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Black is the Color – why?
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Partner kimgraves


Dec 7, 2005, 9:50 AM
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Black is the Color – why?
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Hi Gang,

My wife and I have lived in New York now for 25ish years. For the last 15 years we’ve joked about the “New York look” – everyone dressed in black. But now that trend has migrated to the outdoor apparel industry as well. Have you noticed that a lot of the outdoor jackets, etc, are black for the last several seasons? Does this have practical application (faster drying, solar gain) or is it just “fashion?” From a safety and psychological standpoint I find it a minus. Does make you look thinner though. :wink:



http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=66093

self portrait - "My impression of Vader"

Best, Kim

Edited to add embedded image after system migration

(This post was edited by kimgraves on Dec 31, 2006, 9:41 AM)


northerndrawl


Dec 7, 2005, 9:54 AM
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Most technical jackets are not bought by outdoor types. They are bought be people trying to look stylish as they walk to their office building. Thus the jackets are tah dah!--black.


t-dog
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Dec 7, 2005, 9:57 AM
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yeah, I would say in terms of safety, black would be a no-go. If you're in any sort of lowered visibility environment, you want a jacket that looks like a neon-arrow pointed at you saying "I'm here!!".
But unfortunately, fashion and not safety sells, so you'll see a lot of black and not so much neon red/orange :?


saxfiend


Dec 7, 2005, 10:12 AM
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In reply to:
Hi Gang,

My wife and I have lived in New York now for 25ish years. For the last 15 years we’ve joked about the “New York look” – everyone dressed in black. But now that trend has migrated to the outdoor apparel industry as well. Have you noticed that a lot of the outdoor jackets, etc, are black for the last several seasons? Does this have practical application (faster drying, solar gain) or is it just “fashion?” From a safety and psychological standpoint I find it a minus. Does make you look thinner though. :wink:

Kim
When you look at these jackets, you just have to ask yourself: how much more black could this jacket be? and the answer is none. None more black.
:mrgreen:
JL


anykineclimb


Dec 7, 2005, 10:13 AM
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its easier to match when everything is black!!!

thats all it is.

but I am quite partial to "mammut Orange"...


wings


Dec 7, 2005, 10:15 AM
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Perhaps this applies more to backpacking than climbing, but some people like to blend into the backcountry. Black is not as good as, say, dark greens and browns, but it's better than bright pastels.

- Seyil


anykineclimb


Dec 7, 2005, 10:16 AM
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**oops**


crimpjunkie


Dec 7, 2005, 10:16 AM
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While I can't speak for other consumers, or the manufacturers themselves, I can give you a personal reason for buying darker (black) apparel. I find that it offers far less evidence of dirt, and wear and tear than a brighter color that such blemishes would often be contrasted by. Although it is nice to have some brighter highlights on said gear in the interest of being easily noticeable.


restwhenyoudie


Dec 7, 2005, 10:21 AM
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northerndrawl is right. I see people all over my campus wearing Mountain Hardware parkas, and even once saw a Arc'Teryx soft shell on someone I knew has never spent any time in the mountains. That is probably why they all come in black.

Chris


Partner drector


Dec 7, 2005, 10:21 AM
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I have two ski jackets. One is old and bright yellow and the other is new and is black. I searched for a good black jacket for a quite some time because I use the jacket for both work and play. I ski at lunch time and changing jackets from something work-like to something ski-like would be a waste of time and energy. So I wear my ski jacket to work and don't feel like a tourist in a yellow jacket.

Black also does match everything. Bright yellow does not!

But I had not noticed the trend since I had a hard time finding a good black jacket.

Dave


crackers


Dec 7, 2005, 10:23 AM
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Schoeller had some difficulty making the early dynamics etcetera in anything but black. Now you can get them in most sedate colors, but they're still having a hard time with colorfast neons. For example, if i want to use a black dynamic wb400 its $14 a yard, the same fabric in safety yellow is $23.


climbilicious


Dec 7, 2005, 10:24 AM
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yep, i'm rather annoyed at the everpresence of black. personally i prefer browns, greens, and earthy tones, but everything is black. either black or girly pastels because apparently all outdoorsy women except me like to go hiking/backpacking/climbing/skiing/etc. in pale pink and baby blue :roll: . so it's either buy black or men's clothes... somebody ought to write a letter to the people designing this stuff.


dingus


Dec 7, 2005, 10:28 AM
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"How much more black can it be?"

(I dunno?)

"The answer is none, none more black."

That pretty much sums it up, wouldn't you say?

DMT


Partner brent_e


Dec 7, 2005, 10:39 AM
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Kim,
for me, it doesn't get dirty as quick. I'm proud (in a shameful sort of way) to say that the fleece i own hasn't been washed for a year and a bit.....i really have to wash it, though!!! But it doesn't look dirty!


LOL

:D

Brent

EDIT: i guess that doesn't really answer your question, though...


