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Men in Black (How to wear it, and keep it looking fly!)

Nothing looks as elegant and as chic as black clothing. It covers a multitude of sins, makes you look slimmer, works with almost every complexion and matches almost everything. Black clothes are the basis of many a self respecting dude’s wardrobe – from Kanye to Bond, Obama to Pitt, and even the regular Joe Blow on Everyday Street.

More versatile than practically any other color, the only trick with black clothes is keeping them black. Faded black – tired and rather blah black – just does not have the same style power as true black.

Therefore it is important to know the tricks of how to prevent fading.

The most important factor – quality. Choosing well made fabrics from reputable labels will mean you have quality assurance on your side. Blends of natural fibers like wool and acrylics tend to hold their color well. Silks and satins also resist fading. The biggest culprit when it comes to fading is cotton, the most popular of fabrics. However, with the right treatment, even cotton can have minimal fading.

The next biggest thing to consider when you are worried about black clothes fading is how you wash them. If you choose to dry clean your black clothes, your worries about losing color are minimized. However, this is not realistic for most people, especially if they have multiple pieces of black clothing. So you need to understand the how’s and why’s of laundering black clothes.

“Black Prada” – Ad Campaign

When you are washing black clothes at home, do so in cold water. This will minimize any fading that might occur. Use gentle laundry detergents and do not add laundry boosters or bleach of any kind. Opt for the gentle cycle on your washing machine as much as possible when washing black clothes. Remember to never put towels or other abrasive fabrics in the same load as your blacks. They will agitate the fibers in the black clothes causing fading. Turn clothing inside out before washing to avoid fibers rubbing on other items.

When it comes to drying your black items, you should hang them. If you put them outside to dry, keep them inside out, so the sun does not contribute to the color fading. Do not put them in a hot clothes dryer as this will speed up fading of darks.

Special detergents have been formulated in recent years to be used specifically with black clothes. It is supposed to prevent black items from fading. This is said to be a good investment especially if you have a predominantly black wardrobe. You can also do an at-home fix of your faded blacks periodically by adding a package of black color dye to your next load of black laundry.

Another trick to prevent black clothes from fading is to soak the item in a mix of cold water and vinegar prior to wearing it to set the color. In each of your subsequent washes, add a capful of vinegar to the rinse water. Some suggest adding salt to the first wash to set the color of black clothes.

Treat your black clothes right and you can succeed in keeping them true black as long as possible, making sure you’re always elegant and sophisticated in your vivid black clothes.

Black Envy

Here are a few desirable items to keep your black sensibility on the up and up.

Alkemy, Hollywood’s newest fav threadier has been pumping out some serious collections lately. According to our LA peeps, it’s getting decidedly chilly in the West Coast … so their version of black in their latest collection should keep you looking cool while feeling warm and very slicked out this winter.

Neil Barrett Wool Blend

Maison Martin Margiela Leather Tee –

Lanvin Shearling High Top Sneakers –

Burberry Brit Packable Trench –

Neil Barrett Elbow Patch Sweater –

Alexander Mcqueen Skull Print T-Shirt –

Neil Barrett Thick Knit Alpaca Hat –


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