Category Archives: Fashion

Women’s and Men’s Shirts Have Buttons on Different Sides

Once upon a time long ago, your sex determined your fashion choices—women wore dresses and men donned pants. But the evolution of fashion has progressed to a less patriarchal mindset, and nowadays, men and women are free to wear anything they please. (Here are 51 fashion tips personal stylists won’t tell you for free.) Except for one gendered fashion trend that has stood the test of time—buttons sewn on the right of men’s shirt and women’s shirt buttons on the right. There are many different theories circulating, but it’s most certainly not because one sex writes with their right hand more than the other.

Some historians suggest that this ancient fashion trend may originate from the days of daring sword fights and knights in shining armor. “I think it’s important to question which time period we’re talking about, since shirt and jacket buttons are a relatively new phenomenon,” Chloe Chapin, costume designer and fashion historian told Today.com. “But as a general rule, many elements of men’s fashion can be traced back to the military.” Throughout history, men often tucked their swords or firearms into the left side of their jacket so they could easily access their weapon with their right hand in case of a dual and quickly button up with their left without sacrificing the use of their often dominant right hand in a fight.

As for women’s shirts, the elite may be to blame for the right-sided button fashion statement. Buttons were once deemed a status symbol that only the wealthy could could afford in the 13th century. Since most affluent women paid maids to dress them, it only made sense for buttons to be sewn onto the left side so the servants could button the dresses up with their right hand. (By the way, here’s how you can spot a piece of quality, well-made clothing.)

Whatever the reason may be, it looks like the left-sided and right-sided buttons on men and women’s shirts are here to stay.

Layer Clothes to Stay Warm This Winter

Dressing for winter is always tricky because you want to be warm enough to beat the cold, but not so warm that a 10-minute walk to the bus leaves you drenched in sweat. This is where layering comes into play.

The most important rule of layering for cold weather is to start with the thinnest layer and work your way to the thickest. Think of the first layer as your base, and it should always be fitted to the body, like a snug-fitting, long-sleeved top, and, depending on how cold it is, maybe even leggings. A stretchy, sweat-wicking fabric is ideal, but silk works too. “The best way to stay warm is to wear something close to the body and for it be thin and comfortable, so you can layer and not feel like a stuffed sausage with your other layers on top,” says Susie Carlson, a Los Angeles-based stylist. “The layer touching your body is going to keep you the warmest and allow the rest of your outfit to fit better.”

 Once you have the foundation, build the rest of your outfit for the day: If you’re looking for something casual, try a chunky sweater with jeans. If you’re headed to work and need something more professional, Carlson recommends a silk blouse with a wool blazer that you can take off if you get warm. You can skip the leggings and opt for tights instead, which can be worn under a dress, skirt, and even pants.

The right fabrics make all the difference. Janis Shaffer, senior lecturer in the department of apparel merchandising and interior design at Indiana University, recommends wool, polyester synthetic polar fleece, down goose, cashmere, micro-fiber, and Gore-tex, because these fabrics trap heat, but are also sweat-absorbent and breathable. “A knit polyester microfiber (with Lycra) shirt to fit under your fashion piece is like a second skin to start, then a cotton flannel shirt or wool sweater, topped by a Polyester fleece is good insulation under an outer shell jacket made of polyester or nylon, which helps with wind-stopping, or Gore-tex if you’ll be in snow or wet weather,” says Shaffer. Fabrics to avoid in the winter include cotton, linen, and rayon, as they allow body heat to escape.

Thicker winter fabrics don’t tend to need to be washed as frequently as thinner summer fabrics, but if your clothes start to smell, follow these tips to de-stink them, no washing required.

When it comes to accessories, both Carlson and Shaffer say a big wrap scarf is a must because it prevents heat from escaping from around your neck, it can be worn a million different ways, and it’s a great fashion piece. And be wary of weird accessories that may seem useful at first, like sleeves that hook over the thumbs, which could get in the way if you work with your hands. Jazz up your winter wardrobe with these accessorizing tricks.

Style Shorts in a Professional Way

I’m a student doing an internship in a nanoscience lab. My area has a really hot and humid climate (we’re having 95 degrees right now, I can’t imagine how August is going to be…), and the internship takes all of summer.

