Black, white, and take your pick

Black and white are a natural combination – opposites that look great together. Throw in any other colour and the combo still works. Literally any other colour. Try it, you’ll see. (Ok, orange might be a bit weird because black and orange evoke Halloween but even that is doable if you find the right shades.)



Red, white, and blue

Red, white, and blue are a classic colour combination. Red and blue are primaries, and when used together are associated with the most iconic of superheroes, and therefore stand for truth, justice, and whatever way is currently held in good standing. Together with white these colours evoke purity and goodness. Nothing nefarious could be stirring in the mind of someone wearing such a wholesome combination, right?


Black and White are not at odds

In light, black is the absence of colour. In pigment, it’s all colours mixed together. Either way black represents space, the infinite, never-ending, all-encompassing. It is dark and mysterious, and symbolizes mourning and evil in Western cultures. In clothing, an all-black outfit can be goth or elegant, depending on styling. Black is the easiest neutral to work with because it goes with absolutely everything. It is safe, and no-fault, while simultaneously evoking power and sophistication.

White symbolizes purity, innocence, and cleanliness. It is the opposite of black: in light it is all colours, in pigment it is none. White is a blank slate, an empty canvas. While black is the colour of death and mourning in western culture, in other cultures white fills this role, due to the idea of death being the beginning of a new life, of renewal.


White is pure


White is pure,
The taste of white is snow,
bland but refreshing.
The sound of white is snow,
falling lightly,
quiet calm.
The feel of white is snow
like cotton.
White is kind,
and goes with

Red, White & Blue


Red is power, dynamic. Blue is cool and controlled. White is innocent purity. The whole aims not to withhold.

A hand held in both strength and friendship. Seen on flags and logos alike.

Warmth and detachment in tension. Maintaining the boldness to strike.

Perfect for company picnics, where small talk will numb limbs and minds.

Dark thoughts erased with soft ice cream, in flavours to help you unwind.



Black & White

Before colour photography was invented, we were limited to capturing the world in black and white (aside from paintings, which can only ever be interpretation). Perhaps this is why traditional views are also black and white. The real world functions in shades of grey, with no right or wrong, only a variance of opinion. But sometimes stripping an image of colour can add a certain clarity. Viewing pictures in black and white forces contrast, allowing otherwise obscured details to emerge.


Black and white are complete opposites, both neutrals but in utter contrast to one another, why is why they work so well together. A black and white outfit conveys strength, order, conviction, but also whimsy if deployed in equal measure. In creating this post I put together the outfit you see above and I find that I quite like it. Usually, in my real life, my outfits are dominated by colour, but now that I’ve challenged myself to put together something based on such contrast I can see no reason not to wear it for realsies.


There is also something soothing about the contrast between black and white. I discovered this as I was putting together my colour boards for this post. I find the above montage rather mesmerizing. Moody, perhaps even creepy, but pleasingly so. Perhaps it is the purity of white mixing with the power of black. Both colours, or neutrals if you prefer, are as stark as can be and together they create something graphic and geometric even when the shapes conveyed are organic in nature. I find myself hard pressed to think of any other configuration of colour that will be so aesthetically pleasing.


There is a celebrity, Janelle Monae, whose aesthetic is almost exclusively black&white and she rocks it. Perhaps we should all take a page from her book.


White’s not my jam. I’m about two shades paler than transparent so wearing white makes me look like a ghost. In fact, I’ve quite effectively worn lacy white dresses and a white wig a couple times for Halloween and successfully passed as a Victorian ghost, without needing to apply whitening makeup. For this reason I have very little white in my wardrobe. I don’t mind it as an accent in an outfit but I’ll never wear something that is dominantly white. That having been said, a couple years ago I had to go to a white party for work, so I went to a thrift store and got a white cardigan to wear over the one white tank top I own, which I paired with a skirt that is the closest to white that I’ve got, to make the outfit you see below (but IRL I refrained from collapsing in the snow). To my surprise I didn’t look entirely horrible. But white will never be my go-to, perhaps in part because of what it represents.


White symbolizes purity, innocence, and cleanliness. It is the opposite of black: in light it is all colours, in pigment it is none. White is a blank slate, an empty canvas. While black is the colour of death and mourning in western culture, in other cultures white fills this role, due to the idea of death being the beginning of a new life, of renewal. In western culture white is worn by brides because of its association to sexual purity, which is a rather gross and outdated concept. This regressive and oppressive attitude towards women is actually one of the reasons I resist the idea of marriage, though also one of the only reasons I ever would tie the knot: simply so I could wear something garishly colourful as a bride.


The other situation where a white wardrobe is mandatory is in a clinical setting, where researchers and medical professionals wear white lab coats. This makes sense, as white evokes the feeling of hygiene and transparency, and it will highlight stains, forcing clinicians to stay clean. There was once an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where doctors wore red for surgery and I remember thinking how silly this was. Today surgeons wear green or blue because this colour is the opposite of red, i.e. the colour of blood. Of course, in the TNG future, no blood would be spilled during surgery, but red still seems like the least intuitive colour for surgeons to wear, and others agree with me. In any case my initial point was that red is in no way a hygienic colour, whereas white is. White is THE colour of hygiene.


So rock on, white. I’ll never want to wear you, but I will continue to insist on doctors wearing crisp, freshly laundered white coats. Doctors are assholes, (and one day I’ll write an epic rant about my life-long distrust of medical professionals) but at least the semblance of a uniform keeps them from entirely forgetting that they are meant to serve the people, and not the other way around.