Performancing Metrics


How to Wear Black and Brown

As a personal style blogger, I love it when we take on fashion "rules". Whether it's maxi dresses on petites or white after Labor Day, there are plenty of old adages out there that are pretty pervasive. One of those rules that just keeps hanging around is this: Don't mix brown and black.

I can't believe this rule is still alive and kicking! Black, brown and their cousin navy are all neutrals, which means they can be paired with anything - including each other. If you are still not sure about pairing them, here are a few easy tips:

  • Start simply - Pair a brown bottom with a black top, or vice versa.
  • Try accessories - A casual black dress looks great with a brown belt and tortoise sunglasses...or with a brown bomber jacket!
  • Use denim as a buffer zone - Try brown boots, your favorite pair of jeans, and a black sweater.
  • Work with different shades - A caramel color (like what I'm wearing) is easier to pair with black than a chocolate shade. When in doubt, pick lighter browns.
Update 5/14/2012 : I wear a more formal version of black and brown here.

Update: 12/16/2012: And here is an autumn version of black and brown.

See more How To's on the TBF How To page

Blouse: INC (Macy's)
Skirt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Kate Spade
Belt: Consigned (via Second Time Around)
Stole: purchased on vacation in Peru
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters


  1. I love the way you have mixed brown and black! I usually have tried not to mix them, but who knows, maybe I will try it :P

  2. I love brown and black together and you've done great it! I also don't understand the no navy/black together rule as I think it's a classic combo.

  3. That shot of you with the leaf = adorable!
    I really like how you've paired this caramel colour with black - not to mention the lovely fur stole!!!

  4. Anonymous11/15/2011

    This is my favorite fashion rule to break! A great example of how fab it can look :)

  5. Anonymous11/15/2011

    I constantly struggle with this rule so thank you for addressing it!! Love the outfit, what a great skirt!

  6. Lovin the outfit so much! I say the not wearing black and brown together rule was made to be broken as you clearly demonstrate!!

  7. @Lissy Agreed! I think navy and black looks classic and beautiful.

  8. i LOVE black and brown together! i think they are a great combo. i especially love the look of black tights on your outfit. good job!



  9. This is one of those things that makes my blood pressure rise. I HATE it when people think they can't mix these two colors. Obviously it can be done (and done well, like you're showing us)!!

  10. I'm so bad at wearing brown and black together but I have so much black I don't have a choice when wearing brown. Thanks for these tips!

  11. You are looking so good!!! One of my favorite outfits and color combinations.

  12. I completely agree with you about mixing brown and black - I do it all the time! Another one I really like to break is mixing navy and black. It seems so many people are afraid to do it, but when done right it can be really chic.

    Lynsey Michelle

  13. Great tips! I love mixing neutrals, especially brown and black. You're right - contrast is key. A super dark brown paired with true black will make you look like you got dressed in a room with not quiiite enough light, haha.

  14. These rules are so made to be broken!! And you did a fabulous job of shattering these myths. Outfit looked even more stunning in person;) Had SO much fun at the show Monday.

  15. Anonymous11/22/2011

    I wear black and brown and I've had people ask me if that's okay. I'm glad you're showing people that it can (and should) be done.

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