BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK – Marilyn Armstrong

Bi-Weekly Photo Challenge: Black

I remember the year that dark brown was the new black and another year when orange was the new black. Personally, I’ve always thought black was the new black and more than half the clothing I own is black.

In Israel, a co-worker asked me if I was secretly a nun because I wore so much black. In a country that hot, black wasn’t a popular color, but I came from New York where black was always the most fashionable color for dressing up … with other dark colors close behind.

Why? Well first of all, if like me, you tend to wind up wearing your lunch, black hides everything. I used to own a lot of white blouses and one by one, they got a sufficient number of tomato-based stains on them to become officially wearable only at home with the dogs for company.

Almost all of these pictures were taken by Garry with a couple of exceptions, as noted.


I had one fatal encounter while wearing a white silk blouse — oh what a beauty it was, too — involving dipping one breast directly into the pasta bowl. It wasn’t a great fashion moment, but it sure did make everyone laugh!

That was the last time I wore a white silk anything, not counting my wedding dress. I didn’t eat anything at my wedding, not because I wasn’t hungry but because the photographers — video and still — owned us for the day. I tried to set some food aside for later, but my cousin got hungry and ate it. There was no food left on the table because we invited 90 people and 120 showed up.

The primary problem I have with all my black clothing is I can’t find anything in my closet. It has a light, but everything looks the same. Even clothing that isn’t black is dark — dark red, deep blue, denim — and half the things I want to wear, I can’t find. They are there. I know they are. But they are all lost amidst the other dark items closeted there.

Moreover, I can’t resist a nice pair of black pants. Because they go with everything. Blouses? I can wear many colors as long as they aren’t pastels (which look really awful on me) and if the pants are black or denim or navy, all will be well. When I was working, not having to match tops to weird color bottoms was the difference between getting out the door in time to arrive before someone missed me … and not.

I got rid of about a quarter of my wardrobe recently, but it doesn’t seem to have helped. I think I need to lose at least another 50% to make it work. Between one thing and another, clearing out my closet is not at the top of my agenda this year.

Categories: Fashion, Gallery, Humor, Marilyn Armstrong, Photography

Tags: , , , , , ,

36 replies

  1. Love the last photo on the right- beautiful. When I worked in NYC I seemed to wear nothing but black. It was a “NY Thing” I guess. As I got older I found it totally washed me out, so now I don’t wear it often, I have become known as the lady in color!


  2. I love your photographs Marilyn. I like wearing black too, it’s an excellent basic, I wear bright colours and pastels with it, anything but green!


  3. Black suits you, Marilyn! I only ever wear purple – and black, because it’s neutral and I don’t do pale colours at all. Well done for a good start in sorting out your wardrobe. I probably need to do that. It’ll still be purple, but my style has changed over the years. πŸ™‚


  4. As a child when placed in foster care (at the first), I was told to “always wear dark colors. You’re not attractive, dear, so you don’t want to stand out.” This type of talk to a five, almost six year old. Still makes me angry. My own mother dressed me in pastels and pinks and blues and soft greens. That foster witch got rid of all the clothing I had from my ‘real’ home and put me in navy, burgundy and black. I looked dead. My skin tone is not one that takes well to dark colors. But as a young woman I tended to gravitate towards those dark colors with the idea that nobody would look at me. Because I looked dead (the skin tone hadn’t changed), they probably looked at me MORE. These days I’m considered a ‘winter’ (I have white hair now) and I can wear any color (except orange) with impunity and I do. I just don’t give two figs what people think of my clothes. Black is reserved for funerals though. I’ll go with navy for my every day wear and blue jeans.


    • Blonds looks good in the same pastels that make me look dead. Even though my hair is now white, i have the coloring of my original brunette. Put me in pale colors and I look very corpse-like. For me to wear pale colors, I have to wear a LOT of make-up and I no longer like the way I look in more than a very very little bit of make-up. Those old Hollywood ladies who show up in full old-fashioned makeup look hideous and I wonder why no one tells them! Anyway, I wear a little color, some mascara, and lip gloss — when I wear make-up — which is rarely.

