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Maybe you speak to the ubiquity of black – how's it's flattering, pairs with everything, is the easiest colour to reach for. And sure, these are all valid points that justify why most of us own so many black pieces. But even the classics, like a good black jacket, can ultimately feel dreary as hell on a bleak winter day, and you can do better than to pair it with other blacks or darker tones like greys and charcoals.

The alternative? Incorporating a colourful item, like a sweater, scarf, or even patterned socks. It’s an easy way to bring a point of interest to otherwise darker outfits, as it allows your jacket to act as a neutral base for your statement piece to jump out from. If you’re naturally a minimal dresser who defaults to black, try doing more with tonal colours. Layered over a simple monochrome outfit, a black jacket can come alive as your staple piece. 

“Use black as a frame,” says stylist Luke McDonald. “If you usually wear a lot of black, use it as a backdrop for a single colour to create impact. One of the big trends this season is pairing a black coat with camel tones, like brown or beige, which is easy to wear but still feels elegant and sophisticated.”

Something as simple as a white t-shirt and sand-coloured cords will offset your black jacket, helping it to stand out more than it would in a darker, grey-toned outfit. However, experimenting with contrasts will bring even more to your look. A simple black wool coat can bring extra depth and a more seasonal feel when layered over lighter fabrics like cotton or nylon, whilst a shiny black bomber or sports jacket is toned down when worn over softer textures, like a woolly knit. 

A black jacket should be a mainstay in your formal wardrobe, as it’s the perfect, sophisticated yet subtle piece to wear over suits, shirts and tailored trousers, or smarter workwear. It’s versatility expands to your out of office outfit, as layered over a cosy hoodie it can smarten up an otherwise casual get-up.

Now you can look forward to getting dressed in black – even on gloomy winter days.


Words: Ella White
Photography: Andras Hari
Styling: Brooke Philips