I’m a pear-shaped girl, and I cannot wear skirts or dresses as they are really impractical under the mandatory Breaking Bad-esque lab suit, nor full-length pants because I might melt in the heat.

The best option is to choose shorts, but how can I wear them in a way that is both internship-appropriate (there is a lot of office work too, and weekly meetings) and flattering?

Thank you very much,

Heat-wave Squint.

Our Response

Dear Heat-Wave Squint,

While styling shorts in a professional way might seem hard at first (after all, shorts aren’t really what we normally think of when we think “work/internship-appropriate”), it’s actually not so different from styling a skirt.

As long as you’re willing to put the time into finding shorts that are more polished than your average pair of cut-offs, you’ll see that finding the right shorts for your situation can be a breeze.

Having said that, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind while on the hunt for professional-looking shorts:

  • Pay attention to fabric: This is one of the most important things to consider when looking for shorts to wear to work, as you don’t want to choose a pair of shorts that’ll make you look like you’re headed for the beach! Stick with dressier materials such as cotton, flowy crêpe, linen, or even chambray. Also, this is probably obvious, but holes and distressing are a big “no” when it comes to choosing work-appropriate shorts.
  • When in doubt, go looser: Many pairs of shorts today are made to fit rather tightly, so, when in doubt, it’s always a good idea to choose a pair that skim your legs rather than cling to them. Not only will they keep you cooler than their skin-tight counterparts, but shorts that flow away from the body slightly tend to be flattering and appropriate.
  • Consider length: Another important point to keep in mind is the lengthof the shorts that you’re wearing. It’s a good idea to think in terms of the length of skirts you’d wear in a professional setting, and then apply that guideline to the shorts you’re considering. Personally, I’d recommend going no shorter than mid-thigh length in a business-casual or casual work environment.

Now that that’s out of the way, keep scrolling to see some professional outfits featuring shorts that I have put together for you:

How to Wear Shorts to Work: Outfit #1

 

Although this outfit is a little on the formal side, it is still very much appropriate for work, and it shows that shorts don’t necessarily have to look casual.

These black shorts from Ann Taylor are basically the Summer version of classic black trousers, and would look amazing on any body type due to their mid-thigh length and ultra-flattering cut.

For this look, I paired them with a lightweight sleeveless ruffled blouse, which would look great either left out or tucked in with a simple black belt.

Since you’re working in a lab and are therefore probably required to wear closed-toe shoes, I found you some cute loafers, which also add a nice pop of color to the outfit.

As for jewelry, these pretty flower earrings and interesting cuff bracelet add just the right amount of sophistication.

Lastly, since you mentioned that you’re required to do office work and attend meetings as part of your internship, I thought I’d include a trendy-yet-professional-looking blazer that you can throw on once you are no longer wearing your lab suit.

How to Wear Shorts to Work: Outfit #2

 

The chambray shorts in this outfit are a little more on the casual side, but they are made work-appropriate thanks to the more structured nature of the rest of the look.

Start by tucking in a gorgeous golden-yellow top into the shorts to show off their high-waisted silhouette. The shorts actually do a great job of subtly showing off your legs, thanks to the shorts’ length and the way that they flare out a little.

Next, add some boho jewelry, including some amazing fringe earrings, a beautiful bracelet, and a dainty layered necklace.

Finish off the look with an elegant pair of d’orsay flats, and don’t forget to take along a lightweight blazer (this one’s a linen-rayon blend) to dress things up a little for your non-lab-related internship duties.

How to Wear Shorts to Work: Outfit #3

This feminine outfit with shorts for work is perfect for those days when you don’t feel like putting a lot of effort into your look, but still want to look polished and professional.

To achieve the look, all you have to do is tuck a loose-fitting sleeveless blouse into a pair of white sailor-style shorts.

Next, add some girly jewelry, like this lovely ombré necklace, cute bow earrings, and delicate floral cuff.

 

If your style is classic but fun, then this is the look for you! I chose this blue floral-print top for its subtly playful floral print, and because I think it’d look great tucked in to these classy and practical shorts.

I really like the perforated and scalloped details on this pair of white loafers, which would also look great with a variety of different outfits.

