Marketing often touts black as the color that looks good with everything and on everyone. That isn’t always true, but if you are like me, you have a few pieces in your wardrobe in black. Today, I’ll show you how I tone down black items and make them more wearable for the daytime or special evenings.
While I enjoy wearing all black from head to toe, it can look harsh if I don’t use some styling tricks to soften it. You can’t get much more basic than jeans and a tee. Those are the essential black pieces that will serve as the base in all the looks I’m showing you today.
The three-quarter sleeve T‑shirt is here. The black ankle jeans are here.
When I wear black, I always define my eyes a bit more and use eyeliner here. I am wearing the classic red lip color Girl’s Night here in these images.
Wearing a light color jacket and earrings can brighten your face and tone down the black. A white jean jacket and sneakers can work for any sunny day errands or meeting a friend for coffee on a patio. The jacket is here – sneakers here – similar bag here.
A bright red cardigan and animal print loafers are comfortable and yet appropriate for entertaining at home.
A similar cardigan is here – similar loafers here.
Wearing pearls always gives your face a soft glow. Take the look up a notch by wearing pumps and adding a simple jacket.
Similar pearl necklaces are here – similar shoes here – similar bag here – similar jacket here.
A red blazer and a silver/gray scarf can add holiday color and softness around your face. Velvet loafers are comfortable but look very elegant.
A similar blazer is here – similar scarf here – similar velvet loafers here – a similar bag is here.
Another bright option is a long bold necklace worn with a long cardigan and short boots.
I bought the French Kande necklace here, but I substituted the Daalder FK91 medallion. Similar cardigan here – similar boots here – watch here – similar clutch here.
One of my favorite ways to wear a simple black look is to drape a large silk scarf around my neck. The bright colors and elegant texture makes even a tee and jeans look polished.
A similar bag is here. Similar loafers are here. A similar scarf is here.
I enjoy neutrals, elevated basics, and styling the same pieces in different ways to make the most of them. There are very few prints or bright colors, and no bulky knits in my collection. I’ve learned that this is the secret to always having something to wear.
I’m grateful to blog reader Kathy for her comment that inspired this post. She wrote, “Thank you for a great post, Susan; you always give me new ideas to try. I love the black outfit on you, so dressy. That is one of my requests, to know how to wear black without looking depressing or “funeral like.” You look beautiful in black. If you could address turning some of our regular wardrobe basics into a holiday outfit, I have no interest in shopping for holiday get-togethers that may or may not happen. I never wanted to invest in strictly Christmas looking pieces. Thank you for working so hard for us.”
Shopping links in this post may generate a small commission for me at no additional cost to you.