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Dos and Don'ts for Wearing Black Dresses

Tulika Nair
Do you wear too much black? Did you just frown at that and think, there's no such thing as 'too much black'? Well, I concur. But if you want to do no wrong when you wear black, follow these dos and don'ts.
Coco Chanel, style diva extraordinaire, once said, "Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all."
Wearing black makes you look slimmer, trendier, more elegant, and a host of other brilliant adjectives (too many to mention here) that will do wonders for your ego. Personally, I think that once you wear black, you just cannot go wrong. It is one of those rare colors (unlike neon and yellow) that suits almost everyone.
But still, occasionally, you come across this person who would be doing everything wrong with the dress they wear. And that too, when wearing something as classic as black.
How you ask? Well, it is a common misconception that once you wear black, you are automatically dressed well. But the fact of the matter is that ignore these dos and don'ts that tell you how to wear black dresses, and you're in for bucket-loads of trouble. Here's how to avoid that little black hole.
Going monochromatic? DO experiment with silhouettes.
I have said it before and I will say it again, a monochromatic look is classy in a way no other combination of colors manages to be. So, if you're going the all-black route, I say kudos. But even then you need to stand out from the rest, and for this, you need to add a little oomph with innovative and trendy silhouettes and cuts.
Feel like black is getting boring? DO play with fabrics.
Black can often be that color that allows a sense of ennui to set in. It can seem dull. And a great way of avoiding that deplorable state of mind is to use different fabrics in the same outfit, or wearing a black outfit in a fabric normally not used.
This all-lace dress with nude-colored lining is the perfect example of experimenting with fabrics to create a captivating outfit.
Leather is unsuitable for summers? Ensure your fabrics are season-appropriate.
Since we were talking about fabrics, there is another important point to take into consideration. Black is one color that absorbs heat and makes you feel warmer, but this very quality can become intolerable during summers.
This means that your choice of fabric will have a lot of effect on your comfort. Keep fabrics like wool, fur, leather, etc., for the winters, and opt for lighter fabrics in the summer months.
Wearing black head-to-toe? DO add a talking point.
Black is a beautiful, elegant color that is very strong. But it can also be boring and dreary. To avoid the latter and enhance the former, ensure that you always have a little extra in your outfit. Something that lifts it up.
This can be in the form of color, texture, fabric, or anything else that suits your fancy. Personally, I love how the fur coat in this ensemble creates this fiercely dramatic look.
Experiencing a sense of dowdiness? DO always wear fitted clothes.
Now you may think that wearing fitted clothes translates to wearing tight clothes, but that could not be further from the truth. What you need to do is wear black in a fit that follows your body lines and gives you some structure. Loose, ill-fitting clothing in black often ends up looking drab and frumpy, which is definitely not the look you're aiming for.
Think your clothes lack a punch? DO accessorize, accessorize.
I think all the color black needs is proper accessorizing, and you can take it from night to day, summer to winter, all with panache. Pick a little bling for a night out into town, pastels for office wear, statement jewelry for a formal occasion that demands your best, and bright solids for when you're feeling a little down.
The right necklace, earrings, jackets, shoes, etc., can make your outfit go from blah to wow!
See the lint on your black clothes? DON'T wear them longer than necessary.
We all have that favorite piece of clothing. That one tee or shorts we can never throw away. That shirt or top or dress that we'll wear when we just don't know what to. Well, if you're doing that with black, it's time to set it aside.
Black clothes tend to fade faster and more prominently than any other color, and if there is anything worse than wearing black clothes terribly, it is wearing faded black clothes.
Looking a little haggard? DON'T wear black too close to the face.
Black is the color to wear when you want to look slimmer. But if you don't want to have the imperfections on your face on full display, then avoid wearing it near your face. Why not? Because doing that will enhance your wrinkles, the sunken areas around your eyes will look more pronounced, and worse, you'll look older than you actually are.
What you could do is wear a colorful stole around your neck in order to reduce the effect of black.
Black is a beautiful color that can single-handedly elevate you to the ranks of fashionistas par excellence. And if you wear it keeping these rules in mind, there will be absolutely no stopping you.