In terms of jewelry, I decided to go with a bright pair of beaded earrings, a pearl bangle, and a long lariat necklace, all of which add a polished touch to the look.

For the finishing touch, add a classic black three-quarter-sleeved cardigan for when you’re not in the lab.

Fashion Upgrades That Make You Look Expensive

As long as you’ve budgeted for it responsibly, a quality handbag is worth the investment. Look for one with a classic design (try a structured top-handle bag for the office and a cross-body bag for the weekend) in a neutral color. Once you’ve got your dream bag, keep it shiny by using Windex on patent leather and unscented body lotion on all other leather. To keep structured bags in top shape, re-stuff them before storing.

Add a fresh fragrance

No outfit is complete without a luxe fragrance to match. Find a scent you love and apply it to your skin (never your clothing or hair) at major pulse points, advises perfume and fragrance expert Sue Phillips. “Heat rises, so it’s important to apply perfume to points on the lower half of your body in addition to places like your wrists, elbows, and the nape of the neck,” says Phillips. For a scent that lasts, spritz your ankles, behind your knees, and between your thighs. To avoid mixing too many fragrances, treat your skin with an unscented moisturizer or almond oil before applying perfume.

Wear weighty accessories

Inexpensive jewelry is the ultimate impulse buy, and when chosen and styled thoughtfully, it can elevate any outfit. Opt for clear crystals over plastic gemstones, and choose darker metals over excessively shiny ones, advises WhoWhatWear. Additionally, choose metals that have some weight to them instead of ones that look and feel flimsy. For a classic look, add a metal or leather watch. Don’t be afraid to rock something with an ethnic or vintage vibe. Jewelry is the ultimate statement and conversation piece. Try these tips for cleaning jewelry at home.

Collect classic coats

No matter what you’ve got on underneath, a fabulous jacket makes an instant outfit. Focus on finding quality closet staples that will last you forever. A belted trench, black leather jacket, raw denim, and a navy, camel, or black pea coat will never go out of style. Collect them all and you’ll never find yourself with nothing to wear. On the other hand, here’s what you should finally toss from your closet.

Pay attention to detail

If you spot a loose thread, give it a snip. Need to get rid of pills on a sweater? Use a disposable razor to shave them away. Got a pulled thread? Gently stretch the fabric back into shape and use a sewing needle to push the snag through to the inside of the sweater. (Click here for more tips to make your favorite knits last longer). And obviously, never wear an item of clothing with a stain, hole, or missing button. To choose pieces that will stand the test of time, don’t miss these hidden signs of quality clothes.

Take it to the tailor

A quick nip and tuck can make a $30 dress look custom made. You’ll want to make sure your new piece has the correct hem (the ankle or an inch below for jeans and trousers and right above the knee for most pencil skirts) and sleeve length (just below your wrist). Here’s how good tailoring and other tips can make you look 10 pounds thinner.

Use a steamer

A steamer is easier to manage and faster to use than an iron. To keep your clothes wrinkle free, fold or hang them as soon as they come out of the dryer, and give them a steam the night before wearing. Don’t waste time and water on the hot shower/steamy bathroom method—it’s fairly ineffective.

Avoid earthy colors

Mossy earth tones can look drab and dated. For a more luxurious look fill your closet with vibrant jewel tones and pastels. As for patterns and prints, leopard spots are a classic. Most others will make you look dated.

Go for minimal makeup and neutral nails

When it comes to makeup, you’ll never go wrong with a dab of concealer, rosy cheeks, mascara, and a berry lip. For expensive-looking hair, try a sleek blowout. And don’t forget your nails—no polish is better than chipped polish. Here’s what your nail color reveals about you.

Match your shoes to your bag

Because your shoes are constantly hitting the pavement, it may not be worth it to splurge on pairs you wear every day, but it is important to keep shoes in good shape. It’s safe to spot treat most shoes with dish detergent and warm water. For scuffs on patent leather, try a dab of petroleum jelly. To look extra polished, match your shoes to your handbag.

Tuck it in

A tucked-in shirt with a skirt or trousers always comes across as polished and classy. To give your outfit more of an edge, try a monochrome look in black, white, or navy.

