In plain black and white: wardrobe staples

I once met a woman who was wearing a beautiful lavender suit. Some months later when I ran into her at another meeting, she again had on that same suit. She came up to me and said, “Really, I do have other clothes.”

I love color. I can remember the colors of my favorite articles of clothing: a cornflower blue silk dress I wore until it became a rag, a fuchsia flapper-style cocktail dress (oh, baby!), a beaded blue floral scarf, gold evening pants, a red power suit.

But for simplicity and versatility you can’t beat the basics of black and white. With those two “non colors” you can go anywhere or do anything. Dress them up or dress them down. Add color or not. Brown, tan, navy, taupe can be neutrals, but still can’t quite compare to black and white.

If you had nothing else in your closet, I would suggest you have these items:

In black:

  1. Pants. One dressy for evening, one casual for day.
  2. A black tank.
  3. A black sweater or jacket.
  4. Basic pumps.
  5. Jeans. Yes, in black.
  6. The quintessential little black dress.

In white:

  1. A high quality T-shirt to be dressed up or down.
  2. Sandals
  3. Cropped pants.
Tthe other nice thing about black and white is that no one will remember that you had on the same pair of black pants or white T-shirt the last time they saw you

What must-have clothing staples would you suggest?

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3 Responses to In plain black and white: wardrobe staples

  1. I am hardly a fashion plate, but I totally agree. My wardrobe is nearly all black which I then jazz up with a bright scarf or funky piece of jewelry.

    My favorite item is a mid-calf black skirt. Very comfy, looks good w/a sweater or jacket and then a pair of boots.

  2. Sassy says:

    I agree with everything you wrote. I tend to go in phases where I love color especially in the summer. It is much easier though for travel when I stick to black and whites. Sometimes I feel airtime to vibrant when I am wearing colors especially in big cities where it seems to be a sea I black. But colors can really affect your mood. A good coat for winter is a must it can dress up or down anything & a sexy comfortable pair of boots.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Color does affect one’s mood, and it’s so important to have colors that make you feel good in your house. Wall color in particular matters a great deal.

      I remember one time I was in the SF airport and I had on a yellow jacket. I swear EVERYBODY else was wearing black or some other dark color. I felt like a canary among blackbirds.

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