This Age-Old Styling Trick Is Getting Us Out Of Our Fashion Rut

Chelsea Peng
·3 min read

It's easy to make the connection between wearing black and somber times, but you would be missing the upside: the preferred fashion palette of French editors, art directors, and New Yorkers is 1) incredibly easy for putting outfits together, particularly in a year when getting dressed feels like a real effort, and 2) nearly impossible to not look chic.

And in times like these, getting dressed to feel more prepared, more capable, or just better really does count for a lot. That's why we've partnered with Macy's to bring you a refresher on monochrome dressing that explores texture, shape, and an intentional jumbling-up of aesthetics in a way that might kickstart some more Big Ideas In Fits (and beauty — we've included some notes in that department, too). Ahead, see four creative all-black looks that celebrate fashion's most effective — and, therefore, happiest-making — outfit formula.

Even with an everyday T-shirt, a garter-strap miniskirt is very va-va-voom. But shrug on a hooded, longline leather jacket and lug-sole boot, and the vibe suddenly turns into "Don't trifle with me." Beauty note: Prep your legs with a scented body lotion so your shins soft, even if your outfit is hard as nails.<br><br><strong>Levi's</strong> Hooded Faux-Leather Moto Jacket, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Flevis-womens-hooded-faux-leather-moto-jacket%3FID%3D9534656%26CategoryID%3D118%26cm_kws%3D9534656" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>GUESS</strong> Mirage Logo Garter-Strap Zip Mini Skirt, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Fguess-mirage-logo-garter-strap-zip-mini-skirt%3FID%3D11308735%26CategoryID%3D131%26cm_kws%3D11308735" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>Levi's</strong> The Perfect Crewneck T-Shirt, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Flevis-the-perfect-crewneck-t-shirt%3FID%3D10423303%26CategoryID%3D17043%26cm_kws%3D10423303" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>Circus by Sam Edelman</strong> Darielle Lug Sole Chelsea Booties, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Fcircus-by-sam-edelman-darielle-lug-sole-chelsea-booties%3FID%3D11272944%26CategoryID%3D25122%26swatchColor%3DDark%2520Huckleberry" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>Marc Jacobs</strong> Perfect Body Lotion, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Fmarc-jacobs-perfect-body-lotion-5-oz.%3FID%3D11268475%26CategoryID%3D30087" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a>
Even with an everyday T-shirt, a garter-strap miniskirt is very va-va-voom. But shrug on a hooded, longline leather jacket and lug-sole boot, and the vibe suddenly turns into "Don't trifle with me." Beauty note: Prep your legs with a scented body lotion so your shins soft, even if your outfit is hard as nails.

Levi's Hooded Faux-Leather Moto Jacket, $, available at Macy's

GUESS Mirage Logo Garter-Strap Zip Mini Skirt, $, available at Macy's

Levi's The Perfect Crewneck T-Shirt, $, available at Macy's

Circus by Sam Edelman Darielle Lug Sole Chelsea Booties, $, available at Macy's

Marc Jacobs Perfect Body Lotion, $, available at Macy's
The amount of romantic details seen on recent (mostly virtual) runways seems to indicate that designers still believe in love, so why shouldn't we? Here, we've put together a puff-sleeve dress with snakeskin loafers, an embroidered headband, and a lush floral perfume for a sweet, schoolgirl-ish look that could still break a coeur or two. <br><br><strong>Michael Kors</strong> Leather-Trim Puff-Sleeve Dress, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Fmichael-michael-kors-leather-trim-puff-sleeve-dress-regular-petite-sizes%3FID%3D11205664%26CategoryID%3D55596" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>Circus by Sam Edelman</strong> Deana Lug Sole Bit Loafers, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Fcircus-by-sam-edelman-womens-deana-lug-sole-bit-loafers%3FID%3D10901980%26CategoryID%3D16108%26swatchColor%3DWarm%2520Spice%2520Snake%2520Multi" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>INC International Concepts</strong> Embroidered Knotted Headband, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Finc-embroidered-knotted-headband-created-for-macys%3FID%3D11009962%26CategoryID%3D55352" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>Valentino</strong> Voce Viva Eau de Parfum, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Fvalentino-voce-viva-eau-de-parfum-collection%3FID%3D11487844%26CategoryID%3D30087" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a>
The amount of romantic details seen on recent (mostly virtual) runways seems to indicate that designers still believe in love, so why shouldn't we? Here, we've put together a puff-sleeve dress with snakeskin loafers, an embroidered headband, and a lush floral perfume for a sweet, schoolgirl-ish look that could still break a coeur or two.

