Black on black on black is certainly one of the hardest things to match, especially in order to avoid the ‘Sicilian widow’ effect! There’s no doubt that those four ladies didn’t fall in this trap, but still, my eyes are a bit hurt by the brown/black mix of the girl, left of the top photo…
I love the patent accessories on the left woman bottom picture. I just wish she would have worn patent black heels too! It would have made the whole look complete. Or maybe it would have looked overdone – either way – I’d like to see it.
I’m not much of a wearer of black myself, but these are terrific pictures for illustrating the effect of different textures. There’s a lot of play of light here, with the patent belt and bag on the bottom, the decorative trim on the right top coat (doesn’t look like embroidery on my screen–maybe appliqued velveteen?), and even the flash of lining on the top left woman. Plus the inky black hair on top right woman really tops, if you’ll pardon the pun, the look.
Candy Pratts Price, on the right in the first photo, always looks amazing. Not hard to do when you work for Vogue and Style.com in her case but that coat is amazing. I would also love to know who made it!
I have just discovered your wonderful blog, (thanks to the Guardian weekend supplement), and have spent several hours pouring over it. I wondered why there are so few older women generally, compared to young women and older men? As a 60 year old, still wanting to look good (but not so keen these days on high heels), please show us some examples of elegant and funky women of a certain age!
Seeing all of these beautiful coats makes me so jealous of the cold weather you’re having in New York. It’s currently about 75 here in Georgia, now that i’ve gotten all of my own coats back from the cleaner.
Every day should be black coat day! I get so much flack from my boyfriend on the amount of black I wear. To me, there is nothing more sleek, timeless, comfortable, and sexy than head to toe black. Especially with a great pair of heels as demonstrated perfectly by the ladies in the bottom picture.
Each and every one of these looks has something going for it.
The women in the bottom photo are stunning: but I find the collar style of their coats instructive…they are both wearing collars suitable to their body shape. Terrific. (and by the way, to the poster who implicated they may not have “enough money” for designer clothing–those coats, handbags and shoes are not cheap! They are too beautifully cut and draped.)
But what is really impressive is how you’ve managed to catch all the beautiful details. Photgraphing black isn’t easy.
I must say they all look very elegant in their black coats – my favourite has to be the white-haired lady’s double-breasted coat in the second photo, it’s just so mannish and ladylike at the same time, especially with the pearls. If I was going to get one myself for practicality’s sake I’d probably go for this look… except that it would look really bad on a petite.
The Sartorialist was featured in the Guardian? Does this mean there’ll be more readers from the UK? Nothing but good news!
I wasn’t implying that the coats were inexpensive, rather that a woman with a relatively limited budget might choose to spend her money on classic designer pieces in a versatile color like black, as opposed to chasing after every fad.
i love the pop-up window for comments- thank you for doing that for us. the top picture, that woman on the left is so lovely. there is something so genuine about her, the expression – it’s one of the few timses i’m not paying attention to the clothing. bottom pic, one of the few times that ysl bag looks cool and not trendy. love the blackness of their black tights.
They all look great, especially love the belted coat. Wonderful look. I agree that the patent bag is great with the coat, but I think patent shoes would be too over the top. Weather permitting, my choice would be suede.
I love the look on the left in the upper shot – the swingy coat, the swingy hair, and the matching sweater/ruff with the hair. I also love the woman bottom left – the shape of the coat, and the fur subtly tucked around the neck.
Madeline, I would understand your comment more if it wasn’t attached to a set of pics that features women who seem to range in age from 30-ish to 50+ (not that it’s polite to speculate). Well groomed women do tend to look a bit younger . . .
I saw the article in the Guardian on saturday and am now addicted to this site. So Shabnom, here is at least one more UK reader. It’s nice to see normal people held up as exemplars of style, rich, poor, young, old, thin and not so thin. And men too, where I live men rarely seem to bother with their appearance over the age of about thirty.
These women look great, the black is so very black.
I love the black coats, and I am a black coat wearer myself. I too live in nyc and find daily inspiration on the streets. i work way uptown, at Columbia (the hospital) and just yesterday i saw a lol (medical term for little old lady, not kidding) in an amazing outfit that was a nonchalant mix of colors and layers. I was thinking “The Sartorialist should come up here and see some amazing ways of dressing”.
I love that you chose to highlight the all black ensembles; it is kind of funny that Bill Cunningham showed many women wearing white last week after it snowed. Just goes to show that there is no “in” in fashion. It’s how you put yourself together to express your mood/style that makes it modern.
so people have ID’ed two of the women – candy pratts price top right and xanthippe ioannidis, lower bottom right. top left is nicole phelps, also from vogue/style.com. anyone know who’s the fourth? nicole phelps is my fave. she looks so happy and comfortable. i love her hair, too.
even though i prefer looks with more color, i can appreciate these as well. to anon. who said, “I personally prefer style and ease over surprise and being different just because the season has changed.” as a person who enjoys wearing color, it’s not *just* because i want to be different – it’s about expressing myself, and black doesn’t always express how i feel. black to me still resonates of mourning. it also suggests wanting to disappear, which i find troublesome. i’m not saying that’s why other people wear black – just my own associations with the color that make me less inclined to wear it head-to-toe.
nyc ppl must just love fashion over comfort. i love love love a nicely-tailored wool peacoat. but sadly had to retire them once it started snowing. love the patent leather belt with patent handbag in the last photo.
looove what these girls are wearing! i wished i lived in a country with winter. in my end of the third world, wearing clothes like that on the street will make me a laughing stock… not to mention give me heatsroke!
I too have just discovered your blog via the Guardian weekend magazine. I love it! I recently gave birth to my first baby and very much miss sitting in the cafes of Paris and New York watching the beautiful people go about their business – thank you for allowing me this indulgence in my own home!!
As for black on black, as a barrister in England, when working I have to wear black on black. After 8 years in this uniform designed to anonymise, I now prefer to wear a splash of colour to relieve the boredom. I will wear a red scarf and carry a red handbag because red sits better against my fair skin and on dreary grey London days, we all need a bit of cheering up. As the women in these pictures have shown – there is no suggestion of dreariness when black on black is worn in NYC. Here black on black is tres chic. Maybe its because in the middle of winter the sun still shines in NYC!! These women look amazing.
They are polished and put together and probably wield a lot of authority somewhere. But I see nothing creative or interesting in their looks. Just a lot of meanness and hyper Manhattanized Upper East Side pretentiousness.
I interned at Glamour, and can confirm that the lady on the bottom left is the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Cindi Leive, and bottom right is fashion director Xanthipi Joannides. Xanthipi dressed all in black, all the time. Everyday.