How to wear black

Black is said to be the monarch of the fashion world, and in some cities it seems that women know no other colour. While it is true that black does go with everything and is always in style, I believe most women lean too heavily on this ‘no brainer versatility’ and forget the benefits that can be gained from wearing colour.


Designers tend to push the idea of wearing black due to the fact the fashion world being fickle and difficult, its hard for them to come up with a group of colours & styles that women will easily buy. To further confuse the consumers with the decision process by offering a large choice of colour options, only lead to less sales. Pushing the black concept is one way of solving this dilemma.



I personally, like black but not as a staple with the exclusion of everything else. When you look around Melbourne in particular in winter, we appear to be a sea of black, where there is no individualism or uniqueness. We are just like an ant colony in uniformity.

Although, then again in moderate quantities black is a terrific basic colour.

Black does have some not so desirable qualities that need to be considered, even by those who have it in their palette.

  • Black does not always make you appear slimmer.  If you are sensitive about your weight, your silhouette will be greatly defined, if you wear a very dark colour and stand in front of a light background. It can make some very scary photos!
  • Black can make you paler be comparison. If your skin is pale and you are getting older, you’ll find that your skin does not have the youthful glow it once hdark circlesad. Wearing black too near the face, can pull the colour from your complexion making you appear older.




  • Black can enhance lines & wrinkles. When worn near the face, colour reflects on the skin, light colours tend to lift and lighten. This is the similar effect when a photographer uses the white umbrella. A dark umbrella will force dark shows on your face settling into lines, wrinkles, and naturally dark areas like under your eyes and upper lip. With age we benefit from exchanging dark colours with medium dark colours near the face.

Bending the rules

  • Keep the colour away from your face. The further the colour is away from your face, the less impact it will have. The deeper and wider the neckline, the easier it will be to wear the colour.


  • Show as much skin as possible above the bust line. This will greatly improve the appearance of the colour on you, as it minimizes the amount of colour being seen in the critical area, just near your face. Strapless, medium to thin straps and cap sleeves garments work best. Remember to work with your body shape.
  • Select a fabric and surface that works best for your colouring. For example, a ‘warm-light’ that wishes to wear a black dress, is best to choose a smooth fabric in sheen to shiny/sparkly surface. Whereas a ‘cool-muted’ is best in fine soft texture and a matt to sheen surface such as velvet or silk.
  • To wear a dark colour when you’re best in light to medium. Add a soft coloured garment or accessory between you and the dark colour, to soften the harsh affect.


  • Keep the contrast level correct. If you are wearing black or a colour not on your palette, ensure the contrast is correct. This will get you half way there. Unflattering colours with the wrong contrast will make you look drained of colour or tired.

 So to summarize,

  1. No black next to your face
  2. Show an abundance of skin between black and your face
  3. Add your correct colour next to your face, eg scarf
  4. Ensure the contrast level is correct
  5. Add some jewellery (bling or light colour) to lift the colour near your face
  6. If you must wear black near your face you will need to apply heavier make up to compensate.

My last tip is – work at being true to the unique you and use colour to enhance and accentuate your best qualities to bring out the very best of your own particular style.