STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Back To Black

As the winter approaches, the trees will lose their color and our days will unfortunately get darker. This also tends to be true for the colors of winter apparel. Especially if you live in an urban setting like we do at Berklee, it’s hard to find people throughout the city who aren't wearing black. Although this cold weather trend is inevitable, there are certainly ways in which we can play up the black leather jackets or black The North Face coats that we pull out of our closets year after year.

When I spotted this Fashionista, I was pleasantly surprised to see that she had implemented some awesome colors in with her black leather motorcycle jacket (which I totally recommend as a staple piece for everyone to own) and black scarf. Underneath the coat, she wore a white lace top from Topshop, light wash denim skinny jeans and high-top kicks. My favorite part of the outfit, however, was the hot pink bandeau that she wore underneath the lace shirt. It served as an awesome contrast to the jacket. In addition, she carried a versatile, fashionable black tote bag made by Marc by Marc Jacobs. The bag not only went perfectly with this Fashionista’s outfit, but its perfect size also served as a great school bag for the rest of the semester. The color was winter appropriate and the bag itself was made of nylon, which can be easily waterproofed and protected from the East Coast snow. 

Black leather jackets are a hot item this season and my favorite one is the Walker Leather Biker Jacket by AllSaints. I’d also give it some color just as this Fashionista did by pairing it with this bright purple Wide Cashmere Wrap scarf from J.Crew. Then, if you want to take some handbag advice from this Fashionista, here is her Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Little Tate tote bag from Nordstrom.

Happy shopping!

 

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STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Back to Black

Spotted: Fashionista sporting a simple monochromatic black ensemble with a perfect printed scarf. What I love about this outfit is the versatility, the ability for each Fashionista to personalize it and of course, how chic it is!

While straying away from the bright neons that flooded summer fashion sites and venues, this outfit is perfect for fall. This Fashionista flaunts her up-to-date knowledge with great monochromatic style. The pop of color with the scarf and moccasins are like the cherry on top of a sundae: absolute perfection.

It was almost coincidental that this Fashionista caught my eye today as earlier I was watching this video of the Elie Saab spring 2012 collection. While it may be a last season show, the idea of the outfit is an essential style for fall. The best part about monochromatics is that it is so versatile and each Fashionista can make it his or her own. This Fashionista did a monochromatic black look (with dark blue jeans instead of black jeans, although the intention is still there). The monochromatic look can also be done in any color you choose. My personal favorites have been whites and pastels as well as basic and classic black. Although the monochromatic look is so chic and a very bold look in itself, this Fashionista has played up the colors with this bright scarf, an accessory I highly suggest. While the scarf adds a pop of color it is also an essential accessory during fall and winter. The scarf can be changed out for a beautiful knit infinity scarf like this one from Urban Outfitters for cooler weather. Other ways to personalize your monochromatic look is with a great bight shoe or metallic accessories. This Fashionista chose the new classic and fall essential that is moccasins. A great pair of pumps would be the perfect period to this fashion sentence.

I cannot wait for fall and all of the dark, monochromatic looks to come. Keep an eye out for the monochromatics that you are drawn to, and even try a monochromatic outfit yourself. You may be surprised at how this simple style makes you look and feel so chic.

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STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Back To Black

Who says black has to be boring? Sure, in the summer months we all reach for bright colors and multihued patterns to complement the weather, and often times college students’ newfound feeling of freedom from school, the stress of finals and due dates. Truthfully, darker pieces can be just as exciting once you pair them with the right embellishments.

I pulled this Fashionista aside after admiring her ability to turn a humid September day’s outfit into pulled together perfection simply with a black maxi skirt, black camisole, patterned black and white button-up and some bold accessories. She displays how color and extravagant patterns are not the only way to liven up an outfit. The attention to detail is also something that sets this Fashionista apart, from the stunning statement necklace down to the creative combination of rings on her fingers.

