This ensemble was inspired by Greg, who has added lots of ink blue to his black and charcoal wardrobe over the last few years. He doesn’t wear ink from top to bottom often (usually with black or grey footwear), but it looks great when he does. 

Two points upfront: 

  • Creating textural interest when wearing a dark colour from top to toe gives the outfit depth, thereby making it look less flat and more attractive.
  • Strengthening make-up when you wear dark colours prevents you from looking washed out. Extra eyebrow definition, mascara, blush and lipstick go a long way. 

There’s a casual and lighter version of ink-out on the left with denim, and dressier outfits with trousers and a skirt on the right. I’ve used ink blue and black footwear because they work equally well. 

Casual Ink-Out

Combine a dark blue pair of jeans with a dark denim tunic or shirt. I used a tunic to showcase an alternative set of proportions, but a regular length denim shirt is fab too. Leaving the tunic untucked is not leg shortening because of the column of colour. Feel free to substitute the denim shirt for another ink blue top like a sweater, shirt or blouse. 

Top it off with an ink blue jacket like a moto, tweed moto, blazer, wool trapeze jacket or cocoon coat. Layering short over long here creates flattering proportions because of the column of colour. 

Finish off the look with ink footwear, like booties, loafers, pumps or oxfords. Keep the bag in the palette with ink blue and black. Alternatively, throw in a pattern or another colour to break up the ink a little. Adding a scarf in colours other than ink further breaks up the palette, and might be just what you need to feel more alive in the combination. 

Dressy Ink-Out

Combine a pair of ink blue trousers, culottes or a skirt with a texture-rich ink blue top. Or alternatively, wear a textured bottom (like a lace skirt) and add a smooth top. Textures can be distinctive or subtle. A little lace trim or sparkle goes a long way to create outfit interest in a dark tonal outfit. Wearing an ink blue dress with a dark blue denim jacket is another option.

Finish off the look with black footwear that works with the bottoms, and add sheer black hose for extra insulation. I like the look of ink-out with a patterned or grey bag, but choose the option that’s most suited to your taste. Any colour coat will work over dressy ink-out. Add jewellery, watch and eyewear as desired. 

Don’t worry too much about matching the ink blues. The tonal palette works as effectively when lighter shades of navy are combined with very dark ink blue.

Ensemble: Ink Out