Wear Lace Up Ballet Flats

Over the past few seasons, brands have been taking inspiration from the beautiful world of ballet: from sleek bodysuits to whimsical tulle skirts, it is now easier than ever to channel your inner ballerina!

One ballet-inspired trend that has caught my eye in particular, though, is lace-up ballet flats, specifically flats with ribbons that tie around the ankle like ballet shoes. And, ever since I saw the gorgeous high-end versions by designers such as Miu Miu and Ballet Beautiful, I knew I had to get a pair for myself!

Luckily, more affordable retailers such as Zara and ASOS have started selling their own versions of lace up ballet flats, making it easy for everyone to participate, regardless of budget.

Keep scrolling to see four ways to style lace-up ballet flats that will inspire you to incorporate ballerina fashion into your wardrobe.

Lace-Up Ballet Flats: Outfit #1

 

Whether you’re running errands or meeting some friends for brunch, this laid-back but trendy outfit is the perfect way to integrate tie-up ballet flats into your everyday wardrobe.

I chose these pretty pale-pink ballerina flats because they look very much like traditional ballet shoes, and would look great with just about any outfit.

As for the rest of the look, simply throw on a casual t-shirt dress, grab a chic white bucket bag, and accessorize with dainty jewelry; this delicate cuff bracelet (which, at the time of writing, is 40% off its sale price of $29), this boho star-and-moon lariat necklace, and these cute stud earrings are perfect for adding some subtle sparkle to your ensemble.

Lastly, don a straw panama hat to protect your face from the summer sun.

Lace-Up Ballet Flats: Outfit #2

 

Who says that flats have to be casual? If you have a special event and don’t like wearing heels, a pair of satin lace-up flats are just as dressy; not to mention that they’re infinitely more comfortable!

For a fun look that’s sure to stand out (in a good way!), pair these muted blue-green ballerina flats from Topshop with a girly bright pink fit-and-flare lace dress. (Note that this one is a splurge, but if your style is feminine and you have a lot of events coming up this Summer, I’d say it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.)

Next, add some unique pavé curved bar studs and a gemstone braceletwith a modern-antique feel.

Pick up a pale neutral-toned clutch to keep the attention on your shoes and dress, and finish off the look by swiping on some pink matte liquid lipstick and a subtly shimmery baby blue nail polish.

Lace-Up Ballet Flats: Outfit #3

This outfit is the perfect example of how to wear ballerina flats to class, if you’re in school for the summer semester, or even just out and about. Plus, this look, with its unique denim lace-up flats, is a great way to test out denim accessories if you haven’t already.

Start off by tucking a sophisticated ruffled blouse into a pair of high-waisted denim shorts.  Add a pretty bow belt to emphasize your waist.

Now on to jewelry: I chose this chic statement necklace because it’d look great against the blue tones in the outfit; gold crystal-embellished marquise earrings and a cool hook-detail bracelet add further visual interest to the ensemble.

Put on a pair of classic black sunglasses and grab a goes-with-everything faux leather bag, and you’re all set to go!

Lace-Up Ballet Flats: Outfit #4

 

I’ve saved the most dramatic look for last, and, like Outfit #2, this ensemble is an example of how to wear ballet flats for a night out; in fact, these gorgeous gold-and-black ballerina flats look perfectly at-home when paired with a cocktail/black-tie outfit.

Just put on an elegant lace-and-tulle midi dress. (Like the dress featured in Outfit #2, this one is a little on the expensive side, but the fact that you can pair it with almost any accessories and wear it year-round makes it a smart splurge.)

Next, add a vintage-looking flower bangle and some classy pearl drop earrings.

A low-key black clutch is always a safe choice, considering that the tie-up flats I included in this outfit are more extravagant-looking (although feel free to choose a more boldly colored clutch if you’re feeling brave).

Finally, paint your nails in a classic true red for a little pop of color.

Information About Leggings as Pants

When it comes to fashion, styles come and styles go. However, there’s one trend that’s here to stay: leggings. Yes, leggings can indeed be worn as pants. The trick is knowing how, and where, to don them stylishly.

What Legging Styles Work Best?

