10 Monochromatic Clothes/Accessories Every Woman Should Have in Her Closet
Updated: Oct 4, 2021
Since I went through my Avril Lavigne punk stage in 5th grade, black has not left my wardrobe. I mean this whole-heartedly— almost every single outfit of mine includes the color black. (Okay, I know black isn't a color, it's a shade... but for the purpose of this article, we're going to use it as a description of color). Keeping a section of your wardrobe a monochromatic black can amp up your style is a very cost-efficient and simple way.
What I've learned wearing mostly black for most of my life:
Wearing an all-black outfit makes you look official and trustworthy. I mean it: when I was on-set for a film as an extra, it was winter and I was feeling extra moody, so I wore black combat boots, black skinny jeans, a black long sleeve shirt, and a black leather jacket to the set, awaiting them to dress me in a 70's outfit for shooting. The wardrobe specialist came up to me, looked me square in the eye, and asked something along the lines of "So, I've finished her look over there, do you think we need to add anything extra?" and I looked at her, confused for a second, and said "Oh! I'm not in wardrobe." and she just said "Oh.." and walked away. The lesson? Wearing all black, whether dressed up or casual, gives you an air of competency, seriousness, and maturity. I mean it, try it. There is a reason an all-black outfit is called the New York Uniform.
You can add only a few standout colorful pieces along with black and the outfit is completely made. Black is the perfect neutral, you can add other neutrals, bright colors, or cool/warm earthy colors and your aesthetic stays the same.
It never goes out of style. In a few years, those creams, tans, olive greens, and millennial pinks are going to be a thing of yesteryear. You can always, always stick to a specific color if you love it, but some colors date themselves pretty quickly. Remember in the early 2000s when bright teal and purple were an ugly reminder of the 90s? Now they're back in a retro way, but for about 15 years, they were a fashion faux-pas. The color that has never done that? Black. Even WHITE has gone in and out of style. Black has always remained.
The Best 10 Monochromatic Pieces to Have in Your Closet
1. Thin black double gold-ring belt
Chances are, you've seen these around. Their origin goes back to the Gucci GG belt, priced at around $450. They were such a popular look that almost all fashion retailed released a simplified version of this look -- a two-ring gold belt.
Pictured item: H&M Narrow Belt
2. Black combat boots
Dr. Martens are, and probably always will be, my favorite combat boot brand. They take a bit to wear in (with most of their shoes being leather) but once they're worn in and stop causing blisters, they feel like a part of your own feet.
Pictured item: Dr. Marten Leather Lace-up Boots
3. Black skinny jeans
A good pair of black skinny jeans are worth their weight in gold. My favorite pair are from Zara, they are deep black and have a fair bit of stretch. A word of wisdom, though: when buying black jeans with stretch, try to make sure that you're not buying jeans that look like leggings. The appeal of black jeans is that they dress up an outfit, but if they end up looking like leggings, you'll dress the outfit down.
Pictured item: Zara Premium Full Length Jeans in Serenity Black
4. Black cardigan
Pro tip: Get your cardigans from the men's section. They are usually much comfier, thicker, and sometimes better-made. My favorite black cardigan is a size small men's from Forever 21...... best. purchase. ever.
Pictured item: Uniqlo Men's V-Neck Cardigan
5. Little Black Dress (LBD)
When buying a LBD, try to find a dress that you could consider "timeless". You'll want to keep this trusty dress for a while, and choosing a super in-trend style may backfire on you in a few years when you look at it and say "what was I THINKING?".
Pictured item: NastyGal Black Mini Dress
6. Black sneakers
We can't talk about black sneakers without talking about Converse All-Stars. They're super comfy and a very reliable style.
Item pictured: Black Converse Low-Top All-Star
7. Mini black backpack
Tiny black backpacks are both sleek and functional. Those two adjectives are not commonly used together! My black backpack has been my most-used bag for a few years now.
Pictured item: Kohls Nine West Backpack
8. Black pumps
Black...pointy...leather (or pleather)....pumps. Oh yes.
The closed-toe allows for a variety of places to wear them: formal events or business meetings (à la Helen Hunt from What Women Want). Their leather look is sleeker than suede or other materials. The pointed toe has stuck around for decades, with slight changes. Treat these shoes well and they will be a staple piece in your closet for a long time!
Pictured item: DSW Savilla Pump
9. Black Turtleneck
Nothing says classic style like a black turtleneck. It's up to you if you want to style it with a modern twist or lean into the Audrey-type retro feel.
Pro tip: If you don't like the feeling of a tight turtleneck around your throat, opt for a high-neck shirt option, which gives the same look but less restriction. I have one from Zara that I love, here is one from Lulus that is similar!
Pictured item: Express Long Sleeve Turtleneck
10. Black leather jacket
Totally up to you if you want to buy leather or faux leather, but the look of a leather jacket is, in my opinion, possibly the most important staple item I have, and a perfect piece for a capsule wardrobe. This kind of jacket is so versatile and can be used over casual everyday outfits or an edgy add-on to your favorite dress.
Pictured item: Black Leather Moto Jacket from DSTLD