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Fashion rules are handed down from the older to the younger generation. They are often just adopted and never questioned. Sometimes there were reasons for a rule, but they don’t apply anymore. This post shows that a look can be effortlessly chich in brown with black. Read and see how to pull off the look.

  1. Break Old Fashion Rules
  2. How to be Effortlessly Chic in Brown with Black
  3. A Brown-black Outfit Explained
  4. Wearing Black and Brown Together as a Statement
  5. Effortlessly Chic  Brown with Black Outfit Ideas
  6. Conclusion: Breaking Old Fashion Rules Is the New It
  7. Top of the World Style Linkup No. 331


Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.


Break Old Fashion Rules

When I was a kid, my mother and grandmother taught me various fashion rules. One of them was never wear brown and black together. While as a kid I had to obey this rule, today I love to break it. I like to combine this fake suede brown blazer with my black pencil leather skirt. Another old fashioned style rule I like to break is not to wear white after Labor Day.


teal dress with brown with black coat, brown pumps black cloche
Dip sweater dress, Judith Leiber belt, Hipstik pantyhose, Max Mara coat, Tahari pumps, Sam Edelman bag, Alasa jade earrings, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves, cloche c/o Fashionable Hats



How to be Effortlessly Chic in Brown with Black

The best tricks to wear black and brown together are as follow:

  • Find a piece that already has the two colors and work from there. Adding a third color is the easiest (see photo above and next photo below).
  • Start with a leopard or animal print that have both colors and work from there. For a guide on how to look ageless in animal print see the post at the link.
  • Take inspiration from nature for your Look of the Day.
  • Doing so is the most easy and safest way to get the look right.
  • Stay with neutrals when adding another color, i.e. avoid bold or bright colors.
  • Go for a medium or light brown.
  • Try chocolate and black. Stylist’s note: This is the hardest, but most sophisticated look to pull off.


jeans with brown and black tights, sweater, coat
Tahari pumps, GNW leopard print tights, Max Mara coat, Longchamp satchel, smoky quartz belt buckle, LeatherCoatsEtc brown gloves, Taylor’s Gold’n Stone topaz earrings, Fendi-inspired cropped top and distress jeans c/o Femme Luxe



influencer in brown with black sweater and coat, brown shoes, pantyhose, black leather skirt
Sienna Studio leather skirt, Max Mara coat, Longchamp bag, Taharie pumps, Nordgreen watch, Hipstik pantyhose, smoky quartz necklace,Fendi inspired sweater c/o Femme Luxe, Fabia hat c/o Tenth Street Hats



A Brown-black Outfit Explained

When wearing brown and black together, go for browns that are on the medium to light side. The cardigan has a black, beige and light brown print which ties the brown and black of the pants and shoes together. The structured bag screams “I mean business” and helps keeping this outfit work appropriate in a business casual style workplace.


author of how to dress for success in midlife in linen pants, cardigan sheer scarf
Oliveo linen pants with thin black stripes and side zipper, Anne Klein T-strap slingbacks, Kieselstein Cord belt, H buckle, Hermes collier de chien leather band, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Bulova watch, Kate Moss for Longchamp bag, GNW abstract print cardigan worn as top, and gaze scarf


Wearing Black and Brown Together as a Statement

Another way to wear brown and black together is to make use of a pattern that encompasses the colors like in the example look the plaid skirt. The brown white shearling motorcycle jacket picks the colors up. The sweater knotted around the waist serves to add shape and at the same time is the “reserve insulation” in case it gets cold in the evening. It picks up the color of the plaid skirt, as does the black cashmere sweater, the hat, and the jacket. Keeping the jacket open as well as the boot toppers up the style factor. You can find a guide how to look mature in boot toppers at this link.


Effortlessly Chic Brown with Black Outfit Ideas

The following photos provide outfit inspirations in this chic color combination. All neutrals outfits have to have a twist to not look boring. In this look of the day, the see-thru scarf is the twist.

Ditch old fashion rules. Brown and black look great together. #fashionover50 Click To Tweet


fashion blogger over 50 in black leather skirt brown blazer
Oliveo faux suede blazer, GNW cardigan worn as top, Oliveo plaid shirt, Kieselstein Cord belt and three horses buckle, Siena Studio leather pencil skirt, GNW tight, Clarks booties, Hermes Medor watch, Hermes collier de chien bracelet, necklace with brooch attached as pendant, and YSL bag


The following inspiration is a fall business casual look. Yes, you can wear white after Labor Day. Another old-fashioned rule to break. In this look, the key piece is the cardigan that ties the separates together.


older woman in white leather pants, black blazer, tan bag
Vittori wool blazer, white Newport News leather pants, and GNW print cardigan, Bulova watch, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, Apostrophe Mary-Janes, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Kate Moss for Longchamp bag, and Ray Ban wayfarer sunglasses


mature work outfit
Back view of look described below


mature style outfit details
Zoom-in on Taylor’s Gold’n Stone smoky quartz necklace and Kieselstein Cord 3 horses belt buckle


fashion sowing how to wear brown and black together in an office outfit
Orvis suede blazer over GNW Luxe sweater, Newport News leather pants, Gloria Vanderbilt pumps, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, and statement necklace


styleist in a little black dress as a business casual outfit
Side view of look described below


