Style and Styling

5 Tips for Wearing Black

Or any other color that doesn’t suit…

Happy New Year, dear reader!

The end of one year and the beginning of the next are such busy times! I have been working on business goals, personal goals, and some projects you’ll be hearing more about as the year unfolds. I hope your 2019 is filled with a new blessing each day.

What color predominates in your closet? When you open the door, what color do you notice first? Is it black? If so, you are not the first woman to answer that! There are lots of reasons to buy black clothing, but most of the reasons I hear aren’t good ones. It’s not that I have a problem with black clothes… I simply don’t like that black has become the automatic default color for women’s clothing.

I used to love black. More than 90% of my wardrobe was black. I was younger, and my value contrast was higher then. Black was a flattering neutral for me, but those days are no more… And I’m okay with that! I still have a few black pieces that I love and wear them. So, how do you wear a color that isn’t your best? Try one or more of these five tips!

Save Black for Night

If you are thinking, but “Hey, I looked great in my LBD on New Year’s Eve!”, you are probably right! (Even if not everyone NEEDS an LBD.) Evening light is softer and more flattering than the bright light of midday. And you were probably also wearing more makeup than you do on an average day. (You’ll see this again later…)

Keep the Black Away from Your Face

For those whom black is not one of our personal coloring signatures, the easiest way to wear black is to keep it on your bottom half. Since so many women have closets full of black trousers, this is one easy way to wear black.

If the black item in question is a top, jacket, or dress, separate it from your face with a color that makes you glow. My first instinct is a scarf, because you can find them in hundreds of styles and colors, but some women will never wear a scarf. If that’s you, try colored jewelry, something bold, in a color that makes you look amazing. This is especially important for women with warm complexions, and lower value contrasts.

Show More Skin

I’m not suggesting you get immodest, here! That would be the last thing you will hear coming from me… What I am talking about is the human eye, and our biological disposition to look at bare skin. So if black isn’t so good for you, it will be less bad in an off the shoulder top, a sleeveless version, or a v-neck instead of a crew. The same goes for bottoms. A knee length black pencil skirt (worn with sheer legs and nude shoes) will be less overwhelming than a black maxi.

Sheer Black

Look for black tops that aren’t opaque! A black chiffon blouse, a black mesh top, or black lace will all be more flattering than the dense black of a thick sweater or tee.

Wear Great (!!!) Makeup

When I say great makeup, I do not mean a lot of makeup! Wearing a color that doesn’t suit often makes us look washed out. To help balance a less than ideal color, be sure to define your brows, line your eyes, and wear a great lip color. Look for something brighter than your everyday lip. This is a great time to break out your red. If you are warm complexioned, it’a likely to be a coral red. If you don’t know whether your skin’s undertone is warm or cool, a color consultation makes choosing clothing and makeup much easier! (I’d love to help!)

So… Back to the question above. What color predominates when you open your closet? Is it good for you? I mean really good for you? Let me know in the comments below; I love to hear from you!

Stylishly yours,

Thanks to Jess at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish for the Link-Up! May 2019 bring you and yours a new blessing each and every day…


    • closetplayadmin

      So nice to see you here, Jess! Thank you for visiting! It’s amazing how flattering a color “dam” can be. I like the off the shoulder look, but just am not comfortable in it! Oh, well…

  • ratnamurti

    Wishing you a great 2019, Liz. I do wear black. I love it. I am olive skinned & originally had blue-black hair. But, when I had a colour consultation about 2 years ago, suddenly instead of being a winter, I was now a soft autumn. The browns depressed me. The bright orange lipstick was downright scary. I have anaemia, & I recalled telling the colourist that, however she chose to ignore it. Which was fair enough. But, I have learnt: when my soft autumn colours look good on me, it’s time to get to hospital fast, for some iron and blood. Then, after, black looks great & my skin colour is back to being cooler. Yes, I know. Weird.

    • closetplayadmin

      Not weird at all! Our coloring becomes cooler as we age and lose the pigments in our skin and hair. That’s why the hair color we had at 20 doesn’t look right on us anymore at 40 or 50 and beyond. I’m surprised that the consultant suggested bright orange lipstick. If you were soft, then you need softer shades, not bright! Browns are tricky. The right ones can be amazing, but it sounds like the wrong ones were coming after you. I understand the frustration. I was mis-typed repeatedly in my past… I have cool coloring, but green eyes, (And in my youth, brown hair) so they always typed me as an autumn, ignoring my skin tone, and going with the hair and eyes.

  • Susan Ward

    Great Article Liz. I have moved away from black because it doesn’t suit my colouring, but there are so many nice black clothes around that sometimes I do want to make purchases….with these tips, now I can.

    • closetplayadmin

      Thank you for visiting, Susan! I’m glad you found them helpful. Is black not suiting because you are warm complexioned, or because your coloring is soft?

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