My Fall Uniform: Navy & Black

dvf2

When it gets cooler, New Yorkers’ tend to keep their outfits simple: everything is all-black.

Yes, it’s easy. A little TOO easy. This season, I’m challenging myself to mix more colors and textures. Part of my inspiration is Anna Wintour, who famously hates the all-black uniform. In addition, she always wears the same couple of silhouettes: an A-line skirt or a shift dress. And her accessories are typically uniform, too: She favors strands of rainbow-colored gems. (See examples here and here.)

Tweed Blazer: Rachel Roy (Macy's) | Navy and Black Silk Dress: Diane von Furstenberg (Consignment) | Necklace: Nordstrom | Belt: Miu Miu (Consignment) | Navy Pumps: Manolo Blahnik (Barneys) | Pantyhose: Macy's
Tweed Blazer: Rachel Roy (Macy’s) | Navy and Black Silk Dress: Diane von Furstenberg (Consignment) | Necklace: Nordstrom | Belt: Miu Miu (Consignment) | Navy Pumps: Manolo Blahnik (Barneys) | Pantyhose: Macy’s

This is my attempt at a new autumn uniform akin to Anna’s — elegant dresses mashed-up with bold accessories.

Today’s dress includes my favorite color combination — navy and black — which was most famously championed by Yves St. Laurent. It’s got the slimming elements of all-black, but none of the funereal overtones. This DvF dress was a consignment find earlier this summer. It is made with swaths of both navy and black, connected with a playful kerchief-esque knot. Unlike DvF’s famous wrap dresses, which reveal every flaw, this dress has a looser fit that drapes elegantly.

In case you needed another reason to avoid all black, the color is rumored to have adverse side effects, including accelerated aging in a winter-weathered visage. Karl Lagerfeld’s former muse, Inès de La Fressange, goes so far as to say black makes women look like “rats.” Yeesh.

dvf2I had originally chosen a textured, black blazer for this dress. Instead, I gravitated toward this tweedy jacket stitched with chartreuse and gray threads. To keep it from feeling too corporate, I included heavy-metal accessories, including a multi-strand necklace studded with safety pins. (Not quite Anna Wintour’s style, but the spirit is the same.)

Do you have a uniform that strays from the oh-so-safe black? Do tell!

The chunky necklace adds an incongruous touch to an otherwise business-like outfit.
The chunky necklace adds an incongruous touch to an otherwise business-like outfit.