The french fashion designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel once said: “When I find a color darker than black, I’ll wear it. But until then, I’m wearing black.” Ever since, black has been the favorite color of many consumers, fashionistas, and people across the world when picking clothes.

Black has different connotations and perceptions which makes it very versatile and easy to use. For some conservative groups, black is directly related with mourning, so they were black during a specific period of time with the specific purpose of representing grief. For some others, black is a symbol of rebellion, combined with gothic accessories and symbols, chokers, piercings, and black lips.

But one of the most popular connotations of black, is its elegance and sophistication, as black helps bodies look slimmer and adds a value of power and authority when styled properly.

Black is our friend, it can be elegant, gothic, sophisticated, sexy, casual, or neutral. Depending on your intentions, your styling, and how you are planning to use it. It doesn’t have to be boring or repetitive if you don’t want to! Sometimes we just run out of inspiration and we keep using the same combination of top and bottom as we are thinking of other things in life. But what if we change this outfit routine a little bit? This doesn’t necessarily mean going shopping for new pieces, it’s more about thinking thoroughly on the pieces you own and what are the outfit options to create with these pieces.

So if you are running out of inspiration, or you just love black and want to learn more about the versatility of this dark shade, here are some of the best ways to wear black this season that hopefully will inspire you and will make you appreciate every single black garment and accessory you own.

The Head to Toe Look

Runway looks: Black garments accessories from head to toe. Alberta Ferreti and Celine fashion shows FW 20-21. Image Courtesy of Vogue Spain.

You love black, then embrace it! Wear as many black items in one outfit as possible as long as they make sense together. The advantage of black is that it is a muted shade so you can literally wear black from head to toe using accessories like hats, sunglasses, gloves, a belt and boots. This monotone strategy won’t work with strong hues like neons, or vibrant hues as it can easily look saturated, so use black as your reliable source when you want to cover yourself in accessories of the same color.  

Many celebrities of all genders wear black as a safe choice to look chic and modern. Image Courtesy of Gigi Hadid Fashion Style.

The Layers

Layers of black and a neutral color add dimension to your look and keep you warm throughout the day. Image Courtesy of Nico Suavea.

Adding several layers of dark clothes is a good idea, especially on very cold days. Play with different textures, proportions, and types of garments to have a fantastic and warm result. Some people like to wear a coat over a jacket to take off the coat and have more mobility while staying warm with the jacket. Others love wearing short skirts with leggings or even leg warmers. It’s definitely important to think of utility and how you are going to interact with your black outfit throughout the day. Yes, there are some fashion experiments that you must try to know if they work or not. You may end up looking like a swatch book or like a fashion cover model. It all depends on the styling and your bravery to try new stuff. So encourage yourself to try playing with layers and layers of clothes!

The Texture

Textured garments stand out, and there are many different ways to give texture to a garment. Black coat and top with textured apliques by Yohji Yamamoto.

Playing with texture is particularly helpful for those who use black on a regular basis with the risk of looking the same every day. Adding texture to a black outfit can have a very interesting effect on the end result. Think about materials or garments that can help you to add layers of texture: a leather jacket, a quilted sweatshirt, fringe, sequins, embroidered garments. The options are endless! Take some time to plan a textured outfit by laying different garments on your bed and seeing how they look together. You can also add texture with accessories like scarves, gloves, ponchos, long boots, or jewelry. Texture is particularly relevant during the cold seasons, so leverage this opportunity to curate an outfit full of texture that will keep you warm. The contrast of textures in one outfit is going to look phenomenal!

The Black and White Combo

A classic, and fabulous combination of tones that is always a good idea. The black and white options are endless. Image Courtesy of J. Crew.

The contrast of black and white is strong, and it gives a lot of opportunities to play with patterns, prints, and styling garments in different ways. Polka dots, stripes, houndstooth, animal prints, color blocking, and plaids are only some of the ways in which you can put together these tones in a whole look.

You can also put together white pieces with black garments. This means, a black suit with white shoes and bag, or a white coat with a black top and black pants.

The great thing about this combo is that both of these are classic tones that most people have in their wardrobe, so most likely, you won’t have to buy any new pieces to make a black and white outfit work.

There are many black and white prints. You can style them easily with black and white accessories for the full look. Image Courtesy of Hot Topic.

