I have been asked to write some tips for men’s styling. I will post up some thoughts each week and hope this helps.

Black Shirts – Ground Rules

First things first. Before we get to what to wear with a black shirt, let’s set down a couple of ground rules. Here’s what NOT do with a black shirt.

1. Don’t Wear It To The Office

No one should wear black to the office unless there is a funeral held for whatever reasons!

2. Don’t Wear A Tie

Black shirts are casual. They don’t lend themselves to being worn well with ties. Furthermore, your tie shouldn’t be lighter than your shirt or you start to look like you’ve got on a 30s gangster costume. So we say skip the tie altogether with a black shirt.

3. Don’t Go Overboard With The Black

The blackout look—a black shirt with a black suit with black socks and black shoes—is okay, but a little predictable in our book. It’s time to mix things up.

Okay, phew!! Now that we’ve gotten that off our chests we can move on to what we’re all here for, the answer to the question…


There are two basic approaches to figuring out what to wear with a black shirt. The first is a monochromatic approach. Mono-what now? Don’t worry we’ll explain that below. The second approach is to use the black shirt to create contrast.

1. Black Shirt For A Minimalist Look

If black is a must, then opt for a monochromatic look. Meaning, matching your black shirt with shades of gray.



2. Black Shirt When You Want To Stand Out

For a more advanced move, try pairing a black shirt with a strong color, like red, in a muted saturation, like burgundy. The result is what you see below. Why is this an advanced move? It takes a good eye to find the right amount of saturation.


Too strong of a color and you end up with a jarring contrast with the black, like yellow with black. Too weak of a color and you end up with a muddled combination, like navy and black. How to strike the right balance? Nothing beats a mirror and an expert eye from an image consultant!

So if you’ve been wondering what to wear with a black shirt, you should be inspired and encouraged by what you’ve read.