According to designer and TV personality Lauren Conrad, pulling off the “leggings as pants” look in the best, most fashion-forward way possible, is an art form. “Leggings, like most trends, can look great if done tastefully,” says Conrad. “I personally love to throw on a pair of leggings if I have to run errands, take a long flight, or when I’m doing something active.”

Conrad believes a classic, opaque black pair of leggings is always a safe bet when dressing. She likes the more athletic styles with ribbed details—like the celeb-favorite leggings from Alo Yoga—which are “cool and forward, too.”

 Bright colors and bold patterns that adorn some leggings are absolutely welcome in the gym, says Conrad. “When it comes to wearing your leggings as daywear, however, stick to more simple details such as zippers, bows, ripped knees, and other simple touches.”

What Should You Wear Leggings With?

Glamour.com says there’s a “time and a place” for leggings as pants. And, If you truly must wear your leggings as pants with a shirt, the shirt must cover your bum—no exceptions! Well…maybe. “If you do decide not cover your bum then you should follow a few rules,” says Nisonja McGary, an LA-based celebrity stylist. “Make sure the leggings you choose are thick and not see-through.” Also, says McGary, make sure the shirt or top you are wearing is loose. “You don’t want to walk around like you are about to go to a nightclub. Leggings are meant to be comfortable so having on tight clothing top to bottom is overkill.” She adds, if you wear a crop top with leggings, “make sure it’s a loose crop top, that your leggings are thick, and that the outfit is right for your body type.” (Here are fashion tips to dress ten pounds thinner.)

To avoid panty lines around the bum caused by more traditional underwear, McGary advises women to wear a thong or seamless underwear. “If you are very comfortable and the leggings have an absorbent fabric you can go commando.”

As for donning leggings to work, it really depends on your job and the office vibe. If you work in an office with a formal dress code, it’s probably best to avoid leggings-as-pants at work. However, if you have a casual job, says McGary, then go ahead and wear leggings. “To keep it professional pair them with a button up top and blazer. Opt for heels, as they’re dressier than boots.”

Mostly, advises McGary, treat leggings like skinny jeans if you wear them outside the gym. “Tuck them in your boots with a boxy sweater. Or with a sexy button-up and pointy heels. Don’t make them the focal point of your outfit; they belong in the background.”

What to Wear on Casual Friday

I consider myself lucky to work in an office with relaxed dress code. Dressy jeans are cool, polished tee-shirts are cool, modest sundresses are cool – which makes dressing for work a breeze most days, even though I like to err on the dressier side of casual.

That being said, I’ve worked in offices where the dress code was less laid-back, too, and some of those offices had a “casual Friday” dress code policy that I avoided out of terror and confusion. But just because I lived in perpetual fear doesn’t mean you should!

Participating in casual Friday is a great way to break out of your work-wear fashion rut and show off a bit of your ‘off-duty’ style. And, let’s be honest – there’s 100% nothing wrong with being overdressed, but it’s no fun to be stuck in a button-up when everyone around you is chilling hard in their casual-Friday-sanctioned tee shirts.

So, what does casual Friday dress entail? It depends, honestly.

The best resource for this would be your company’s employee handbook or dress code, which should list what is and is not allowed on casual Friday. Another good resource would be your team leader, who can probably give you the skinny on what they expect of you.

Also, lowkey it never hurts to abstain for a week or two and observe how your peers interpret the dress code. This will give you an idea of what flies, what doesn’t, and how that can translate to your wardrobe and personal style.

Casual Friday Outfit for Casual Office

A lot of business casual offices have casual Friday policies that allow you to wear items like jeans and open-toed heels, and I am firmly on team “live your life” – wear jeans on casual Friday if your office lets you!

Just stick to darker washes without a lot of embellishments or – ahem – rips, no matter how trendy or stylish ripped jeans are rn. (Unless your office is cool with it — maybe you work at a fashion publication? — in which case…go for it!)

And while double denim can be divisive, I actually super love this look for an office, especially when paired with feminine accessories and classic touches, like nude nail polish, a red lip, and a couple of dainty layered bracelets.

If you’re worried about wearing a denim shirt and jeans to work, you can always swap the blouse for a button-up, or throw on a light cardigan, sweater, or blazer.

