Ultimate Guide To Wearing Black| Men’s Black Shirts

The color black has a whiff of villainy and intrigue to it that poses the question as to what colors look good on black shirts?

Black is a color that will highlight any other color you pair with it, and more specifically with navy, grey (charcoal), pink, green, and red. Also what pairs well with black is black itself provided you utilize different textures of black, such as utilizing denim black jeans with a black-t-shirt.

Though there many are nuances and tricks that you can use to utilize wearing black to its fullest, and why shouldn’t you? Black is one sexy color…

Black shirt tailor
Close-up shot of two classical jackets, scissors, measuring tape and awl lying on working table at sewing atelier

Why do black shirts look better and more attrractive?

There are many colors to choose from when it comes to dressing well, as various colors will go with various skin tones and styles, as well as offer different results, however, there’s a reason why black is known for being the most attractive color.

Black is a color that is long associated with power, and elegance, claims psychology website Very Well Mind.com, who (in a study by Sage Journals) found that the color black evoked positive associations within people, including attractiveness and elegance.

Wearer effects in clothing color-associated attributions are nothing new, as we’ve used colors to evoke all sorts of things since millennia back. An example being red correlating with dominance status (the reason it is used often in competitive sports) or using red to enhance a woman’s attractiveness (think red lipstick, red dress, etc.)

Backround on why colors may affect us

Many postulates (presume) this notion of ours to judge colors stems from an evolutionary predisposition to associate certain color shades with meanings behind them. As men of style, however, we can use this to our advantage, especially when it comes to wearing the color black.

Why black can be awesome to pair with colors in general

Blackshirts (or anything black really) will look better than other colors as it is (by definition) the absence of light, and as such, is inherently mysterious, unknowing. This translates well if you choose to wear black as it’ll give off the impression that you’re a man of power, mystery, a professional of sorts.

The color black also has the added benefit of having what I call a “thinning effect”, meaning with black you’ll be able to hide and “fluff”, and look more slender as a result of wearing black. Lighter colors will show more of your body, while black (due to its nature) will absolve your shape entirely – leaving you feeling slimmer, more mysterious, and sexy.

What colors does a black t shirt absorb?

Blackshirts absorb all visible wavelengths (as black itself is the absence of light), this is the reason why black clothes are warmer to wear. The color black absorbs all “colors” and is converted to heat, as opposed to a white shirt, which reflects all wavelengths of light, and therefore does not absorb heat.

According to UCSB Science Line, different “colors” (or more appropriately labeled “wavelengths”) have differing amounts of energy. This is why a dark object of a given color naturally will absorb more photons (energy) than a light object of that same color. This means any color shirt that is dark will naturally be more prone to “heating up” than its lighter counterpart.

The easiest trick is to pair black with complimentary colors

If we’re talking about style, then the first rule is to always beset yourself with complementary colors, colors that go together. As brilliant of color as black is, its stark contrast to, well…everything, means it won’t go together with certain colors.

Colors naturally have undertones, which are essentially underlying tones (either subdued or muted) of certain colors. Black itself can have a variety of these undertones like brown, green, blue, and purple.

Avoid these colors (generally speaking)

Because of this, it’s imperative to avoid matching these select colors with black. You’d want to avoid wearing a brown shirt with black pants if the black fabric had a blue or purple undertone for example.

While we’re on the topic, there’re a few color combinations that you should never match black with:

  • Brown and black
  • Dark Blue with black
  • Blue and black

Sidenote: How to match colors in general

If you’re confused on how to pair colors in general then I have some tips below that’ll have you never confused again!

color wheel

This is a color wheel, using this we’ll know how to match colors, in general, using 5 types of hacks below, all using the concept of color theory to our advantage (don’t worry I’ll skip over the science bit and get straight to the results.)


Choose any two colors opposite of each other on the wheel. For example purple and orange, or red and green.

color wheel theory complimentary technique


These are any three colors next to each other on the wheel. For example red, red-orange, and orange.

color wheel theory analogous


This is any three colors that are equally apart on the color wheel. For example, red, yellow, and blue.

color wheel theory Triadic

Split Complimentary

This uses three colors, the scheme takes one color and matches it with the two colors adjacent to its complementary color. So for example, blue, yellow-orange, and red-orange.

color wheel method split complimentary

Tertradic (A.K.A. Double complmentary colors)

Uses four colors together, in the form of two sets of complementary colors. For example, blue and orange is paired with yellow and violet.

color wheel method Tetradic

These diagrams are merely the basic, if you wish to go fully in-depth on the color theory explained ridiculously easily, then check out this link here.

