black and white dress

The Black and White Days

black and white dress

black and white dress


[Dress: River Island (2012) // Top: Primark // Boots: Topshop (2011) // Bag: vintage, c/o my mum’s closet // sunglasses: House of Harlow ‘Chelsea’ (sold out in black, but in tortoiseshell here)]

I’m embarrassed to admit it – although probably not nearly as embarrassed as I should be – but when I was a little girl, I briefly believed that it wasn’t just the photos and movies from The Olden Days which were in black it white: it was EVERYTHING. As in, I thought the world used to be black and white, with absolutely no colour anywhere.

“Mummy,” I would say seriously. “What was it like in the black and white days? Did you ever meet Jesus?”

(OK, I didn’t say the bit about Jesus. Because obviously HIS time was in technicolour, as evidenced by that musical he was in that one time. I did say the rest, though. And I was 22 at the time.)

(I also briefly believed that Adam and the Ants were the first people to inhabit the earth. Just imagine how much better Songs of Praise would be if that were actually true!)

Why am I telling you this? Damned if I know. Oh no, wait: it’s because of the monochrome look, which is being touted as the OMGHOTTREND of summer 2013. NOT because of Adam and the Ants, you’ll be relieved to know. These outfit photos could’ve gone in a completely different direction there, huh?

Now, as many of you know, I don’t give a crap about HOT TRENDS or being “bang on trend” and all that jazz (Actually, I’d happily kill the phrase “bang on trend” with fire. I urge you all to do the same.). In fact, the only reason I even know about them is because I write about this stuff for The Fashion Police, which means PR people are always sending me emails with titles like “How to work this season’s monochrome look!” and “Are you worried about how to make that difficult harem pant trend work for YOU?” (To which I always want to respond, “Er, no? Do people actually worry about how they’re going to force themselves to wear something hideous, just because it’s been deemed “fashionable”? Because those people have way too much time on their hands, if so…”)

So I don’t care about being fashionable, is what I’m saying. But! As I mentioned back when I was rambling on about peplum tops, in every person’s life there does occasionally come a time when the stars mysteriously align, and a look you really like becomes trendy. When this happens, you basically have two options:

OPTION 1. Throw your hands up in the air and complain loudly about how all these people have STOLEN your look, that you basically invented, because you’ve been dressing like that since you were in the WOMB, for God’s sake, and these upstarts are just doing it to be trendy. I call this approach, “Being a hipster.”

OPTION 2. Run, don’t walk, to the nearest mall, and buy ALL the things, then come home and roll around in them, revelling in the fact that you’ve been able to buy the things you love without a lengthy eBay search and a whole lot of money changing hands. I call THIS approach, “What I’ll probably do.”

In other words: you can expect to be seeing a lot of black and white around here in the coming months, and if I appear to be fashionable at any point, don’t worry, it’s just a coincidence. I’m ushering in the monochrome era with this dress, which I had to “winterise” by layering a long-sleeved top underneath, on account of the dress having elbow-length sleeves, DAMN THEM. And tights. And a slip to stop the tights constantly snagging on the dress. And a coat over the top, completely hiding the dress, and making me wonder why I even bothered, obviously.  And OMG, I HATE LAYERING. Seriously, I’ve come to accept that I will never understand why The Others get so giddy at the prospect of being “all bundled up”, but that isn’t going to stop me complaining about it. It’s SO much easier to just throw on a dress and some shoes, like you do in summer. It’s also much more comfortable, and if you don’t believe me, YOU try wearing a bunch of layers under a bodycon dress, then get back to me. And I’m ALL about the comfort. Ahem.

Still, winter can’t last forever, can it? Only another 56 days to go…

why can't I keep my hair out of my face in these photos?

P.S. Please excuse my hair in these – we’ve had really high winds the past couple of days, and it was completely impossible to keep it out of my face, and stop it trying to  attack me. On the plus side, at least I don’t need to bother trying to style it at the moment. Or blow-dry it, for that matter…

  • You´re simply amazing! 🙂

    February 1, 2013
    • Drew


      I also had the same notion about the world being in black and white. Great outfit, BTW.

