12 November 2010

Q&A: Do Black and Brown Make Them Frown?

A reader asks, "I've always heard that black and brown make them frown..." meaning that black and brown should never be worn together... "is that the case?"  The answer to her question is that it simply depends.  In the debate of black and brown, I choose to stay in the large gray area.  

Instead of asking when it is ok to wear black and brown together, the easiest way to feel confident about your color pairing is to know when they are not to be worn together. The shade of brown determines everything.  If it's a more red/cordovan it might look better with a grey or ivory than black.  If it's a cool grey/brown it will probably look great with black.  The biggest thing for me, however, is that it must look intentional.  If the colors are too close together, it can look like you weren't aware of the issue or that you maybe didn't have the right piece in your wardrobe to work with that outfit. To feel deliberate and complete, make sure you don't mix multiple shades of different colors.  Keep it relatively simple and if your look begins to compete with itself, edit edit edit.  

Below are two great casual everyday looks, mixing brown and black.  The men's look by Dolce and Gabbana, women's by J Crew.

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