If you like to wearing black clothes, listen up. Black is great for anyone’s wardrobe and it should be a staple throughout your life, but it comes with a few challenges. Most importantly, different fabrics do not hold black dye as well as others.
With this in mind, here are six rules that you should follow when it comes to the blacks in your wardrobe.
Why You Should Love Wool
Wool fabrics are always a deeper black than those made of cotton because wool holds the dye better.
To get the deepest blacks, look for trousers, sweaters and, of course, suits made with wool when shopping.
What’s even better is that wool doesn’t fade like cotton does over time. In the long term, you will be making a better investment by paying up for wool if you like to dress in black frequently.
Matching Your Blacks
No matter what the fabric, shades of black differ, so be careful when putting an all black outfit together. For example, when pairing a black shirt with black trousers, the black shirt might have a purple cast while your black trousers have a brown cast.
These differences are subtle but important. They can become more noticeable under certain lighting conditions, so be sure to check your blacks under true daylight.
Mix Textures and Fabrics
There is a right and wrong way to wear black clothes. As with any ensemble, it’s important to mix different fabrics and textures.
For example, a heavily textured sweater with a smooth pant looks dashing, as does a plain merino wool sweater with a tonal stripe pant.
Doing this will make you look less like you are wearing a uniform and more like you put a little effort into your outfit.
Cotton: Proceed With Caution
When it comes to cotton fabrics, be aware that they fade rather quickly. Instead of 100 percent cotton, buy black shirts that have a touch of Lycra in them.
The synthetic fiber helps cotton hold the dye better.
Also, consider buying mercerized cotton shirts. These are made from fibers with a polyester core and cotton covering. The blacks in these fabrics are deeper and richer than other forms of cotton.
Caring for Your Black Clothes
If it is black (or dark), dry clean it. Even if you launder your shirts, make it a habit to dry clean any black ones as it will keep the color from fading as quickly.
When it comes to washing black (or dark) cotton items at home, use a cup of vinegar the first time you wash a new article. The vinegar helps set the dye and the smell dissipates once it’s dry. Vinegar is actually a good fabric softener to use, anyway.
If that sounds unappealing, you can use Woolite Dark Laundry Fabric Wash. This product is specially formulated to minimize the fading of colors and maintain color intensity.
Also, always use cold water with your dark items.
Know When to Say Goodbye
Retire clothes when they start to fade. Faded blacks just make you look tattered and we don’t want that now do we?