Reader Request: Affordable, Non-boring, and All Black

A reader in our community feels limited by the all-black ensembles she’s required to wear to fashion events for her new gig, so she reached out for help. I encouraged her to embrace this restrictive fashion choice and allow it to spark her creativity. Since I found some luxe-looking black separates at affordable prices recently, I decided to dedicate today’s post to that reader and anyone else in a similar situation.

Blouse—Loft (still in-store, $25)

Shorts—MNG by Mango ($17.99)

Shoes—J.Crew | new glitter pair

Clutch—Rebecca Minkoff

Necklace—Kate Spade  | option

Earrings—Kate Spade

Rings—℅ Kendra Scott, Gorjana

Watch—Movado | Skagen option

Lip—Mac “Rebel” lipstickMac “Currant” lip pencil

Blush—NYX powder blush in mocha

Wearing all black doesn’t have to be boring. Interesting details, like the lace sleeves on my Loft blouse, can make black quite striking. Mixing textures, playing with silhouettes, and embracing current trends are sure ways to make black stand out.

The right accessories can take any all-black look from drab to fab. From mixed metals to clusters of pearls to glitzy stacks, there are lots of jewelry options for making black pop. I’m wearing my Kate Spade “pearl street” necklace, which nicely complements the lace blouse.

A stylish pair of pumps will always make a great impression. I reached for one of my favorite pairs, the metallic stripe Elsie pumps, to jazz up this black ensemble. By the way, have you seen the new J.Crew Elsie glitter pumps? Wouldn’t they be perfect for the party season? I’ll be sure to tell you all when they go on sale.

Makeup is an easy way to add color to all-black attire. I’m wearing Mac ‘Rebel’ lipstick, which is my favorite dark ruby color to wear this time of year. I’m looking forward to trying Mac’s Vamplify glosses. The reviews have been amazing. These glosses apparently have the shine of gloss but the color payoff and staying power of traditional lipstick. The Vamplify collection is available online now and hits stores this Thursday (September 3).

Building a black wardrobe can be quite affordable right now given the current sales at our favorite stores. I found the blouse I’m wearing at Loft for $25. The pleated tie-front shorts are only $17.99 in JCPenney. Black separates are great choices because they are so easy to mix and match.

My exploration of ghost signs in St. Louis continues in this post. This wall coated with fading signs of St. Louis’ past is located on Lafayette Ave. I’m still doing research on the ad, which has been difficult since most of the words are illegible.


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  1. September 1, 2015 / 2:56 pm

    Those shoes are to die for! Where is the clutch originally from? (I'm glad someone else enjoys the ghost signs around STL as much as I do 🙂 )

    • September 1, 2015 / 5:28 pm

      Thanks, Emily. The clutch is by Rebecca Minkoff. So excited to hear that you enjoy ghost signs too!