It would be flippant to draw a parallel between the loss and anxiety experienced under the global pandemic and the fact that many have turned to wearing all-black over the past 12 months. However, whether WFH in a makeshift office or when pulling on an outfit for your daily walk, even the most exuberant wearers of playful patterns and paintbox brights have sought out the robustness of black.
Reaching for black in lieu of coming up with a fun outfit for the day is one less decision to make in the morning, while the safety and simplicity of the colour offers calm when the world around us feels chaotic. There's longevity to the choice, too. Black is a good investment, transcending passing trends and the speedy, social media-fuelled carousel off which many of us have stepped since lockdown began for financial, sustainable and psychological reasons alike.
Monochrome needn't mean boring, though. Black's rich and varied place in fashion history, its association with subcultures from beatniks to New Romantics and with visionaries like Coco Chanel and Issey Miyake, means it presents as considered and intentional, making the wearer look perennially put-together.
Sure, there's happiness ahead and we'll be embracing a cacophony of colour and print come summer. But for now, we're content with our all-black outfits which shield us from the harsh present – and give us one less thing to worry about ahead of that Zoom call.
Read on to see how 10 women are styling the classic colour, from floor-sweeping dresses to savvy suiting.