Ladies and gents – beware of what I call “the black rut”. Despite the fact that black items of clothing tend to make one feel slimmer, smarter and possibly even more powerful; black is not a colour- it is the absence of it. Black items of clothing, accessories and shoes certainly have an important place in anyone’s wardrobe, but such items need to be put together “with style”. Ending up with a cupboard full of black clothing is easy to do – especially with the strong rebirth of neutral tones that is happening right now.

So how can we successfully wear the colour black?

  • Black looks it’s absolute best when worn with one, or a combination of neutral tones (e.g. white, grey, cream, tan, gold, silver, bronze and brown)
  • When wearing black with a colour, be sure to add another neutral tone to the ensemble – it looks less dated that way
  • It isn’t easy to look good in black when worn from head to toe, but it can be done. Make sure that each item of the outfit is of a different texture. The trick is “add dimension” and avoid “looking flat”. Consider adding subtle self color pinstripes, lace and feathers (if you are a lady), surface-interest fabrics and sheen. Prada and Donna Karan specialize in creating this 3 dimensional all black look and they do it very well.
  • Black items need to be very black! As soon as they start to lose their colour – the overall flattering effect is lost
  • Refrain from wearing black all the time. It has the power to “drain” one’s appearance. Remember to alternate with other colours that suit your skin tone

It’s therefore a fallacy that “black goes with everything”. It’s actually the one neutral tone that doesn’t!

Donna Karan does black

Donna Karan does black with neutrals