Casual Friday Outfit for Creative Office

 

Creative offices generally have a more lax dress code than their conservative counterparts, but the expectations are higher than that of casual offices.

That being said, you are probably more likely to get away with trendier or edgier pieces in a creative office as long as they are appropriate and modest – meaning you can try something bold like flashy statement earrings or a sassy (but tame!) statement tee. Just make sure you don’t have any important client meetings that day!

I especially love the look of regular workwear like a textured pencil skirt and cardigan paired with a statement tee. When paired with a couple of structured accessories and choice beauty items, you have a look that won’t look out of place in an office or on a fashion blog.

Casual Friday Outfit for Conservative Office

 

Even the most conservative offices may have a casual Friday policy, and depending on what is and is not allowed by your company’s dress code, this one can be the toughest to nail.

A good rule of thumb for stricter dress codes is to swap out one component of your normal work uniform for a more casual (but still polished) piece, like the striped tee-shirt shown above.

A striped tee normally is more of a boozy brunch staple than a workwear piece, but when paired with tailored cropped pants in a conservative color and a feminine but structured blazer, the striped tee takes on a cool, creative editor vibe.

Wear Satin in Everyday Life

When you think of satin, the first things that may pop in your head are PJ sets, luxurious pillows, or your mom’s old wedding dress. Rarely do you think of satin as a fabric for day-to-day clothing!

Well, I am here to prove you wrong. Satin is showing up everywhere, from heels to shorts to bomber jackets.

And though I admit that satin is not the most flexible fabric in the world (it can be damaged easily, and stains can be difficult to remove), it is beautiful nonetheless, and more and more designers are willing to take a chance with it.

If you’d like to see how best to wear satin without looking like your grandma or like you’re ready to go to bed, check out my favorite ways to wear satin below.

Satin Outfit 1: Fancy Joggers

Okay, so joggers are my favorite article of clothing of all time (I wear mine constantly), so it’s no surprise that these black satin joggers caught my eye immediately. Not only are they extremely comfortable and soft, but the sheen that is produced as you walk gives them a little somethin’ extra compared to the normal cotton kind.

To add some glamor, slip on these black Steve Madden sandals and pop on some pretty bauble earrings. Pull your hair back into a loose ponytail to make sure you see them! Finally, stow away your stuff in this chic black leather handbag, and you’re ready to rock n’ roll.

Satin Outfit 2: Fancier Camisole Top

This ah-dorable black satin camisole is a perfect top if you want something lightweight yet lovely (the lace detailing makes it especially dainty!)

Pair this top with some blush wide-leg pants to give it a softer feel. The high waist of these pants will fit perfectly over the cami to give you an hourglass shape.

Slip on these edgy black booties with a super chic clear heel and grab some rose gold bangles to continue with the light pink color scheme. To finish off, twist your hair into a ballerina bun and grab your trusty pink lipstick. *Mwah!*

Satin Outfit 3: Fanciest Skirt

 

This sage satin skirt is absolutely gorgeous and will make any lady look like a princess. Pair it with a white off-the-shoulder crop top to show off your lovely shoulders.

Slide on these ivory suede mules from Urban (cute but low to the ground!). Carry all your necessities in this chic gold clutch.

Finally, curl your hair so it’s cascading down your back, and add some pearly touches: a gold pearl necklace and matching pearl earrings. You’re a stunner.

Wear Millennial Pink Right Now

If you haven’t seen or heard, a certain shade of pink known as “millennial pink” or “Tumblr pink” has taken over just about everything from fashion to architecture, graphic design, and even hair over the past year.

Although millennial pink has been trending all year, it’s still absolutely everywhere and doesn’t seem to be losing popularity.

Its popularity has spawned countless think pieces on gender neutrality and commentaries on culture and of course, millennials. So let’s pay tribute to the hue with some millennial pink fashion.

Here are three outfit ideas on how to wear millennial pink right now.

Look #1: Hats Off

 

Pink is generally an easy color to wear, but if it isn’t a big part of your wardrobe, here’s a trendy and fun way to wear it – a millennial pink baseball cap. It’s a good way to hide a bad hair day while elevating your outfit game.

