Beating the Heat (Part II): Black and Blue

Continuing our discussion of Dark Colors Light Fabrics, I’ll take this opportunity to re-affirm that blue and black are an effective color combination, and an alternative to all black.

The Photographer labeled these photo files “slightly-scary-frilled-dress.”
DoES hE NoT rEad THis bLoG?
Does he still not know the difference between a DRess and a SKiRT?
I look a little tough here
I admit that I look a little scary in this photo

Less so here
But here I look like an Angel of Goodness; The Photographer says “scary” referred to the dress (he means skirt) and not me
I think the key to mixing navy and black is two-fold.
First, the colors do need to be distinguishable in artificial light. You know how sometimes you put on a pair of black trousers and socks in the morning and realize when you go outside that your socks are actually dark blue? That’s not mixing; it’s mistaking. (This has happened to me.)
Second, the navy needs to have some life to it. I realize this is a vague piece of instruction, and if I had some formal training in color theory I could probably explain in terms of value, intensity, or tint. But I don’t. So I will instead offer two descriptors: inky and denim.

This skirt falls into the denim category.
Cool skirt, right?
Dark, but not super-dark, wash

Did you wear wrap skirts in the 70s and 80s? Then you will remember that they were nothing but trouble. Always flying open. This one is anchored securely at the waist and is wrapped with lots of overlap, so even though the breeze is playing with it, it will not fly open.
Testing, one, two, three
We are all systems go

Complicated details — top-stitched knife pleating, buckled self-belt — make this skirt sophisticated, even though the fabric is a humble denim.
Actually, the fabric looks like humble denim, but is both lightweight and structured enough to be worked into these pleats and then maintain them. Clever, clever denim.
Favorite sandals, Asian-influenced
And here again, my trusty, Asian-influenced sandals

Directrice tests wrap by sitting
Stay cool!
I’m off to the beach for an annual visit with college friends. I’ll be covered in sunscreen, wearing a hat and sunglasses under an umbrella. You will see no difference in my after-beach photos.

Posts will continue to roll out on Thursday and Monday!
Skirt: Tibi Manuela Pleated Cotton Midi Skirt; Top: JCrew Featherweight Cashmere Shell; Shoes: Donald J. Pliner Fifi Sandal; Bag: 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel; Nacklace: Samira 13; Bracelets (worn with watch): David Yurman Cable Bracelets; Watch: Michele Urban with grosgrain watch-band

13 thoughts on “Beating the Heat (Part II): Black and Blue”

  1. The skirt has kind of a kilt thing going. It’s a nice change from traditional denim skirts.

    Without seeing it on different bodies I’d say that the wide dropped band would hold ones’ tummy in and since it’s cut straight below would skim over any lower tummy fat as well. You can model it after a week at the beach sipping wine and eating well and see what you think 🙂

    • I had not noticed the resemblance to a kilt until I read your comment — you’re exactly right! I don’t know how “well” I’ll be eating . . . fudge and frozen custard (chocolate w/ rainbow jimmies) are my weakness . . .

  2. When I was young our Moms all said not to wear this combination, but it is pleasing to the eye. I’m glad it is now fashionable since they look fabulous together and I’m sure you’re right that the navy shade is pivotal in looking right or slightly off. Denim jeans and black turtleneck always spoke of sophistication to me somehow. Enjoy your day at the beach! Kate

  3. I am very fond of that skirt. It has all my creative juices flowing and I would even wear it to work. Nordstrom tells me it is not available but perhaps that is only because I don’t have early access to their sale. Fingers and toes crossed.

    • Nonny — I have a feeling that this skirt will re-appear at some point (when you least expect it) on Nordstrom, Gilt, or YOOX. (Gilt had it one week ago, so you may want to search that site, which you can now do — no need to limit yourself to the daily sales.) Good luck!

  4. Denim vs ink — now it makes sense! Agreed, love this color combination. And so nice to see ways to wear dark colors in the summer. Even if you somehow still end up looking much more breezy and refreshed in the DC sauna environment than I ever do.

  5. You would think I would know the difference between skirts and dresses by now, wouldn’t you? But to each expertise goes its vocabulary, its arcana of fine distinctions. I’m always amazed at the precision of your vocabulary, with words like tulle, armscyes, huaraches, peplums, vachetta, and citrine. I don’t even try to compete, especially since I have my own taxonomies of precision: intelligence, sentience, sapience; ethology, anthropology, sapiology; exoplanet, exomoon. All a filename has to do is be different from other filenames, so…uh…if it’s open at the bottom, it’s a dress. There’s something to be said for cognitive shortcuts. Problem solved, filename typed, another set of pictures of my lovely & stylish wife all set for uploading.

  6. The skirt is inspiring – GingerR is right – it totally has a kilt vibe going on, and I would love to wear something comparable… even if some people find it “slightly scary” 😉

  7. I absolutely love the directrice’s pairings of tops, skirts/pants, and accessories! I am terrible at putting together outfits and usually default to a simple dress with pearls. This blog gives me lots of style inspiration and encouragement to go through my closet to see what works. Also, I usually associate navy with fall but this blog showed me that navy is actually “cool for the summer”.

  8. oooh, I’ve never heard of sapiology? Is that where we acknowledge that while there may not be carbon-based life on other planets, a methane-based swimmingosaurus might be living on Europa?

    (or am I getting a little far afield here?)

  9. Hi Erika, I love that word “swimmingosaurus.” Actually, the word “sapiology” means “the study of language-using, technological alien species.” “Sapiens” means “wise” — think Homo sapiens — so that’s where the word comes from. It’s not a real word, though some science-fiction writers have used it. But I think I might be the first to use it in a nonfiction book. It’s about how evolution might create sapient species very different from our own elsewhere in the cosmos. For example, if social insect colonies evolved on another planet, which I think is highly likely given the simplicity and toughness of bugs, could they evolve to become sapient, and what would that kind of civilization look like?


Leave a Comment