Back to black
Written by Ian Bearder

Every year as Ukrainian bursts into colour for its autumnal display of reds, oranges, yellows and browns, the Ukrainians do the exact opposite. Almost everyone retreats into their winter uniform of black.

In fact, the contrast between summer and autumn Ukrainian fashion is almost as striking at the contrast between seasons. By early November, their ‘anything goes’ approach to fashion and colour is replaced with black leather jackets, black fur jackets, black gloves and (of course) a black hat.

A few bold (maybe crazy) citizens buck the trend and opt for a dark grey or even a deep brown, but you wont see many yellows, oranges and reds. These are tree-only coulors in cold Ukraine.

The strange thing is, many Ukrainians are crazy about Skiing and most of them probably own a bright coloured and toasty-warm ski jacket. However, unlike in the rest of Europe, you wont see Ukrainians wearing these during the week. In fact, I made the mistake of wearing my bright-blue ski jacket to work a few times last year (because its lightweight and 100% waterproof) and I was quickly held to account. Why are you wearing a sports jacket? my colleague asked as if I was crazy.

1980’s shell-suits, white trousers and white shoes, mustaches and mullets, leather waistcoats and leopard skin anything are all acceptable fashion choices in summertime Ukraine, but bright jackets in winter? God forbid.

The best places to watch this seasonal spectacular is probably Kiev Metro, however if you’re not in Ukraine or you don’t like to leave the house. Here are some photos as proof…

…oh, and yes – of course I have a black jacket 🙂


About the author

Ian Bearder

Ian has been living in Kyiv on-and-off since 2009 and he launched Kyiv.Cool in 2014 to promote the lighter side of life in Ukraine's crazy capital. He doesn't just love Kyiv - he feels genuinely sorry for people who don't live here.
If he's not out on his bike, he's normally wandering in Podil or exploring some forgotten corner of the city.