How to wear all-black

It’s a tricky look to pull off, but do dark dressing right and you’ll reach a new level of style

This week, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower hit cinemas. Matthew McConaughey co-stars alongside Idris Elba as the villain of the piece and, despite the less-than-favourable reviews the film is receiving, the Oscar-winner’s wardrobe is attracting rave reviews. Which is odd, as McConaughey plays ‘The Man in Black’.

Dressing in all black is notoriously tricky. Head to toe in the darkest colour, everything from successfully layering to accessorising accordingly becomes harder. The colour can make you look washed out, you lose shape and even if the shades are a little different, your whole outfit can look wrong.

But still, there are men who have pulled off this palate throughout history – including the inimitably cool Johnny Cash – so there must be a way of going dark and staying cool. With summer fizzling to an end, here are our top tips for removing any colour from your clothes, and wearing all-black.

The joy of dressing in one colour is that, if you get the particular shade right, the texture doesn’t matter. You won’t be able to clash textures when your entire outfit is black, so go as adventurous as you want. We’re talking black leather, black denim and even black velvet. Mix things up, layer your wardrobe and use this opportunity to pair items you wouldn’t normally if they were in different colours.

Yes, black tie is one of the most striking and iconic outfits in history, but the tuxedo hinges on the sheer contrast between the black and white. Take out this relief, and you’ll end up with a hard block of sheer colour – which can very quickly swamp both your figure and erase any of the good cuts and tailoring that makes suiting so suave to begin with.

Especially when it comes to your big items – footwear and overcoats, to name just two – it’s imperative that you invest in quality. Some items will fade after one or two washes if they aren’t well-made, which will leave your all-black outfits as more of a mismatched mess of washed-out greys – not a good look for anyone.

The heat is your worst enemy when you dress in all black. The sun will soak into your clothes and make it almost unbearable. So, especially during these summer months, make sure that your fabrics match the mercury, and are light, breathable, and won’t leave you sweating for your style.

When it comes to dressing in all black, one of the cardinal sins is dressing in all black. That may sound confusing, but you have to add small splashes of colour to your outfit – mainly through the use of accessories – to highlight how dark the rest of your dressing is. Try a pin, a belt, or even a pair of socks to throw in a dash of colour.

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