      We ALL have our own colors. Garry like neutrals because they looked good on camera, but by preference, I think he would ALWAYS wear a navy blazer and gray pants — should he wear anything that wasn’t elastic! These days, he is very serious about elastic.

      Once you get into elastic, there’s no turning back.


  5. Black pants or skirt are basic. From there, one can add any color, and it works.I used to wear colored hats all the time, and those dressed up black outfits.


    • That’s the “city” theory. New York, LA, Boston, Chicago — we ALL wear black because you can put on a scarf to brighten it or jewelry or a jacket, but black is the background and it makes everything stand out πŸ™‚ I KNEW you’d understand!


  6. Most of my working life I wore uniforms so finding matching clothes was not an issue but I’m one of the black brigade too. Black pants for going anywhere good, occasionally navy and blue denim for everyday wear. I like black jumpers but seem to spend all my time brushing cream coloured dog hair off them. Black goes with everything and sets off the red, purple or magenta tops I like to wear. I do own a pair of white jeans but I’m too scared to wear them most of the time.


  7. another benefit of black is that it is slimming…..


  8. White hair and black clothes: So stylish, elegant, easy on the eye and ‘going with everything’….. I know it, I have white hair too! But if I need to do some good to myself because, if not, I’d sink into a deep dark hole, I get out the colours….. red, green, etc – it works its magic and I feel better and more cheerful immediately. But you DO look good to me in your black gear!


    • I wear a lot of red and blue with the black, though normally dark (or burgundy) reds and medium or turquoise blue. I also wear jewelry. I used to wear a lot of purples but I got kind of tired of it. At one point, one out of every two tops I owned was purple or very dark violet. I still wear a lot of navy and denim. Red is probably the most common color I wear WITH black or denim.

      All my pants are black, navy, or denim. I can’t be bothered trying to match everything. It’s not that I don’t LIKE colors, but I can’t wear pastels and overall, I look a lot healthier in stronger colors. Even with white hair, I still have a brunette complexion — which means pale.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. For a short period of time, Mecca experimented with a tighter dress code that required certain colors even on my overnight shift… namely for bottomwear, it was either black or khaki. Thankfully, we were still allowed denim, so I switched from the blue jeans I wear all the time to black jeans for work. Khaki…. no way. We actually get dirty at work, which is why we should be wearing jeans in the first place. It’s not an office job. My clothing is all red or blue, so as soon as that restriction was lifted, I went back to the blue jeans…


  10. I like my black trousers as they match everything, otherwise I lost my permanent taste for black somewhere. It got too common for my taste an I noticed it was becoming a thing for ladies around 50-60 to wear if they didn’t know what else to wear. I am also followed by the stain curse and even have the irritating habit of wiping my hands on whatever I am wearing. If I go somewhere I change before going and when I get home my first action is to change back again to my home dress, which is not fussy about fingerprints, garden hands, or cooking actions.


    • The stain curse follows me, too. That and the splattered fat curse because whatever is in the pan is going to be soon enough, on me. And the drooling dogs and the water splashes from the dishes. I’ve always worn black. It looked good on me and it made it easy to wear any colored top without worrying about matches. I replace the black pants when they’ve been washed enough so they no longer look black, but have become sort of navy with faded white cuffs. I replace them with ones pretty much identical to the earlier ones and fortunately, they are cheap — or at least not expensive.

      With the dogs around, light colors are absurd. They are always wet from the rain or muddy from the ground. Dressing up is getting to be a very rare thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I swipe type on my phone and forget to proofread… Dipping not doing πŸ˜„πŸ™„


  12. I couldn’t stop laughing at you doing one breast in the pasta bowl. I tend to wear chocolate on my clothes. Quite a few years ago, my daughter-in-law asked me if I wore anything besides black and navy, then she bought me something purple. I’ve since started to add more color to my wardrobe. Now, surprisingly, there isn’t a lot of black in the closet. I’m hanging onto navy. Black is sort of perfect. Those are a lot of very nice photos of you! ❣️

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Black has always been my go-to colour too…for similar reasons. Except that recently, I’m enjoying the faded, antique colours for a lot of my skirts. Always long and good at hiding things πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

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