This Fashionista’s look can be easily accomplished with a couple of basic pieces or dramatized with more elaborate jewelry or beading. My personal favorites include pieces from the online fashion marketplace ASOS, including a high-low skirt, beautifully beaded blouse, rings to mix and match, as well as some dazzling gladiator sandals. While these make for a great daytime outfit, they could be transformed into a glamorous evening ensemble.

So don’t be afraid that wearing all black is too mundane. It is a blank canvas to add, embellish and beautify. Take a day off from crazy colors and hectic hues and turn back to black.

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STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Back to Black

Normally, one wouldn't associate black with summer fashion, but done right, it can be cute, chic, flirty, or whatever else you want it to be. The key to wearing black during the summer is to not overdo it. Stick with the basic and essential pieces to put your outfit together. Too many noisy pieces that clash, makes the long, hot summer days seem even more unbearable.

This Fashionista pulled it off perfectly. She kept it simple–her all black outfit draws attention to only the areas that aren't black. The monochromatic color scheme focuses in on her floral black tunic; it seems as though her cardigan and jeans almost aren’t there. Another key to wearing black is making sure that the color of your pieces match exactly. There’s simply nothing worse than wearing a green-tinted black sweater with brown undertone jeans. Though this may seem trivial, in photographs and in the sunlight this disparity becomes very obvious. This Fashionista made sure that her cardigan, jeans, and top were all the same shade of black.

During the summer, one of the most popular things are black shorts. They come in all styles and various materials. For instance, black denim shorts would be perfect for a day on the beach or at the park. However, for more formal outings, black shorts made from silk, or a polyester blend that feels like silk, could be paired with a top made out of similar material and a pair of heels. Also, just because it's summer, it doesn't mean that you can't wear your LBD. Keep it simple, cool, and chic with black this summer, but don’t overdo it.

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STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Back To Black

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, if I saw anyone wearing all black I considered them “emo” or “gothic” and quickly averted my eyes from them in fear of catching the goth. Fast-forward a few years and what were yesteryears gothic kids have become today’s hipsters, making an all black ensemble in style and on trend.

This Fashionista caught my eye as I was walking past the art gallery on my way to class. The risqué hemline of her black dress made me do a double take and her accessories made it impossible for me not to approach her. The sheer high collared top of her dress balances the short hemline, keeping the black dress from looking like she belongs somewhere much less classy than an art gallery. A romper similar in style can be found on NASTY GAL. While you’re shopping on NASTY GAL, click over to the shoes to find a pair of Floam platforms: an amped up version of this Fashionista’s footwear. The beautiful thing about platforms is the height they give without the discomfort of an incredibly arched foot. Yes the Floam platforms are seven inches in height and definitely not constructed for the faint of heart, but the low arch is similar to that of this Fashionista’s shoes, which she mentioned to be quite comfortable. 

These Jean Paul Gaultier sunglasses add the perfect touch of color to the all black attire. It sways from the bright and obnoxious neon pop of color that has been the latest fashion trend, but that is exactly why I like it. That, and the fact that these sunglasses are from the 1960s, inherited from her grandmother. The circular frames are a dead giveaway of a '60s style, but I figured they were inspired by the time period when I first saw them, not originally from it. Factor in the outline of a gun that the shadow from the sides of the glasses creates, and these frames can be nothing but a Jean Paul Gaultier creation. I try not to be engrossed with designer labels, but I admit that when she threw out the brand, I went from thinking she was a cool hip artist I want to be friends with to being downright obsessed with her.

Unlike the depressing lyrics of Amy Winehouse’s song Back to Black, an all black outfit can be worn for a look that is classy, edgy or simply in style. The days of all black everything meaning mourning are over!

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STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Back to Black

Throughout every winter season, black remains as the long-time staple for any day-to-day look. As an avid color activist, I still find my wardrobe maintains a constant and rather large portion of this fundamental color. Most Fashionistas/os can easily attest that purchasing a black garment is somewhat of an investment. Not only does it provide immediate versatility, but this “primary” color also presents a naturally chic charisma. Whether you’re heading to class, work or a night on the town, black will continuously save-the-day in the heat of any fashion emergency. I myself can readily admit the undeniable need for a “LBD” in every Fashionista’s wardrobe. Despite the season, occasion or cost of the garment, black will forever act as the continual front-runner for all high style circumstances. In particular, this week’s Fashionista dons a black and denim combination further proving the power of this unstoppable hue.

