Each week, guest blogger Jeremiah Simmons of A Headlong Dive shares men's style tips.
Batman, Morpheus, and Darth Vader all look good in black, but you don't. Black looks good on those characters because they are just that: characters. A character needs a drastic coloration that sums him up, whereas a real-live man should not be so easily defined. And while Johnny Cash is known for wearing black, some believe he did so as a publicity stunt to enhance his outlaw image (the debate rages on). When you win a truckload of Grammy Awards and write a song as well-loved as "Folsom Prison Blues," feel free to wear whatever the hell gimmick color you want.
I've heard plenty of arguments for why men should incorporate black into their attire—exaggerated reports suggest it can have a slimming effect or add a certain toughness to one's look. Uninspiring and dull, black really only works well with white or more black, which is immensely limiting. Seriously, think of the last time you saw someone in an impressive black shirt (Steve Jobs and his turtleneck doesn't count). You can't come up with anything because that shirt doesn't exist.
Sure, there are a select few times and places when and where one can be dressed in black and not look like a drab fool. Those instances are black-tie affairs and funerals. And even then, you could opt for the midnight-blue tuxedo for the former and a navy or gray suit for the latter, and look far better. A black suit always has a Scarface-meets-ESPN-analyst look to it—navy or gray outclasses it every time. Black footwear ages poorly, as patina looks terrible on black leather, making you look like either an IT worker or a wannabe rock star. Brown leather shoes, on the other hand, have made a strong showing in recent years.
Don't get me wrong: Black's an outstanding color for a Ferrari, a Rolex Submariner, a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey, and your dad's Labrador Retriever—just don't let it into your wardrobe. Do yourself a favor and remove all black items from your closet, place them in a (black) garbage bag, and take it to your local consignment shop. And, for the love of menswear, stop reaching for the (black) AmEx to feed that habit.
For more of Jeremiah's (sometimes strong) opinions on menswear follow his blog, A Headlong Dive.
Controversial claim from guest blogger @AHeadlongDive: Men shouldn't wear all black. What do you think? We're tracking the results.— DETAILS (@DETAILS) January 24, 2012
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