The affinity towards black clothing among young people has been a recurring fashion trend for decades. Photo Courtesy: iStock
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Black clothes are a fashion staple. The colour has especially been an all-time favourite among youngsters and has been a recurring fashion trend for decades.
Pooja Karanam, celebrity fashion stylist and wardrobe consultant says, "The love for black has become immortal." She adds that although it is difficult to pinpoint an exact date when the popularity of wearing black clothes rose, it can be said that black clothing became popular in the 1950s with the emergence of the Beatnik subculture. It continued to gain popularity in subsequent decades, especially during the punk and gothic movements in the 1970s and 1980s.
Karanam herself is a lover of black clothing. "When in doubt, I wear black. It's simple, classy and sophisticated all at the same time." Black is that one timeless colour that is trusted by all as it makes one look slim and stylish and thereby feel confident in their appearance.
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Shared love and obsession for black clothing
"There is no such thing as dark or light black, it's just black," says Kajol Awon (24) public relations professional and brand consultant. "I think my fondness for black stems from a combination of style and practical considerations. A significant portion of my wardrobe, at least 60-70 per cent, consists of black clothing items, from dresses and suits to t-shirts and bottoms."
For Kajol, black doesn't necessarily define her entire personality, but it does reflect certain aspects of it. She points out, "It's not even my favourite colour, yet I'm consistently drawn to it. I can never seem to have enough of it in my wardrobe. My penchant for wearing black aligns with my preference for understated fashion and a general admiration for classic styles."
On the flip side, Saaheel Shaikh, a 24-year-old videographer from Goa loves wearing black as it reflects his personality. "Wearing black somewhat blends me into the scene. People notice you less, which is great for camerapersons and even better for introverts who don't want to be approached or disturbed by other people." Besides this, Saaheel loves wearing black clothes because it is the most convenient way of dressing up for him. "I have around 14-15 black clothes that involve everything from shirts, T-shirts, hoodies, pants, shorts and even chaddis," laughs Saaheel.
Interestingly, though a majority of youngsters are drawn towards the black clothing trend, the colour also has few fans belonging to a more older age group. Suren Joshi (40), a restauranter residing in Mumbai's Bandra, is a testament to this. "I wear black on almost all days, " says Suren, who always has a busy schedule throughout the week. "I prefer keeping a minimalist approach to my wardrobe. My go-to choice is a black T-shirt paired with blue jeans. This simplifies my daily attire decisions, allowing me to focus on more important aspects of my life without getting caught up in the hassle of choosing outfits." This 40-year-old has a collection of over 20 to 30 black T-shirts. When asked if his choice of wearing black is reflective of his personality, he answers in the negative.
Though Kajol, Saaheel and Suren love wearing black clothes, they share a similar opinion: We have stigmatised the colour a lot. Black has been given a negative connotation. Yes, each colour does have its impact on people, but that doesn't mean that black will have a negative one. For a majority of people, the obsession with wearing black clothes is all about excessive comfort, involving less effort into styling themselves and still looking fabulously fashionable and boosting their self-confidence. "So go on and flaunt your blacks," they say.
Top five reasons to wear black
Karanam lists down five key reasons why black is the best colour the fashion world is blessed to have.
1. The versatile colour can be dressed up or down for various occasions making it a must-have in all wardrobes.
2. It flatters a wide range of body types due to its slimming effect.
3. It's a classy hue that never goes out of style and can be a long-term wardrobe investment.
4. t exudes an aura of sophistication and elegance.
5. Black clothing tends to hide stains and requires less frequent cleaning.
Try out these celebrity all-black looks
While sporting a black T-shirt and denim pants in itself makes one look stylish, we share tips to amp up your all-back look and take your love for black up a notch. Karanam lists down her favourite celebrity all-black looks and tips to recreate them.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas
To recreate Priyanka Chopra's chic yet formal look from the above image, start by selecting a well-tailored black pantsuit with a modern cut and fit. Pair it with a vibrant yellow handbag to add a pop of colour to the ensemble. Opt for a crisp white blouse with a high neckline to maintain a formal touch. Accessorise with sleek, minimalistic jewellery and black pointed-toe heels to complete the look. Ensure your hair is neatly styled and go for a subtle smoky eye makeup with a bold red lip for a sophisticated finish.
