Back to Black

redhead in black 40s style wiggle dress

redhead in black low-backed dress with large messy bun

dress detail

black retro cats eye sunglasses

[Dress: Karen Millen 2010 (competition prize) // Boots: Topshop 2010 // Gloves: gifted // Sunglasses: House of Harlow]

Well, at least if I ever have to go to a funeral in the 1940s, I’ll know what to wear, huh? But only if it’s the funeral of my millionaire elderly husband, who I secretly poisoned in order to steal his fortune and run off with the pool boy, obviously.

I tried to dress this outfit down. No, really, I did. But the second I saw this dress, it spoke to me. It said, “Wealthy widow who is probably also a murderer.” It also said, “DRAMA”. And so every time I wear it, I tell myself I’ll try not to go too over-the-top, and then I find myself saying, “Hey, Terry, know how we were going to go to Nando’s tonight? Change of plan: we’re going to go 1940s Hollywood instead. And we’ll be murderin’.”

Anyway, what I guess I’m trying to say here is that this outfit is the “Bad Guy” to my “Good Guy” outfit of last week. I don’t tend to wear black all that often (especially not head-to-toe black, like this), partly because it’s hard for me not to look like a vampire in it, but also because it’s just SO HIGH MAINTENANCE. I mean, I lint-rolled this dress right before we left the house, which was approximately 5 minutes before the photos were taken, but although it looked absolutely fine and lint-free in the mirror, once the sun hit it, it was like Lint City, population: this dress.  That kind of thing drives me mad, and is why I buy lots of pairs of black trousers and then don’t wear them: I’m just a bit too OCD to not be whipping a lint roller out of my handbag every five minutes, and that can be a bit of a mood-killer, don’t you think?

So, why am I wearing all this black when I’ve just said it makes me look like  one of The Undead and drives me crazy? Because I just can’t help myself. You see, it took me a long time to work out that black really wasn’t My Colour. Prior to that, I’d been working on the assumption that black was EVERYONE’S colour, and that it was impossible to go wrong with it. I even went through a phase where it was the only colour I would buy: I think I thought of it as a kind of shortcut to style, in a way. I had absolutely no clue what my style was at that point, and I figured that if I always wore black I’d at least be chic and mysterious, and in this way I would basically trick people into not realising I was actually a hot mess.

I learned. (Well….) But I still sometimes find myself drawn to black. I like the starkness of it. The simplicity. And all too often when a brand brings out a particularly fabulous dress, black will be the only colour they’ll make it in, so I allow myself to be tempted by it, and for some reason that’s been happening more and more frequently recently. Looks like I might need a few extra lint rollers…

Black dress with low v at back