Recently, the Globe and Mail ran an article on whether or not black clothes really make you look slimmer (article). It discusses the theory, trends and then tackles its aspects head on. Problem is, it’s written by a novelist… and a guy. Not that novelists can’t know fashion, and some guys definitely do know fashion if you look at a list of top designers. However, those guys aren’t novelists. Does this Russel Smith novelist know what he’s talking about? After all, he’s not a woman wearing black! He’s probably never made any black garments. And he’s no scientist as far as I know to be breaking down the science of black image. But maybe he has some good points. What do you think?

According to Russell

The theory is that very dark clothes make your outline less visible in dim light; black makes you disappear against the background. Black is also held to better conceal creases and folds in your body. Regardless of whether invisibility is a desirable fashion goal, there is some truth to the disappearing-silhouette concept – television producers don’t like their on-air guests to wear black because the dark studio background can make them look like ghostly floating heads.

But in daily life, where daylight generally prevails, there is no point to this or any other popular attempt at an optical illusion. Monochromatic dressing doesn’t make you appear slimmer either, and wide collars don’t make your face look wider. Black is popular because it suggests sobriety and seriousness (it is the colour of priests and mourning) and that in itself may make you appear, I suppose, slightly less like a sybarite.

It is true, however, that black can make the pale look even paler – something you may choose to cultivate, whatever frustrated TV producers tell you to wear.

But what do you think?

Please do share your comments below! 🙂

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