Söfft booties and GNW leopard print tight details
Details of GNW tight, Söfft booties to show print and buckles details


wood watch
Zoom-in on wooden sports watch c/o Jord


Gucci belt
Gucci belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and Pavlova scarf


Stylist in brown cardigan black dress with Russian scarf
Outfit details: Moda International cardigan dyed brown, GAP little black dress, GNW leopard print tights, Söfft shearling booties, Gucci belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Pavlova scarf (all own) sports wooden watch c/o Jord


over 50 years old woman in LBD and green pumps
Ellen Tracy dress, Hermes collier de chien belt and bangle, Hermes Medor watch, Dooney and Brooke bag, BeBe leather jacket, Head band, Nine West pumps


stylist in black and brown mixed pattern skirt, top, cardigan work look
Printed GNW cardigan worn as top under long black GNW cardigan with plaid skirt, GNW black tights and Clark brown booties, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and DIY statement belt


short suit
Oliveo leather shorts, Oliveo faux suede blazer, GNW tights, YSL bag, GNW cardigan, Festina watch, onyx flower ring, Harley Davidson booties, statement belt


H buckle styled with knotted belt and military dress
Zoom-in to show sleeve details, watch,  belt, and bangle


stylist in black military Victoria Victoria Beckham dress
Victoria Victoria Beckham military dress with tan Kieselstein cord belt, H buckle, tan Kate Moss for Longchamp bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and Anne Klein tan T-strap pumps. The offset of the H-buckle from the center balances the knot on the other side. Since military is associated with strong order, the knot gives a stylish twist to the outfit.


influencer in all neutral color outfit and sunglasses
Anne Klein cable knit cashmere sweater, bias plaid skirt, GNW tight, booties, Bulova watch, Taylor’s Gold’n Stone smokyquartz, necklace, and boot toppers c/o My Top of the Boots



over 50 years style blogger in a LBD labeled with a tag 4 styled for work
Back view of sheath


midlife fashion blogger in a LBD in US 4 being happy with her size
GAP sheath, Gucci G belt, bopaque GNW tights, Clark booties, Hermes collier de chien bangle and statement necklace


midlife style blogger in leather vest with glen check skirt
Pendleton glen check midi skirt, GNW Luxe sweater, Esther Chen leather vest, Antonio Melani booties, GNW leopard pattern tight, and Taylor’s Gold’n Stone necklace


stylist in work outfit with black and brown
Oliveo leather skirt and faux suede blazer, GNW cardigan, structured bag, DIY necklaces with glass polished by the Rhine river, Hermes collier de chien bracelets and unbranded studded heels



Styling Outerwear

Outerwear is an outfit too. Always make sure that what shows from your “indoor look” and your coat, jacket or cape plus shoes, bag and accessories also make a nice outfit. Don’t miss this styling opportunity. The outerwear in the photo below is composed of a short chocolate brown shearling coat, black hat and gloves as well as a brown bag. They pick up the color of the tights and booties. This look demonstrates that the two colors alone can make an interesting look when you add texture like the hat, shearling cuffs.

stylist in shearling coat and hat
Vittori chocolate brown shearling coat, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves, Yves Saint Laurent bag, GNW tights, Clark booties, and beret


stylist in black and brown coat
Black and brown striped coat (thrift find), Clark booties, Michael Kors satchel, Vince leather joggers, headband, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves


midlife blogger in effortlessly chic street style winter outerwear with brown and black
Andrew Marcs motorcycle jacket, GNW and unbranded cashmere sweaters, plaid skirt, GNW tights, booties, YSL bag, Ray Ban sunglasses, smoky quartz necklace and bracelet, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and boot toppers c/o Top of the Boot


stylist wearing black, brown and green together
Front view of look described below


LBD with motorcycle jacket
Ellen Tracy dress, Nine West pumps, Dooney Brouke bag, collier de chien belt, Medor watch, head band, and BeBe leather jacket



Conclusion: Breaking Old Fashion Rules Is the New It

Think of brown and black as an all neutral dressy outfit and create interest with details like see-thru or texture. The easiest way to get the look right, is to start with a piece that has already the two colors in the print.

Breaking old-fashion rules is the new It. #effortlesslychic #styletips Click To Tweet



Top of the World Style Linkup No. 331

Top of the World Style linkup party logo showing the Eath from Alaska

Welcome to the Top of the World Style linkup party.


Awardees Debbie, Elke, and Allison
Awardees of last week’s party from left to right: Debbie’s post at Your Styled Story became the Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Elke’s post at Simply Ellibelle became the Top of the World Style Winner. Alison’s post from Midlife and Beyond became the Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Photos from these ladies’ posts


Congrats Ladies! Grab your award buttons.

Please invite your friends.
Come join me at the Top of the World Style #linkup party. #ffblogger Click To Tweet


Photos: G. Kramm

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