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Black beauty

How do I carry off a head-to-toe black outfit without looking dull?

Black-on-black looks were ubiquitous on the Fall/Winter 2015-2016 runways with brands such as Yohji Yamamoto and Alexander Wang showing the trend.

A head-to-toe black ensemble is striking, but black can also come across as unoriginal and dull.

The trick is in creating dimension through assorted textures and using a statement accessory.

Ms Melanie Mak, personal shopper for Topshop, has these tips.


-- PHOTOS: CLUB 21 GLOBAL, COS, NET-A-PORTER, TOPSHOP, ZARA

Mix the textures of your clothes

Wear clothes of varied materials and textures. For instance, wear a leather top with a pleated skirt, or play with materials like knit, tulle and lace. Also, opt for something with volume. Ms Mak says: "This creates depth so that the outfit does not look flat."

Wear pieces with interesting details

Go for details such as studs or contrast stitching. Or go for mesh detailing or prints with a black base colour. These prevent the outfit from looking dull or office-like.

Accessorise

This completes the outfit. Ms Mak says: "A statement accessory gives a black outfit the right amount of bling and shine and can match details, such as silver hardware, in an outfit."

She recommends styling a little black dress with a statement belt or necklace, but do not use both as it may appear too busy. For high-neck tops, try statement earrings.

Avoid wearing too many statement accessories. This will take attention away from the outfit. Choose one main statement piece and complement it with minimalistic accessories.

Don't look sloppy

Ms Mak warns against wearing clothes that have not been ironed as "they make even an all-black ensemble appear sloppy". Also, avoid wearing black pieces where the colour has faded - it makes the outfit look old.

1. Satin A-Line Dress, $126, Topshop

The feminine silhouette and satin material make this a good little black dress that can be dressed up or down.

2. Crinkle V-Neck Camisole, $33.90, Topshop

This top, with its crinkle pleated texture, is an easy way to add texture to an all-black outfit.

3. Faux Leather Culottes, $59.90, Zara

Play with different fabrics such as leather to add a textural contrast to an all-black ensemble.

4. McQ Alexander McQueen Swallow Perforated Stretch Jersey Mini Dress, US$322.50 (S$454), www.net-a-porter.com

The mesh cut-outs in this dress are an interesting detail.

5. Cute Kicks Shoes, $430, Marc by Marc Jacobs

The white contrast piping and emoticon print of the shoes are quirky and playful.

6. Knot detail necklace, $79, COS

A statement necklace will complement any black-on-black ensemble.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2015, with the headline 'Black beauty'. Print Edition | Subscribe