Partner csgambill


Dec 7, 2005, 10:52 AM
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Well, when I'm working some special op out in the woods or moutians I prefer that my gear is of a dark color. The new dark colors make my job so much easier than it was wearing a bright orange parka. ...oh wait, that was just a dream. Black is definitely in fashion here in Chicago too. Last week a coworker, who has probably never been out of the Chicago metro area, asked me about "good winter coats like Northface and Arcteryx" ...preferably black. I'm all for successful businesses but, come on you urbanites out there stick to the overcoats!


nowinowski


Dec 7, 2005, 10:54 AM
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black soaks up sun which is nice. It also doesn't look freakish. Though I would want bright colors for expedition / lo-vis situations most of the time color is just personal preference.


mrodaddy


Dec 7, 2005, 11:15 AM
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If it wasn't for the urbanites out there buying stuff they'll never use or, often, will only use for the one trip they've planned, none of the general outdoor companies we all know (and, on occassion, love) would exist and/or gear would cost 3-5 times more. Given the posts I've seen on this and other sites, I don't think many climbers are up to paying any more for gear than they already do. If people want stuff in black, I'm all for ArcTeryx, MH, Mammut, Cloudveil and everyone else in the industry making as much stuff in black as they can sell. I'd just hope that some of those companies will remember that there are others out in the world who are actually going to use the stuff and would prefer colors that show up when we're stranded on a wall somewhere in the middle of the wilderness. Who cares if urbanites like to look like they've actually left the office once or twice? You should be flattered that they want a piece of a lifestyle you engage in. I don't quite understand how we're all harmed by others wearing schoeller and gore tex as a fashion statement. It's like getting pissed at your favorite band for getting popular - even if the music stays good.


sspssp


Dec 7, 2005, 11:19 AM
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When you are climbing and it is calm and sunny, black will soak up more sun helping you to overheat and sweat and then when you move into a windy, shady area, black will radiate heat faster helping you to get hypothermia faster as all that sweat dries.

What more could you ask for in climbing clothing...


Partner j_ung


Dec 7, 2005, 11:25 AM
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A good black layer on a cold, but sunny winter day helps me travel lighter. The point isn't to keep from overheating, it's to keep from freezing, and black works like nothing else. :wink:


Partner csgambill


Dec 7, 2005, 11:27 AM
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If it wasn't for the urbanites out there buying stuff they'll never use or, often, will only use for the one trip they've planned, none of the general outdoor companies we all know (and, on occassion, love) would exist and/or gear would cost 3-5 times more.

Too true. It's all a matter of supply and demand. Go vote with your $$ people. I just think it's funny to see people here in the Sears Tower wearing cold weather gear they could take from the office to the mountains. :D


petsfed


Dec 7, 2005, 11:39 AM
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yep, i'm rather annoyed at the everpresence of black. personally i prefer browns, greens, and earthy tones, but everything is black. either black or girly pastels because apparently all outdoorsy women except me like to go hiking/backpacking/climbing/skiing/etc. in pale pink and baby blue :roll: . so it's either buy black or men's clothes... somebody ought to write a letter to the people designing this stuff.

Anybody else remember when Marmot did that? All sorts of "gurly" plus something else color combos. Marmot is a company based out of california that desperately wants to be french, at least with their color schemes. Patagonia has pretty good color selection, usually. Sometimes their colors are just too sedate for my tastes though.

The reason for black? It goes with everything, so it will always sell. I pick the colors of my jackets like everybody else. And if somebody doesn't have the color I want, I can always go with black.

Also, when you're trying to be visible, you have to think about your background. In broad daylight, dayglow yellow may (assuming you're not in a field of dandelions) stick out like a sore thumb. On a snowfield, black would be better. If you're trying to see by moonlight, a dayglow yellow parka will be nigh on invisible against the snow. If you're up close to a rock face, without a lamp, any color will render you invisible. In the end, the thing that will make you stick out isn't your color, its your silouhette. So if you want to look french, feel free, but it will only make you stick out inside the lodge.


sweetchuck


Dec 7, 2005, 11:49 AM
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That's funny, I was just in NYC in my blaze orange Lowe jacked and noticed that everyone had black on. Everyone seemed to have North Face stuff too, even the kids. I didn't know thay made so much urban sort of stuff (like the eskimo coat with the fur around the hood!). I am sure I screamed "TOURIST" from a mile away. 'Y'all lookie here, there's one of them dern rats. Hunnie look, it's a city rat, quick, grab the camera'.


iamthewallress


Dec 7, 2005, 11:53 AM
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Why most of my warm layers are black...

If I don't wash them for two months, it's not obvious until you get within 5 feet of me. And when I do wash them, there are no persistant stains.

Black is warmer than white or persimmon or citron.

If I'm wearing 5 layers, I'll take any slimming help I can get.

It's easier to find 5 layers in black than in matching shades of persimmon or citron.

For the underlayers, black is the least transparent.


shakylegs


Dec 7, 2005, 12:42 PM
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Black is the color... of my true love's hair.
Actually, red is the colour of my true love's hair. But I <3 Nina Simone.
Black, as has been mentionned, absorbs heat and hides stains better. Which is much appreciated when I'm eating a hot dog with mustard at the local ski hill.


glyrocks


Dec 7, 2005, 1:46 PM
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In reply to:
Nina Simone

nice

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