Look out of your window at five in the morning. It’s light. Look out of your window at seven in the evening. It’s light.
I hear it all the time: ‘Black is safe’....’It’s slimming’....’It goes with everything’....’There’s always so much of it in the shops’...’Black is classic’.
This is all true, but many women are not flattered by black, to put it mildly.
If you want some sympathy or need to show the boss how badly you need a holiday, wear a black polo-necked sweater. Just look at the shadows that appear on your face and how sallow your skin seems. This applies to everyone who does not have very dark hair and strongly-coloured eyes, or lots of contrast between skin, hair and eye colour.
For most of us, there are much better alternatives.
Even charcoal is not such a killer if you really need to appear authoritative, or try to disappear into the background, both, paradoxically, reasons people chose black.
And there is nothing so guaranteed to make others notice how sad or unimaginative you are than dressing in black on a summer’s day.
Plus, don’t think for a single moment that wearing a cardigan that covers your bum will somehow shrink the offending posterior. IT WILL NOT.
I will never forget walking down a busy street in Oaxaca, Mexico. A woman with what could have been the world’s biggest arse was sashaying down the pavement in a tight-fitting red suit. Every man seemed to have his eyes attached to her by elastic, and you could chart her progress downtown by the turning of heads as she passed. Let’s learn from that and be confident, not apologetic.
If you have ashy blonde or grey hair try navy, go on, at least try it, and with a pale blue scarf (top prediction for autumn: pale blue will be everywhere.)
If you have mid-tones in your hair and complexion, dark pewter and dusty rose are great combos.
Even if you do have those fantastic dark eyes to go with your hair, give the rest of us a treat and turn up the colour dial. And with freckles, red or sandy hair, giving khaki a whirl is good. You know who I mean, don’t you Tracy?
Finally, to show that I am not running a branch of the Secret Fashion Police, a few hints: if you must, really really must, wear a little black dress, try lace or chiffon features on the upper parts, arms, or a deep V – neck, and keep away from Shine. (Shine?....Shudder....)
Your skin tones will lighten the whole effect, you will still be wearing that chic little number, but your face will not be overwhelmed. I’ll be asking for pictures soon.