Back To Black

Trends come and go, but there’s something endlessly chic and timeless about the colour black. Now, before you start getting all technical on us – we’re aware that black is theoretically not a colour. But we’re talking in fashion terms, so try to give us this one guys.

Not only is black easy to wear and combines with pretty much anything, it’s also extremely sophisticated, which makes it an excellent choice for the upcoming party season. Today we’re set to explore ways of wearing the hue this winter, whether you’re dressing up for a black tie event or simply relaxing with friends and family over Christmas…

On The Runways

As you would probably expect, black dominated autumn/winter collections this year. Hermès was a particularly prominent advocate, showcasing a range that featured an almost entirely black palette.

A cherry red holdall was the only piece in the collection to stray from this monochrome approach, adding a welcome burst of colour. This technique of introducing a single colour-pop accessory to an all-black ensemble is something we’ll discuss in more detail throughout the article:

Hermes All-Black Palette On The AW14 Menswear Runways

Meanwhile, Dior Homme continued this lavish direction with a New Romantic undertone in its AW14 showcase. Here, delicate silver chains were worn over black ties and matched with sleek pinstripe suiting. Effortless, elegant and all held together with one key ingredient: the colour black.

Elsewhere, all-black looks were spotted at the likes of Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, McQueen, Brioni, Tom Ford and E. Tautz, amongst others:

All-Black Outfits On The AW14 Menswear Runways

Alexander McQueenAlexander WangBalenciagaBrioniDior HommeBelstaffE. TautzJohn VarvatosTom Ford
Prepare To Party

When it comes to party season, suave and sophisticated is definitely the way to go. Of course, statement blazers in colourful hues have a time and a place – but stick to black if you want to take a classic and refined approach. Although you might consider it a little safe, it’s often ideal for work events or dress codes when you’re not entirely sure what’s appropriate.

That being said, black definitely doesn’t need to be boring. Try introducing some statement detailing, such as metallic finishes, satin/leather lapels or velvet construction. For instance, why not team a black sequinned blazer with a pair of tailored trousers and polished brogues? Finish the look off with a skinny pewter tie and printed pocket square to add some flair to your Christmas work party ensemble.

A more conservative approach that always looks effortlessly stylish is a single-breasted black dinner suit. Perhaps it’s the secret desire lurking inside every man to be like James Bond, but you can’t beat a well-tailored black tuxedo complete with a black bow tie and cummerbund.

Although you’ll only wear it a couple of times a year, if you invest wisely in a timeless design, a well-made dinner suit could last you a decade or more. Finish the outfit off with a crisp white shirt and simple patent leather shoes.

To inject some life into your dark winter formal wear, reach for a bow tie in a colour or print, such as burgundy or polka dot. Or, to really get into the spirit of the festive party season, try adding a sequinned or shimmery metallic version to your dinner suit. You’ll give your look an instant dose of disco-inspired shine – nodding to the recent revival of 1970s-inspired style.

Men's Black Evening And Party Wear Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

Brioni aw14ramsey aw14tom fordsarar ss14zara beat 2013h&mgaudi aw12new look aw14reiss aw14sarar black tie aw14drykorn aw14dolce & gabbana aw14
Key Pieces
  • Noose & Monkey Suit Jacket With Tonal Paisley Print In Skinny FitNoose & Monkey Suit Jacket With Tonal Paisley Print In Skinny Fit
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Glitter VelvetAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Glitter Velvet
  • He By Mango Applique Velvet Tailored BlazerHe By Mango Applique Velvet Tailored Blazer
  • Reiss Mayfair Peak Lapel Tuxedo BlackReiss Mayfair Peak Lapel Tuxedo Black
  • Topman Monochrome Long Sleeve ShirtTopman Monochrome Long Sleeve Shirt
  • He By Mango Satin-trim Suit TrousersHe By Mango Satin-trim Suit Trousers
  • Turnbull & Asser White Sea Island Cotton Tuxedo ShirtTurnbull & Asser White Sea Island Cotton Tuxedo Shirt
  • Ovadia & Sons Black Plaid Brushed-wool Suit TrousersOvadia & Sons Black Plaid Brushed-wool Suit Trousers
  • River Island Black Smart Skinny TrousersRiver Island Black Smart Skinny Trousers
  • Topman Black Madison Velvet LoafersTopman Black Madison Velvet Loafers
  • Asos Oxford Shoes In Patent LeatherAsos Oxford Shoes In Patent Leather
  • River Island Metallic Formal ShoesRiver Island Metallic Formal Shoes
  • Lanvin Metallic Woven TieLanvin Metallic Woven Tie
  • Lanvin New Alber Silk-satin Bow TieLanvin New Alber Silk-satin Bow Tie
  • He By Mango Polka-dot Patterned Bow TieHe By Mango Polka-dot Patterned Bow Tie
All-Black Evening Wear

Finally, for those unafraid to really commit to the colour black – why not lose the white? An all-black outfit looks sharp and sophisticated when executed correctly, so don’t be afraid to test the waters.

