How to Wear All Black Successfully

Silvana Patrick
by Silvana Patrick
10 Minutes

In this style guide, I’m going to talk you through how to wear black successfully. Black can sometimes look a bit too formal and serious but there are many ways to lighten it up and make it look more fun.

Here, I want to give you some ideas for how to wear all black and make it more wearable, approachable, and less like a uniform.

Black jacket with yellow scarf

How to wear black

Black is a shade and wearing black on your top half can cast dark shadows back onto your face. For that reason, it is generally thought to suit those with a darker complexion and dark hair better.

If, however, you are fair-skinned and have light hair, you can still enjoy black, I just recommend not wearing it around your chest area as this can reflect light back onto your face.

If you are wearing black on your top half, you can also break up the color with a chunky necklace or a scarf.

Black dress with neutral scarf

Choose a color that compliments you to break up the black look.

Appling lipstick

What makeup to wear 

Makeup also plays a huge role when composing an all-black outfit. For a day look, I like to wear neutral makeup in natural colors that will warm my face up.

For an evening look, it’s nice to make more of a statement. If you opt for a bold lip, keep your eyes neutral, but if you want to highlight your eyes then go for a nude color lipstick.

How to wear black: Right vs wrong

Misconceptions about black

The notion that black is a slimming color can be somewhat misleading. This is because the cut of an item of clothing is the most important aspect in creating a slimmer figure and determines whether you will look your best or not.

The color is secondary. If you are wearing black in the hope that you’re going to look slimmer but in a dress that is the wrong cut for you, you aren’t going to achieve that.

Black dress

A beautifully composed all-black outfit has overall balance, some nice texture, and in my opinion, some skin exposed.

Black dress

Outfits that create a feminine silhouette will forever be timeless.

Black dresses

Black in the summer

Although black typically takes a back seat when it comes to summer dressing, I implore you not to dismiss it. Just as its understated elegance and unmatched versatility make it a fail-safe option for fall and winter, those qualities hold true all year round.

Black dress with clutch

Fashion insiders aren’t only making the case for black as an unexpected addition to your summer wardrobe but are also enveloping themselves in the shade from head to toe.

Black Bermudas

My favorite black summer pieces at the moment are tailored Bermudas, paired with a peplum top and finished with a corduroy blazer. This sits perfectly along a crochet bag.

Little black dress

I also like a little black dress, cinched at the waist and paired with a fitted blazer in light gray, and golden accessories to finish off.

Black dresses

For balmy days, try teaming a lightweight strapless top with a midi skirt for a chic, coordinated combo. Add a bold necklace for some oomph.

Black heels

There is also an abundance of covetable black sandals out there in summer’s most dependable shapes.

Black skirt

Body shape

For plus-size women, it’s always a good idea to wear a V-neck, especially for those with large busts. 

Black skirt

And for full hourglass ladies, figure-hugging styles that reinforce your beautiful figure are your best bets.

One of the most important things when composing an all-black outfit is thinking about the overall silhouette and the proportions of the look as well.

If you wear something shapeless, oversized, or thick fabrics that are too voluminous and bulky then you end up looking bigger than you actually are. But you don’t want to wear skin-tight pieces either, there has to be a balance.

So, pay attention to where you have more volume. For example, if you have wide shoulders, just keep it simple and don’t add more volume there. If you have narrow hips, you can place the volume around your hip area. You have to make sure that at least one part of your body will show off your silhouette. 

Black leather jacket

Texture play

The texture is crucial when it comes to composing an all-black outfit. Combine matte and shiny finishes or different textures like corduroy, velvet, silk, or even sequins - something that will create a contrast and add interest to the look.

Black outfit with accessories


Jewelry and accessories play a huge role in breaking up the blackness of an outfit as well as bringing in your signature style.

Black blazer outfit

Scarves are also a great accessory. Accessories have the power to draw attention to them, so if you want to deflect attention from a part of your body, wear accessories on the part that you want to attract attention to.

How to wear all black 

There we have my tips for how to wear black successfully. Of course, one of the merits of black is its wear-with-everything nature. That means that it fits perfectly with finishing touches from across the color spectrum. If you’ve enjoyed this, why not check out my post on how to wear white

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