Now that we are truly immersed in fall weather and heading toward winter, black is taking a leading role in my daily outfits. But let’s not travel down the “black is unexciting” path. Instead, I’d like to explore the pizzazz of not-so-basic black.
Black can be svelte and elegant and can also provide the canvas for fun and funky. I’ve featured a few looks below that all start with basic black skinny jeans (AG Farrah skinny in overdye black). Use the looks here to inspire some new ways to style what you already have or to create a shopping list for an outfit to perk up your wardrobe.
All Black = Svelte and Sophisticated
In this first look, above, a simple, monochromatic theme of all black is understated yet elegant. Black jeans (AG Farrah skinny style) are paired with a lightweight v-neck sweater. The topper is one of my favorite pieces – a tailored, lightweight, mid-length coat. I had been searching for just this style coat about 10 years ago and came across it at Macy’s a day before their July 4th sale. Although I knew I wouldn’t be wearing it for a few months, I was at the store first thing on July 4th to grab it at the sale price! I’ve never regretted making a special trip on the holiday for it. (I wish I knew what the specific style is called, because I love it, but I haven’t been able to find an actual name for this coat style.) I’ve accessorized this outfit with black suede Sam Edelman Kinzey suede kitten heel booties (super versatile and the low heel makes them really comfy) and a black Coach bag. The silver pendant (Stella and Dot Rebel pendant) and long earrings give the look some dimension.
Note: Links below include clothing and accessories in this post or similar items. You can shop the links or just browse the items. When links are clicked, I earn a very small commission from Shop Style Collective, a platform that allows bloggers to monetize links.
Classic Camel and Black
The pairing of camel or tan with black is classic. It can be a very casual look, like this one, or elevated to dressy by accessorizing with heels and a dressier top. I’ve always loved the look of black pants with a camel color top. It reminds me of my once-upon-time dream car – a beautiful black sports car with a tan convertible top. It’s a rich look that can take you from work to a shopping date or to dinner. Most of the pieces I’m wearing here have been long-time residents in my closet: Banana Republic wool cardigan and leopard print loafers (love them – they are linked at end of this post), Louis Vuitton Speedy handbag (my 30th bday gift from my husband), and one of my favorites – gold ginko leaf earrings earrings that I’ve had since the gold jewelry craze of the late 80’s. To finish the outfit, I’m wearing my recently acquired reversible car coat from Banana Republic. Unfortunately, the camel/gray style is currently sold out, but it’s available in a beautiful rich black that reverses to a dark gray.
Add a Statement Piece to Your Black Column of Color
A statement topper is a great way to add something fun to your all-black look. I love to incorporate a little surprise in my style, and although faux fur vests have been a popular trend for several years, they are an accessory that still stands out. This faux fur vest is one of my favorite pieces – and I scored it at a garage sale about 8 years ago for $6!!! It’s from The Gap and it’s reversible with a plain cotton fabric on the other side (I’ve never worn it that way). I keep looking for an updated faux fur vest to replace – on that has a shaggy style – it but so far haven’t found one that makes the cut. The black incorporated in this faux fur vest really complements the black top and jeans.
Check out a few of the faux fur vests linked below.
Here’s the “fun and funky” look! Accessorize with fun pieces for a laid back vibe. Add a colorful bag, like the red patent one in this look (bought at a thrift store some years ago). Fun shoes are always a great way to put some spark into a look – it’s like adding an exclamation point to your outfit. These Banana Republic Dalmatian print flats are one of my favorites. I love the black and white contrast and the Dalmatian print is just cheery and uncommon (in fact, I wasn’t able to find a Dalmatian print shoe to link below). Using the “column of color” principle here (all black, including the belt) is a slimming and flattering silhouette, and accenting with the fun handbag and shoes turns the monochromatic look from subtle to playful!
Create a Laid Back Look with Black Basics
This final look takes the black jeans base to easygoing. A denim shirt has become a classic casual. The denim shirt has earned its place as a strong accessory piece. Again, with a dressier shoe – maybe a black pump or patent leather – this look could be elevated for the office or a dinner date. With the Superga metallic mesh shoes (now on sale and linked below), this outfit becomes perfect for errand running, shopping, girls’ lunch. The handbag is one I’ve had since the 80’s, and I just can’t part with it. I love the unusual cylindrical shape – I can never use it without remembering a former male coworker who always said it reminded him of a bocce ball carrier!
I hope these looks have given you some ideas for styling black jeans or pants and also using what you already have in your closet.
Check out the links below for curated pieces from these looks.