The Wardrobe: Black Apparel Essentials

Although Spring is here and I am in the process of lightening my wardrobe, I noticed that there are still several wardrobe items that are necessary just about any time of the year.

Similar to quitting a habit, losing weight, or starting a business, building your wardrobe isn’t something that happens in a day. I have yet to meet someone who has an extra pile of cash accompanied by an empty closet to fill. Most of the time, this process happens slowly and it accumulates over time. And with this lengthy process of building your wardrobe to your satisfaction comes change in taste over time. Now I am here to help you incorporate a few black items into your wardrobe.

Must-haves in Black

Here is a list of the things that are crucial if you want to switch to the dark side.

Leather oxfords:

Further down the list will be items that will need to be paired with leather oxfords or bluchers. Depending on how formal you want your look, go for either a plain cap toe or a semi brogue.

Boots and/or sneakers:

In the winter time, my best shoes were my Chippewa boots. They are very comfortable, can tough it through the rain and snow, remain sturdy on any terrain, and are extremely light. There is a variety of colors but the black look best with their contrasting white stitch.

When it comes to the summer time I would stick with a lighter colored sneaker but if you want something a little different the leather Old Skools by Vans or the Converse Jack Purcell are amazing shoes. If you are more into an all black shoe, Converse makes a great leather Chuck that is completely black.

Socks (Dress and Casual):

It would be surprising if you didn’t own and black socks. But be open when selecting socks. Try a pair that uses a different fabric other than the standard polyester. It’s also not necessary to wear an all black sock. Try out one with a texture or pattern, or even a pair with a bit of color.


For daily wear stick with a silk knit or grenadine tie. Silk or satin is best for formal events, or when wearing a white shirt or black suit. Don’t forget to keep the widths of your outfit coordinating. For example, slimmer lapels = slimmer tie and wider lapels = wider tie.

Basic Black Tee:

The great thing about a solid black tee is that it can be worn in almost any non-formal occasion. It can dress up a daytime outfit or go nicely with and evening outfit. It is very versatile and a great investment. I prefer a shallow v-neck myself, but you can go with a crew neck if that’s your style.


Nice-to-have in Black

The following are considered “nice to have” because the aforementioned items get much more use. However, when the budget and closet have room for it the following should be considered to add to the wardrobe.


If you haven’t yet made your first suit purchase I would go for either a navy or medium to dark gray. And if you haven’t yet gotten your second suit then make it the one you don’t already have. On the third suit, you are open to options, all depending on where you will wear the suit and what you can afford. One option is to go for a black wool suit. You have your go-to navy and gray suits but why not spring for a suit that stands out when you’re feeling bold.

Dress watch:

Classy and understated are what you want to show when it comes to your dress watch. To achieve these elements does not mean you need to break the bank. You can get a classic white face, black leather strapped watch with clean lines for under $150.


For warmer weather days I would suggest a simple Harrington jacket. As for the rainy days, go with a lightweight trench. And for those freezing winter days, wear a nice down coat. Investing in a good down coat is worth every cent.


When the temperature drops you will want your head to be wearing one. Go for a basic one from American Apparel or spring for a luxurious one. Even somewhere as convenient as H&M carries them.


If black isn’t your thing, that’s fine. But if you want to add a bit of it to your style, I hope this has helped with where to start.

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