Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Let's Pretend

Today let's pretend that I have on black dress pants instead of dark-wash jeans. Because when I chose this outfit I fully intended to design it around black pants as the long-overdue follow-up to my Fashion Rut series. Does everyone remember our friend Martha, and how I banned her from wearing black pants for a month, and promised to do the same myself? Well the truth is I had no problem at all avoiding black pants for a month; in fact it's been well over TWO months since I even thought about wearing them. And frankly I would've gone on not wearing them had it not been for the fact that I promised to do so. But when I pulled out my one and only pair of black pants I found that they are actually too short to wear with heels, and my backup pair, which are charcoal gray, had a hem coming loose. I had no choice but to substitute these black-ish jeans and call it a day.

So assuming these are black dress pants, here's what I did to make the outfit interesting. First, I kept the bulk of the outfit to neutral colors -- white, black, and gray -- and added just some small pops of color with the necklace, shoes, and coat. What you don't want to have is a block of bright color floating in space against a background of black. Next, I added a pattern and texture mix with the top layers -- a striped button-down shirt topped with a sheer black top with a subtle floral pattern. The sheer top adds depth and softens the look of the solid black pants, while the pattern mix adds visual interest. Finally, I jazzed it up with the pops of yellow, since after all it is spring.

I'd love to tell you that I'll be back with more ideas for wearing black pants later in the week, but frankly I don't want to lie to you. And anyway, I hate black pants and am planning on getting rid of that one and only pair, since clearly I never wear them. I can only hope that Martha, as well as any other readers who followed my Fashion Rut series, have outgrown their dependency on the black pants by this point.

Shirt: Promod
Sheer top: Noa Noa
Belt: Red Dress Shoppe
Pants: Level 99
Shoes: Gabriella Rocha
Coat: vintage
Necklace: Dana LeBlanc Designs


Honeybunches of Roses said...

I'm in love with your coat!

Nadine said...

Amazing look, Audi. The sheer floral over stripes is genius, and the texture of the jeans works really well.

Lmac said...

Your coat is amazing! I love your whole outfit! Looks very polished!

Jess said...

I really like those pants, but then have a penchant for slightly belled, too-long bottoms. =P I see you've seen Michele recently. ;) super cute!

Anonymous said...

OK, not a peep about the new 'do? LOVE IT!

Also your explanation of how to do black slacks correctly was really illuminating. I see women roaming around my building in perfectly work-appropriate and perfectly dull outfits ... and inevitably, they're doing black slacks and a solid-colored top. "...a block of bright color floating in space against a background of black" as you say. Not the best way to style yourself.

Kasmira said...

Your haricut is ADORABLE! I can't wait for my June chop.

Eyeliah said...

love the pops of yellow, I think it looks even better with jeans.

badmomgoodmom said...

Sorry, you are not going to talk me out of my black pants. I agree with Elsa Klensch on that one.

Michael McGraw - said...

Cute haircut, Audi!

bekster said...

I can't stand my black slacks/dress pants. If I am wearing them, one can know that I had absolutley NO other options. However, I WOULD like a good pair of black JEANS because something clicked in my brain recently that told me jeans are actually just navy pants. We tend to look at them as neutral, but they aren't really. I have been trying to incorporate more navy up top when I wear jeans so that the look will be more balanced, ESPECIALLY if I have another color "theme" going on that doesn't include blue. Otherwise, the jeans look out of place to me. (I mean, you wouldn't wear navy SLACKS/dress pants with some other non-blue color theme, right?) So, I wish I had more non-navy jeans. I think I have trained myself well enough to make black bottoms not look boring, but for some reason my black SLACKS feel icky to me, even though my BROWN slacks seem great.

Anyway, your layering on top is great with those jeans. I just wonder how it would look with the actual dress pants instead of the jeans. Sometimes I think the fabric makes just as much difference as the color.

Audi said...

Bekster: Thank you for bringing this up. I agree 100% that the color of the jeans needs to be taken into account, and that the classic denim color is NOT a neutral. I love pairing my blue jeans with brighter colors like apple green or coral, both of which I think look great with a true navy as well.

badmomgoodmom: I'm certainly not suggesting that everyone ditch their black pants; however I do think a lot of women rely on them way too much, and end up putting together outfits that are just plain boring. What I was trying to accomplish with this outfit was simply to show a way to make black pants look more interesting. I personally find them challenging to work with, thus I don't wear them very much.