Dark neutrals — like black, dark blue, charcoal grey, and chocolate brown — hold an important place in most wardrobes, and for good reason. Some people choose one or two dark neutrals to incorporate into their style, while others wear an assortment. Black is the most popular dark neutral with my clients, and I see a lot of it on the streets of Seattle.
Here are ten reasons that dark neutrals rock.
1. Flattering Against the Complexion
Dark neutrals are extremely flattering with certain complexions. Whether it’s black, very dark blue, or a combination of the two, dark neutrals can bring out the colours of your hair, eyes, and complement skin tone in just the right way.
2. Sartorial Preference
Some people simply prefer dark neutrals to light neutrals because they are rich, tough, serious, can look very professional, and are more aesthetically pleasing to their eye. I was in the company of an acquaintance once who said that all colours were frivolous except for dark neutrals. I was wearing bright red at the time and smiled. Horses for courses, always!
3. Drama and Contrast
Dark neutrals can evoke a sense of drama. There is something about the expanse of darkness that can be theatrical, especially if you are the only one wearing it from head to toe. Dark neutrals can also be dramatic when they create a high contrast with a light or bright like combining navy with chartreuse, black with light blue, charcoal with red, or chocolate with blush.
4. Blends into the Crowd
Dark neutral clothing is usually ubiquitous in the Autumn and Winter, and is a good way to blend in. If you want to blend into the crowd in a city like Manhattan in the Winter, wear black from head to toe. Similarly, in the Netherlands dark blue is extremely popular.
Dark neutrals can be great at hiding dirt and paw prints. They are great for camouflaging perspiration marks too. That said, if you have pets that shed light-coloured hair, light neutrals will be more practical in this respect.
Dark neutrals like black can add an effective tough edge to an outfit. Dark neutral shoes can successfully bookend a look and pull it together. Dark neutrals can ground brights and bring life to pastels. Wearing several dark neutrals in one outfit can also look great.
Dark neutrals can streamline the contour of the body, and visually make surface areas appear smaller. The saying goes that “black is slimming”, and several of my clients believe just that. They will generally feel more streamlined in a dark pair of bottoms than a light pair.
Dark neutrals have a dressy reputation. That’s why tuxedos are usually black, and career suiting is usually dark. Very fancy attire for galas, balls, award ceremonies and the like are often dark neutrals too.
9. Camouflages Inferior Quality
When a clothing item is made of less than stellar fabric and the finish is a little dodgy, it tends to look best in dark neutrals. Think of how many times you chose the darker T-shirt or top over the white or light one because the quality seemed better.
10. Makes You Feel Fab
Some people enjoy wearing dark neutrals because it makes them feel stylish and confident. They associate dark neutrals with a sense of chic, elegance and sophistication.
I don’t wear solid black anymore, and grey and chocolate brown are not my thing. But I LOVE wearing dark blue clothing, and have quite a bit of it. I wear dark blue year round because of most of these reasons. It will soon be the only solid dark neutral in my wardrobe.
Over to you. Which are your favourite dark neutrals and why?