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Do You Fill Your Closet With Black Because It’s Easy?

Black, black, black and more black. That’s what you have in your closet. Admit it (I promise you are not alone), you wear black out of habit. It’s easy, it’s slimming, there’s tons of it out there and it has a reputation of being chic and versatile. Phew! With that much going for it, who wouldn’t want an entire wardrobe in black?

The problem is that while black is certainly all of those things, I don’t see anything there that says anything about it looking fabulous on you!

Black is:

  • Easy…check
  • Slimming…check
  • It’s everywhere…check
  • Chic…well, maybe
  • Flattering on you? Hmmm…

With all the black hype out there it’s easy to assume you look great in it and so when it comes to buying clothes you think the more black the merrier. But, hold up a second. Before you drown in a sea of black (oh, yes, and a smidgeon of gray) clothes, let’s rethink your love affair with black.

Here are two critical things to consider before concealing yourself head to toe in black.

  • Other Colors Look Great, Too

Even if you look great in black, designers do make clothes in other colors and some of those will look beautiful on you. You don’t need the entire rainbow of colors in your closet. You just need a few exquisite colors to support and complement you. If you don’t know what those colors are, now (before you do any spring shopping) is the time to find out. If you don’t have a well-trained color consultant near you, then you can always start with the four colors that look great on everyone: forest green, deep periwinkle, deep teal and watermelon.

4 best colors

  • Your Personality Affects Your Color Choices

The other day I was shopping with a client who looks terrific in black. Her natural coloring (dark hair, light skin) embraces black, but if she dresses ALL in black, it squelches her fun, brightly-spirited personality. Head to toe black feels heavy on her UNLESS it has some fun design elements to it, like polka dots, a loose weave or cutouts that let her skin shin through.

Later that same day, I was shopping with my redheaded client. Her peaches and cream complexion complemented her hair and, as a result, black looks very intense on her. Lots of solid black seriously overwhelms her. That said, she will be presenting at a conference later this month and we did get her this amazing Joseph Ribkoff black coat jacket with sequins.


It’s perfect. Why? Because the black speaks to the intense part of her personality that we dubbed ‘a little bit dangerous’ and the stunning style of the coat along with the sequins perfectly addresses the part of her that is elegantly alluring. Everyone in the store commented on how gorgeous she looked when she had it on. Her energy matches the intensity of the black and the sparkle softens it and allows her elegant nature to shine, too. It’s a bit of a sensitive balancing act, but in this case it paid off.

Then there is Diane. Two of Diane’s inner beauty words are delicate, natural beauty and fun. As you can see below, neither of those words is evident when she wears black..


Photo Credit: Meri Bond Photography

Granted, the before outfit is not exactly ‘fun’ anyway, but when you see her in an equally business-like outfit in colors that support her, her delicate, natural beauty shines through and allows her ‘fun’ side to be seen more easily. Not to mention that she ‘feels’ more fun in the lighter outfit. The intensity of black swallows her up—both her physical being and her inner essence. This is not to say that she always has to wear light colors, but she must be very specific about the dark colors she wears (shades of navy, brown and deep teals are lovely) and how they interact with other colors. Too much contrast easily overshadows her. (You can see more pictures of Diane on my website.)

Are you wondering if anyone looks great in all black? The answer is absolutely! Heather Dominick is a perfect example. She’s a brilliant, intuitive, “EnergyRich” coach who rocks black. That’s because one of her inner beauty words is ‘stillness.’ Black has that qu ality of stillness like no other color and when Heather wants to embody the essence of stillness nothing supports her more than wearing all black. When she adds a touch of shimmer, sparkle or shine, she adds a feeling of ‘effortless shining’ to her presence—another of her inner beauty words—and the effect is magical as you can see here where she was on stage at one of her live events.


The bottom line is that if you are filling your closet with black, solely (rather than soul-y) because it is easy, slimming, versatile and everywhere you look, then you are missing two of the key ingredients critical to creating a personal style you adore—colors that look gorgeous on you and colors that support you at a soul level.

Think about this the next time you shop. Pay attention to how you look and feel in black as compared to other colors.

That’s what Pam K. did as she shares here: “Your lessons are still working on me every day: I saw a top I loved that had GREAT styling and was so true to my words…except it was in black. I ordered it anyway, thinking I could go for black since I loved the style and cut. In fact, it didn’t sing on me like it did on the model and after wearing far more flattering colors recently I found I couldn’t stand the morbid black! So back it went.”

If you do decide to buy a black garment, make sure you are doing it because you look and feel amazing in it, not because it is easy. Really tuning in to what feels great will serve you in the long run and before you know it you will end up with a wardrobe you adore. How do you make black work in your wardrobe or have you eliminated it altogether?


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Ginger Burr is a fashion stylist and personal shopper serving clients worldwide from metro Boston.