Is wearing all black bad?

Black as color can have a significant psychological impact on our cognitive state if worn too often. Muted and/or prominent colors like black could affect the wearer’s mood negatively if used prominently, therefore its best to dress in variety in order to not negatively alter our psychosomatic state (negative interaction of the mind and body.)

Though that aside, wearing all black can be a positive or a negative depending on your goals. The human eye sees dark objects (due to an optical illusion) as being slightly smaller, so wearing all black could prove to be beneficial if you hope to mask your figure (if only slightly.)

Another reason wearing all black could prove to be beneficial is if you’re the type to often revel in sweat, black as a color will help mask a lot more of your sweat. Other reasons to wear black could be if you hope to give off a certain image, one of power, mystery, status, and intrigue – and this is the case then black can do you wonders if you do it right.

How to wear all black clothing the right way

The key to looking good in all black will be choosing all-black garments similar in tone, contrasting fabrics – as this will subtly break up the look with a welcome dash of texture to the mix. From streetwear to classy, and even vintage – experimenting in such a manner will help keep your look from becoming too try-hard.

Now, you shouldn’t just run off to barter with your local store’s bulk collection of black items – as this is a fast way to head down to the all-black emo days of ’05.

Instead start off by being aware of the fabric choices at your disposal, such as mixing corduroy with wool, leather jackets with denim, and cashmere with cotton – the more fabric mishmash the better in this case.

This is the prime rule you should run off with, then combining black will be a sitch. This will also help ensure that literally everything goes together, not a bad deal eh?

Such examples of items to try experimenting within the “all black department” will be:

  • Leather jackets
  • Denim casual
  • Long outerwear
  • All black formal wear

And if you ever want to try adding a spiced edge to the look, consider adding a striking contrast of white sneakers, a blood-red tie, white socks, etc. The good thing is black goes with almost everything, but especially hot pink, turquoise, and my personal favorite…red.

Style tip: If in doubt, think of a “sexy color”, and it’ll likely go with black swimmingly (red, pink, etc.)

What color pants to wear with black shirt

Everything from lighter color pants to different textures and/or shades of black pants will go well with a black shirt. Black can fall in either the warm or cool end of the spectrum depending on its undertones, so the best colors will be ones that lend contrast (with exceptions being navy or charcoal grey.)

As stated, most things can go with black, it’ll just be a matter of how well it goes with black. Colors that could pair well with black could involve navy, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and turquoise.

However, if we’re talking about pants specifically then opt for either denim blue pants, navy pants, grey (or charcoal) pants, black pants (preferably made of a different texture, or shade), maybe even salmon pink (though maybe a little harder to pull off.)

A note on colorful pants

Colorful pants are fun, but something I’d be cautious when incorporating with the color black. If you don’t know what you’re doing chances are you’ll get this wrong from the jump, so when in doubt, stick to the main colors mentioned above.

What to wear with a black t-shirt guys

Something so simple as a basic black tee is one that can be often overlooked, though below we’ll cover what you need to pair your black shirt with.

Black T shirt with a suit

A black t-shirt can be a critical element to make you blend comfortably in between the smart and casual space, as black lends a specific type of slickness to itself.

For blazer and denim combos I’d suggest pairing a v-neck tee, drawing the eyeliner right down to the center of your stern figure. Another pairing could be a full suit blazer trousers combo along with a rounded neck t-shirt – to give off more of a Euro summer vibe (with style.)

Black T shirt with Jacket

A favorite of mine, a look so timeless, effortless, and iconic… every time you wear it.

The black t-shirt with jacket look is versatile as all hell and can carry you through smart-casual events to evening drinks.

Consider going for a denim jacket with a black tee (make sure the denim jeans are of a different color, however.) A suede jacket is another option to “fancify” your look. Or go the opposite direction with a bomber jacket.

Black t shirt with jeans

Another easy ‘hole in one look. Pair the black t-shirt with denim, washed indigo, white jeans, or black. Hell, try skinny jeans if you must and they’ll look swimmingly with this look.

Go for lighter color jeans if you feel the need to flex your fashionista side a tad bit more, otherwise, stick to the darker and or denim look for a more masculine edge.

Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Black t shirt with shorts

For when the heat really has you beat. Opt for any type of shorts, the likes of gym shorts, to denim, to fitted dress shorts.

For the denim look, regular or slim fit will work best, and of course, if you’ve got the physique then show it off with a more slim fit pair of shorts and a t-shirt.