The Pop of Color

Black works extraordinarily as the main color of a look or as a complimentary color. Play with different color combinations to figure out what combo works best for you. Image Courtesy of Daniel Fletcher.

Black is a friend of all colors; it can interact flawlessly with pretty much any variation of other colors. You can put together black with a neutral color like beige, grey or navy, or with a vibrant color like red, green, or pink. These combinations are a great opportunity for using one garment multiple times and making it look different. For instance, if you have a black top that you love and fits you extraordinarily, you can style it with a colorful maxi skirt, a glowing pair of cigarette pants, or a radiant pair of trousers. Each of these combinations can be executed wonderfully, and you can keep wearing that top several times.

The proportion of black and the complimentary color can vary. In fact, black works very well as a complimentary color as well. So you can pull off a red look with black gloves, shoes and jewelry and look extraordinary. Be open minded when you put together these outfits, so that you can achieve different results by trying something new.

The Cut-offs

Cut-offs are negative spaces that draw attention to a specific area. Image Courtesy of Brandon Maxwell.

This very sexy way of wearing black is a fantastic way to highlight certain parts of your body and play with proportions and the silhouette. Cut-offs create negative space to contrast with the garment. The lines that this negative space creates can enhance your body silhouette by accentuating the curves or making you look taller with some interesting vertical lines. Cut-offs can be very subtle or really accentuated. They can be elegant in an evening gown or edgy in a pair of frayed jeans. You can start wearing garments with subtle cut-offs if you’ve never worn a similar garment before. Don’t be scared of trying something new, and take the chance to see if cut-offs are for you!

The Transparency

Take transparency to the next level with a tulle skirt full of volume. Image Courtesy of Dior.

A slightly subtler version of cut-offs is transparency. Lightweight fabrics like chiffon, charmeuse, tulle, or organza can create transparency with a strategic placement that can make a really cool look. Transparency doesn’t need to be vulgar or edgy. It can be a subtle piece around the neckline or around the sleeves to add an area of attention. Transparency used to be more popular in swimwear and evening gowns, but in recent seasons it has been present in casual wear to make breathable and fashionable pieces.

Transparency is a very broad design feature that can be easily tailored to your personality and the kind of clothes you like to wear. Lace top by Trista.

The Puffiness

Puffed sleeves come in many different dimensions, sizes, volumes and placements. They are a great way of elevating your black outfit with volume and chicness. Image Courtesy of Budapest Select Concept Store.

Puffiness is a very fun way of adding volume to an outfit. Usually, puffiness aims to exaggerate the dimension of a certain part of the body. Puffed sleeves are very popular for instance, as an emphasis in the shoulders can look very appealing in people who have narrow shoulders and wide hips. Puffed skirts are another great alternative, you can have a skirt full of volume and movement and look spectacular.

One thing to consider about puffiness is to use it wisely. Focus on one area of attention to add this volume and don’t overuse it. So a breathtaking black top with oversized puffed sleeves would look best with a pair of flat leggings or a pencil skirt, rather than attempting to add more volume in the bottom as well.

The Leather

Leather can be draped in artistic ways to create architectural pieces. Saturday Night Leather Jacket by Alexander Wang.

A classic material that every season comes in different textures, shapes and weights. Leather is a great choice for the cold season and you can find it in all sorts of pieces including jackets, vests, tops, bottoms, footwear and accessories. You can make it look elegant, gothic, or casual. Leather can bring texture or volume to your outfit elevating it to a whole new level. These pieces tend to be timeless, so a good quality leather piece is always a good idea. It’s a safe yet sophisticated choice.

The Oversized Fit

Oversized jackets and coats are super trendy and can be super cozy. Looks by Tom Ford

The trend of oversized garments has been around for a few years and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Oversized garments are a response to the mainstream body shaming culture that promotes tight and petite garments that don’t represent body diversity. In contrast, oversized garments are worn by people from all sizes and genders, it’s an inclusive trend that many designers consider in their fashion shows to create wonderful outfits.

Now of course, black oversized garments are very trendy as they can be comfortable, warm and super chic. You can think of an XL hoodie as an oversize garment, or a puffy faux fur coat that covers your hands.

And of course, the list is endless. Black is such an easy shade to wear as it is very versatile. Explore all of these options plus any additional ideas that you may have thought of while looking at these images. Hopefully your passionate relationship with black became even closer.