April 16, 2013

Wearing All Black in the Spring

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Beth emailed a while back, wondering about all-black outfits.  She wrote:

I love to wear black. I know that may not be the "in" thing to do- but it works for me. Black, a rich midnight blue, dove or heather gray- those are colors I work well with. The problem is that those then look so drab for spring. Any thoughts?

Yup.  See, I'm with you, Beth.  While color is huge right now, I tend to be a more minimalist, neutral kind of gal at heart. From growing up in the 90's, perhaps?  Which also explains my oversized white t-shirt obsession.  But black is pretty fabulous – there's no reason you can't rock all black all year.

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(wearing: tankTMRDNL Bow Back Tank….jeanssame but printedsandalssame but brown instead of bronzelipsTarte Matte Lip Tint in Lively)

 

Here are some tips I find helpful:

1.  Show Some Skin

Hem (or tape) your skinnies to show your ankle bone.  Show off your arms, or find a plunging v-neck.  If you don't have a pooch, show a sliver of midriff, a la Elin.  

2.  Lighten Up Your Lipstick

I find that dark lipstick (even red) paired with an all-black outfit feels like winter.  My Spring update?  Pink.

3.  Wear Birks

This has nothing to do with anything.  Just a rule for life, brought to you by the 90's, baby.

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4.  Vary the Textures

Varying the textures is always important when going monochrome….and in this instance, I find it also helps to lighten the look.  My tank above is a bit sheer, yet still hides the pooch (this tank is quickly becoming a favorite, BTW)…but I also love an airy, open weave sweater.

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(wearing: sweatersimilar on sale for $17!tankJ.Crew favorite tankshoessimilarbagfound an awesome one on Etsy that's similar)

 

Gosh, this outfit was so comfy, yet looked so…bad-A.   Yay for pleather!  Almost as good as Birks, that pleather.  

(No, not really.)

 

But the open weave sweater can be snagged, in theory.  Mine's held up pretty well, but I'm always a bit of a mess, so a few snags wouldn't bug me…but I'm sorely tempted by this fabulous-yet-expensive piece.  Does the higher price reflect a more durable weave?  Hmmmm…

 

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This kid cracks me up.  And he loves these leggings because obviously everyone loves pleather.  Each time I wear them, R's all:  "MOM! WOW!  Your legs look….awesome."

High praise from the 5 year old, Mamas.  Usually he prefers me in long, sweeping dresses, so I suspect my typical momiform is rather disappointing.  Pleather is a nice compromise, I suppose.  (Is anyone else grossed out by the word 'pleather'?  In the future it'll be 'faux-leather' all the way. I promise.)

Well.  Minimalist fashion, birkenstocks and old lady words like "pleather".  I hope you enjoyed our little trip back to the days when everyone was in love with Eddie Vedder. 

Beth….thoughts?  Are you with me (and Eddie) and all-black?

xo,

S

32 Comments
  • Abby B
    April 16, 2013

    Great minds think….?
    The timing on this was pretty funny because I *just* wore a (semi) all black outfit and had a mental conversation about it being Spring, and maybe this was too much black. But I used a bright yellow belt for a bit of pop and some lighter colored jewelry. (My outfit is posted if there are any curious minds)
    I’m glad I’m not the only one still breaking out darker colors in a “brighter” season :)
    And those “faux leather” pants…so fabulous!

  • Abby B
    April 16, 2013

    BTW, Shana, your boys are too cute to boot!

  • Sarah
    April 16, 2013

    I like “vegan leather,” Shana. Sounds fancy. :)

  • Belinda
    April 16, 2013

    Shana…you ALWAYS look great…!

  • Shana
    April 16, 2013

    Ooooo….it does sound fancy!  Vegan leather it is from now on!  :)
    Sent from my iPhone

  • N
    April 16, 2013

    Loving that ASOS sweater you linked to! Want, want, want! Would be perfect with leggings and a nursing tank under! How does their sizing run? What would a S/M for a slouchy feel be? Thanks!!!!

  • kate
    April 17, 2013

    Love this post! Definitely guilty of lots and lots of black. May need to rock the faux leather leggings look to preschool pick-up….

  • kate
    April 17, 2013

    Also you look like you’re floating in the first pic! ANMJ magic!

  • Marcia
    April 17, 2013

    Half my closet or more is black, so my summer uniform has evolved to mainly revolve around black almost everything, with a touch (just a touch!) of bright color as accent. So… short black sundress with colored sandals. Or black sandals but big jade-green earrings. Or a black burnout tee over a bright pink tank top. You get the idea.
    I’m not really a scarf person, but this would work well with scarves too. A flowy sheer scarf totally screams spring. Even over black.

