Wednesday, November 30, 2011
We haven't done a reader question in a few months, and I got a great one from Ashley that I felt needed some serious attention because it's something I've struggled with too. Here's her question!
"I don't know if you have every done a post on wearing black and brown together. It has always been something that I am afraid of doing (don't know why). I tend to wear more black than brown but I have a really really cute pair of brown booties that I wish I could wear more."
Ah, Ashley, I feel your pain. I too have purchased things that I wish I could wear more so I'm always struggling to Tim Gunn that bad boy and make it work. In general, it's pretty rare that I pair brown with black but mostly because I'm a color girl, not because of any lingering fashion rules or anything like that. And like most color combos, it's totally fair game when doing it right.
The problem with wearing brown and black together is that it's usually done sloppily and without any direction. As long as you put a little thought into it and don't dress like you're shopping at Walmart at 3 a.m., you can totally pull of a brown and black combo. It's totally sophisticated and is awesome for the winter, when colors tend to be darker and richer anyway.
Can I make you a believer? Here's some ways to make black and brown look on purpose.
Try a Pattern
Vero Moda leopard print top, £22
H M slit skirt, £25
Platform pumps, $33
Clutch bag, $28
Monsoon yellow gold earrings, £7
One of the easiest ways to wear brown and black together is to find a pattern that already has the two colors. It makes the combo a no-brainer since you can wear brown or black and the pattern acts as the unifier for the entire outfit. Leopard is a perfect example... just not a leopard bustier, people. This loose top is perfect because it isn't so va-va-voomy. This skirt is also amazing. I tried it on when I was H&M on Saturday and am kind of kicking myself because I didn't end up buying it. WHY!? Anyway, this top would look just as cute with a brown skirt and the shoes tie in both colors without being too matchy. WIN.
H m cardigan, £15
Hollister Co. faded jeans, $40
Gabriella Rocha buckle boots, $89
Ziba gold earrings, £20
Zara leather belt, $36
Genuine leather belt, £32
Carly Hobo Black - HOLD EVERYTHING - Purses, $44
Another way to try brown and black together is to wear more casual versions of the color. Instead of a chocolate brown, a cognac or tan pairs better with black. Then, look for textures that are casual so that the contrast between the two colors isn't so stark. A knee high slouchy boot with a warm cardigan? Love! Also, you'll notice that the tank underneath has both tones to tie everything together. I have a black tank with brown bows on it and I love how versatile it is... it literally matches everything.
Dorothy Perkins belted dress, £30
Kate Spade fishnet hosiery, $28
H M leather ballerina flat, £13
Dorothy Perkins gray handbag, £20
Pieces chain jewelry, $11
Wet Seal tahitian pearl jewelry, $9.50
Codello vintage shawl, £4
When wearing black and brown together, they don't have to be the main event. By pairing a bright dress (jewel tones look awesome with brown AND black) you can then pull both colors into the accessories, so the look is WAY less obvious. I love the idea of doing a scarf and flats to tone down a serious dress. When wearing brown and black together, keep your accessories in the gold family.
So is this something you would try? Or are you a strict one-neutral-per-outfit girl? Or guy? I don't discriminate!