This particular set of colour combinations seems to stir up a lot of emotion. Some love it, some loathe it, and some like it in small doses. The combination has been considered at times fashionable and at times quite the faux pas over the years, but one thing is for sure. In 2015 wearing pastels with black might not be your cup of tea, but it’s certainly not a faux pas. 

The outfits here that match black with blush, apricot, sea foam, lemon and baby pink look good to my eye. The pastels look a little harsher and muddier next to black than they would look next to a lighter colour that created a lower contrast. But it’s not an unattractive, disjointed or jarring combination. Although we can’t see the heads of the models, black hair would pull together the colour palette even further. I vote yay.

BOTTEGA VENETA Cashmere SweaterNEEDLE & THREAD Pleated Tulle SkirtJONATHAN SAUNDERS Giuliana Wool CoatSONIA BY SONIA RYKIEL Are You Dreaming Intarsia Cotton Sweater

That said, I still prefer outfits that combine pastels with shades of white, faded denim and metallics. The pictures below represent the look well. Pastels look fresher and more vibrant when worn with white. The lower contrast between the colours also makes the palette look more soothing, soft and cohesive. Light neutrals like dove grey and tan can be used instead of white, but the combination won’t look quite as crisp or graphic.

CHINTI AND PARKER Contrast-cuff Cashmere SweaterMARC BY MARC JACOBS Milky Block Printed Cotton and Modal-blend ScarfGUCCI Double-breasted Wool and Angora-blend CoatISSA Suzanne Plisse-crepe Poncho

I usually suggest adding more white (bright white, off-white, bone or cream), and faded denim to a client’s wardrobe when they’re interested in wearing pastels more frequently because the palette creates a lovely soft and fresh look. It’s also a way of changing things up from wearing pastels with dark neutrals like black, charcoal, ink, chocolate and dark blue denim.

Finally, I love black and white worn with a pastel, effectively combining the two extremes above. That way you keep the bold contrast of the black, but freshen things up with the white. Think black bottoms, white top and light blue topper. Or white bottoms, black top and blush topper. Or mint top, black jeans, white belt and white shoes. 

Over to you. Do you like pastels paired with black? Or do you prefer them with white and low-contrast colours.