Black, white, and take your pick

Black and white are a natural combination – opposites that look great together. Throw in any other colour and the combo still works. Literally any other colour. Try it, you’ll see. (Ok, orange might be a bit weird because black and orange evoke Halloween but even that is doable if you find the right shades.)



Black, red, and yellow

Yellow is sunshine, but red is fire. Black is power but red is command. Red and black together can be jarring because they compete, both trying to be dominant. But yellow tempers them both with a little whimsy, and a little fun. All together they are bold, but playful, and authoritative, but friendly.


Blue, black, and grey

Blue is calming, like an ocean breeze. Grey is moody, like a lingering mist. Black is somber, like an emo kid from the 90s. Together they are crisp, cool, and collected, and just like that emo kid, they hope to get noticed while simultaneously conveying a don’t-give-a-shit attitude.


Black and blue are intense

Black is strong, moody, severe, and intense. Blue is calm, intelligent, and serene but when paired with black it too can be fierce. A pastel blue may be playful but royal blue is passionate and bold. Such a bright jewel tone does not contrast with black, it plays with it cooperatively, evoking power and a take-charge attitude. This is the right look for a business function in the evening wherein you want to be instantly respected and taken seriously.


Green and black are serious business.

Green is natural, full, and lush, while black is powerful, demanding, and forceful. Both colours make strong statements, with green evoking optimistic prosperity. Black can also imply prosperity, as it is often employed by the rich to denote luxury – think black leather – but even in the most opulent settings, it obviously remains decidedly dark. There is an indifference to black, a certain better than thou quality that green cannot compete with, as green is so eager, and down to earth. Even in its most rich and vibrant jewel tones, green cannot supersede black’s inevitable dominance. But green isn’t red, it’s not trying to be a rival to black. It’s happy in its own lane, pleased to be a pop of colour in an otherwise somber palette, without trying to dilute that mournful mood.


Black and Pink are on the same team

Don’t be afraid of pink. People rarely wear it in office settings, probably because they want to be taken seriously and pink still carries a girly connotation, (though this wasn’t always the case) and of course, we still live in a society that considers all things feminine to be negative or at least inferior to masculine things.

Black, on the other hand is utterly gender neutral, and is, of course, itself a neutral. Black is classic, but equally modern. Let’s face it, if all the colours (and neutrals) were to fight for dominance, black would win, but pink would put up a good fight.


Black and White are not at odds

In light, black is the absence of colour. In pigment, it’s all colours mixed together. Either way black represents space, the infinite, never-ending, all-encompassing. It is dark and mysterious, and symbolizes mourning and evil in Western cultures. In clothing, an all-black outfit can be goth or elegant, depending on styling. Black is the easiest neutral to work with because it goes with absolutely everything. It is safe, and no-fault, while simultaneously evoking power and sophistication.

White symbolizes purity, innocence, and cleanliness. It is the opposite of black: in light it is all colours, in pigment it is none. White is a blank slate, an empty canvas. While black is the colour of death and mourning in western culture, in other cultures white fills this role, due to the idea of death being the beginning of a new life, of renewal.


Black is mysterious

Black is mysterious,
The taste of black is licorice
a good bad,
an acquired taste.
The sound of black is silence,
universal void.
The feel of black is emptyness,
universal void.
Black is introverted
Seen from afar,
feared and admired.

Black, Yellow & Red

Whenever I go to my local hot dog resto I like to wear a black pleather mini with a yellow tank and a red cardi.


The skirt says I’m hot to trot, while the shoes say I forgot I broke the right heel about a year ago and now I can barely stay upright.


The wide-brimmed hat says it’s that time of year when it’s super sunny but not excessively warm, hence the cardigan which is office-appropriate enough to fill out a TPS report, while the tank top assures you I’ll do so with a sunny disposition.


Blue, Black & Grey

Casual, chic, elegant. No one can take issue with blue, black, and grey. A somber palette perhaps, but one without fault. Appropriate for early spring, when everything is still dead, but beginning to regenerate.


A black turtleneck top with flouncy cap sleeves implies that I’m about to order a café au lait, even though I don’t drink coffee. This top is much more French than I am, even though I was born in France. It was given to me by an American because she felt she was even less French, and thus unable to wear it in earnest.


The grey A-line midi skirt with black floral detailing is perfect for a stroll through a second-hand book fair, but I read all my books on kindle, so I usually wear this skirt while plotting revenge.

Turquoise tights add a touch of whimsy to this otherwise classic ensemble, making the whole thing appropriately twee for a grown-ass woman with a Twilight Sparkle keychain.


The entire outfit says, yes, I am overdressed for brunch, but let me have this, I have so very little else.