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5 Times You Should Never Wear Black, According to Stylists

Putting it on for a job interview is a big no-no.

Black has a reputation for being a go-to color for many. We wear it for funerals, board-room meetings, and, often, lazy days when we don't have the energy to put together an outfit. There are many reasons for this: Black is universally flattering, matches everything, and is almost always appropriate. Keyword: Almost. It turns out, there are a few occasions you should never resort to that LBD in your closet. Here, stylists tell us the key times to avoid wearing black. For these events and situations, the hue is either impolite, inappropriate, or impractical. Skip it in favor of a pastel, print, or bolder hue.

READ THIS NEXT: The Best Colors to Wear If You Have Blue Eyes, According to Stylists.

Daytime celebrations in the summer.

Family celebration outside in the backyard. Big garden party. Birthday celebration.

Daytime summer events—things like christenings, luncheons, bridal showers, and engagement parties—typically have a more chill color scheme.

"Black is very heavy and can look overkill or out of place during a light and cheery event," says Grace Van Cleave, personal stylist and founder of Amazing Grace Styling. "If wearing color is out of your comfort zone, I would suggest neutrals such as cream, navy, or pale gray."

You could also opt for a fun floral or watercolor print. Pastel hues and jewel tones fit the bill perfectly.

A wedding.

Guests throwing confetti over bride and groom as they walk past after their wedding ceremony. Joyful young couple celebrating their wedding day
PeopleImages / iStock

You know to never wear white to a wedding, but what about black?

"It's definitely not a rule, but a wedding is a celebration, and black isn't always the cheeriest choice," says Dana Lynch, a personal stylist and image consultant. "Solids or a floral print set the mood for the romantic day—and if the venue is outdoors on a hot day, these light colors will help keep you cool."

If you dislike lights and brights, Lynch suggests a dark neutral such as navy or eggplant in a summery fabric to lighten your look.

However, there's one exception: Black- and white-tie weddings and weddings where the couple has requested guests wear black.

READ THIS NEXT: 7 Tips for Wearing White If You're Over 50, According to Stylists.

An event on a hot day.

friends having fun outdoors at a party on patio
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Given its propensity to absorb heat, black should be avoided on hot days.

"Dressing in black could lead to discomfort or even overheating in such conditions," says Ana Roberts, founder and editor-in-chief of Top Trends Guide. "Moreover, many insects are drawn to dark colors, which could pose an additional nuisance, particularly for outdoor events."

A celebration of life.

Aokigahara suicide forest coffin

AKA, a funeral. Yep, it's officially tired advice that you can only wear black to funerals.

"If a bold color feels too attention seeking, blue, burgundy, deep purple, and brown are beautiful non-black options that will easily blend in," says Van Cleave.

These colors are even better to wear if the deceased was fond of them. "I recently heard of a funeral where guests were asked to wear purple, the deceased's favorite color," says Van Cleave.

As always, use your best judgment when deciding what to wear. If the deceased was a stickler for dress codes and old-fashioned manners, you might want to stick to black.

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A job interview.

man talking to asian woman at job interview

Black is sleek and professional and looks good on many of us. So, it's a go-to choice for interview attire. However, Erin Houston, co-founder and stylist at wearwell, says it might not be the hue that lands you the job.

"Your goal is to stand out from the crowd, so reach instead for other neutrals if it's a traditional workplace or even bright tones if it's a more casual workplace," she says. "A blazer in a bold color or pattern makes you more memorable and can convey confidence." Try a plaid or tartan print in a neutral hue for a look your interviewer will remember.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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