While we all adore the little black dress, we have to admit, sometimes it needs a little ‘extra.’ Some people claim that an all-black outfit is ‘boring.’ When you want to add some flair to your dark look, there are clever ways to do it. How? With versatile, wearable and affordable pieces. In this article, we’ll explain how you can add colour to an all-black outfit.
Why would you want to add colour to an all-black outfit?
In fashion, black is a colour that can be dressed up, or dressed down. When you have a plain black t-shirt, for example, it can look classy or cheap, but the actual price you paid for it doesn’t say very much. That said, well-made black clothing won’t pill or fade, which can keep it looking elegant. On the other hand, if you like the ‘roughed up’ look of faded clothing, then go ahead and love your old, faded black jeans or t-shirts - there’s a fashion choice in that, too!
When you commonly wear all-black outfits, you can essentially save a lot on your wardrobe. Even if you decide to purchase a few high-quality pieces, such as a black dress, black boots, and a black leather handbag, you can make more use of these items, since they’ll ‘fit’ with multiple occasions, and match with almost anything.
But, you may not always want to look drab or dark. And of course, we love variety. So, you can colourize your black outfit with lower-cost alternatives, such as scarfs, belts, or even by replacing a pair of black shoes. And, even if budgeting is not your primary goal, think of it this way; you can travel light with black outfits, or just make life easier. That’s because you can mix-and-match to create whole new looks, with just a few modifications. Not to mention: laundry day will be a breeze!
8 Creative ways to add colour and versatility to your boring, black outfit
You’ll notice that almost all of our suggestions below involve accessories. Accessories can be great investments if you want to be fashion-conscious on a budget. They are easy to store, and don’t take a lot of space. They also remain trendy for longer periods of time when compared to clothing. So, whether or not you’re trying to dress up your black outfit, our fashion advice would be: accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!
Use a colourful scarf or bandana in many ways
Scarves and bandanas are not just for keeping warm; they can be used to add colour to your outfits in many ways! For example, they can be tied to a black leather handbag, or woven into its chain straps. They can also be used as headbands, belts, and more.
Opt for thin, long scarfs that can be tied and wrapped in multiple ways.
‘Spice it up’ with bold-coloured jewelry
While this method works with classic gold or silver metallic jewelry, you can get more of a ‘pop’ with big, bold beads made of various materials. Try to match them up, or colour-tone your necklace, earrings and bracelets. For example, opt for all neon jewelry. Or, choose all red - even if the pieces are not meant to be a set. The jewelry will stand out even more against the black backdrop of your outfit. Even if you add just one bold necklace, it can still be enough to complete your look. Classic white pearls overlaying a modest black dress can look fabulously chic.
Wear a colourful vest, cardigan, shawl or jacket
In the cooler months, you’ll inevitably need a vest, cardigan, shawl or jacket with any outfit - not just black ones. Instead of adding more black to this part of your ensemble, go with an item of colour. It doesn’t have to be bold and bright in this case either. Even adding a beige or brown layer of warm fabric can work very well for a fall or winter look.
Use your shoe collection to its full power
If you’re a shoe lover who just can’t resist a pair of hot pink heels, make use of them! Look no further than an all-black outfit for the perfect excuse to utilize your unique shoe collection. For example, the pair you bought for a party once, but never got to wear again. Even if you’re not one to buy extravagant shoewear, something like knee-high brown boots, or a pair of baby-pink loafers with an all-black outfit can work very well. Couple these with a brown leather belt, and you’re set!
Oh yes, belts! That brings us to our next point…
Belt your buckles on those black outfits!
We can’t talk about accessories without mentioning belts. Belts, and their buckles, can do wonders to an outfit - especially if it's black. You can use them to tuck-in your A-line black dresses or long shirts. On jeans, they can bring in that ‘cowgirl country’ look. Leather, elastic, plastic, beaded, studded, embroidered, threaded - the options for belts abound. Thin or thick, use anything but black to add colour to an all black outfit.
‘Top if off’ with headgear and sunglasses
Hats may undo your ‘do,’ but when planned in advance, they can make your outfit look well-thought-out. Some straw sun hats, for instance, are made to allow for a ponytail in the rear. Some incorporate scarfs on their crown, which can help to tie them down to your chin, or leave a decorative bow at the back. Wide-brimmed hats are very fashion-forward, even if you’re not at a garden party or on the beach. And let’s not forget, a face-shading hat and sunglasses are essential for UV protection against signs of aging (and cancer!). Why not use a colourful pair of sunglasses to accent your coloured hat?
Thinking more about winter? A crafty, woven and colourful beanie with a matching scarf and mittens can add fun colour to your black outfit on cold days, too.
Get dramatic with colour in your makeup routine
If you want to show off your makeup skills, a dramatic, colourful eyeshadow and lipstick will play very well with an all-black outfit. You’ll draw even more attention to your face, where you want the focus to be. This is great for special events like concerts or themed cocktail parties. But even a hint of red or pink lipstick alone can be enough colour with a black outfit. It can also still be suitable for going to work on a ‘regular’ day.
Consider your handbag collection
Owning many handbags isn’t the best way to budget-proof or capsulize your wardrobe, since you’ll usually want options that are durable and that match with more than one outfit. So, we’d say a black leather handbag is ok with an all-black outfit, for practicality reasons (plus, you can use the options above to add colour to outfits).
However, it is certainly a valid option to have a neon, red, turquoise or other type of coloured purse in your closet, for when you’re wearing mostly black. If you don’t mind switching your belongings into handbags to match your given-day outfit, then this option could work for you.
Some final tips on adding interest to your all-black outfit
To conclude, we will say that adding interest to an all-black outfit doesn’t necessarily have to come with colour. Some people don’t like keeping a bunch of accessories, and that’s fine.
You can also create unique looks to black wardrobe pieces by incorporating texture differences. For example, use a faux fur scarf, or a black leather jacket with a black cotton dress. Your black jeans can have rips in them, or be embroidered. Speaking of embroidery, black leather cowboy boots can also come with embroidery on them. Or, they can be made with interesting animal skins. Pleather skirts or pants can add shine to your black outfit, too.
And, if you’re having a casual day, or are in a rush, don’t sweat it! Wearing all black is a safe bet for all seasons.