How to wear black

One of the most daunting things (well, really the only daunting thing!) about a colour analysis is the question of whether or not you will be “allowed” to wear black - or what if all your clothes are the wrong colours?

Well my friend, I’ve been there! I first had my colours done about 15 years ago and I was absolutely devastated to hear the news that i couldn’t wear black…. instead I was destined for a life of donkey brown. Clearly giving it that name didn’t make it particularly attractive. My dear friend Tanya (who we lost to cervical cancer in 2013) and I went to have our colours ‘done’ together and turned out to have similar colouring - luckily for her, she loved donkey brown… and purple.

Whilst lots of people can see that black has maybe become a little harsh for them, it can really be quite difficult news to hear if you live in black! Worse still if you don’t like the initial look of your colours at all. That’s why my colour consultations are as in depth as possible without being overwhelming - so that I can explain more about how your swatch works and answer any questions and even look at some items in your wardrobe to help you begin to train your eye - I want you to embrace your colours, not go away and shove your palette into a drawer.

Most people love their colours when they see how flattering they are, but there’s ALWAYS a question about how to wear black!

Knowing your colours is a great thing to know about yourself (even if you choose to ignore it) - it can help with getting your hair colour right, choosing makeup - even if it’s just to help you find the perfect red lipstick (ok, yes, I confess that was one of the reasons I wanted to understand more about my colours)! And if you are transitioning into your new colour palette, shopping can become fun again and save you money!

Rebecca’s wonderful advice has completely reset my thinking about clothes and colours. I’m actually enjoying shopping for the right things instead of grabbing the first ‘bargain’ thing that I like the look of which generally turns out to be a waste of money.



As for black, if black isn’t in a client’s palette and I can see that look of fear, I ask a simple question - are you wearing black because you LOVE it or are you wearing black because it’s EASY? If you truly truly love it and you wouldn’t feel like you without it, it’s a personality thing and that means it trumps the colour guidelines. As you were.

If it’s just because it’s easy and goes with everything, then we’re going to look at some alternatives.


Most colour palettes - even the warm and light ones - contain a version of black, a washed black or a charcoal. Breathe a sigh of relief! It probably won’t be your best neutral, but it’s there.


If you still want black to be a significant part of your wardrobe, then do consider this advice:

  • Keep it away from your face - wear a scarf or statement necklace in one of your colours, or even a lower neckline and bare arms to show more of your skin.

  • Wear more makeup - a bold lip and eyeliner will always help if you’re wearing a colour that doesn’t flatter you as much as it could!

  • Wear it at night - soft candlelight and dimly lit bars means that you can totally get away with it. Although if you are on a (first or second) date, then it’s not a very approachable colour, I’d opt for an eye or lip enhancer instead!

  • Wear it in a sheer fabric - that will lessen the intensity of the black and be more wearable.

  • Wear it on your bottom half - it’s not ideal as it will still draw attention to itself if it is unrelated to your palette, but I still sometimes wear black tights & boots, as I’m not a fan of coloured tights (I’d do that if I had the legs for it though)!

Read more here about why you need to know your best colours!