5 Ways To Incorporate Color Into A Mostly Black Wardrobe While Still Wearing Mostly Black
I wear all black most of the time — maybe it's because I live in New York City, or because I'm lazy, or maybe it's because I associate with subcultures that wear mostly black. However, just because I prefer wearing all black clothing doesn't mean I don't like to break it up with some color every now and then, especially in the warmer months.
The thing is, when people, like my mom, or my family, or my coworkers (thankfully most of my friends know better), suggest that I wear "pops of color" to break up the black, they are usually referring to an item of clothing in a solid color that doesn't normally exist in my sartorial vocabulary — like, for instance, a neon green top, or a pair of bright purple jeans. Sometimes, they'll even suggest a colorful printed dress, because if you're going to not wear black, you may as well wear all the colors of the rainbow at once, right?
If you are one of those people who, like me, treasures their monochromatic closet, you understand what it's like to simply have no desire to buy a colorful item of clothing that you'll probably never wear. If a dress comes in black and five other colors, you are always going to go for the black version. And if you see an amazing piece in the store that is, unfortunately, brown or navy blue, you will leave empty-handed and bemoan the fact that it didn't come in black.
But that obviously doesn't mean you can't mix color into your outfits. Here are some of the ways I incorporate color into my mostly black wardrobe — while still wearing mostly black.
The easiest way to add pops of color to your look is simply to add color to your face. Whether it's a bright pink lipstick or a bold blue eyeliner, or coral blush or turquoise eyeshadow, a little bit of colorful makeup goes a long way, especially when the rest of you is draped in head-to-toe black.
Pictured above: (left) Hard Candy Walk the Line Liquid Eyeliner in Electric Slide, $6, Walmart | (right) BITE Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick in Palomino, $24, Sephora
Another way I like to add some color to an all-black outfit is by adding a colorful accessory, such as a belt or a scarf. Usually, I will decide on an accent color, like red or purple, and then I will pick out an item or two in that color to top off my all-black ensemble. For example, I might coordinate a red belt and a red necklace with a black dress, or I might throw on a scarf that has a purple print and wear a violet-toned lip stain. Another example would be to select a colorful or printed purse.
When I'm wearing a black dress, I like to change it up sometimes by wearing colorful tights. I have a drawer full of solid-colored tights in red, purple, blue, etc., as well as colorful open knits and fishnets, and prints like leopard and polka dot.
For some reason, even though hosiery occupies the same amount of real estate as pants, tights feel more like an accessory than an actual piece of clothing, which makes it easier to get creative when picking them out. The same can apply to a fun pair of leggings. Also, if I'm wearing pants, sometimes I will have brightly colored socks peeking out above my shoes — this works especially well with the cutout bootie trend.
Similarly to wearing colorful makeup, a bright mani really stands out against a backdrop of all black clothing. Even if you don't paint all of your nails with bright colors, an accent nail or two can add a little dose of liveliness to your monochromatic outfit. I used Sinful Colors nail polish to create the blue and orange look above (there might be some subconscious reasoning for that particular color scheme, since I am from Queens, and those are Mets colors).
While I scoffed at colorful printed dresses earlier, they're actually one of my favorite ways to add color to my outfits. The trick is to look for an article of clothing that has a base of black with some sort of interesting colorful print on it, and then layering it with your other black pieces. I love the pink safety pin print on this dress I got at H&M a few years ago, because it speaks to my personal aesthetic in a fun way, but isn't overwhelmingly colorful. I have many other pieces with colorful prints, ranging from subtle (like a colorful graphic), to full-on black-based florals.
Images: Author's Own