History in the Making

The All Black Wardrobe Question, Style File Friday

I was very excited when I was asked by a dear reader to help with style quandary: how can you wear an all black wardrobe but not get bored by what you are wearing?? Some people choose to wear all black clothing, but in this case, she was required to for work, which can almost make it more difficult. All black wardrobes can be an easy default for some and a cutting edge fashion show for others, but can require a great deal of creativity for the concerned dresser. These are my favourite tips to keeping your all black wardrobe fresh and current!

All Black Wardrobe

Black clothing is considered by some to be the chicest of the chic, and by others to be boring and tired. For myself, it depends upon the piece itself and how it is styled- I don’t believe that a black item of clothing is automatically better because of it’s colour but I also won’t discount it based on it either. If you need to wear all black for work (and have a bit of leeway in what you are wearing), I would recommend thinking of wearing all black as a challenge! You can still be creative with what you are wearing, you just might need to think a little bit more outside of the box than you normally would!

1) Utilise Different Cuts and Shapes

If you are wearing an all black wardrobe because you are required to, you very well many feel more stifled than most. It can be incredibly frustrating to walk by window after window of beautiful clothing only to be unable to wear it anywhere! Being limited to a single colour can be quite a challenge, but take this as your opportunity to try as many different cuts and shapes as possible. Perhaps you want to try a cape style blazer when you always stick with a cardigan, perhaps you want to try a sheath dress when you normally wear looser tunics, perhaps you finally want to try wearing a bateau neckline! Don’t be afraid to try on new things, and get creative. You don’t need to worry that something won’t match, colour-wise, which is one of the trickiest part of dressing. Take advantage of the structure of your wardrobe and take some calculated chances!

2) Incorporate Different Textures

My biggest tip for all black wardrobe (that can also be applied to any wardrobe) is not to be afraid to incorporate different textures. Although many people will tell you that there are countless shades of black, I would argue that for clothing the texture and fabric makes a much bigger difference. Incorporate knits and jerseys and slubs and cottons and embroidery and any other fabric you could think of. I find velvet to be slightly overwhelming (and potentially more formal than most would like) in a full garment for work, as it can tend to look very “evening party”. However, a velvet belt or velvet shoes would certainly be an eye-catching choice! I have black embroidered full skirt that is perfect for parties but can also be dressed down with a black t-shirt and cardigan for work, and I think it is one of the most interesting pieces that I own. (Make sure that you can properly care for the fabric that you buy, though!)

Black Merino Wool Sweater from the Gap

3) Pay Attention to Cut and Fit

A lot of people just keep telling themselves, “black is slimming,” grab whatever black item of clothing is on hand, and think that they will look their best because it is black. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but black clothing does not always equal slimming and flattering. Black is often a very stark look, and unless you are in a crowd of people dressed in black, people will notice what you are wearing, so this is definitely the time to pay attention to cut and fit! I by no means am saying that everything has to be fitted per se, but it should be the correct size for you (both in appearance and feeling).  Also, along with paying attention to cut and fit, keep things neat and pressed- black clothing looks just as wrinkled as its coloured counterparts, so don’t use the colour as a way to get out of caring for your clothing properly. Make sure that your black clothing isn’t see-through (leggings, I am looking at you), that it doesn’t have an rips or tears, that it isn’t fading, and that it is ironed and/or cared for!

4) Make a Uniform Out of It

If you really struggle with keeping an all black wardrobe, especially for work, I would recommend making yourself a uniform! Perhaps you own 3-5 black sheath dresses with a few black cardigans, and you know that they work for you. There is nothing wrong with having your own uniform that is perfect for your life and saving yourself time and energy for dressing. I would recommend that if you are going to go the uniform route, you do ensure that they are immaculately fitted for you specifically and that they are cleaned according to instructions as often as needed, as people tend to pay attention to what you wear when it appears to be the same thing every day and continually wearing the same garments will shorten their lifespan considerably.

How do you keep your all black wardrobe exciting?

The Historian
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4 thoughts on “The All Black Wardrobe Question, Style File Friday”

  • These are great tips, I’m definitely going to incorporate some of them into my everyday routine! While I don’t often wear black, I’d say about 80% of the time I do wear monochromatic outfits #navyornothing. Incorporating different textures is not something I do often, so I am going to work on this.

    I love your Style File Friday posts–they are always very well done and incorporate great ways to wear clothes 🙂

    Sarah | all in the details

    • Aww, thank you so much!! I love working on them, because I think that style can be intimidating at first look but then by making it more manageable, you can really build a wardrobe you love 😊
      I am a fan of monochromatic outfits- I find that they can often make a statement, but more so when they are any colour but black haha!

      And texture isn’t something I really thought about until I set out to educate myself on all things style! Once I started learning more about all of the different fabrics, I realised just how many different textures there are for the eye 😍

  • Love these suggestions! I used to say I would never wear black and then went through a phase of wearing mainly black- so if I ever go through that phase again this is very helpful. I hadn’t thought of the texture aspect before at all.

    • Texture can be a difficult one- I know that for some people with sensory issues, texture can be tough. But if you don’t need to worry about that, it can be a great way to change things up!

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