The Value of Black Underwear
Considered the negation of color, black is conservative, goes well with almost any color
except the very dark. It also has conflicting connotations. It can be serious and
conventional. The color black can also be mysterious, sexy, and sophisticated.
Culture of Black
In most Western countries black is the color of mourning. Among young people, black
is often seen as a color of rebellion. Black is both positive and negative. It is the color
for little boys in China.
In early Westerns the good guy wore white while the bad guy wore black. But later on
good guys wore black to lend an air of mystery to themselves. In western cultures black
is a colour of mourning; in Japan however it is a colour of honour, with white the colour
Use the color black to convey elegance, sophistication, or perhaps a touch of mystery.
Dark charcoal gray and very dark brown can sometimes stand in for black.
Black works well with bright, jewel-toned shades of red, blue, and green. Black is the
ultimate dark color and makes lighter colors such as yellow really pop out.
Photographs often look brighter against a black background. Black and gray is a
conservative combo as is medium or light blue and black.
Why is it that black is the color of mourning in the West, but white is customary in
Somber clothes at times of grief go back at least as far as the Old Testament. Rudolph
Zehnpfund (“Mourning Customs”) wrote that the Hebrews wore dark clothing or
sackcloth in mourning, wore no items of adornment, and went barefoot. Rending of
garments also was customary.
According to Arnold Whittick in Symbols, Signs and their Meaning, black is one of the
five liturgical colors (besides white, red, green and violet) of the Catholic and Anglican
Pope Innocent III established them in the year 1200 as symbols of each season in the
church year. These colors appear in the priests' vestments at prescribed intervals.
Black is the ecclesiastical color for funerals, Masses for the dead, and Good Friday. In
1000 Symbols: What Shapes Mean in Art & Myth, Rowena and Rupert Sheppard
added that black is the color to wear on days of fasting and penitence.
Although white is the color for bridal dresses and baptismal gowns in the West, it
means mourning, old age and death in Buddhist countries. Japanese brides wear white
robes not as a token of purity, but to show that they have "died" to their former home
life with their parents. White does also signify purity in Buddhism, however, as the color
of the lotus flower.
Colors, of course, have no inherent meaning. Their significance depends on how
various cultures interpret them, as is plain to see in the "black and white" differences of
In Western fashion, black is considered stylish, sexy, elegant and powerful.
The colloquialism "X is the new black" is a reference to the latest trend or fad that is
considered a wardrobe basic for the duration of the trend, on the basis that black is
Shades of Black:
Ebony, jet, ink, lampblack, coal, soot, charcoal, raven, midnight, obsidian, onyx, sable.
Black Colour Pairings
M45Y100 | C40K100 | M3Y15
A charcoal black and a pale yellow, almost ivory shade paired with orange.
C65Y100 | White | C40K100
Pair black and white with just about any color, such as a grassy green. And don't just
relegate black to accent - try a black background with several doses of green then
touches of white as highlights.
C12M95Y60 | C75M6Y20 | C4M5Y2 | C40K100
The palest pink used instead of white adds a 50’s flavor.
M40Y10 | C50Y10 | C40K100
Another red/blue/black look uses light red (pink) and light blue as highlights and
accents with lots of black.
M75Y100 | C22M30Y55K5 | C15M70Y75K20 | White | C40K100
Black with brown and earthy orange works as long as black isn’t relegated to small
M30Y30K90 | M20Y20K75 | M10Y10K40 | M5Y5K20 | White
A monochromatic palette with shades of gray or tints of black and a dash of white to
M65Y25 | M30Y10 | C65M10 | M50Y45 | White | C40K100
Your pastels won't be washed out with a judicial dose of black to make those pinks
Y70 | C5M20Y100 | C40K100
It's no mellow yellow when you add black. Put it between the two yellows to make them each stand out.
Color in Fashion
We all come across color on a daily basis without paying much attention to the subtle
messages we send, receive and interpret based on the colors we wear. The way we
respond to color is influenced by a mixture of biological, psychological, social and
cultural factors – while some meanings are hard-wired biological adaptations, the
messages most colors communicate are a result of dynamic cultural and social
White vs. Black in communicating with color, based on symbolism in contemporary
The Color White
White is the sum of all other colors in the spectrum, reflects light and is considered a
summer color. Wearing white keeps you cool and contrasts bright colors of spring and
summer nicely. Brides wear white to symbolize innocence and purity. Doctors and
nurses traditionally wear white to imply sterility.
