Wearing All Black is Tough. Here are the Rules I Follow to Make it Easier

These rules aren't made to be broken

People think that wearing black is easy. In many ways they’re right. By sticking to all-black outfits you remove the chance of color clashes, and there’s no way that a loud pattern or color choice will come back to haunt you in a few years.

The problem, though, is that while you’ll never look bad wearing all black, you won’t necessarily look good either. There’s a high chance that your outfit will see you slip into the background, unnoticed.

For many, this isn’t an issue. But if you’re reading this article, we assume that you want to look great while wearing all black. You want an outfit that goes beyond ok.

This is definitely achievable.

I don’t wear all black often, but when I do I try to draw people’s eyes to certain parts of my outfit—without using color. I’ll experiment with textures, patterns, and other interesting details that take my outfit from plain to perfect. An interesting fit or material can be almost as eyecatching as a bright color when done right.

In this article, we’ll look at seven tips that will show you how to wear all black for men.

How to Wear All Black and Look Amazing While Doing So

1. Mix Up Your Textures

Black leather jacket jeans
By Arun Sharma via Unsplash

This tip is straight from style 101: mixing textures is a brilliant way to avoid a bland outfit. And it’s especially important in all black outfits when you can’t rely on color to make yourself pop. The image above is a brilliant example. The texture of the leather jacket contrasts with the jeans and the t-shirt. The light reflects off the relatively shiny leather in a completely different way to the matt jeans and sneakers.

2. Experiment With Fit

Black Shirt Jeans Boots
By Good Faces via Unsplash

Experimenting with fit is another way to way all black outfits stand out. There are many ways you could do this. Oversized coats, t-shirts, and sweaters are popular at the moment. When combined with skinny jeans, these pieces can create a unique silhouette. The outfit above experiments with fit well by rolling the cuffs of the pants up. It creates an interesting shape that is emphasized by the ultra-heavy boots.

3. Add Patterns Where Possible

Black Sneakers Check Pants
By Prayoon Sajeev via Pexels

Patterns are another subtle way to may black outfits stand out. The pants in the above image bring a unique detail to the fit. I guess it’s cheating slightly as the in order to have a pattern you will need another color. That’s why we’ve stuck to dark gray in the above image.

4. Go Big on Accessories

Black Puffer Coat Pants
By Good Faces via Unsplash

Accessorizing is a good way to add an interesting feature to an all black outfit. This could be something as simple as a black hat or scarf. If you aren’t completely militant about color, then carry a bag with a contrasting color like in the image above. This will bring some contrast to your outfit, while ensuring your outfit is still all black.

5. Don’t Be Afraid of Jewelry

Black T Shirt Jeans
By David Martin via Unsplash

Jewelry is another way to add character to an outfit. Watches are the easiest way to so but it’s not your only option. In the image above, the model’s gold chain attracts the eye, adding detail to an otherwise plain outfit. Both gold and silver look good with black so you have plenty of options.

6. Keep an Eye on the Details

Black Jacket Jeans Sneakers
By Samuel Lopes via Unsplash

Most pieces of clothing have many details that can add something unique to an outfit. Zips, pockets, buttons, soles, logos, and more can all add some character to your outfit while sticking to the all-black theme. The thick zip on the above jacket stands out. As does the white on the soles of the shoes.

7. Add a Splash of Contrast

Black Wool Coat Pants Sweater
Black Wool Coat Pants Sweater

Sometimes a splash of contrast can make all the difference in an otherwise all black outfit. The collar in the above outfit is a good example of how a slight brush of white can improve an otherwise an all black outfit. Is it technically still an all black outfit? Probably not. But the idea is the same and surely that’s what counts most.

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Duncan Elder

Duncan is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Boardwalk. He's a menswear writer who has spent the last 15 years developing his own sense of style, which lies at the cross-section of mid-noughties indie and Uniqlo-inspired minimalism.

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