      June 2, 2014
  • My brother also had the same belief about the ‘black and white days’. He spent a long time questioning our great grandfather about how everyone reacted when the world suddenly became colourful. “Did you all just wake up one day and see COLOUR?” The thing is, our great grandfather was very elderly and probably completely confused by the entire conversation… not least because he was actually colourblind…

    February 1, 2013
  • I am finally old enough not to care so much about what is currently in style, but black and white has always been a favorite and I actually have a whole section of the closet with just black and white dresses. I was starting to think maybe I had a problem, but I will gladly wear them this summer, over and over again, and for a small moment, look like I am in the now of what is currently trending! Plus, I am with you on option number 2. Yay for the upcoming sales!

    February 1, 2013
  • I actually noticed the black and white “trend” by entering in a Zara shop the other day.. I tought I was in a b&w movie with crazy colorful people running around with (sale) clothes on their hands..
    I am like you, I do not care about trends and what’s fashionable, yet if there is something I like that makes a comeback or whatever it’s everywhere in every shop (say, as full skirt dresses a couple of years back), then I have to make it mine. I actually don’t understand why the shops and the trends have to change THAT fast, and why if a dress is beautiful and popular, why oh why they don’t go on on that “trend”……

    February 1, 2013
  • I love this dress, I have already jumped all over it on Pinterest. I didn’t realise that was a long sleeved top underneath it (I thought it was the sleeves of the dress all the way down) so well done for seamless layering there. But I agree with you that layering is hard work and also makes me feel like I want to pass out whenever I go inside out of the cold (for example in and out of shops) fainting in the middle of Topshop isn’t ideal obviously.

    It made me laugh reading about how you thought the world was really black and white in the olden days, it is a cute idea though 🙂

    Come on summer or even just some sunshine and no wind will be ok, I will take anything right now apart from these gales and this rain of doom.

    Janine xx
    Giveaway Post >>>

    February 1, 2013
  • The same happened to me when we were trying to take outfit photos a few days back. I have my hair on my face in most photos due to the wind. But I think you look gorgeous as always here. It makes the photos more natural, so don’t worry about the hair. And this dress is amazing, trendy or not! 🙂

    February 1, 2013
  • I walked out of the house today with perfectly glossed lips and immediately got attacked with sticky hair. And I remembered why I stopped using lipgloss for a while…
    By the way, as I was reading your post, my husband walked by, saw your pictures, stopped and said “Now, that’s fantastic”. And walked on. Let me tell you, for a jeans and t-shirt guy he’s got a very good eye for fashion. So I was all proud that I know you from the internet.
    Oh, and yay for the black and white trend!

    February 1, 2013
  • I like the windswept hair!

    February 1, 2013
  • I will never forget how mortified I was when my little brother explained to me that the world had always been in color. I blame the Wizard of Oz.

    They make the elbow length dresses for me. I’m not sorry! I overheat easily. Of course, I’m also petite so that dress would be tea- length on me. Not good for actual wearing but occasionally hilarious to try on and show friends in the shop.

    February 1, 2013
  • I love the monochrome trend and the shape of this dress is so flattering! xxx

    February 1, 2013
  • This new monochrome trend is really going to make it difficult for me to stop buying so many black and white dresses. On the up side, your plan for going and buying all of the things because they are right there, right now sounds pretty solid to me.

    February 2, 2013
  • I’m totally with you on option 2- I spent most of my teens searching for the perfect leather satchel and duffel coat (trying to channel Paddington Bear meets Malory Towers) and about six years after I started my search was ecstatic to find them both everywhere on the high street. I shopped my little heart out, and *might* still have back-up satchels stored in the loft *ahem*.

    February 2, 2013
  • That dress looks amazing! I struggle with layering aswell, so annoying.

    Brownie x

    February 3, 2013
  • I love back and white. In fact in my late teens/early twenties that’s pretty much all I wore! My wardrobe is much more colourful now but I still can’t help being drawn to a black and white item like this fab dress.

    February 3, 2013
  • wooooooooooahh your dress is amazing!!

    February 4, 2013
  • Amazing. Can you just say me that the hair color you’ve used is OK with a tanned skin?

    February 5, 2013