I like to say that during winter I wear lots of colors, they all just happen to be either blues or greens. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s a pretty poor joke, but the real joke is the fact that last week I actually contemplated buying yet another olive green jacket to add to my current collection of at least six. While the summer sun essentially acts as an excuse to wear whatever colors combinations you can imagine no matter how distasteful, winter has the opposite effect, driving us all to pare down our wardrobes. As I’ve talked about before, I view how we dress as a reflection of our surroundings, and whether that’s a conscious decision or not, to me it becomes all the more apparent in the cold. With the flower beds all but shriveled up entirely, naked trees abound, and sidewalks littered by dead leaves, it feels only natural that we settle into this pattern of fewer, cooler tones.
A long-haired brunette model sits against a stark white back drop, staring away from the camera disinterestedly as she tries to look natural in some oversized sweater, or beat up OCBD. I can’t say how original of an idea it is at the point, but this concept of “dressing like the boys” has become a pretty common sight throughout whatever look-books or ads are being released on any given month. There’s even been the memorable incidents of women walking during runway shows for Umit Benan and Michael Bastian (complete with nip-slip.) For as much as the bleeding over of women into menswear is accepted, and even embraced by twenty-something bloggers who seem to be in a constant search for a girl that they could just share their cable-knits with, the flip side of this coin is rarely seen.
For the past year now, I’ve been suffering from a bit of conversational deja vu. Every few days or so I keep getting caught in these identical discussions wherein I’ll tell someone that I don’t own a single item of black clothing and they’ll proceed to tell me in so many words that I’m insane. For the first few months that I had these sorts of conversations I felt some form of superiority over whoever I was talking to, as if my choice to abstain from wearing black somehow made me better than them. There were even times where I’d go as far as to say that wearing black was lazy, a shortcut to looking well-dressed.