Zendaya's chic look featured here is an absolute killer. To recreate her style opt for a sophisticated, high-necked black dress with subtle texture and a flattering fit. Accessorise with minimalistic yet elegant jewellery, such as silver hoop earrings and a sleek bracelet. Achieve Zendaya's flawless makeup by focusing on a soft, smoky eye with winged eyeliner and natural-toned lipstick. For the hairstyle, go for sleek, straight locks with a middle part. Finish the look with black strappy heels and a confident, poised attitude to capture Zendaya's fashion-forward elegance.
Vijay Devarakonda's dapper look in this black Gaurav Gupta ensemble is absolutely stunning. To replicate the look start with a well-fitted black Gaurav Gupta ensemble as your base. Ensure the suit jacket and trousers are tailored to fit perfectly, emphasising a sharp silhouette. Opt for a crisp white dress shirt with a classic collar, neatly tucked in. Accessorise with a black bow tie for a sophisticated touch. Style your hair in a sleek and side-parted wavy manner like the actor. Complete the look with black leather shoes and a confident attitude and you'll exude the same elegance and charm he did on that red carpet.
Easy alternative all-black looks to try
If a casual chic look is what you are looking for, pair black skinny jeans, a loose black T-shirt and black sneakers keeping it simple and sassy. Add a pop of colour with a red or white baseball cap.
For an uber-cool look that is perfect for everyday college or airport, style your black joggers, a black hoodie and black high-top sneakers. Layer with a denim or leather jacket.
A flowy black maxi dress with a wide-brimmed black hat and black ankle boots will look picture-perfect for a brunch date. Accessorise with layered silver necklaces to add oomph to the look.
Styling tips to enhance your overall look
Statement accessories: Make a statement with bold accessories such as a statement necklace, a wide belt, a colourful scarf or a striking hat.
Hats: Donning a stylish hat can transform your look. Consider a wide-brimmed fedora, a classic beret, or a chic cloche hat in a complementary colour or texture. Hats not only add flair but also provide sun protection and warmth in colder months. Accessorising can add a pop of personality to your all-black look.
Scarves or shawls: Wrap a colourful scarf or shawl around your neck or shoulders to create a visually appealing contrast. This works particularly well in colder months.
Oversized sunglasses: A pair of oversized sunglasses not only offers sun protection but also adds a touch of glamour and mystery to your look. Choose sunglasses with unique frames or coloured lenses to make a bold statement.
Statement belt: A statement belt can be a game-changer. Opt for a bold, embellished belt with intricate details or a unique buckle. Cinch it at the waist over a black dress, jumpsuit or oversized top to create definition and add a stylish focal point to your outfit.
Layering: Layering black pieces can create depth and interest. Try a black blazer over a black blouse or a black cardigan over a black T-shirt. Layering also adds warmth and versatility to your outfit. You can wear a brightly coloured camisole or a patterned blouse under a black blazer or cardigan.
Footwear: Your choice of footwear can make or break your look. Choose colourful shoes or sneakers to contrast with your black attire. Brightly coloured or patterned shoes can draw attention to your feet and create a focal point. Consider wearing ankle boots with interesting details like buckles or studs for an edgy look. Alternatively, opt for heeled shoes or boots to elevate your and add a touch of sophistication.
Makeup: To add a playful element to your look, experiment with colourful makeup, like eyeshadow or lipstick. A vibrant eyeshadow can be a striking contrast against black clothing. A bold red lip or a statement nail colour can also stand out against an all-black outfit, adding a touch of glamour.