All Black Everything: How To Wear Black When You’re Over 40

This time of year is the most fun from a clothing perspective. You’re starting to transition into your fall wardrobe, but also ’tis the season for Halloween! Costumes and “witchy” fashions are front and center. Wearing black is a given for the season, but it doesn’t have to be just for Halloween (or funerals). Black is a wonderful option to wear year round. It’s classic and chic and will always be in style. There isn’t a season that goes by where black is not represented in collections or provided as an option for any apparel or accessory piece. And for those over 40, it’s a no-brainer to looking polished. Let’s explore how to wear black and all black outfits

How To Wear All Black Outfits 

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Black Jeans

Where do we even start? So many options and so little time. Almost without fail, one of the first black pieces of clothing that I pull out is a pair of black jeans. There are some wonderful styles currently out there. If you like super soft jeans, then try these Mid Rise Black Knit Supersoft Jeans from Express. Word on the street is that they feel like joggers. I haven’t tried them yet, but I’m sold on the idea of a jean that feels like sweatpants (Rag & Bone makes an unbelievable pair, but not in black…yet). Keeping it casual, you can also try these Wide Leg Pants from Target. I love the details of the buttons up the legs.


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Black Tops

Let’s continue to build our all black outfit and talk tops. The possibilities are endless here. You can go with a casual t-shirt, sophisticated button front, simple sweater or cardigan. You can even opt for a tone-on-tone print or pattern. I prefer something a little sexy and slouchy this early in the season. You’d probably find this Free People Thermal Knit top in my closet. I’d wear this in normal rotation. Or if you want something a little more buttoned-up, you can try this Embroidered Collar Silk Portofino Shirt. This is also a really versatile piece that can translate well for both a casual or upscale setting. 

The Little Black Dress

Let’s move on to the iconic little black dress. Something that has and will span the ages as a fashion mainstay. You can invest in the perfect-for-you LBD and wear it for the rest of your life. It all depends on your personal style. If you want a flattering fit that is relaxed and warm, you can try this Aqua Mock Neck Tie Waist Long Sleeved Ribbed Dress from Bloomingdale’s. This dress serves as a great base for layering accessories and adding some really trendy shoes. The sweater fabric is also a plus for keeping you warm as the weather turns cooler. I also like this Midi Length Trench Dress. Again, it will make a good base piece for layering and adding to, but this one also can be worn all year. Having the sleeveless option makes it a good item for spring and summer time in addition to fall. 

Black Boots for Fall

Finishing off with shoes! Getting my black boots for the fall season used to be a big and exciting shopping event. I absolutely adore black boots in all styles and heel heights. I have more than a person should have. But in reality, you only need two pairs of really good options to get you through the season. The first one is your casual black boot. Combat boots have been back for a little while now and I’ve definitely taken to them. However, if you want the look of a combat book and not the chunky, grunge style of one, try the Troopa Black Leather Boot from Steve Madden. This is one of their tried and true styles that they bring back every year. They are durable, incredibly comfortable and are not likely to go out of style. I have a pair in brown and have had them for many years. 

The other style of boot you want to have is a heeled boot. Something casual enough that you can wear with jeans but dress enough you can pair with a skirt or dress and still look elevated. I found these Dodger Chelsea Boots by Charles David that checked all the boxes. I love the subtle studded details that give them a little extra something. 

How To Wear All Black Expert Style Tips

  1. Black can be slimming, but don’t fall into the trap. You still need to pay attention to fit and how it drapes your form. You can put on a bunch of oversized or ill-fitting black pieces and they are not going to make you look trim. Be mindful of proportions (oversized shirt with slim pants or fitted top with wide-leg pants), cut and overall fit. If you do, your black can be incredibly flattering.
  2. Play up your accessories. If you are trying the all black fashion trend, then make sure to up the ante with your accessories. It’s fun to go bold with chunky or colorful pieces. Both silver and gold will pair with black. So ultimately, you can’t really go wrong with anything you choose. 
  3. The all black trend is not just for Halloween. I’ve spent quite a bit of dollars investing in my current wardrobe over the course of the last few years and when I take a step back, a lot of the pieces are black. At the end of the day, I don’t regret it. Black is classic and timeless and frankly, if I had to choose between that and another color, many times, the black just looks better. Black is not reserved just for the Halloween season. Wear your black all season long. It makes for a chic and sophisticated look that almost always looks polished. 

Shop All Black

(Pictured above from left to right)

Express Mid Rise Black Knit Supersoft Skinny Jeans, $98 (Now Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off)

Target Women’s High-Rise Wide Leg Pants – Who What Wear™, $36.99

Free People Fuji Thermal Knit Long Sleeve Top, $68

Embroidered Collar Silk Portofino Shirt, $148

Steve Madden Troopa Black Leather Boots, $80.95

Charles by Charles David Dodger Chelsea Boot, $89.99

Banana Republic Factory Trench Midi Shirtdress, $83.99

Aqua Mock Neck Tie Waist Long Sleeved Ribbed Dress – 100% Bloomingdale’s Exclusive, $68

So what do you think? Are you going to try an all black everything outfit this year? What are your thoughts on wearing all black? 

– Carmen Turner

You may like to read more of Carmen’s trends posts like Back To School Fashion Trends For Women Over 40 Too! and Best Ways to Style The Saturated Colors Trend for Fall 2021.

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