Black And White Is Always Right

Black And White Is Always Right

Few colors have been used in fashion as much as black and white. Separate or together it seems like these two are a safe bet for any occasion. However, why has the combination of black and white been marked classic, while white and green is considered more capricious? As always the answer can be found by studying cultural and historical aspects.

The colors black and white have always been considered opposites within many cultures. In western culture black and white symbolize good and evil, or light and dark. Later, this came to be more apparent by dress code. White became synonymous with innocence and purity, particularly because white clothing or objects are so easy to stain. In most western countries this became a thought which developed the white wedding dress.

Black on the other hand was symbolism for dark times and death, and mourning apparel therefore came in black. In short, it can be said that black and white are colors that are understood through culture, but where does fashion fit in? After losing her beloved Prince Albert, Queen Victoria would naturally wear black making it unintentionally a fashionable color. Nevertheless it was Coco Chanel who introduced the little black dress in 1926, which was the beginning of bringing the mourning color onto the fashion scene.

Where black entered, its counterpart white naturally followed, and thus the black and white outfit of today started to develop. This can be linked to one simple fact: opposites attract. The reason why black and white go so well together has to do with their contrast. They enhance each other, making each of the colors pop, in opposite of what they would do next to a color closer to their own shade. Since both colors are deeply rooted within western culture it seems only natural for fashion to fall back on this color combination, for by looking at history it is not only classic, it is timeless.

Victoria Edman