Keep it tailored with a crisp black button-up shirt worn under a sharply-cut black suit jacket. Team with slim-fit trousers and patent tasselled loafers, then finish the sleek look off with a black tie and pocket square, which will make a debonair statement while giving off an air of mystery.

Another take is to borrow from the historical style of artists and poets, layering a black fine gauge polo neck under your black blazer. Simultaneously nailing AW14’s roll neck trend, this type of knit makes a great alternative to a shirt and tie, as it still looks smart and sartorial. It’s the ideal getup for a more relaxed, but still formal, Christmas dinner with friends.

Men's All-Black Evening And Party Wear Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

hugo boss aw14Mauro Grifoni aw14zara man aw12massimo dutti aw13Roberto Cavalli ss14h&m style guide 2014David Naman aw14reiss aw13sarar black tie aw14
Key Pieces
  • Reiss Vassal Single Breasted Wool Coat BlackReiss Vassal Single Breasted Wool Coat Black
  • Reiss Roulette Pleat Front ShirtReiss Roulette Pleat Front Shirt
  • Paul Smith Slim-fit Velvet BlazerPaul Smith Slim-fit Velvet Blazer
  • John Smedley Belvoir Rollneck Merino Wool SweaterJohn Smedley Belvoir Rollneck Merino Wool Sweater
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Tailored Cotton ChinosHe By Mango Slim-fit Tailored Cotton Chinos
  • Reiss Kevin Textured Silk TieReiss Kevin Textured Silk Tie
  • Austin Reed Black Plain Textured Ready Tied Bow TieAustin Reed Black Plain Textured Ready Tied Bow Tie
  • Ted Baker Craag High Shine Monk ShoeTed Baker Craag High Shine Monk Shoe
  • Drakes Elasticated BracesDrakes Elasticated Braces
Keep It Casual

Away from Christmas parties and other formal events, black is also a stylish choice for off-duty dressing. All-black and monochrome ensembles look super slick and will instantly take any casual winter look up a notch.

The key thing to remember with any single colour outfit is to vary the tones and textures – whether that be combining pieces in multiple shades of black/grey or different fabrics. This helps provide clear definition and separation between each piece.

With this in mind, why not invest in a luxurious jumper crafted from pure black wool for those extra cold days ahead? Great for layering over a basic tee and teaming with black or grey slim-fit denim, you’ll keep it simple yet chic when winding down with loved ones over the festive period.

Let’s face it, we all want to look our best when catching up with old friends at home over Christmas, so why not make a memorable style statement with a piece of black outerwear this winter? A leather biker jacket will add an edge to any look, while a sports-inspired bomber will be given a contemporary update in black – match with monochrome streetwear separates to craft effortlessly cool everyday looks.

If you’re after a middle ground between dressing up or down, try layering a charcoal blazer over a black polo shirt and combining with slim-fit wool trousers for an understated yet stylish ensemble. Or, wear a black corduroy shirt under a cropped black mac, then finish with dark grey chinos and a pair of black Chelsea boots when stepping out on Saturday night.

Men's All-Black Casual Autumn/Winter Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

allsaints aw12zara man february 2014river island holloway road aw14allsaints aw14lord and taylor  aw14minimum aw14avva aw14banana republic pre aw14drykorn aw13vince aw14Calliope aw14selected homme aw14reiss aw13reiss aw14allsaints aw14
Key Pieces
  • Allsaints Mesquite ShirtAllsaints Mesquite Shirt
  • Allsaints Moat BomberAllsaints Moat Bomber
  • Allsaints Blenham Leather Bomber JacketAllsaints Blenham Leather Bomber Jacket
  • Vito Cable Knit JumperVito Cable Knit Jumper
  • He By Mango Faux-shearling Applique Bomber JacketHe By Mango Faux-shearling Applique Bomber Jacket
  • He By Mango Skinny Black Jude JeansHe By Mango Skinny Black Jude Jeans
  • He By Mango Silk Wool-blend CardiganHe By Mango Silk Wool-blend Cardigan
  • French Connection Cord Button-down ShirtFrench Connection Cord Button-down Shirt
  • He By Mango Wool-blend PeacoatHe By Mango Wool-blend Peacoat
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In CottonAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Cotton
  • Reiss Moorly Cotton Polo Shirt BlackReiss Moorly Cotton Polo Shirt Black
  • John Smedley Belvoir Rollneck Merino Wool SweaterJohn Smedley Belvoir Rollneck Merino Wool Sweater
Final Word

Whatever the occasion this winter – whether it’s a decadent Christmas party or quiet night in with friends and family – black is the ideal colour to turn to. Timeless, easy to wear and always the most suave and sophisticated choice, never underestimate the power of black attire.

So what are your thoughts on black dressing for the winter months? Will you be channelling Mr. Bond in a monochrome tux at your Christmas work party or do you prefer to add some colour to your festive looks?

Let us know in the comments section below…