I’m a very black and white person. Things are either wonderful, amazing, spectacular…. or they suck. I’m either rapturous or (as Anne of Green Gables, my childhood hero, used to say) in the “depths of despair.” I either love something, or detest it. Books, places, people, haircuts… certainly haircuts… and particularly outfits. And with respect to fashion, it’s no surprise that I love pure, crisp, snowy white, and luscious, velvety black.
So the fashions featured on the runways this spring, and in the magazines, and on my favourite blogs seemed right up my alley. White, white, and more white. A white jacket was the very first item on my spring shopping wish list.
All white, head to toe, seemed to be everywhere. Like this beautiful Armani suit I saw in Vogue.
And I also noticed lots of monochromatic black on black looks. Like this one from IRO, also pictured in Vogue.
But, you know, I’m not sure I like all white or all black… at least on me. But I love, love, love black and white together. Like this simple, elegant outfit from Vince.com.
And the timelessly chic, black and white look in this Fabiana Filippi ad in Vogue. I love the long, loose tunic with the long jacket. This would look great with jeans as well.
Or this outfit Kristen Scott Thomas wore to the Giorgio Armani Haute Couture SS15 show in Paris this past January. Scott Thomas is really working the white on white with this crisp, tuxedo-style shirt and elegantly cut jacket. But I love that, on the bottom, it’s black leather trousers and black cut-out heels. She’s great isn’t she? And at age fifty-five (almost), she’s a fashion icon for all of us over-fifty types who aspire to simple, polished, “not over the hill yet” style. Or as Patti calls it in her blog… “Not Dead Yet Style
So, naturally, since it was on my spring shopping list, I bought a white jacket. And it was actually quite similar to Kristin Scott Thomas’s jacket… except mine was NOT Armani. Still, it was long and silky, tuxedo-style with a single button closure, and would have looked divine with a white tee shirt and black pants. Or with jeans. I really liked it. But I also knew that I would NOT be packing it for our upcoming Paris trip. Too crushable, and stainable, and definitely ruin-able to risk taking it on our trip. Ah well. I could wear it when I got home.
But then….I called my friend Liz at Nordstrom to see if she could find me something a bit dressy to wear out to dinner in Paris. I wanted a long, loose, silky top preferably in black.
When I showed up at Nordstrom a few days later, this is what Liz had ready for me to try on. Shazam! Were we on the same wave-length or what? This Rag and Bone, crew-neck tank was exactly what I had in mind. It’s cut like a tee shirt at the neck and shoulders, and long enough to hide the middle age middle. And the layers make it kind of floaty and lovely and light. Great with black pants or white jeans, and with a jacket and loafers, or without the jacket and with sandals when the weather warms up a little….or a lot. Perfect.
And then, while I was oohing and aahing over the top and how well it looked with my white cropped jeans, Liz disappeared and came back with a beautiful, black Helmut Lang jacket. And said…”I know you just bought the white Theory jacket, and you don’t need another one… but just try this on.” Oh my. It slipped on sooooo easily and fit me perfectly. Beautifully cut, with sleeves like a sweater….so soft and stretchy…and…. wonderful. Now… I had a problem. The retirement budget would definitely NOT stretch to two new jackets. But a black jacket would be so much more practical and versatile. And I could take this jacket to France. And I sure did love it. Even more than my new, white Theory jacket. And even though I had taken the Theory jacket home, it was still hanging in its garment bag with the tags still on…. I teetered on the edge between rapture and despair. “Just bring the Theory jacket back, Sue,” said Liz. So I did.
See. My new Helmut Lang jacket looks great with the Rag and Bone tank, and my white cropped jeans and black loafers. I know heels might be better with this outfit, but I’m not planning to bring heels on our France trip. Loafers will be so much better for navigating over cobblestones. I learned my lesson in Edinburgh years ago, but that’s another story.
And see. My new jacket also looks great with a striped tee shirt and sneakers.
And with sunglasses…well… I’m just so darned Parisian I can’t stand myself.
So, yeah, I know that this spring it’s white with white, or black with black…. all over. But I’m partial to mixing them up.
And as far as being a very black or white person….well… I know I can be a bit of a drama queen. But, I do strive to be a bit more balanced these days; I try to curb my mercurial nature, by attempting to inject a little white into a black mood. Or in this case a little black into an all white season. Or vice versa.
So that’s me all fixed up for Paris. My shopping is finished. I’m not packed yet. I still have to try on outfits and decide what items make the final cut. I know I’ll be in raptures over how great my new jacket looks….with everything.
And it may not be a Kristin Scott Thomas white jacket… but it’s very Ines de la Fressange… don’t you think?