Pair the cap with a basic summer outfit formula of a t-shirt and high waisted shorts along with white sneakers. To really live up to the “Tumblr pink” name, use some popular makeup products like Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, Anastasia Dipbrow for brows on fleek, and matte liquid lipstick for that real Tumblr baddie vibe.

Look #2: Head to Toe

 

For a more professional and sleek look, wear different variations of the millennial pink color head to toe.

A muted nude-pink top (blazer optional) with blush-colored cigarette trousers and nude heels elongate your body for the perfect monochromatic look. Accessorize with a black clutch to create a nice contrast between the dark and light colors of the outfit.

Look #3: Dress it Up

 

For a dressier vibe, try a drapey tie-waist millennial pink dress and black gladiator sandals for a versatile look.

Keeping your accessories in the same color family as the warm light pink keeps everything cohesive, so try a long gold necklace and a nude and gold crossbody purse. Do your hair up in the popular half-bun to keep your look effortless and low key

Wearing All Black

When people think of wearing all-black, they probably first think of the goth aesthetic.

Wearing all-black, by this thinking, probably means you only listen to screamo-death metal, have black hair, and may or may not be obsessed with vampires and other gothic myths.

I’m here to debunk that assumption.

While it’s more acceptable today to wear all-black than it was a couple of decades ago, there’s still an expectation that black will be worn sparingly, for formal events or the rare funeral.

About a year ago, I realized that I feel most comfortable, the most myself, when I wear black, grey, and other dark colors. Looking at my closet, there’s maybe two items that are brighter, purchased mostly because I felt (and was told) that I needed more color in my wardrobe.

For some reason, it felt like it was wrong to wear black-on-black or black-on-grey five or six days out of the week.

I’ve since changed my stance.

While I do have a lot of (dark) red in my wardrobe, too, it’s not unusual for me to wear just black or grey. And I love it.

There are good, practical reasons for having lots of black in your wardrobe, and I will detail two of them below.

First, though, I must emphasize that the most important reason for having a lot of black in your wardrobe is that you want to wear a lot of black. Because colors are good too! They’re just not for everyone.

. Black goes with everything.

This should go without saying, but everything goes with black.

You’ve probably heard that blue and brown don’t go with black, but that rule is A. outdated (see our article on it here) and B. specific to only certain shades of these colors. (If you need help mastering these color combos, check out this article.)

The best part of wearing black all the time is that I can accessorize however I want. This provides a lot of opportunity to dress an outfit up or down depending on my needs. The same outfit could be casual, semi-professional, or semi-formal depending on what I’m wearing it for.

While this could also be said about outfits with more color, black provides for a versatility that other shades just can’t offer.

 

2. Black serves functional purposes.

A few weeks ago I was a cameraperson for a small-crew documentary film, and for one of the shoots, the director told me to wear black if I had it.

I had to laugh. Oh, I have black, I thought to myself. Another reason to love my favorite shade.

The other benefit of black is formal wear (see outfit example above). Black is good for job interviews, gallery openings, first dates…pretty much anything.

While the outfit on the left (above) is perfect for a school day, a casual coffee date, or a chill weekend, the outfit on the right could be worn for something higher-end — and it’s the accessories that make the difference.

With black, your clothes become multipurpose. The same two pieces could be styled in three or four different ways, and suddenly it’s like you have four outfits, from just a top and a pair of pants.

While this same flexibility could be had from other t-shirt/pants combos, black has the added element of being understood as automatically classy, and also automatically sexy.

When you wear black, it’s like you get extra cool-points, without trying harder.

Another benefit of black? It’s almost never see-through, so for those of us who prefer to dress modestly, black is dependable. (Besides, see-through shirts are a fashion-don’t.)

3. Black can express your personality.

Honestly, my biggest reason for wearing black isn’t just practical or for accessorizing. It’s that I legitimately feel most comfortable — and most confident — when I wear dark colors. I feel like the best version of myself when I’m in my all-black looks.

I couldn’t say why, exactly, but even if there was no other reason for it, my closet would look the way it does now. Black is just “me.”

So whether you share my affinity for black, or you just want to shake up your wardrobe, I encourage you to include more black. Together, we can change all-black from being a goth thing to being a normal person thing.