WIW: back to blacks

Black isn't my favorite neutral, and it's not among my most flattering colors. Nevertheless, it remains a mainstay in my wardrobe. Sometimes I just want the toughness or depth that it brings to an outfit. A lot of times I end up with black by default (as in my Eileen Fisher skirted leggings and harem pants--I wanted the styles, and black was the color choice), and sometimes I actually choose black from among the available color choices (such as my black flat booties by Munro).

Here are a few black-infused outfits from the last several days.
1-2 (worn to work): black and white yarn-dyed floral knit sweatdress (made by me); black ponte leggings (Halogen); silver and pave long pendant (Lucky); olive leather moto jacket (AllSaints); flat black booties (Munro, Lexie); light gray backpack (Rebecca Minkoff).

3-4 (worn to work): black windbreaker taffeta dress with knit sleeves  and wired collar (Sun Kim); black leggings (Lysse); black and gray blurry puzzle print mesh knit shrug (made by me); gray piano wire necklace and bracelet); gray suede heeled booties (Paul Green, Delgado); not pictured, black satchel (Elliott Lucca, Olvera); mauve and black reversible rain coat (Mycra Pac).

5-6 (worn for teaching and partial day off): wine skinny jeans (Madewell, skinny skinny in cabernet)--yes! more wine!; black, red, gray, and ivory starry-print tee (made by me); black and white marled knit long cardi (Bobeau); black flat booties (Munro, Lexie); not pictured, black satchel (Elliott Lucca, Olvera).

And a hair update: photos 5-6 are post-trim. Stylist and I agreed we're going for a longer bob, just past my chin. We'll see how we like it when we get there.

Thanks for looking! I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Maneera replied 4 years ago

    Blacks, grey and wine - this WIWs has my favourite colours! I love outfit #1! The dress, the jacket, the backpack - it's simply fantastic!

    Love the artsy vibe of outfit #2 as well.

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    I'm with you in wearing black even if it is not flattering. I can't get away from it, so I try to stick with my best shade of black, at least near the face. You look great in each of these outfit. To my eye, the black looks just fine.

  • Brooklyn replied 4 years ago

    I feel exactly the same way about black. But I agree with Joy, you look great and I think it suits you just fine. I especially like the dress in no 1/2 (you are so clever to make it). And the dress/shrug combo in 3/4 is so dramatic and  interesting. A wired collar? Who would have thunk it. YLF!

  • Astrid replied 4 years ago

    I've also given up on eliminating black from my wardrobe. It's just too practical and it looks great with my favourite colors. But I try not to wear it next to my face and only in smaller doses (no black coat for me). I think you look great in your outfits here, the black doesn't bother me!

  • jenanded replied 4 years ago

    Well I think the black looks fine on you! Your hair looks great too...

  • dakotacheryl replied 4 years ago

    Another wonderful set of photos. I love your sense of style and how you combine the items in your wardrobe. Black looks great on you!!

  • Sara L. replied 4 years ago

    These outfits are all great!  They all have so much drama.

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    I love the way to do black because it's broken up with texture, tone and pattern. I have to run, but it's all killer Sharan, and #4 is Killer to the power of Killer. 

  • bonnie replied 4 years ago

    Your black outfits look great on you and I love your dresses and the way you styled them.

  • Beth Ann replied 4 years ago

    I adore the dress in #2 --- practical and fab.  I also appreciate the way you use texture to soften the black.  These adaptations keep the black from wearing you, and creates a flattering look.

  • VANIITAS replied 4 years ago

    I like the reversible raincoat. It looks like it's white paint on wool and crackled a bit. Also paired with the dress, it's super nice.

  • Susie replied 4 years ago

    You have such wonderful pieces, Sharan, and do a marvelous job of making really interesting, flattering outfits with them. I love how you've used black here. I used to worry about how much I love black but now I embrace it! And i love it incorporated with other colors and textures as you did so well here. YLF!

  • approprio replied 4 years ago

    Nope, can't ditch the black. Second outfit is just wonderful! As ever, I'm consumed with (semi)professional curiosity about the home couture. Is the dress in the first outfit bordered with rib knit?

  • UmmLila replied 4 years ago

    Excellent! I love that taffeta jacket in particular. I have a lot of black and love to wear it, even though I know that navy is a better neutral for me.

  • Jenn replied 4 years ago

    Like you, I have a complex relationship with black. I often find I'm drawn to it, even though my style leans to a more earthy, natural look that's better expressed with other neutrals. I've finally decided that, whenever possible, I should remember to pair my black with some brown or cognac to soften it up. It looks like you're doing the same thing with gray in your wardrobe.

    I LOVE the sweatshirt dress you made in photos 1-2. It looks both dramatic and comfortable, and the artiness of it definitely appeals to me. Also, you have the best booties, and your hair looks great!

  • Aida replied 4 years ago

    Oooh. I really like these looks Sharan. They all have your hallmarks -- interesting cuts and interesting textures with moooody neutrals. COOL collar on the dress in 3/4!

  • shevia replied 4 years ago

    Black patterns look fantastic on you. I love the pattern of the tunic and jacket. YLF - love the idea of the longer bob too.

  • Firecracker replied 4 years ago

    Thanks, everyone for your votes of confidence and thoughts on ways we make black work for us.
    Joy, interesting! I don't really think about shades of black, although I know they exist. My black packable coat is a very soft shade of black, and I quite like it, so maybe I stumbled onto a "good" shade for me there.
    Angie, wow--thank you!
    Vaniitas and UmmLila, thank you! The jacket in 3-4 is a mesh-knit shrug. (The reversible jacket isn't shown, and I don't have a Find for it yet.)
    Approprio, the dress in the first outfit does have a contrast trim, applied like ribbing, but it has a smooth face with a French terry back (the terry side doesn't show). I used the Bristol dress pattern from The Sewing Workshop.
    Jenn, mixing black with cognac and brown works really for you. It does seem I like to lighten black with gray--good observation! I hadn't thought about it that way.

  • Carole replied 4 years ago

    I think you wear black well...I love all your outfits..they all have interesting elements and textures! Chic and modern:)

  • Deborah replied 4 years ago

    How could I not open a post titled Back to Blacks!!  I love these outfits.  The mix of textures, patterns and fabrics makes these all so interesting.

  • Cococat replied 4 years ago

    I think you look great in black, very stylish! My favourites are 1-4 because they have quite an 'artistic' feel.

  • Staysfit replied 4 years ago

    I think you look great in black. My favorite is 3/4. I think we're bag twins. I have the same backpack, and I have been carrying it everywhere this fall. It's the perfect size for my use during a work day.

  • Style Fan replied 4 years ago

    These are all great outfits.  I am partial to the wine jeans outfit.  You do look fine in black though.
    I also have a complicated relationship with black.  I try not to buy black but sometimes it is the only colour opinion (leggings, workout gear) that I am willing to wear. 
    Back to Black is a song I love by Amy Winehouse. 

  • rute replied 4 years ago

    I LOVE black! I stayed away for a season or two but this season I returned to black! Can't help, it makes me feel chic and feel good!
    Fabulous looks! You wear those long coats so well! I'm envy! Love the mix with grey and burgundy!

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