Personally for me if I wear shorts (ever) then I’ll opt for the slim fit look, to accentuate (and compensate) for the casual nature of shorts themselves.

Black t-shirt with joggers

You may hate the very nature of joggers, but personally, I love them, and guess what? They’re here to stay, so might as well use the look to your advantage.

Whether it be for the gym or a casual night out, opt for a more form-fitting pair of joggers, and either a slim fit or oversize t-shirt to round out the look – it really is based on your preferences.

Style tip: I’d only recommend an XL t-shirt if you already have a well-developed physique, including well-developed forearms. This specifically will prevent you from looking like a child who wandered into his daddy’s closet.

Best skin tones that go with black

If you take a look at a color wheel, you may notice that black goes with…pretty much everything. But there is a certain tone of skin shade that will work best.

Warm skin tones will work best for wearing the color black. Think honey, olive, coral, and cream tones – these are what will flourish most. Though you’ll be lightyears better off than those with paler complexions when it comes to wearing black straight off the bat.

Those on the paler side (for the most part) may look sickly when choosing to wear super dark colors like black and may favor more toward cooler colors like winter blue, and deep purples.

When to wear black (secret tips)

The best time to wear black is when you wish to create/add a sense of mystery, intrigue, sex appeal, and intensity to your look and demeanor. Black is such a color that is essentially void of color, and as such will draw the eyes of most who pass by you, in a likely alluring manner.

Another time to wear black is when you lack the motivation to put much effort into your wardrobe outfit, as all colors look good with black. Black is a neutral color, meaning it will pair well with whatever color you add to it.

Black is also good to wear during times when you wish to show off other colors alongside your look. As black lends itself to helping other colors it pairs with to “stand out”, meaning whatever color you pair black with will likely be the standout item of the entire look.

This is why wearing white shoes with an all-black look works so well, or wearing a colorful tie with an all-black suit, or wearing a crisp white tee with a black/trouser combo – these looks all work for a reason.

what color attracts the human eye the most?

Colors like black, red, blue, pink, blue, gold, yellow, green, purple, gold, orange, and brown are the main colors that attract and affect the eye and human perception, as these colors hold significant intrinsic meaning behind them that subconsciously will alter people’s perception of you.

Whether it be for sales tactic, a hot date, a job interview, or just simply looking good, colors have more meaning than we care to admit, and can cast major influence on our psychological functioning – colors lend to people making assumptions (whether they are in fact true or false.)

According to VeryWellMind.com colors can alter our states of being from boosting our moods to causing anxiety. Below is a breakdown of what certain colors will likely emit, and how to use them to your advantage.


Black adds mystery and intrigue, also adds drama to whatever mood you wish to cast.


Red lends itself to being associated with power, it tends to hold people’s attention, and according to business2community.com is the most popular color for marketing.


Blue is best when you wished to be viewed upon as trustworthy and cool. Mix with complementary colors for best results.


Goes extremely well with black and is best for vying attention from the younger female demographic, It is also noted as being viewed as being “fun” looking (good if this is something you wish to convey.)


Yellow signifies power and commands attention from across the room. Works best for when you’re already confident in your abilities and/or look, as this color will certainly give off that impression from the start!


Green is warm and inviting, a very versatile color. It lends to leaving people feeling pleased, it also denotes health and goodwill, as well as thoughts of wealth (wonder why.)


Purple equals royalty (at least by association), which makes it perfect for adding a thimbleful of elegance and prestige to whatever endeavors or looks you wish to take on.


No surprise, gold is elegance and prestige all rolled into one, but also adds a dimension of power that purple cannot match (obviously, it’s gold after all.)


Orange is *pow!* & *kaboom!* – orange basically symbolizes energy, and will give off that impression. It’s also a fun and cool color, modern, and reveling.


Brown is a comfortable color, and will add a feeling of relaxation to whatever look you pair this with.

“All that stands between you and being dead, is you.”

Prisoners (2013)

You yourself need not think too hard in regards to how to rid yourself of trife, simply be vigilant and pair your blacks with caution, and you’ll embody the epitome of debonair mystery in no time.

Stay Rogue.

Dom Jeswal

Im a mixed third culture kid (with even more mixed tastes in fashion, food, manners & ideals) living in Asia. Currently exploring what it means to be a man a "spiced" value in the modern age - and all the interests and skills that come with the territory. Like your average men's lifestyle blog - only with more spice & more focus on info not exclusive to the West.

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