What’s Black and White and Red All Over?

Ha! How ridiculous were these riddles from the 1970’s and 1980’s? The jokes were totally innocent and fabulously silly.

What’s black and white and red all over? Do you remember that riddle? There were two different answers that my challenged memory recalls.

1. The intellectual answer which plays on the homophonic words “red” and “read”: A newspaper! But now newspapers are obscure so this joke is probably meaningless to the younger generation!

2. The gross-factor answer: A skunk in a blender! Bah! Because these are the macabre things we thought were funny three decades ago!

I know there were many other variations of this riddle, so my curiosity was piqued and I did a little Google search which yielded these other answers:

3. A sunburned penguin.

4. An embarrassed skunk.

5. A zebra painted red.

I also discovered some less politically correct, incredibly insensitive, and not very socially acceptable answers. According to ask.com (the only resource I actually checked!), many variations of this “joke appeared in at least 21 collections of folk riddles published between 1917 and 1974.” (Hashtag useless information!)

When I did an image search for memes including this phrase, I discovered an overwhelming amount of perverted, disgusting, and only sometimes funny alternatives to the classic riddle. (Search at your own risk. You have been warned. It is difficult to shock me, but what I found out there was troubling to my maturing values.)

Back to the lighter side of this riddle…I love the phrase in reference to color combinations in clothing. Mostly because one of my favorite color pairings is black and white. So classic and clean. I love it even more with a splash of color…in particular red. When I realized that I wore this color pairing three times in the past two weeks, I thought a post about it was in order! So I have a new answer to “What’s black and white and red all over?” Answer: Shelbee’s outfits! (And hashtag dork!)

See: 3C95DEF8-92FB-488C-9FAE-4C5ADC345BAC

Outfit 1: Red Polka Dot Pixie Pants with Black Tunic
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Pants: Old Navy Pixie Ankle Pants. Red and white polka dot are no longer available. But they do have a large variety of prints and colors still available. Macy’s has a quite a few options in red skinny pants here.

Tunic: Old Navy. My tunic is from last summer, so it is no longer available. However, I also have this black and white striped tunic which would look adorable with solid red skinny pants. Or this black and white plaid tunic is right on the plaid trend. (Style note: The tunic I am wearing looked too shapeless, so I tied the sides to create a bit of a billowy shape. Better than no shape at all, I suppose!)

Wedge Booties: Payless. Mine are last year’s version of the wedge bootie. Payless has this bootie available. DSW has these Crown Vintage Short Wave Wedge Booties which are very similar to mine.

Necklace: Nine West, but very old. Macy’s carries a whole line of Nine West jewelry. I particularly like this Silver-Tone Circle Frontal Necklace.

Outfit 2: Black and White Shorts with Red Sweater
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Sweater: Target (really, very old). So old, I fact, that I had to mend two holes in the seams before wearing it! Similar alternatives to this sweater can be found here and here.

Shorts: Kohl’s. No longer available (another clearance purchase!). And shorts are difficult to find at this time of year, but these black and white striped shorts would look great with tights and a sweater for Fall. Forever 21 has a few different pairs of black and white patterned shorts that would also work for Fall.

Boots: Famous Footwear. No longer available. Very similar boot here. Taller version of a similar boot here.

Necklace: Newer, but I don’t remember where I got it! However, there are many unique beaded tassel necklaces on Etsy.

Outfit 3: Black and White Blouse with Red Cape
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Blouse: Old Navy. No longer available, but other similar options are available here, here, here, and here.

Jeans: Old Navy Mid-Rise Rock Star Skinny Jeans. Limited sizes available, but they are on sale for $19.97 from $34.94.

Cape: Very old. However, this red poncho is adorable. And it seems that red capes are difficult to find unless you are looking for a costume piece. Fortunately, capes and ponchos are totally trending right now, so there is no limit to the options available.

Sandals: Payless. Exact sandal here. These are currently on sale for $12.00 with an extra $5 off clearance items from $26.99.

Necklace: I found this necklace in a gift shop in Iceland years ago. It is the Icelandic word Viska which means Wisdom. It is available here.

Which of my three black and white and red all over outfits do you like best? Do you have a favorite color combination? Do you have a favorite joke or riddle to share? We can all use a laugh! I will leave you with one of my all time favorites:


Keeping it on the edge,


Linked to: Fresh Fashion Forum Link Up with Sydney Fashion Hunter, Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop 208, Happiness at Midlife, Top of the World Style Link Up with HIgh Latitude Style, Fun Fashion Friday Link Up with Dawn Lucy at Fashion Should be Fun, Friday Fashions LInk Up with Jaymie Ashcraft, Passion for Fashion Link Up with Rachel the Hat, Forage Fashion, Link Party with Osy at Style Diary by Osy


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I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

8 Responses

  1. Hi Shelbee, I am Ada. I co-hosted the Thursday Fashion Files yesterday. So glad I found your blog. Such cute outfits and nice layers. As a huge fan of chic but casual looks I like these outfits. All your patterned pieces are great, especially the red polka-dotted pants – love them. Red is my favorite color after all. I welcome you to check out my blog. Thanks, Ada. =)

    • Thanks so much, Ada! I have your blog saved in my favorites already for my weekly reading! You have great style and I will definitely be checking out your page for inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Haha … this riddle brings back childhood memories. But mostly it makes me happy because black, white, and red is my very fav combo! Such adorable looks, Shelbee!

    Thanks so much of sharing with Fun Fashion Friday & hope to see you back again next week!

    Dawn Lucy

  3. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style

  4. I don’t remember this riddle as a kid but I do love the color combo! Love all of these looks.

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you Thursday.


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