The Controversy of Black

How To Wear Black if it's not in your color range, 
Standish "How Not to Wear Black" (such a great little book)
  • do not wear black in a polo neck or crew neck, i.e. up against your face
  • if you are going to wear a black top, wear it in a V or low neckline.  that way your natural skintone will reflect up against your face
  • make sure you are wearing the right makeup colors for your skintone, this will help you cope somewhat with wearing a color that doesn't bring out the best in your skin
  • wear scarves that ARE the colors that suit you
  • wear colored jewelry, pearls or large amounts of your metal, so that reflects up to your face
  • put a colored stole, shawl, cape or pashima if wearing a LBD
  • if wearing a black jacket put on a shirt that works against your skin, with collar over the jacket collar
  • keep black to below the waist if possible, with flattering colors above the waist
  • wear a boyfriend blazer in a good color over the black
  • if buying a new LDB, consider a two toned dress combining a good color

Andrea Pflaumer

  • Bold Winter types can wear any kind of black they want.
  • Soft/Subtle types, if they are going to wear black at all, should pick only flat non-reflective black in woven cloth like linen or soft weave.  Instead they really should choose dark gray.
  • Spring-like Bright types, she says can wear black with the right makeup and other colors.
  • Rich/Warm types should be very careful how black interacts with their specific skintone and should choose ivory, cream, khaki, dark gray instead.

Jennifer Butler suggests that if you are going to wear black and it is not in your palette, wear it with your hair color.


Black is not in your palette but it can create a striking contrast if you have ash-blond hair. The secret is to keep black away from your face by choosing open necklines and wearing one of your key colours near your face. Softer fabrics like knits, jerseys, tweeds, corduroys and silks will absorb the light and soften the effect of the black. Your little black dress should be strappy or have a plunging neckline. Wear it with a coloured necklace or drape a scarf in one of your colours across your shoulders. Don't overpower your look by wearing a strong lipstick and heavy eye make up unless you're going to a glamorous event.
Black is a major part of your wardrobe and looks good on its own. Whether you wear black for work, at the weekend or to a party, the choice is yours, because it will always work for you. You can choose black in any fabric or texture, from leather to fine chiffon, as long as the garment is in the right style for your body shape, scale and proportion.
Black is not your best colour and therefore not in your colour palette. For best results combine black with one of the warm colours from your colour palette and wear black away from your face. If you wear black on its own, choose a low neckline, or wear a coloured scarf or necklace to help lift the black. Also note that softer or textured black fabrics will be more flattering, as this type of material absorbs light, making the black appear softer. Avoid the temptation to team it up with white.
Black is a key colour in your palette. You may wear it with many other colours but watch out - it may also cast a dark shadow under your chin, in which case avoid wearing black directly under your chin. Also, wearing black in a soft weave e.g. tweed, velvet or knit will absorb the light and therefore look less harsh on you. Try to brighten up your black with sparking jewellery or metallic accessories.
Black looks striking against the strong, dark tones of your hair and sparkling eyes and is one of the main colours in your palette. Your personal colouring is contrasting so having contrast in your clothing is key. Black is a fantastic colour to bring out the contrast by combining it with bright, light or unrelated colours e.g. red, white. Also, a black and pure white combination is always a stunning combination for day and night, on any occasion.
Black is not in your palette and should be worn always away from your face. Choose fabrics that are textured or soft, so the black is less harsh. Your little black dress needs to be soft and draping, with a low or plunging neckline to which you can add jewelery or a scarf, to distract from the black near your face. A dress that's low cut, off the shoulder or sleeveless will be a better choice than anything with a high neckline because it puts enough space between your face and the dress."

... but hey, don't listen to me, EXPRESS YOUR TRUTH! Jane