Banning Black from My Wardrobe

If there’s one look I love, it’s a dramatic, non-romantic, modernized post-punk goth style. I think the person who best exemplifies this look is Wes Eisold of Cold Cave:


This picture has been the cover of my personal Pinterest fashion board forever:

(The Pinterest source says it was on a tumblr blog, but I can’t find it anywhere but Pinterest)

I would love to dress like this. But the chances of me actually looking good in this outfit are about the same as me owning a Birkin: it’s not gonna happen. I don’t have the ultra-skinny and dramatic body type, and my Light Spring coloring makes me pretty much the opposite of someone who looks good in black. So I’m going to figure out how to incorporate the spirit of this look using accessories, and in the meantime, I have two major things I have to do:

1) Stop buying clothes in this style. It just doesn’t flatter me, and it makes me sad. I’ve been dressing as Soft Natural as my wardrobe can get for the past couple of days, and I can immediately feel a difference. I feel much better about myself, which is the point of Kibbe–he is all about working with and emphasizing what you have, and not trying to be someone else.

2) No buying black for fall. I am going to stick to my Light Spring neutrals:


(original Light Spring Sci/Art palette found here)

Light Spring non-neutrals will be for my accessories. I can’t bring in too much color into my wardrobe at once, or it will be too big a shock to my system.

I may find that I don’t feel like myself without black, and that’s okay. I can always go back to buying black. But maybe I’ll find that, like with Soft Natural, I’ll just feel better and like my true self in my Light Spring neutrals.

Do you, too, have a Problem with black? Or are you a Winter that hates black and you’re jealous of my Light Spring palette?

15 Comments on Banning Black from My Wardrobe

  1. Alexandra
    July 22, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Nope, no problem with black here, but I’m a Bright Winter. Even if black isn’t in your palette, there are ways to adapt your favorite look. Amelia of True Colour showed how in her post titled “Light Spring to Punk Rocker: Can it Be Done?” (her blog is here: but there’s no way to link directly to the blog post). That’s for colors, so you could start there and then see what else needs adjusting – proportions, texture, etc.

    • stylesyntax
      July 22, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks for the link! I’ve never seen that blog before. That is definitely where my thought process has been headed–replace the black in my wardrobe with my own version of black, etc. I just hadn’t thought about contrasting it with my lightest neutrals to really bring the punkiness to the forefront.

      I do still just love that pure 80s goth black, though. Of course, if you’re aiming to participate in a subculture, you don’t really care about harmonizing with your natural colors. But I’ve gotten to a point where my life where it’s more important for me to look well-dressed than cool in a subcultural way.

  2. Tordis
    July 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I don’t have a problem with black (I’m a TW and I like black), but I’ve had a similar problem: linking things that don’t suit me.
    I see people who look great in what they wear, and then I want to look great, too. So, not so long ago my conclusions were that I have to wear the same things to look as great as them. But that always went wrong. I bought the style I saw and then was either disappointed or angry with my body (I thought, maybe if I could work out more…). Often I didn’t really recognise the fact that the clothing didn’t suit me. I just had the picture of this girl in my head, saw the dress in the mirror (but not really me) and only found out quite a time later that the stuff I wore was horrible on me. I even told my BF (who in reality has quite a good eye for style) that he has no idea what suits me. Hah!
    That’s why Kibbe (and Seasonal Color Typing) is so damn helpful for me. I don’t even have to know which type I am, just by flipping through the examples and understanding the fact that there are different types of people helped me a lot.

    I for example have to let go Soft Natural style boho. I have to let go Flamboyant Gamine style fun. But that doesn’t mean, I can’t tweak the styles I like to the body I have. I’m convinced that every archetype can wear any style, just like every color type can wear any color – if it’s their version of this color.

    You can make those LSpr neutrals look edgy, but have you ever thought of just wearing black away from your face? Why so strict? The right color matters only above the belly button, everything else can, but don’t have to be. And finally, you’re one of the Gamines, which means that you can get away with so many things, as long as they’re fun and an active breach of style (is this the right word?) – more than that: From what I understand, Gamines ARE an active breach of style all by themselves (mixture of extreme yin and extreme yang). Harmonious isn’t a FG’s identifier.

    • Tordis
      July 22, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      Oh ok, I read about you probably being SD. Still, a LSp blouse and black pants could really work with a LSp SD, no? Whatever, I wouldn’t ban black just because you’re LSp. You could still make it work.

      • stylesyntax
        July 23, 2014 at 9:38 am

        After making outfit tests, etc., I’ve come to the conclusion that I most likely belong in SN. I’m going to write a follow-up post on where I am with Kibbe soon.

        That is exactly why Kibbe/color analysis has been helpful for me too. It gives you a kind of map in terms of what flatters you, and I find it much more effective than systems that just go by body shape.

