Friday, 25 January 2013

The Big Black Fashion Conspiracy

I've been looking on-line for clothes recently, expecting to have far too many to choose from, but if you eliminate everything black, it's amazing how limited your choices become.  I know black is popular, but it's a difficult colour to wear for most of us who are over 60.  Fashion stores, please take note!

I would like some new trousers, which need to be in a petite size as I am vertically challenged, and I have been looking at other possible purchases.  I don't want any more black trousers, but for some bizarre reason most of the petite trousers are black.  Why?  People barely notice us shorties at the best of times, but if we wear black we will be almost invisible!  Navy would make a nice change, or maybe grey or dark brown.  I quite fancy something more colourful too, which will definitely make me more visible, but where can I find more colourful clothes?

Take Marks and Spencer as an example.  The good news is that I can get M & S clothes delivered here in Spain. The bad news is that most of them are black.  They have eight pairs of petite trousers: one pair is charcoal, another pair is navy (which also come in black), there is a "black mix" pair of jeggings and the remaining five pairs are only available in black.  Three of their seven skirts are black.  Out of eleven coats and jackets, eight are in a particular colour: guess what that colour is?! The little black dress is alive and well at M & S, though five other colours are available: a total of fourteen dresses, six of which are black.  I looked at eleven tops (five of them were black) and finally I found eight jumpers and cardigans, where black shared the lead with blue, both of them having three items.

I decided to start my search at by including only petite clothing in UK size 12. Result!  I was very excited to see that I had a grand total of 231 items of clothing to select from. However, when I looked at the numbers for each colour, I could see that 87 of those items were in black, 63 were blue (the majority of these were dark blue and navy, which on my screen looked suspiciously like black), 18 were cream, 11 were brown, 10 were ivory and the other colours were in single figures.

Debenhams' petite trousers in black and "looks like black"
At first glance Wallis looked very promising, with twelve colours plus  black, however when I checked each colour individually black was the only shade that had more than one page of items to choose from.  Principles Petite by Ben de Lisi has a choice of seven colours, plus black.  It's a small collection of stylish clothes, most of which (surprise! surprise!) are black (14 items) followed by blue (8), cream (4) and only one or two items are available in the other colours.

John Lewis deliver to Spain, so I checked them out.  I was in shock when I went down the list of colours, as although black was in the lead with 51 items  followed by blue with 47, when I clicked on "multi" I saw the amazing figure of 68.  More than black!  However further investigation revealed that most of the multi-coloured items had some black in them, which in my view made them more black than multi-coloured..

I'm not going to give up though.  The fashion industry may still be trying to persuade us that black is best, but I've just seen Pantone's colour forecast for 2013.  It looks as if Emerald is the colour to go for Spring 2013, with other options being African Violet, Monaco Blue, Nectarine, Poppy Red, Lemon Zest, Tender Shoots, Dusk Blue and Grayed Jade.  Dare I say that these all sound like lovely bright colours? With no mention of black!  I'm hoping that this means that the fashion industry will become a lot more colourful and I can start replacing the black items in my wardrobe - but I'm not holding my breath!

Pantone colours for Spring 2013

Thursday, 3 January 2013

One pair of trousers: how many different looks?

I decided to see how many different outfits I could create using just one pair of trousers out of my 33 items of clothing and wearing them with different tops and cardigans.  The trousers are navy, which is one of my core colours.  Here are some of the possible permutations:




I've shown eight outfits above, but I have another four tops that could be worn with the navy cardigan and trousers.  With all of these outfits I could wear my grey casual jacket instead of the cardigan. For an even more casual look I could replace the navy trousers with navy jeans, which means I have already created 48 different outfits using just 16 out of my 33 items of clothing.

Accessories can totally change the look of your outfit. You may decide to look casual or you may prefer a more sophisticated look. I have to say that most of the time I go for a casual look - and comfort!

My everyday bags
Shoes and boots for trousers
I enjoy wearing jewellery and have many different colours to choose from!  A selection of my necklaces is shown below.  Most days I will wear a necklace, though sometimes I will choose a scarf instead and maybe put on a bracelet.  This can also create a slightly different outfit, to add to the variety of your looks.  Initially I thought only 33 items would limit me: instead, I feel it is giving me limitless possibilities.  What do you think?

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Project 333 - Second Season

If you have read my previous posts, you will know that Project 333 is all about selecting 33 items of clothing to wear over the following 3 months.  Not - as I had hoped when I first signed up to do the project - 333 items of clothing, which would have meant having lots of fun going on a spending spree! If you follow the guidelines strictly, you should include shoes, bags and jewellery in your 33.  When I started the project I included shoes and bags but not jewellery, as I have too many favourite pieces of jewellery to be able to choose between them.  However, as this meant fewer items of clothing in total, I was continually swapping in warmer clothes and boots as the weather changed over the last three months.

This time I am going to exclude my shoes and bags, even though I have cut down on them since beginning Project 333, and hopefully my 33 items will cover all my needs without the need to swap any of them.  The idea behind Project 333 is that many of us have far too many clothes in our wardrobe that we never wear, so to choose the clothes that fit us, look good on us and suit our lifestyle - and then get rid of the rest.

Some of the items in my first 333 of 2013 will be the same as in my previous 333, as the weather in winter is similar to the weather in autumn.  Living in Spain we may even get some warmer weather before the end of March, so I will include a couple of short-sleeved tops.  My navy trench-coat will also come in handy if the bitterly cold wind goes away and I don't need my winter coat and thick jackets.

If I am tempted to buy new things in the January sales that is allowed, but I will have to discard an older item of clothing to make way for anything new.  You may realise that only 32 items are shown, although the trouser suit consists of 2 items, which would make a total of 33.  I am counting it as one item though, so that I can add the green short-sleeved t-shirt that I am currently wearing!  I must admit that I am bending the rules quite a bit, however I have reduced my wardrobe considerably since starting Project 333 and will reduce it even more when I start my third season in the Spring.

If you would like more information on Project 333, just click on the following link: Project 333 - getting started