Alongside her favorite pair of J Brand skinny jeans, this Fashionista sports a black jacket with leather detailing by Helmut Lang. After spotting this beautifully crafted garment, I was truly shocked by it’s beauty upon further look. The balance of the sleek leather arms beside the quilting of the bodice truly creates a modern twist upon the traditional motorcycle jacket. Underneath her gorgeous jacket, this Fashionista also wears a silk blouse from Alice + Olivia. With the difference in textures, the outfit collectively displays a subtle uniqueness despite the lack of color. In regards to accessories, this Fashionista also carries a structured leather tote by Proenza Schouler as well as a pair of wedged booties from Minimart. Clearly, this Fashionista exhibits how black remains as the constant classic for even the most modern of looks.

 

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STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Back to Black

It may be the absence of color, but head to toe black can give someone’s style a true presence. There’s a reason every other color and phenomenon strives to be the new black: it’s ageless and timeless, figure flattering and can exude a mysterious elegance and sophistication just as much as it does a modish edge. Perhaps the only color you can get away with in total monotone, black lets an item of clothing’s texture, shape and fit speak for itself and shine without competing with a colorful print.

With winter finally hitting Los Angeles (that’s anything under 70 degrees for us Angelenos), USC has undergone a seasonal style transformation with a move towards darker color palettes like black, while students’ normally flip-flop clad feet have begun breaking in their new boots. Today’s Fashionista goes back to black in her cozy winter get-up. Her textured chunky knit is brilliant in black over her top with deep olive green stripes and is a perfect proportional balance to her skintight leggings. Matched with her leather cross-body Marc Jacobs purse are her very on-trend over the knee black leather boots, similar to these, that magically make legs look miles long. While they may be all black, her slick and edgy boots and purse, sleek leggings and warm, chunky oversized sweater combine to create enough depth and dimension to disregard color entirely.

Glimmers of gold sparkle from her purse’s hardware and her Michael Kors watch, but her look is topped off by her square, thick-rimmed, tortoiseshell Dolce&Gabbana spectacles, giving her scholastic-chic look.

Don’t hesitate to disregard color and step in to the land of noir for a change of pace this season. With the right combination of pieces, you can rest assured that black will always be the new black.

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STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Back to Black

Once associated with the mourning period back in the Victorian era, black is no longer a colour to be shied away from. Indeed, it is now often selected over colour due to its safe and versatile reputation. No longer purely the fashion territory of Morticia Adams, style icons crossing continents and decades from Audrey Hepburn to Victoria Beckham have remoulded and manipulated the darkest hue of the spectrum in order to suit their look.

It is important to remember when wearing an outfit dominated by black to focus on varying textures and proportion in order to prevent the look from veering into boring terrain. This Fashionista demonstrates this look so perfectly with contrasting textures (patent Russell & Bromley loafers versus a tactile knit) and a balanced silhouette. The loose jumper complements the cropped skinny jeans beautifully. Her shirt, in shade-of-the-moment, mint green peeps out from under the jumper for a mix of classic and seasonal colours.

Changing between fabrics and details when embracing noir will ensure you don’t look as if you’re playing it safe. Black backlash has occurred many a time and it has been accused of being dreary and uninteresting. For example, the mix-and-match gold chains seen here break up the black landscape slightly. Studded accessories, belts and scarves will achieve the same effect. Pair with bedhead hair and smoky eyes for the ultimate in rocker-chic. Note: not gothic.

The fit and length of the skinny jeans here are not only perfect for the unbasic black look, but will also continue to be a wardrobe staple for seasons to come. True black instead of a washed-out shade are smart, casual, daytime or partytime, depending on what they’re worn with (and they could be worn with literally anything).

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