28 October 2006

Style Dilemma: Brown, Black, and Booted

31204ever asks:

My only knee-high boots are black. Can I wear black with brown skirt? Must I have a brown pair as well? I just bought new brown heels and wore them yesterday with tights and new brown tweed skirt, but was thinking that I'll need extra leg coverage when it's zero degrees Kelvin outside. I was thinking of buying flat brown boots, but haven't found any I like yet.

Thanks. I'm fashionistically challenged.

Dear 31204ever,

Let's start the debate now. I am a firm believer in the Black Goes With Everything Theory. For that matter the, the Most Colors Go With Everything If You Only Do It Well Theory applies here, too.

First, yes, black boots with a brown skirt are fine - good, even (it's ok if you had visions of Snagglepuss when I wrote that). You'll want to be smart about what's on top, but think of black in this case as a neutral, rather than a color. Or, conversely, consider the brown a color - and what color doesn't black go with? No worries there. And no need to go buy another pair of boots.

Now then, there are a couple of things to consider. Depending on the brown, you might could find a better option than black (but don't rule black out). For example, if it's a tweedy brown, with all sorts of other tones in it, then dark camel or caramel boots might give you a moneyed horse country look. Or cordovan/wine/burgandy. Any of those could work. Try something like the J. Crew Holden in Siena.

Or, if you're feeling a little adventurous, and you have a gorgeous soft cuddly cowl neck sweater (or something with the same luxurious feel), you could take a plunge and go Winter Wonderland with cream or stone on your legs, like Isaac's Chiara in Stone. (Good thing about Isaac's stuff: they come in extended calf & tall shaft versions, for those of us with odd calf sizes, like The Real J was struggling with.)

Lastly, don't forget to use the few inches between your boot top & skirt bottom well. Clearly, I'm an advocate of the bare leg, but it's cold out! and there are so many lovely tights options. If your skirt isn't patterned or tweed (though tweeds still can be playful with patterned tights), run to the nearest hosiery department and pick up a neutral, but bold patterned tight. Does wonders for the spice of an ensemble. Look from London's cable knit version is a gentle way to get into the tight thing.

Apologies again for the lack o' pics. As soon as Blogger cooperates, I'll add them, I promise!


Miss Scarlet said...

We totally agree, DCCeline! You pretty much said everything I wanted to. I, too, am a firm believer that black goes with everything as long it's smartly done. One has to consider if a piece is solid or a pattern and even what the piece is made out of.

I don't have a link, but I got some cute flats* that are brown based and have a cute design on them. I've been working them in on so many outfits that are both brown and black based.

I think my biggest problem does come with the covering-the-legs part bc I get cold EASILY so I always have to wear something on my legs. It's hard not to look like a private-school girl in a uniform sometimes;) And it's difficult for me to spend much on that type of thing.

I also really like black and dark blue together as well as navy blue and brown. I say, as long as you wear it with confidence**, it will look great!

*I'm tall! And work with kids, so I can't exactly tower over them tooooo much:)
**To a certain extent:) Confidence won't make up for a bad choice. Haha.

31204ever said...

Thanks DCCeline! I knew I could count on you! My sister thanks you too! Mwah!