Inspirationail’s Colour School – What to Wear With Black

By Inspirationail

Inspirationail's Colour SchoolWelcome to the black week of Team Inspirationail’s Colour School, (we promise it won’t be a downer). If you haven’t already be sure to check out lessons on the basics, warm & cool hues, tints, shades & tones and colour combos. We’ve already covered red, pink, yellow, green, & grey and this week we are looking at the best colours to match with beautiful black.

An Educated Guess

Like grey, black is a neutral, so we have to use the colour wheel a little differently to come up with unique combination ideas. How much colour (and how bright you go) depends upon how much black you are wearing and what you will be doing in that black. Most colours will work with this dark neutral, so we are going to help you discover the best colours to wear with black on you.

Even though black is neutral, we still have a few matching tricks up our sleeves.

Bountiful Black

We often suggest matte black nails to go with colourful ensembles, or those that revolve around, bright primaries. Frankly, we like black much better in our clothing than we do on our nails…although it can be chic, there is a fine line between fashionable and goth.

Inspirationail's Colour School

Skin Tone Matters

Black looks great on everyone, from shiny patent leather to deep, soft dusky black. Although, with all of it’s versatility, black is surprisingly difficult to wear on nails (we recommend either super shine or deep matte if you do). Lighter skinned divas should avoid too much stark black against pale skin during winter months, and opt for creamy, dusky blacks. Darker skinned lovelies have a little more versatility, but should avoid overly matte blacks as they can make skin look ashy.

Neutral Black

One of three neutrals, (the other two are white & grey), black pieces are a staple in most women’s closets. Whether it’s a long, tailored jacket, your favorite pair of boots or that cable knit sweater you’ve had for 10 years. Black goes with everything…or does it? Actually, there are some colours we think you should avoid on your nails when you are wearing black. Here we’ll use our trusty colour wheel to help us discover the best (& worst) colours to pair with basic black.

Inspirationail's Colour School

Primary Colours

Primary colours are red, yellow and blue and they are the most basic of colours. These are bold colours and that makes them dangerous to match with black as they’ll offer particularly high contrast. If you are going primary, keep it light and simple and opt for shimmering (not glittery) or pearlescent formulas. Try warm ruby red, deep guilded gold, or shimmering baby blue.

Secondary Colours

Secondary colours are created by mixing different combinations of the primary colours. Red & blue make purple, red & yellow make orange and blue and yellow make green. Not nearly as stark & pronounced as primary colours, these three have plenty to offer when it comes to nails (but beware of orange with black). Try bold jewell purple, deep, rusty orange or hot lime.

Tertiary Colours

Tertiary colours are created by combining the three primary and three secondary colours, and there is six of them in total. Reddish-orange, yellowish-orange, yellowish-green, greenish-blue, blueish-purple and purplish-red (pink). As the colours become more diluted by one another, their boldness becomes more muted. These are prime suspects for pairing with any type of black. We’ll spare you the entire list and pick colour combo highlights. Try sweet, creamy pink, shimmering purple or light lavender.

Inspirationail's Colour School

Inspirationail’s Picks

We like using our colour wheel to help find combinations we’d never have come up with. However, we are also known to utilize our keen fashion sense to keep our style on its toes. For black we always like soft peachy whites, platinum silvers and soft sexy apricots.

Your Two Cents

In the end, you have to make the decision…you are the one wearing the black. We’ve given you a few new ideas (and a few tried & true ones). Please leave us your black-matching faves in the comments below, we’d love to hear them! And, stay tuned because we have more fun planned next week with a lesson dedicated to matching your white. That one sounds easy too, doesn’t it?


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