In the Black

December 1, 2013 Updated: November 28, 2013

How do you feel about black? I ask because I just returned from walking along Madison Avenue and lunching at a rather upscale restaurant and I feel as if I just returned from a mass funeral.

So many women say they’ll wear any color as long as it’s black. I don’t understand this.

When everyone wears black it gets rather depressing. How can you feel “up” and cheerful when you look so drab? And in this economy feeling cheerful is essential. I know black does make you look thinner, but so many of the women living in black are already so thin. Black is not easy to wear; it drains color from the face and makes you look washed out.

I like black and have a lot of black in my wardrobe, just as I like red or any other color and have a lot in my closets. I just don’t wear black to the exclusion of any other color. Today, I lunched with two women who both wore black head-to-toe. I wore a white skirt, blue and white striped top, gold belt, and jewelry. They both commented on how nice I looked and wondered aloud whether they should stop wearing unrelieved black. They then decided that no, they would feel uncomfortable in any other color. I asked why, and their answer was, “well, everyone wears black.”

Everyone wearing black is the best reason I can think of for not wearing it. I hate looking like everyone else. I love my little black dress and can’t imagine being well dressed without a few. But constantly? No. If you find yourself in a rut, constantly wearing black or any other color, try breaking out. You don’t have to wear red or a floral print. You can wear a scarf in another color or carry a brightly colored purse.

Those of you who always wear the same color or style—try wearing something different and write to me letting me know how you feel. I bet you’ll be surprised by how different you’ll feel. You might even feel somewhat liberated!

Miriam Silverberg is a freelance journalist and the owner of Miriam Silverberg Associates, a boutique publicity agency in Manhattan. She may be reached at silverbergm@mindspring.com.

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