Michael Kors Leather-Trim Puff-Sleeve Dress, $, available at Macy's

Circus by Sam Edelman Deana Lug Sole Bit Loafers, $, available at Macy's

INC International Concepts Embroidered Knotted Headband, $, available at Macy's

Valentino Voce Viva Eau de Parfum, $, available at Macy's
Did we or did we not see this ensemble walk down a fluorescent-pink catwalk in a wheat field in the south of France? Even if our memory's a bit foggy, a cardigan dress, lace-up sandals, and tawny makeup are enough to transport us straight to Provence, if only in our mind's eye. <br><br><strong>Lucy Paris</strong> Corine Caridgan Maxi Dress, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Flucy-paris-corine-caridgan-maxi-dress%3FID%3D11350478%26CategoryID%3D20853" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>Steve Madden</strong> Uplift Ankle-Tie Sandals, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Fsteve-madden-womens-uplift-ankle-tie-sandals%3FID%3D10953373%26CategoryID%3D17570%26swatchColor%3DCamel%2520Patent" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>Lauren Ralph Lauren</strong> Gold-Tone Textured Oval Link Orbital Drop Earrings, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Flauren-ralph-lauren-gold-tone-textured-oval-link-orbital-drop-earrings%3FID%3D10986744%26CategoryID%3D78233%26cm_kws%3D10986744" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>Too Faced</strong> Pumpkin Spice Warm & Spicy Eye Shadow Palette, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Ftoo-faced-pumpkin-spice-warm-spicy-eye-shadow-palette%3FID%3D11235904%26CategoryID%3D30077" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>Urban Decay</strong> Jumbo All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Furban-decay-all-nighter-long-lasting-makeup-setting-spray%3FID%3D10154832%26CategoryID%3D30077" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a>
Did we or did we not see this ensemble walk down a fluorescent-pink catwalk in a wheat field in the south of France? Even if our memory's a bit foggy, a cardigan dress, lace-up sandals, and tawny makeup are enough to transport us straight to Provence, if only in our mind's eye.

Lucy Paris Corine Caridgan Maxi Dress, $, available at Macy's

Steve Madden Uplift Ankle-Tie Sandals, $, available at Macy's

Lauren Ralph Lauren Gold-Tone Textured Oval Link Orbital Drop Earrings, $, available at Macy's

Too Faced Pumpkin Spice Warm & Spicy Eye Shadow Palette, $, available at Macy's

Urban Decay Jumbo All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, $, available at Macy's
TBD on when we'll actually be able to dance to bangers in a real club, but with slick faux-leather leggings, a cutout sweater, mirror-finish highlighter, and point-toe boots, it's almost like being there.<br><br><strong>Bar III</strong> Melanay Booties, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Fbar-iii-womens-melanay-booties-created-for-macys%3FID%3D11180108%26CategoryID%3D25122%26swatchColor%3DBlack%2520Smooth" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>Planet Gold</strong> Cutout Mock-Neck Sweater, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Fplanet-gold-juniors-cutout-mock-neck-sweater%3FID%3D11318784%26CategoryID%3D20853%26swatchColor%3DBlack" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>Bar III</strong> Faux-Leather Leggings, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Fbar-iii-faux-leather-leggings-created-for-macys%3FID%3D9576525%26CategoryID%3D157%26isDlp%3Dtrue%26isDlp%3Dtrue" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a><br><br><strong>BECCA Cosmetics</strong> Zero Face + Lip Glass Highlighter, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.macys.com%2Fshop%2Fproduct%2Fbecca-cosmetics-zero-face-lip-glass-highlighter-0.23-oz.%3FID%3D11306014%26CategoryID%3D30077" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Macy's" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Macy's</a>
TBD on when we'll actually be able to dance to bangers in a real club, but with slick faux-leather leggings, a cutout sweater, mirror-finish highlighter, and point-toe boots, it's almost like being there.

Bar III Melanay Booties, $, available at Macy's

Planet Gold Cutout Mock-Neck Sweater, $, available at Macy's

Bar III Faux-Leather Leggings, $, available at Macy's

BECCA Cosmetics Zero Face + Lip Glass Highlighter, $, available at Macy's

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?