Are you new to my Frugal Fashionista series? Find out how I dress in designer clothes for less. Yes, for mere pennies on the dollar, all outfits are less than $15, and did I mention…second hand?)
As delighted as I am that summer is approaching, I mourn putting my new-to-me favorite black jacket away. “Stolen” from a yard sale for only $3, the unique collar and flattering fit let me throw it over anything when the weather was cool, and it looked polished.
As I share my love of black core wardrobe pieces, a reader mentioned that her husband thinks she wears too much black.
Hmm…is it possible to wear too much black? Many would answer with a resounding “yes,” and yet I know that I fall prey to that tendency as well.
How can my reader begin taking baby steps towards adding more color into her wardrobe without spending a lot at one time to buy new pieces? Start by mixing in a few color accent pieces with the basic black that you already own.
Let’s use my same $3 black jacket as an example, and be daring – add in some hot pink accents like this $3 Goodwill shirt or $1 yard sale shoes (any bold color choice would work). Don’t worry, you can be as subtle as you want for starters.
Remember when I was on the hunt for an asymmetrical sweater? I layered my black with green, and it’s a perfect blend of color and neutral.
This picture below hasn’t left my camera card in months due to the blurriness, but this is a perfect example of how a great accessory piece (necklace) can go from casual (above) to dressy (below) with this $3 little black dress.
But if I were trying to help the reader with her quandary of too much black, I would recommend highlighting some fun colored accessories with that little black dress. Any of the options below paired with black would be remarkable.
Those green bangles would add such a great pop with this black yard sale shirt and green yard sale jacket. Just one more way to slowly add in color to your already existing black shirt, and my readers husband wouldn’t for one minute complain about too much black.
And of course, my ever favorite statement piece – the scarf. You know I think any color scarf will dress up a black top, shirt, sweater, dress or blazer. You can see this turquoise scarf in my One Dress, Wear it Three Ways post, or if you aren’t sure where to even start with tying a scarf, I have done two videos on How to Tie Scarves.
Just this past Saturday, I hit a fashion haul in a really nice neighborhood. I picked up both of these amazing pieces for only $2.
I love how this gorgeous pink shawl can dress up what is seriously a simple black t-shirt. Add long earrings, and one can go from weeding the garden to elegant in 30 seconds or less. 🙂
Another $2 wrap – this picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s quite elegant with a subtle gold threading running through the fabric.
And just to prove that pictures aren’t always what they seem. I wasn’t kidding above. I was a gross, grimy mess at the time of these pictures, but if you put a beautiful shawl and earrings on, it just proves how easy being a frugal fashionista can be with the right second hand treasure.
So, let’s help my reader out.
Do you think one can wear too much black? What are some suggestions you would throw her way?
I have to say that I think there can’t be too much black in a wardrobe. I think many people don’t take advantage of it’s slimming affect on the torso. I think you have captured a very great way of mixing black in while still retaining colorful accents. I especially like your green and black combo with the ruffle edge sweater. I think the necklace you chose really sets off the outfit.
Great job and great post.
I think if you are wearing black with no added color 5+ days a week, that might be a bit much, but as long as you have some pop of color (even small), I think it’s fine to wear something black almost every day. You have great ideas for adding color. I need to work on slowly adding some accessories myself. Thank you for sharing! These are some of my favorite posts of yours.
By the way, this is the first time I’ve seen your new site design and I love love love it!!! I don’t know how new it is, because I think I’ve been looking at your blog in email or on my phone for a while, but it’s great!
The pink shawl is gorgeous! To really dress it up, you can put an antique broach on it. Adore!
I definitely think you can wear too much black, especially when you own a yellow lab! He/she is by far your best accessory but how do you keep all that fur off your black clothes? We adopted a yellow lab a few months back and I’ve just about given up wearing my beloved black because of the fur issue.
Oh my – I almost laughed out loud and then tried to look at my pictures to see if there was dog hair all over my black. I am so with you. We have three yellow labs. Yes, that dog hair is definitely not the most becoming accessory I have. 🙂
Loved all your “finds” …you are a inspiration!
Totally off the point, but is anyone else finding the new lay out to be less than user friendly? I love, love your blog but the new lay out is much more time consuming to find new material. I loved when the new material was at the top instead of scrolling through various topics to find that one new post. I’m sure that there must be some advantages to the new system but I am not a fan.
Glad you found the side bar widget. It lists the last five posts, plus the post at the very top is always my latest post.
Hey, I just found the side bar that has the recent posts. Much easier to scan throught those.
I love black and use it almost every day, from something small to a suit. I have three pairs of black pants that are wonderful to change tops out with.