White can expose you to fashion faux pas, however, since lightweight fabrics in this
color easily reveal visible panty lines and/or colors and patterns of underwear. Wear a
thong, Spanx or flesh-toned undergarments to avoid arming standers-by with x-ray
White clothes show dirt easily and are therefore much more difficult to keep clean
than other colors. The no-white after Labor Day rule is a bit outdated, but getting it
right requires a bit of an expert eye.
The Color Black
Black absorbs light and is hands-down the most stylish and timeless color in the world
of fashion. This legendary status may be in part due to the fact that black makes people
look thinner. Dramatic black is often worn by creative types, and in our commercial
society black is the color of authority and power. No wonder the little black dress is the
Feng Shui Use of the color Black
The color black is full of the feng shui energy of mystery and sophistication; it holds the
energy of power and protection. The color of night, deep waters and universal void,
feng shui use of color black adds depth, strength and definition to any space.
In Feng Shui, Black belongs to the element of Water, direction North, and it is the color
of Yin, or feminine, passive energy in the feng shui Yin-Yang combination.
While it can convey a heavy feeling if used in large proportions, black color is a
necessary feng shui grounding element to any decor. It can be used sparingly to
emphasize other feng shui colors and bring strength and presence to any room.
Use freely in the following feng shui areas of the Ba-Gua: North (Water), East (Wood)
and Southeast (Wood). Avoid black in the South (Fire) area of your space, and use in
moderation in the children's rooms, as well as in the main entry and kitchen and dining.
Because Black brings the feng shui energy of grounding and stability, its best use
indoors should be not much higher than the eye level (this does not apply to
commercial or retail spaces.)
Being a Water element color, black can be a powerful feng shui cure to use in the
North area of your space to attract Career opportunities. You can bring it with
furniture color, black and white photos in black frames, or a mirror (also water energy)
in a black frame.
The Ancient Art of Women's Underwear
Underwear had a discrete niche within ancient Chinese costumery. The ingeniously
demure styles, bold colors and ornamentation of delicately crafted undergarments
reflected the refined approach of ancient Chinese women towards life, beauty and love,
as well as their creativity.
Underwear, unlike outer garments, which were strictly prescribed according to ritual
and rank, offered women the chance to dress according to their mood. All women,
regardless of social standing, hence perceived underwear as a medium of self-
Subtle designs of underwear gave altered impressions of the wearer's figure,
according to her whim. The detailed ornamentation on ancient lingerie also reflected
individuality as well as the trends, customs and beliefs of the time, thus imbuing
undergarments with historical essence. The two main styles and structures of
underwear were those of a front-piece and a front-and-back tunic. Both came in
rectangular square diamond and triangular shapes, or simply fit the body in question.
Women sometimes chose bright colors that combined in striking contrast, for
example, red and green or yellow and blue with black, gold or silver selvedges that
emboldened the overall visual effect. Others preferred more understated shades in
similar hues that gradually lightened or darkened to produce a harmonious effect.
Black, notably was used as a slimming color, or to accent the hips of the feminine
Patterns and Ornaments
Women of old China wore underwear decorated in the artistic motifs of their time,
such as landscapes, flowers, birds, clouds, myths, legends and literary characters. In
addition to being decorative the designs signified specific states and were also
symbolic. A magpie and plum blossoms, for example represented happiness, as it was
an image reminiscent of the Chinese idiom defining a person radiant with joy.
Auspicious symbolism included bats, representing good fortune, and lotus with fish,
which invited wealth.
The decorative features on ancient undergarments demanded high embroidery,
stitching, pasting, patching, embellishing and rolling expertise. Stitches had to be of an
even tension and the slightest crease or tear in the material was out of the question.
The only underwear deemed fit to be worn was smooth, fine, light, soft and leveled off.
Added features included flower designs on laced sections of the fabric in various styles
of embroidery and pasted on feathers or fur for greater effect.
Underwear was considered a showcase for the wearer's taste and needlework –
attributes highly valued in women of ancient China.
Varieties of Chinese Women's Underwear
1. Moxiong, a one-piece underwear garment binding breasts which first appeared in
the Northern Dynasties (420AD-589AD) and was popular during the Tang (618AD-
907AD) and Song Dynasties (960AD-1279AD).
2. The zhuyao ("zhu" meaning button) was a style of embroidered underwear favored by
Qing Dynasty (1644AD-1911AD) court ladies.
3.The xieyi was a tunic-style undergarment first worn in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220
AD). Xie in Chinese means frivolity. The term xieyi hence implies the prevailingly evasive
attitude towards even the mention of underwear.
4. The dudou, also called the doudu, was either a square or diamond shaped apron-
style garment, often embroidered, covering the bust and belly which fastened at the
back. The dudou often incorporated a pocket in which to keep ginger, musk or other
Chinese medicinal herbs believed to keep the belly warm.