N is for Night Time


Night, that time after dusk, when the sun has gone down, colours fade as the cones in our eyes, which are the colour receptors, can’t distinguish colour well in low light.  Only the rods in our eyes work well at night and they can distinguish blue, but not other colours.   So at night time you can get away with wearing colours that are brighter than you’d normally wear during the day, and colours that are less flattering.

Because there is less light, there is less reflection of colour onto our faces, allowing us to put on those colours that normally drain us.

Now is the time to get out your black if it’s not a colour that flatters  you normally (that is, if you don’t have cool, deep and clear colouring) but there are still elements to wearing black to make it more flattering that you will want to consider.

How to Wear Black if It’s Not a Flattering Colour for You

HOw to WEar Black

1. Wear a low neckline, this will keep it from casting too much shadow onto your face.

2. Wear a necklace or scarf in a colour that does suit you to break up the black from your face.

3. Wear it in lace, with a warm colour such as camel or a soft gold underneath if you are warm.

4. Wear it in a sheer fabric – mesh or chiffon to take away the harshness of it and is particularly good for those with soft colouring.

5. Wear it in a textured fabric to soften the effect, this works well if you have textured hair or skin.

6. Wear a flattering coloured  top or shirt under a black jacket.  Wear the shirt collar over the top of your jacket collar to shift the black further from your face.

7. Wear stronger makeup colours.  A little extra blush and a stronger lip colour to balance out the strength of black.


How to Turn an Outfit from Day to Night

Day to Night

If you need to go out straight from work, how can you easily change your outfit from day-time conservative to night time sparkle.

1. Change your conservative office shoes for a pair of peep toe heels or a coloured pump.

2. Change your top to one that has some sheen or sparkle.

3. Change your jewellery to something that says fun and night time.

4. Swap your daytime tote or briefcase for a small clutch to carry your lippy, phone and wallet.

5. Add a belt with a feature buckle to spice up your outfit.

6. Put a lace cami under your suit jacket instead of your shirt or top.

7. Add a shawl or wrap for warmth.


I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

More from Imogen

Stylish Thoughts – Passion Fruit, Paws and Peonies

From leafy Surrey in the UK (just outside of London) comes midlife...
Read More


  • What are you doing suggesting that someone who looks terrible in black should wear it anyway. . .
    This sort of irresponsible suggestion makes it difficult to trust your other suggestions !

    • Hi I don’t think you understand this post. I don’t recommend people wear black if it first suit them. But I’m also a pragmatist and know that people will wear it anyway as they have it in their existing wardrobe and can’t afford to throw it out and replace it.

      • This is a really useful post, as I’ve wondered why I feel like wearing different colours after dark to ones I wear in the daytime, black or no black! Thanks Imogen, another gem from you to be filed away and referred to when appropriate. 🙂

  • Hi Imogen, thanks for the How To Wear Black. Very interesting on how we see colour after dark. I have been trying out these options with the black garments still remaining in my wardrobe after the recent major pruning thanks to you and your lovely students – wore a lovely warm lime green & sequin scarf with black lace singlet top and pants to a concert on Saturday night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *