There is no "new" black. It will always be black: the reigning wardrobe must-have. "I wear a lot of black. Black pants, black boots, black jeans, but each season I invest in a few pieces," Kyle Anderson, Marie Claire's Market and Accessories director, told Editorialist. And that's from a fashion editor.
Other fashion royalty agree. Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto once said, "Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy — but mysterious. But above all black says this: 'I don't bother you — don't bother me.'"
Each season, magazines, ads and the good folks at Pantone inform us of which new colors to embrace. But really, we know better: It's always black, once again demonstrated at Sunday's Oscars, where stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Winslet and Mindy Kaling stunned in the darkest color of them all.
But you don't need to be a famous designer or a red carpet bombshell to harness the power of black clothing. Mic instead asked our readers IRL and on Tumblr why black reigns supreme. Here's what they said:
1. "It matches everything. It's great for mixing and matching, for layering or for helping an accessory or statement piece standout. Multipurpose, so it helps tight budgets." — Tumblr user windyleaf
While wearing head-to-toe purple might get you dubbed Violet Beauregarde around the office, an all-black outfit has a chameleon-like quality that can allow you to save money by rotating pieces without looking like you're repeating outfits. (Or even wearing the same clothes multiple days in a row. Not like we do that, of course...)
2. "Spilled some food? No problem." — Tumblr user joannekingisjoking
As Lady Gaga demonstrated at the Oscars, an all-white ensemble is classy as hell. However, spills happen. A lot. And no fabric displays a latte stain as visibly as white. Black, on the other hand, is where stains go to hide.
"When I drop food on my boobs and it leaves a stain no one can tell. Major win," Tumblr user kissmywonderwoman told Mic. You can eat like you don't give a shit about etiquette without ruining your wardrobe.
3. "It's an easy way to 'blend in' and not draw attention. Look on the street on a winter day. How many people are in black jackets?" — Tumblr user leafalicious
Some report that a black uniform helps eliminate people's prejudgments. "I've always thought it's a safety precaution," lemonline799 told Mic. "People can't tell what I'm into or what I'm like based on my appearance, so they can't make assumptions as easily. They have to pay attention to ME, not how I look, to figure me out."
4. "It makes me look intimidating, and it pisses my mom off because she doesn't like me wearing dark colors." — Tumblr user merdeful
Clothes that can wordlessly get under your nemesis' skin? Now that's power.
5. "It's the traditional color of the Sith, or the Dark Side." — Tumblr user kevinsmahoney77
Wearing black can also come with a goth association (thanks, Fairuza Balk). "I wear black on the outside because black is how I feel on the inside," Sean, a 28-year-old from Brooklyn, told Mic, in a reference to the Smiths' song "Unloveable."
6. "It makes me look thinner!" — Tumblr user hkarusulu
You don't need to look thin, of course, nor is anyone obligated to wear clothes others may deem "flattering." But if that's what you're going for, all black is great — wearing one color of anything can be slimming because it forms a vertical line on your body.
7. "I feel more confident when I wear it ... it boosts my self-esteem." — Tumblr user poeticfeels
There is one universal trait that can improve everyone's appearance: confidence. "I feel powerful when I wear black. I'm a very short girl, super white skin, blonde hair and green eyes. So when I wear black, I feel like strong and not that little after all. It's like having something strong on me," said Tumblr user thesuspectnumberone.
There's even science to back this up. In a survey of 1,000 people that studied colors of clothing and associations, black came out first or second in every positive category, from confidence to attractiveness to intelligence — so you can feel good about wearing it.
That same confidence was expressed by Sean, who articulated black clothing's best asset: "Honestly, I mostly wear all black because it makes me feel like a badass." And who among us doesn't want to feel like a badass?