I love your Fashion posts! You hit it right on the head. You always look fantastic and just right. That’s a hard thing to do I find now that I’m over 40. I use your ideas for inspiration! Normally at work I have to wear a uniform, so when I’m at home I love to dress fashionably or at least attempt too!
Thank you! Congrats on the yard sale wraps! They are beautiful–the pink especially!
Black is, by far, my favorite wardrobe color. I think black on black can create overkill and I agree with your suggestion to add pops of seasonally appropriate color. I also believe that pairing white with black will liven up the outfit as well. Balance is key in my fashionista book! 🙂
Love that pink shawl. So feminine! I have a lot of black skirts for the winter. I will offset them with pretty tops. Then, I’ll put on a black blazer, and the look goes from casual (for me at least, since all I wear are skirts and dresses, lol) to dressy in 60 seconds flat! By doing it this way, my husband has never mentioned that I wear too much black. I think it all depends on how you mix it up.
Never too much black! Black forever. LOL It is very French actually and i have a hard time not to wear black and again…why not.
You look amazing!
HA – Black lovers unite! 🙂
Black is my favorite color when it comes to clothes. I always find myself reaching for something black. I do try to add some contrast though.
I believe that my love of black came from my Mother when I was a little girl. She always wore a black skirt and white blouse. With six children, she couldn’t spend a lot on her own clothes –especially since five were girls. When you are on a budget, a black skirt and pants are so practical and since I also love color, it gives me so many options. Really enjoyed looking at the way you added color…which shows that with the right accessories — our black can be whatever we want it to be!
Love wearing black! Not head-to-toe, of course. My favorite color to wear with black is cobalt blue (which I am wearing right now). And I have a favorite black military-style Kenneth Cole trench coat (similar to the one you are wearing but mine has a belt) that I got at thrift store for $7 that looks amazing on me. I get compliments every time I wear it. I also wear a pop of color with it.
I don’t wear black very often at all but I have lots of chocolate brown, which compliments my skin tones better and makes me feel like I have more color. I was raised with the outdated idea that black is formal and best worn to balls and funerals, so since those are rarely on my calendar, I don’t buy much black! However I broke tradition and bought an Alfred Dunner cotton poplin jacket in white with black modern floral and butterflies for $3 last week – so now I’m on the hunt for a black skirt to got with it! No formals on the calendar yet, but I’ll be ready when they come up!
I think of you every time we go thrifting Jen – because of your advice I look for classics, unusual details and interesting sleeves,and I do quite well for my daughter and my Mum who are ‘normal’ sizes, but the plus sizes are pretty slim pickings and especially since I am allergic to polyester – once in a while I stumble on a ‘find’ like the jacket, but it’s hard not to get discouraged. It takes so much energy to shop and my daughter’s closet is bursting, so I think I need to be content with what I have and maybe work on adding accessories to brighten my current closet selections!
Heather – you are speaking wise words. Go for some great accessories. It’s amazing to me how those will spark up any wardrobe.
I used to be afraid to wear black up until a few years ago… I thought me being so fair skinned that it would wash me out – now I love it!! For me, the greatest thing about black is that you can accessorize and use any color to compliment it – just like everyone else has said! 🙂 Hooray for black!#*
I have recently read a book, Good Girls Don’t Have to Dress Bad, by Christian author Sheri Braendel. She’s also big into color and wearing those colors that are appropriate for your skin color/ hair color/ eye color etc. I think she would say black is NOT for everyone…so I’m thinking that for some people there might be too much black. Would love to hear what you think about it….
And for a P.S.–thanks so much for your posts. i have thoroughly enjoyed them and they have been so helpful. My mom and I love going to thrift stores now even more because of your inspirations and when at garage sales and find an awesome piece of something for an incredibly low price that I know I could use to decorate my home—I think of you. 🙂
It’s so funny that you bring up Sheri’s book because she is exactly the one I think of when I talk of my love for black. 🙂 I know she would highly disagree, and does hold pretty strongly to not wearing it. I did a past post on skin color and highly agree with her on that.
Yes, there is too much black from some, but I don’t agree with the play on the words that black is “dressing bad.” I think it can be highly elegant in some many arenas, and for many who don’t feel comfortable yet in their fashion
skim” so to speak, I think it’s a great go to color, as long as you do accessorize with color. I love what Sheri is doing though, even if I love my black. 🙂
I think we get in a pattern of wearing the same colors. I know if I look in my closet it is full of blacks, browns and blues. But I agree a nice scarf will totally change an outfit. So can accessories. Just last week I wore the same black dress to a formal event and the very next day to church. The change was in the jackets and accessories.