black clothing

A Black Clothing Diet? Really?

​I can’t tell you how many store owners in Reno stare at me blankly and wonder what the heck I am doing when I put my clients on a black clothing fast.  And the range of emotion around doing so is anywhere from hesitant to delighted — and I know, for sure, that the benefits of doing so will be revealed in time.

Now, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with wearing all black clothing, or having black pieces in your closet, or loving your little black dress.  What I am saying is that our closets in general are inundated and overwhelmed by black. Really?  Just go take a look.  Check your closet and dresser drawers now and you will see. The good news is that black is a color — sort of — it’s really the absence of color, and in that respect it can be harsh against the skin, overwhelming to the body, and in many cases not as slimming as we think.

In defense of black, it’s a great color to wear in the city — where dirt and puddle splashes and subway car grime are part of the deal.  Of course, there is always the idea that black is elegant, that black is timeless in the realm of fashion for the sake of fashion.  It is also now a statement color, as in the case of the Golden Globes, where it was worn by women to show support for the Time’s Up movement, demonstrating solidarity with women who are speaking up about sexual harassment.

The reality of black clothing is that it is ubiquitous.  It is overwhelming our closets and our lives and it has to stop.  Much of this is the industry’s fault.  They cater to the almighty dollar in that manufacturing clothes is much less expensive if they offer a piece in black, and maybe grey, which is only a mixture of white and black.  Easy for them.  But they have done that for so long that we just accept that all we need to wear is anything they make — in black.

As an image consultant searching for clothing for my clients, I am sometimes dismayed by my online search in trying to pull pieces together for our virtual closet tool.  I will choose the parameters for a sweater, for example, for only greens, blues, and reds, and inevitably the piece I want most for them is in black. Only in black. If there’s a lot of variety, then it’s also available in grey!  Then I move onto another store, only to find the same pieces in the same color – black.  To say that clothes have gotten to a boring place is an understatement, and one too many image consultants are confirming in their searches, too. It’s not that smaller companies are not stepping into the arena offering beautiful pieces, they are.  But the quantity and color selections are limited by NOT being a part of the fast fashion world.  And so it goes.

My solution:  take a real fast from black.  Wear only those clothes in your closet that have color — even if it’s all white.  I’d prefer if you add in some colors from say, your eyes, but nonetheless, try it.  Go 40 days not wearing black.  Just try it and see what happens.  If you can’t go 40, try 12!  Just 12 days of dieting — no black.  Seriously, this is important to you, to your health and to your image.  Here are some of the responses I have received from clients over the years when I ask them to do this:

“I had no idea what going on a black fast would do, but I am amazed at how much better I feel wearing color”

“I have suffered with depression for years, and wearing color every day for a month made me happier in a way I can’t explain”

“I love black and I still wear it a lot. But not as much as I used to. I have branched out into some color.  It’s brave, but it’s also fun, and I get lots of compliments”

“I love color. I love wearing color to attract people, to attract clients and I feel like it gives me and them more joy when I show up in color”

“Color has been the opportunity for us pale blondes to be seen.  I try never to wear black near my face or as a top.  I want to expand my business and I won’t wear black now unless I have to”

To join the campaign to add color, life, and creativity to your wardrobe, and see how it opens up your energy and self-confidence, join me here on Twitter with the hashtag:  #blackclothingfast #blackclothingdiet #basicsbeyondblack #colorclothingcommand

I’d love to hear how you feel after trying a black fast for 30 days – leave a comment below or share your experience!


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