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Black out

By Jullie Y. Daza

BLACK is not beautiful when the temperature hits the high 30s and the heat index – the effect on your body – is running in the mid-40s (C).

Black absorbs heat. Black does not sit well with sweat. Summer or not, black is dangerous at night for pedestrians, bicycle riders, tricycles and their drivers, four-wheel vehicles when the streets are poorly or not lighted.

It’s the preferred color of corporate types who want to cast a professional look. Black it is for after-dark – repeat, after dark – and time to don that little black cocktail dress or slip into a long gown when the invitation says formal. Black is for evening, black is for mourning, black is for drama.

But for messengers zipping around in the sun? Kitchen staff and restaurant servers? Go ahead, wear your uniform in black if your workplace is airconditioned; otherwise avoid entering an elevator packed with people.

What is it about black that attracts young people as a fashion choice? The Gothic look that swept the world decades ago is the same type of apparel that salesmen and executives invest in, a typical example being the streets of Tokyo.

Tokyo is not in a tropical country, not even in summer do they experience the kind of weather that sends us to the malls to cool off.

Another place to keep cool is your airconditioned car, though with the escalating cost of fuel who’d want to cruise around for cruising’s sake? And remember, black cars are warmer inside and out, and that’s not an opinion, it’s science.

As hard as it is to spot a black car in our dark streets, certain models appear more handsome in black (with a liveried chauffeur behind the wheel); gravitas, they call it.

A spectacle that highlighted the news last week showed an incensed ex-congressman calling down an MMDA enforcer for stopping him for breaking the number coding. He argued that “it was just a short drive” and being a former lawmaker he was entitled to the courtesies of the road. Good for him, the enforcer did not argue back and won the day by taking the man’s license. Nope, it wasn’t a black car he was driving.

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