Can I Wear Black?

This is often the first question I am asked when people come to me for a colour analysis.  I’m really not in the business of telling grown women what they can and can’t do but, whilst many of us love black, sadly for some (myself included!), it doesn’t give the same love back.

Deeps, Cools and Clears will all have Black in their wallets; it’s a useful neutral. We give Lights, Warms and Softs ‘alternative’ Blacks such as Light Navy, Chocolate, Charcoal and Medium Grey (to name but a few). Depending on your palette, you can combine these neutrals with others tonally, or in contrast with other shades.

If Black isn’t in your palette, I will take time during your colour consultation to explain and demonstrate why it isn’t. I will show you how much more flattering your neutrals are on you and also how to combine them beautifully with other neutrals and accent colours from within your palette.  Once I have demonstrated this, most women no longer have any desire to invest further in a colour that they can see doesn’t do them any favours.

If you’re one of those women who can’t bear the thought of giving up Black though, or (like many) you need to continue wearing it until you can afford to replace it in your wardrobe, I will of course show you how to wear it in the way that will be most flattering for you.

Little adjustments can make the biggest difference. A neckline for instance. A V-neck is much more flattering than a crew neck, as the black isn’t directly under your chin so it will not reflect dark, ugly shadows upwards across your face. Consider fabric too; wool absorbs light whereas satin bounces the light making black seem even stronger. Therefore opt for light absorbing fabrics and even ‘washed’ black.

Of course the best way to ‘rescue’ your Black, is to combine it with one of your flattering colours, worn next to your face. Lights should keep this secondary shade, light and delicate (eg. Mint). Warms should aim to ‘warm up’ their Black up (eg. Lime) and Softs should aim to soften it (eg. Soft Violet).

I also suggest that you consider the jewellery that you’re wearing. Cool skin tones should opt for silver, Warm skin tones should opt for gold. If you aren’t particularly cool or warm, try pewter or even pearls.

Finally, make sure you’re wearing blusher and a fabulous lipstick in shades that flatter. All of our make-up is categorised into palettes  so it is easy to select your perfect colour.

Here you can see how fellow consultant, Lindsay, who is a Warm is wearing her black successfully in the second image.


The reason for this is:

  • It’s away from her face so that the black isn’t reflecting upwards and casting shadows
  • The fabric absorbs the light so softens the look. A shiny fabric would wear Lindsay
  • Lindsay is wearing a statement necklace with warm tones that draws the eye away from the black
  • She is wearing a peachy blusher and fabulous warm red lipstick

colour analysis, will not only show you your very best 42 shades,  but also teach you how to wear colour to achieve a flattering look.