  • Marcia
    April 17, 2013

    Also – For me, one colored/fun/funky item is about my limit before I start to look about half my age. So if your overall style is similar, pick accent pieces that you really love and that go congruously with the rest of your wardrobe. For example – I have a bright turquoise nylon crossbody bag, funky studded gladiator sandals, and a statement necklace from goodwill that is gold with a couple huge blue flowers. I am not hippie nor femme enough to wear them all at once, but adding one of these to the all-black-and-gray equals feeling more fresh and spring-ready.

  • Desiree
    April 17, 2013

    I struggle with the same thing. I tend to pair black with more natural elements during the spring and summer months – wooden jewelry instead of metal, canvas bag instead of leather, flow-y hair instead of overly coifed all seem to help make black more “spring” to me. I’m also a BIG fan of mixing black and brown during the warmer months. My favorite combo is a black maxi dress, brown leather sandals, wooden jewelry and a nice canvas bag – so easy. If all else fails, I throw on a colorful scarf to add a little spring to an otherwise black outfit … always chic.

  • Shana
    April 17, 2013

    Perfect!!!  I'd love a pic, Desiree….  :)
    Sent from my iPhone

  • Courtney
    April 17, 2013

    a little poem:
    I am STILL in love with Eddie Vedder –
    I am a little to round to wear faux leather-
    but black is good in ANY weather.
    As my daughter would say, loudly, THE END.

  • N
    April 17, 2013

    Has anyone ordered from ASOS before? Just wondering how tops run? I’m typically a S in tops, but am wondering what this translates to in number sizes. Would this be a 4, a 6? The model wears a US 4, however I’m 5’3″ not 6″. For a slouchy feel would you size up? Some tops say relaxed fit, so in those would you stick with a 4? Any insight would be appreciated, I’ve got a few things in my cart! That sweater you linked to being one of them! Thanks!!

  • Carar
    April 17, 2013

    Eddie Vedder went to my high school! And, I am wearing all black today (actally black on black with very dark denim).
    Also, cute haircut.

  • Amanda
    April 17, 2013

    How could I NOT click on a post titled “Wearing All Black in the Spring.” “You mean I can?!?” I almost yelled at the playground today reading this. Bravo girl, you wear it well.
    Along these same lines, I’m a BIG fan of the new monochromatic trend (a la Yolanda from the Housewives of Beverly Hills). Mainly b/c it’s easy & I’m fashion-challenged.
    Also: why can’t it be the ’90s ALWAYS? :)

  • Kim
    April 17, 2013

    Great post Shana! But you’ve got me wondering – any updates on your oversized white t-shirt obsession????

  • Beth
    April 17, 2013

    I agree with Shana- I would LOVE to see an outfit pic!

  • Julia C
    April 18, 2013

    Thanks so much for linking to my TWO HOLD bag on Etsy :) I love neutrals with a bright pop of color, great post!

  • dana
    April 18, 2013

    Oh…MY…..GAWD!!!!! He did?! Be still my heart. be still… ;)

  • Shana
    April 18, 2013

    Working on it, Kim!! :)

  • Shana
    April 18, 2013

    Thanks, Chick!! And sing it on the monochromatic. My fav.

  • Shana
    April 18, 2013

    Carar – did you see Dana’s comment above? I think she meant it for you. Or, uh, Eddie, rather. LOL

  • Shana
    April 18, 2013

    Yes! I find that the tops typically run a bit big. I’d stick with the 4. :)

  • Shana
    April 18, 2013

    [APPLAUSE]
    Thanks Courtney. This cracked me up. THE END.

  • Shana
    April 18, 2013

    Love these ideas, Marcia!! Would love to see a pic….

  • Shana
    April 18, 2013

    I wear them to preschool pickup all. the. time. :)
    And yes, I was totally floating. Or jumping, trying to warm myself. But floating sounds cooler.

  • Shana
    April 18, 2013

    I think these things tend to run a bit big…???

  • Shana
    April 18, 2013

    Thanks, Belinda!

  • Shana
    April 18, 2013

    Thanks, Abby!!

  • Beth
    April 22, 2013

    Yes, Shana, I am with you. I. Am. With. You. On all counts! The all black- the Eddie Vedder love, and the whole child of the 90’s thing.
    And thanks to all the comments about how to “lighten” up the black. I love the idea of pairing wood/natural textures with black- and the mixed textures.
    Questions for you. I don’t have “vegan leather” leggings. But I do have skinnies that are similar. Think I can swap those in? For I love my skinnies- and wear them 3 times a week. It would be great to stretch their use into the spring months here in Boston. And, would you mind sharing the name of the shoe you are wearing with your leggings? I know you linked to ones that are similar, but I adore the ones you have on. You sold me when you said the whole outfit was comfy! Now to find a long open weave sweater- for at 5’9″ I need things a tad longer…
    Thanks for highlighting my question! As always you look fabulous!!!! xo

  • sarah
    April 24, 2013

    I LOVE birkenstocks too, and yes I was a teenager in the 90’s. That must be it. I have the Birkenstock Mayari sandals and love them, my husband not so much…

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