All Black Everything
My mom told me my grandmother would turn over in her grave if she knew I was only wearing black fashion. She had little choice in what to wear, and it was all black.
Yet here I am, in less than a year I went from a color explosion to all black everything. And it’s made my life so much easier, I actually dress better than I ever have before, and I’ve never felt more free to explore fashion.
I love style and fashion, but so much is wrong about the clothing industry. I‘’ve long had the tradition of impulse buying things I could never match with anything, and spending a really long time to get ready.
For years I wanted to change, or somehow update my wardrobe. One of the restraints was encouraging myself to buy less, and stop myself from this endless cycle of buying, hoarding and throwing away clothes.
But I didn’t know where to begin, I had so many clothes I loved that I didn’t want to throw away, items with sentimental value, things I bought but never worn, dresses my mom loved to see me in but that I personally hated. And I didn’t realize at the time that I was stuck in a fashion version of myself that I created decades before.
I got especially encouraged when I saw American Horror Story: Coven, and the beautiful styling of all the black clothes. I started collecting inspiration on Pinterest and Lookbook, exploring a new adult version of myself, that I hadn’t yet realized. Allowing myself to see myself as the adult woman I had become, and how I wanted to present myself as such.
My initial purchase was simple, starting fresh; simple black shirts, tops, and 2 pairs of pants; yoga pants and jeans. It simplified getting dressing for work in the mornings, and I quickly realized this was working for me, it felt incredibly freeing.
When I started a new job, I decided to always be the first at the office, which meant I had to get up at 5, to be out of the house at 6, to arrive at work at 7. There would be little time to waste in the morning, and I probably would not have much energy in the evening to get creative with my wardrobe. And I finally put all my research into a plan of action.
The goal was to simplify my wardrobe, and the important parameters were that they had to look professional, neutral, they had to be comfortable, and I wanted to be able to match them with my old clothes.
I started with a few inspirations, to limit the options. The general idea was black, maybe some grays and whites, to fit with any of clothes I already owned.
There was something about the stereotype of an artist wearing all black that spoke to me. And building on the ‘simple black dress’ episode on Project Runway, where each designer redesigned that idea. I figured if it works for a dress, why stop there?
Then I decided I wanted to focus on looking professional for my job first and foremost, but keep the idea of other styles in my head, to keep my options open. Those included elements of punk rock, grunge, hip hop and generally comfort clothes.
As for inspiration to start, I went for 3 women who were similar to elements that I wanted to achieve. I figured I would eventually figure out what I wanted, how I saw myself, and what makes me comfortable. But that in time I could make adjustments.
When I was a teen, I was a Mel C, but as an “adult” I am Victoria. I love the Spice Girls, and her fashion seemed to fit the work look I was trying to find.
As an original Spice Girls fan, she is precious to me. And now in her career she is designing such beautiful collections.
If I want to look anywhere for elegance and professionalism, I’d be honored to look at Victory.
She is legendary, she is cool, she is iconic. I’ve been a fan of Gwen Stefani since I was 12. She had the confidence I wanted to have a teen.
In all honesty my teens were pretty freaking cringe, but if I take anything from my teens with me into my fashion, it’s inspired by Gwen.
And Nicole Loher, who I had followed on Tumblr for years. For years she blogged about fashion from New York.
In my eyes, she is someone who mastered back-to-basic, clean approach. This is exactly what I was looking for, and I thought would help me define a starting point from which to build my personal style.
This Isn’t Me, Anymore
It started with comfy clothes, and then work attire. In time I found myself just browsing for anything black, I started to buy items in different fabrics, and different styles, than I had ever considered before.
It dawned on me that for years, I had put myself in a narrow box. I knew who I was as a young girl, and as a teen, but as a 20 something, I had no clue. There would always be reasons that things ‘weren’t me’; too goth, too simple, too classy, too masculine, too feminine, too anything.
Once I changed my perspective, purposefully looking for black, but open to my curiosity. I allowed myself freedom to explore, experimentation, decided to take risks, as long as the clothes were black.
It felt so good, it felt like I unburdoned myself from years of fashion crimes. I didn’t realize before I started, how much I needed this.
In a sense I also feel as if I was liberated from following constant changing fashion, and just buy whatever I like, without any thought about anybody but myself.
As I got more into fashion, the more I was introduced to some of the conversations involving sustainable fashion. And how unsustainable the fast fashion industry had become.
It was a race to the bottom, as described in an article by the New York Times.
I hope that my fashion evolution can now start to focus on being sustainable, better for the planet and better for the people. But here is my problem, dying fabrics is really bad for the environment, so I am looking around for solutions going forward.
Currently I am very unhappy with some of the places I am buying my clothes, and this is where I hope you will help me. Please post your favorite sustainable brands, especially if they are comfortable with black fabrics.
For those who know, Lookbook was a community of lovers of fashion. I could spend hours browsing around, and watch beautiful people look effortlessly stunning.
I doubt people want to see my wardrobe, but I wonder if now that I’ve slowly become to feel comfortable with my style, if it may be time I reimmerse myself into online fashion communities. And let’s be honest, some outfits need to be seen.
All Black Fashion Aesthetic
Now I wear black every Wednesday, and every other day. I can’t help but sometimes laugh at the stereotype of an “artistic” type, but I’m not. I’m also not a goth.
I don’t know how to describe this style. It’s an all black aesthetic. It’s business attire, sports wear, comfy, sexy and fun. It’s all black. It’s trying new things. It’s not having to think too much about what I’m going to wear, but still feeling like a million euros.