teddee…
Accessories are wonderful.. I am trying to put together an earring collection.. gosh to find fabulous ones which change an outfit.. is not easy… but I do believe they make a world of difference.

Reply
DD

I am with you! Love colours as well however seem to more often than not fall back into the LBD club. The Valentino is to die for, but alas without a toned arm as the model has, it will never be able to adorn my wardrobe….pity!
Looking forward to seeing your choice!

Reply
Vicki

That dress is heavenly.. I am madly pushing and lifting to get my arms in shape for May.. a daytime party in the sun means I need a good arm !!

Reply
connie

Black is everything for me..dressy, casual, chic, intimate, soft, edgy, classic, and on and on. As mentioned above , it is a canvas. I always feel my best and most comfortable in black. I feel that I see the individual and not the fuss that often follows with color and print. But, I also have to say I really love all styles and what works for one can always be fantastic!

Reply
Vicki

I’m with you Connie.. as I sit here in my back pants and turtleneck! They do have gold buttons though ;)

Reply
Robyn Kreymborg

Hi Vicki,
I so agree !! The LBD is the most necessary piece in a wardrobe. I in fact just purchased an
“investment “ LBD frm Versace I’m sure it will be my go to for any and every event in the future.
It has a fabulous yellow and black silk lining which makes it feel such fun 🖤💛🖤💛 and splurged in the show which has the same yellow black pattern on the sole 😜 All I need now is an invitation or two 😜🤣🥳🎉

Reply
Vicki

They will be forthcoming :)
You will look marvellous in this dress, I am sure Robyn… bring it over next trip and we will make sure to find somewhere to wear it…

Reply
Sunflower

@Barbara what a wonderful celebration to be choosing an outfit for. I’m sure whatever your choice will be, you will feel wonderful with the love of others round you. Many congratulation and have a joyous time.

Reply
anitapelayorivera

Good morning Vicki!

I think you know how I feel about black, especially a black dress.I have at least six of them and I wear them to school and I accessorize. You are right once again; it’s HOW you wear black. I know you mentioned your daughter’s wedding coming up the day I shared a fantastic black dress from one of our local shoppes. It had exquisite pink and green embroidered flowers and honestly, it is quite the stunning dress. I sure wish you could try it on. I know you will find the right piece to feel like the queen you are!

Reply
Vicki

I adored that dress Anita… and it’s very much what I do love… I wish I could snap my fingers and go and look at it with you :)

Reply

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