Pulling off an all black outfit seems easy at first. You’ve got your basics—T-shirt, dark denim, leather jacket—and then it’s just about mixing and matching, right? We’d like to inform you that black-on-black has grown up, and it’s playing by a new set of rules. Here’s how to get started with one of today’s most nuanced forms of dressing with style inspiration courtesy of NBA ballers who have mastered the look.
Photo: Serge Ibaka/Instagram
The new black tie
Formal affairs have loosened their dress codes, so leave the white shirt at home. Wearing a black-on-black suit and tie helps you make a statement that’s more likely to earn you style points than raise eyebrows, all without being that guy who throws tradition into the wind.
Photo: James Harden/Instagram
Dress it up or dress it down
Black on black makes dressing your outfit up or down a simple affair. You can stylishly undercut a stuffy suit without sacrificing its formality by tossing a T-shirt or sweater into the mix. Likewise, a black shirt and tie can dress up a leather jacket for a look that’ll take you from work to after hours without your boss batting an eye.
Photo: Landry Fields/Instagram
Layer it on
No two shades of black are the same, and that’s fine. The difference in hues will create the impression of depth and variety. Make use of various textures such as leather, cotton, wool and nylon to create contrasting layers. However, when accenting your outfit with patterns such as shadow checks and black-on-black jacquard prints—a great idea, by the way—limit yourself to one piece at most.
Photo: Russell Westbrook/Instagram
Play with your shadow
When you’re dealing with a single shade, it allows you to concentrate on subtler aspects of your ‘fit, such as its silhouette. Tight or tailored clothes create a leaner figure for an especially sharp look that’s easy to nail with T-shirts, blazers, or—if you’re feeling bold—black tights. The monochromatic palette also lets you experiment with more billowy garments without the risk of getting mistaken for a runway runaway.
Photo: Dwyane Wade/Instagram
Take the look beyond your clothing with the right accessories. Switch up your watch strap with a black steel bracelet or leather band, don a skinny black tie, or top it all off with a black-on-black fitted cap. When in doubt, nothing can beat a classic pair of murdered-out sunglasses.
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