        I definitely agree that every type can wear their type’s version of classic, or dramatic, or boho, or whatever. I do find, however, that most of us have a stereotypical idea of, say, how a Soft Natural dresses, and it is kind of boho/Jennifer Aniston-esque. But the SN guidelines can be taken and adjusted to fit you and what you like, and I think that only people who would dress boho anyway will be boho SNs. I think there’s a level of casualness in SN that as a TR just won’t work for you, for example. But some variant of boho is certainly possible. I find that people tend to interpret the types as having one style that is kind of the most obvious one that goes with the particular type, if you look on pinterest or polyvore, but Kibbe, from what I’ve seen, will recommend wildly different styles for people of the same type, and there is no one “set” style for a type. Putting together posts on how a TR would dress boho, for instance, is definitely something I want to do in the future.

        I do know that you can wear colors that are less flattering for you away from your face, but I want to do more of a detox for the fall just to see how it goes. I think in the end, I will probably end up buying black bottoms, purses, shoes, etc., after this is said and done, but for right now I just want to see how it is without black. I do also think that pure black may overwhelm the rest of the colors in the Light Spring palette in a way that, say, dark gray doesn’t.

        • Tordis
          July 23, 2014 at 11:30 am

          Oh I can’t tell you how I’m sick of diamonds and evening gowns! Pretty as much as you are sick of fair isle.

          Thinking about the KibbeXY version of every style is something very fun, I think. I love systems as much as you do, and you surely agree that after one has understood the “boring” theory, the fun of tweaking and customizing begins, right? 😀

          Just think of all the Goth styles. Picture an SG in Lolita stuff, a TR in Burlesque or Steampunk… What would be the SN Version if we don’t think medieval?
          It’s also fun to try to get the vibe of another’s palette. I tried it just for fun with Cool Winter Colors:

          I guess, black could work for a non-“black”-season FG or SD quite well. I’m always astounded at how much contrast and color my True Summer FG friend can wear, she playfully scratches along the borders of Bright Spring.
          But rest assured that pure black head to toe doesn’t work on me, even though I would be allowed to do so by color type. I always need intense and popping colors, black has rather the function of background and intensifier.

          • stylesyntax
            July 23, 2014 at 11:45 am

            Maybe a SN goth would dress kind of like Carine Roitfeld? She has been typed as one.

            I do like seeing the palettes used that way. I think we get stuck with those too–I always picture like spring looking like this: v= kind of pastelly with some brights. But I think I can take my neutrals that are deeper and on the cooler side and then add one or two of my intense colors and I’d get a palette that’d be mistaken for a winter one.

          • Ladidums
            July 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm

            I love CR! But she dresses very classic and sometimes I think her lines are too harsh for the SN.(I think she’s really a super thin N rather than SN though) A lot of the tamer stuff she wears would be quite boring and far from grown-up goth thing that you might be looking for. Her edge really comes from the outrageous pieces she adds to her classic looks as well as her enviable shoes. If not, it’s really just a drapey blouse and pencil skirt.

  3. Ladidums
    July 24, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I think you can still totally do the non-romantic slightly off mainstream edgy feel with your softer colours and soft natural draping. I would suggest sticking to 3 neutrals and doing a gradient-y contrast thing. The 6 neutrals on the bottom left(either the 3 taupe shades or the 3 grey shades) would be great. You can do the drapey thing and look kind of like a Rick Owens (be careful, he has a lot of longer drapey stuff that can be D or SD). Helmut Lang also has some great ideas if you ignore the harder, sleeker lines and look for the slightly drapey stuff. RO has loads of black, true, but he also deals a lot with soft/murky/wishy-washy colours that are some variation of grey/taupe/brown and a lot of it is heatherised so it further softens the colour.HTHs!

    • stylesyntax
      July 24, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      I LOVE Rick Owens and Helmut Lang. Both are pretty out of my budget, but I think I will search around and see what I can add to my personal SN board for inspiration. I hadn’t even thought of looking for RO or HL stuff that could work for SN because you’re right, they’re both pretty SD/D. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Right now I’m kind of experimenting with the neutrals I like best (the grays, the sort of pinky/peachy colors, the olives, and cream in place of white). I’m not ready to really limit myself further, I think, while I’m still trying to wean myself off black, but I’ll keep a 3-color palette in mind for the future.

  4. Tordis
    July 25, 2014 at 7:56 am

    All the edgy stuff doesn’t really look edgy in black, anyway, because everyone does this style in black. LSpr is unexpected.

    • stylesyntax
      July 25, 2014 at 10:09 am

      It’s unexpected, but I think it would give a totally different vibe. The blog post that Alexandra directed me toward above is a good way of showing this:
      The brighter colors do look wilder, but it’s not the same look at all.

  5. Muffy St John
    July 30, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I will never, ever, ever give up black. Ever. In fact I’m disappointed that Kibbe doesn’t have a type that is just “here wear black in different textures from head to toe and be fabulous.”

    • stylesyntax
      July 30, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      You’re a winter, so you don’t have to! I think you can totally do a lot of cool shit in Flamboyant Gamine just with playing with black and white and textures.


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