Fall is back, and with it comes a lack of bright colours and an abundance of neutrals. And while you may think black is reserved for winter, funeral or the closet of Kelly Cutrone, there’s ways to keep the ultimate tried-and-true colour (or lack thereof) interesting. Here’s how to make black more than just a safe bet:
This season’s hottest fabric screams edginess, so regardless of your affinity for all shades dark, you’ll look the part of someone serious both about fashion and looking chic. A leather bomber is one of the few pieces that can be paired with almost anything – whether it’s a floral print dress or oversize sweater – and succeeds in complementing any look with its classic aesthetic.
If you’re already set jacket-wise, you can also rock a leather mini and pair it with a grey tucked-in oversize cashmere top or loose-fitting long-sleeve tee. Worn with solid black tights, you can embrace an edgy look but maintain office appropriateness – leather no longer needs to define “biker chic”.
You may think embracing the minimalist aesthetic in black may be the ultimate fashion cop-out, but with the return of simple lines and geometric cuts, a dark shade will amp up any dress, skirt or top, making it less trendy and more classic. Victoria Beckham’s fall line showcased 60s-esque cocktail dresses, and worn with printed tights and ankle boots, you’ll look less a safe player and more an extra on Mad Men.
The same can also be said for the cigarette pants returning to shelves of most big chains, with their vintage look working perfectly alongside oxford flats and oversize dress shirts. “Less is more” remains tried and true: a black bottom may seem the natural choice, but often simplicity gets the most attention.
To properly balance minimalism comes statement pieces, and unlike their classic counterparts, feathers, sequins and metallic hardware keep a black base interesting and eye-catching. While a black coat adorned with feathers may seem impractical, its neutral shade makes it wearable on almost any occasion, while fringe-embellished jackets give an otherwise outdoor basic a worn-in vintage feel.
The same rule applies to sweaters and dresses. While a basic black sweater will take you from morning to night, a vintage piece with retro embellishments will add attitude to an otherwise simple piece. And while you don’t want to go overboard with accessories (let your statement speak for itself), paired with leather gloves or a leather bomber, you’re rocking two looks in one without becoming a slave to fashion.
The easiest way to make a black piece shine is to complement it with an accessory that stands on it own. Meaning? While you may think a couple strings of oversize pearls or a statement bag (read: leopard print or faux snakeskin) may be simply just those, they’ll take a basic black dress, sweater or t-shirt to whole new heights.
Shoes will also do the trick, adding a much-needed kick to any ensemble that runs the risk of looking blah, and with endless boot styles (thigh-high, ankle or somewhere in between), moccasins and embellished flats in-demand, what may have previously been considered something safe will quickly become high end.