Thursday, September 9, 2010

WWW: Black Tee, Black Pencil Skirt, Black Slingbacks

This installment of Wardrobe Workhorse Week centers on my favorite neutral: black.  I feel like there's a divide between those whose go-to neutral is brown and those whose go-to neutral is black.  And of course, those who like gray or white (or nude - Anne-Marie might want to fight me on this one), but I think darker neutrals get more play.  I've always been drawn to black over brown.  One of my friends once posited that it was related to my preference of cities to more natural surroundings (if I go "camping" it better be somewhere with running water).  But I digress.

My last post dealt with the bursts of color that accent outfits.  In this one, I wanted to think about neutral foundations.  So I chose my most cherished and frequently worn items: a black long-sleeved t-shirt, a black pencil skirt, and low heeled black slingbacks.

black long-sleeved t-shirt (Old Navy)
black pencil skirt (Calvin Klein)
black slingbacks (Nine West)

I'll start with the long-sleeved t-shirt.  I own a bunch of long-sleeved tees, and they are definitely my wardrobe staple during fall and winter.  However, the black one pulls the most weight.  Simple and easy to throw on, sure, but the dark neutral makes it still look more pulled together than, say, the same shirt in purple or pink, which, to my eye, looks more casual.  This is still casual, of course, but the neutral makes it classic.  Also, I love that it is the perfect backdrop for colorful (or status symbol) scarves or animal print/statement shoes and accessories.

The pencil skirt is a perennial favorite for most "essential items" lists and for a good reason.  It is a generally flattering, non-frilly, get-the-job-done item that still looks effortlessly chic.  Great for work, teaching, class, a date, etc.  And in black?  The combination possibilities are almost endless.  I just gave you two examples of the kind of looks I like to put together with my black pencil skirt.
1) pair it with another neutral (or understated) top and play up colorful shoes (here we go again...) or other accessories
2) pair it with understated accessories/shoes and with a fun, but not crazy, top.  I love the burnt orange and purple in this blouse

Lastly, the shoes I wear in the outfit mentioned above are my last workhorse.  Now, I've spoken often about my love for high heels.  But a gal occasionally - ok, more often than not - has to book it places and run around campus, clack-clack-clacking down the hall.  In that case, you may not want crazy shoes.  That's why I love these understated shoes.  I usually like rounded toe shoes, but I like the pointed toe of these ones.  To me, it says "I may not be tall, but I'll still kick your butt."  In other words, they mean business.  They're comfortable, classic, and pair with almost anything.  Which is why I need to get a new pair soon - I've (literally) run these workhorses into the ground.

  • Do you have a favorite neutral or do you play the field?
  • Do you have a hard time letting go of your workhorses even when they desperately need to be let out to pasture?
  • Also, I want to "prompt" you to go look at some of the other blogs participating in WWW, found here.


Scholar Style Guide said...

I favor black as well, but I've been working to incorporate brown rather than always defaulting to black. For a long time I didn't have any brown shoes I liked, so that made a big difference. This might support your friend's claim, though, because though I enjoy outdoor activities, I like to come home and shower before getting in bed to sleep.

I also agree that a black tee seems like a more chic alternative than many colored ones. Generally, I like to buy tees in saturated colors because lighter colors seem to look washed out more quickly, and that can also make them read as more "casual."