Many people are known to gravitate toward the color black. We wear it to boardroom meetings, funerals, and, most of the time, lazy days when we don’t have the energy to get dressed. This is due to numerous factors: Black looks good on everyone, goes with everything, and is nearly always acceptable. Key word: Nearly. You should never wear that LBD in your closet on a few times, it turns out. Here, stylists explain when it’s best to wear something black. The color choice for certain occasions and circumstances is either rude, unsuitable, or unworkable. Instead, go for a pastel, pattern, or a stronger color.
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5 Times You Should Never Wear Black
1. Daytime Celebrations in the Summer
During daytime summer events like christenings, luncheons, bridal showers, and engagement parties, it’s advisable to choose a color scheme that aligns with the light and cheery atmosphere. Grace Van Cleave, a personal stylist, recommends steering clear of black, which might seem heavy for such occasions. Opting for neutrals like cream, navy, or pale gray is suggested. If you’re averse to wearing color, consider fun floral or watercolor prints, along with pastel hues and jewel tones.
2. A Wedding
While it’s well-known not to wear white to a wedding, the choice of black may also need consideration. Dana Lynch, a personal stylist, points out that black might not be the cheeriest choice for a celebration. Instead, she recommends solids or floral prints to set a romantic mood. Light colors are particularly suitable for outdoor weddings, keeping you cool. Dark neutrals like navy or eggplant in summery fabrics can also provide an elegant look. Exceptions include black- and white-tie weddings or events where black attire is specified.
3. An Event on a Hot Day
Wearing black on hot days is cautioned against due to its heat-absorbing nature. Ana Roberts, founder and editor-in-chief of Top Trends Guide, notes that dressing in black could lead to discomfort and even overheating. Additionally, dark colors attract insects, adding to potential nuisances, especially for outdoor events.
4. A Celebration of Life
Contrary to the tired advice of wearing only black to funerals, Grace Van Cleave suggests alternative options for a celebration of life. If a bold color feels too attention-seeking, subdued choices like blue, burgundy, deep purple, or brown can offer a fitting and respectful alternative. Considering the deceased’s favorite color, as seen in instances like wearing purple for a loved one who favored the hue, adds a personal touch. Individual judgment is key, and adherence to dress codes may vary based on the deceased’s preferences.
5. A Job Interview
While black is often perceived as sleek and professional for interview attire, Erin Houston, co-founder and stylist at ‘wearwell’, suggests exploring other neutrals for traditional workplaces or experimenting with bright tones in casual settings. Introducing a blazer in a bold color or pattern can make a memorable impression and convey confidence. Opting for a plaid or tartan print in a neutral hue offers a distinct and memorable look for interviews.