If you like to wear black as much as I do, listen up. I have become quite aware of the way different fabrics hold black dye as well as which fabrics and textures look good together. With this in mind, I live by these six rules.
Why I Love Wool and So Should You
Wools are always a deeper black than cottons (wool holds dye better) which is why when I'm buying black trousers, sweaters and of course suits, I stick to wool. And what's even better is wool doesn't fade like cotton does over time.
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.
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 more like you put a little effort into your outfit.
Cotton - Proceed with Caution
When it comes to cottons, they fade rather quickly which is why I like to buy black cotton shirts that have a touch of Lycra in them. The synthetic fiber helps cotton hold the dye better. I also like to buy mercerized cotton shirts since the blacks are deeper and richer than other cottons.
Caring for Your Black Clothes
If it is black (or dark), dry clean it. Even if you launder your shirts, dry clean the black (or dark) ones. 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. If that sounds unappealing, you can use WOOLITE Dark Laundry Fabric Wash which 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?