Black to the future

April 08, 1993|By Vida Roberts

Fall means serious investment dressing -- coats, career suits and evening clothes. Shopping and thinking ahead will keep you flush and in step with the fashion pack.

Give clearance rack remainders a last look. Heavier knits that look too dark and moody now will be just the ticket this autumn. Think accessories as you cruise resort flea markets and antique shops. Think before you banish anything from your closet. Think black.

* Jet was what glittered at the designer collections, but it is far less pricey at the vintage and collectibles shops. Look for beads, buttons and brooches. Wear the brooch pinned to a velvet ribbon choker. Beads should hang below the waist, so buy odd necklaces of medium length and have them restrung longer.

* Anything in black leather works next fall -- a long slashed skirt, a cropped bomber or biker jacket or a long trench. Make it polished leather in tall, flat riding boots or suede in high laced-up granny heels.

* Black velvet goes everywhere with everything. Look for dandified smoking jackets, flowing full pants, a vintage opera wrap. Crushed black velvet with that aged, greenish patina is very desirable.

* The little black dresses of fall are ankle-length, long-sleeved columns with minimal detailing, but they are not created equal. It's never too early to start looking for a perfect fit.

* Don't give up on black leggings and narrow stirrup pants. They look grand with tall boots and rich Edwardian jackets or dramatic greatcoats. Never, ever commit the fashion sin of letting stirrup straps show. You've never done that, of course.

* For color relief in this sea of black, find a white shirt with a showy display of lace or ruffles or add a shot of red or jewel colors in a fancy vest. You'll be looking just dandy.

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