Wardrobe Challenge: No Black

We all get stuck in our own little sartorial ruts sometimes, and when I find myself in such a rut, the easiest thing to do is to issue myself a challenge. The challenge usually makes me think outside of my usual box and gets the creativity flowing enough to push me back out of the rut and back onto the road to being happy with what I’m wearing!

Black is the easiest neutral of all, and the go-to neutral for many of us. I do love black, I won’t lie, but it has its problems. It can sap the liveliness from other colors or your complexion, not to mention the fact that every little peice of lint shows up on it! A good starter wardrobe challenge is to go a week without wearing any black (barring accessories). It can be a lot of fun and it’s a good chance to stretch your color-experimenting skills.

“What?!”, I hear you cry. “How can I go a week without wearing any black at all?!” Well, let me show you!

I find the best way to start is picking out three colors from your wardrobe palette, to keep from getting overwhelmed by all of the options. Here’s my wardrobe palette:

Staple colors: Pink, purple, and blue (all shades of all three, especially turquoise blue and jewel-toned shades)

Accent colors: Red, orange, and yellow

Neutrals: Black, gray, cream, and navy

So there’s quite a bit to work with, even without the black. In case you couldn’t tell, the palette for the above outfit is gray, yellow, and turquoise. To be fair, there are small accents of black - the band around the beret and the straps on shoes. But I think that’s okay for the challenge, since they’d be hard to remove!

To make putting the outfit together even easier, just pick a color from each of the categories. Build a base with the staple and neutral color, and then add pops of the accent color. Another option is to pick a staple color instead of a neutral, but use a light enough version of it that it can function as a neutral, shown here with pink.

It’s also important to pick different color intensities, as well. Pairing bright orange with bright turquoise with gray would be hard to pull off. But accents of a subdued orange in an outfit comprised otherwise of a ¬†rich royal blue and a nice dove gray could look wonderful. In the above example, I used a darker, deep purple shade, with a mid-range gray and a bright yellow. There would actually be less yellow than there looks at first glance, by the way, because the yellow tank is meant to be worn under the gray one! Little extra cleavage coverage, if you will.

Obviously, I was constructing outfits that I would wear, so they might not be perfectly suited to your tastes. But the methods should definitely hold true, and I totally recommend trying to go without wearing black for at least a day or two. It helps out a lot as far as looking at your wardrobe more creatively goes.

Do you think you could go without wearing black for a day? A week, even?

(PS - if anyone knows where to find an adult sized version of the pink skirt in the 2nd Polyvore, please clue me in. I just used a kid’s skirt and sized it up…and now I’d love to have a similar skirt but can’t find one anywhere!)

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