In Defense of Wearing All-Black
…Like, every day.
When people think of wearing all-black, they probably first think of the goth aesthetic.
Wearing all-black, by this thinking, probably means you only listen to screamo-death metal, have black hair, and may or may not be obsessed with vampires and other gothic myths.
I’m here to debunk that assumption.
While it’s more acceptable today to wear all-black than it was a couple of decades ago, there’s still an expectation that black will be worn sparingly, for formal events or the rare funeral.
About a year ago, I realized that I feel most comfortable, the most myself, when I wear black, grey, and other dark colors. Looking at my closet, there’s maybe two items that are brighter, purchased mostly because I felt (and was told) that I needed more color in my wardrobe.
For some reason, it felt like it was wrong to wear black-on-black or black-on-grey five or six days out of the week.
I’ve since changed my stance.
While I do have a lot of (dark) red in my wardrobe, too, it’s not unusual for me to wear just black or grey. And I love it.
There are good, practical reasons for having lots of black in your wardrobe, and I will detail two of them below.
First, though, I must emphasize that the most important reason for having a lot of black in your wardrobe is that you want to wear a lot of black. Because colors are good too! They’re just not for everyone.
1. Black goes with everything.
This should go without saying, but everything goes with black.
You’ve probably heard that blue and brown don’t go with black, but that rule is A. outdated (see our article on it here) and B. specific to only certain shades of these colors. (If you need help mastering these color combos, check out this article.)
The best part of wearing black all the time is that I can accessorize however I want. This provides a lot of opportunity to dress an outfit up or down depending on my needs. The same outfit could be casual, semi-professional, or semi-formal depending on what I’m wearing it for.
While this could also be said about outfits with more color, black provides for a versatility that other shades just can’t offer.
Shirt – H&M; Pants – H&M; Converse – Nordstrom Rack; Chokers – Miss Selfridge; Bracelet (left) – Billabong; Tote – South Moon Under; Heels – Amazon; Pendant – Charming Charlie; Bracelet (right) – Accessorize; Bag – Miss Selfridge
2. Black serves functional purposes.
A few weeks ago I was a cameraperson for a small-crew documentary film, and for one of the shoots, the director told me to wear black if I had it.
I had to laugh. Oh, I have black, I thought to myself. Another reason to love my favorite shade.
The other benefit of black is formal wear (see outfit example above). Black is good for job interviews, gallery openings, first dates…pretty much anything.
While the outfit on the left (above) is perfect for a school day, a casual coffee date, or a chill weekend, the outfit on the right could be worn for something higher-end — and it’s the accessories that make the difference.
With black, your clothes become multipurpose. The same two pieces could be styled in three or four different ways, and suddenly it’s like you have four outfits, from just a top and a pair of pants.
While this same flexibility could be had from other t-shirt/pants combos, black has the added element of being understood as automatically classy, and also automatically sexy.
When you wear black, it’s like you get extra cool-points, without trying harder.
Another benefit of black? It’s almost never see-through, so for those of us who prefer to dress modestly, black is dependable. (Besides, see-through shirts are a fashion-don’t.)
3. Black can express your personality.
Honestly, my biggest reason for wearing black isn’t just practical or for accessorizing. It’s that I legitimately feel most comfortable — and most confident — when I wear dark colors. I feel like the best version of myself when I’m in my all-black looks.
I couldn’t say why, exactly, but even if there was no other reason for it, my closet would look the way it does now. Black is just “me.”
So whether you share my affinity for black, or you just want to shake up your wardrobe, I encourage you to include more black. Together, we can change all-black from being a goth thing to being a normal person thing.
What about you?
Do you wear a lot of black? Or do you prefer to wear brighter colors? What do you like about your preferred color scheme?