Black jeans are one of those items that most would consider a wardrobe essential. They can be styled endless ways, and I wear mine throughout the year (yes, even in summer and spring at night!). A few weeks ago, I rounded up my favorite white jeans, so I wanted to give black jeans the same spotlight.
Today I’m answering the question “what to wear with black jeans” by sharing 18 black jeans outfit ideas to inspire you to wear yours for a variety of occasions. Plus, I’m sharing the pairs of black denim I own with details on how they fit, how to style them, and which I wear most often.
Black Jeans Outfit Ideas
1. Wear Black Jeans with Cream and White
One of the easiest ways to wear black jeans is to create contrast with a white, cream, or off-white top. Anything in the neutral family will work, and with this “formula” I get so much wear out of my favorite white t-shirts, crewneck sweaters, and hoodies. To keep the outfit from looking too black and white, add balance with a tan shoe, or with your accessories like I did in the look with the hat.
2. Wear Black with Beige and Taupe Shades
Moving onto another neutral color that pairs well with black jeans (you’ll start to see a pattern here). Black denim looks great with beige and taupe. Try starting with a neutral base (black denim and a black top or black denim and a white top), then add beige or taupe layers. I’ve loved pairing camel coats, duster cardigans, blazers, and moto jackets in this color range with black jeans.
3. Wear Black Jeans with Brown and Dark Camel
Contrary to what most people think, yes, you can wear black and brown together! Some people say that an ‘anchor piece’ is necessary to pair them (an anchor piece is an item that incorporates both colors, like a black and brown handbag or a leopard scarf), but I disagree. You can bring the look to life with pops of a brighter tone (think ivory or white) in your handbag and shoes, but dark, matching accessories work just as well.
4. Wear Black Jeans with Grey Shades
I consider grey a neutral, and most shades of grey look great with black. Try breaking up an otherwise all-black look with a pop of grey like I did with the sweater below, or wear a multi-tonal outfit with a black coat, grey hoodie, and charcoal black jeans. This combination can take some experimentation—there aren’t any rules here, so play with it until it feels right to you.
5. Wear Black Jeans in an All-Black Look
WeI’ve been drawn more and more to neutral hues over the last several years, and a large portion of my wardrobe is comprised of black pieces. I think all-black outfits are so overlooked. People often associate them with ‘dark,’ ‘moody,’ or ‘grunge’ vibes, but there’s a softer side to black that can look feminine and elegant. Black on black also transitions more easily between work and play.
6. Wear Black Jeans with Pattern or a Pop of Color
I personally love wearing an all-black base outfit and layering a print on top. If you’re feeling like your black jeans are bland or boring, this is an easy way to spice things up without committing to the sometimes difficult challenge of styling a printed sweater, blouse, or t-shirt. Try patterns that incorporate black, like I did with the houndstooth and check coats below, or venture into a black floral pattern. A pop of color, like blush, blue, or sage looks beautiful layered over black denim as well.
7. Wear Black Jeans with Denim, Utility, and Moto Jackets
One of the easiest ways to get more wear out of your black denim in spring, summer, and early fall is to pair them with a lightweight jacket. Denim jackets break up all-black looks beautifully (wear it or tie it around your waist), and the same goes for olive green utility jackets, bomber jackets, and moto jackets in a variety of colors. Below, I styled black skinny jeans with my favorite medium wash jean jacket, a graphic tee, and white sneakers. To create easy iterations with your lightweight outerwear all year round, start with a monochromatic black base (black jeans and a black sweater, blouse, or tank top depending on the season), then play with your shoes and a short jacket until the look feels balanced.
Black Jeans I Recommend
There are so many black denim styles on the market, so I wanted to share a few suggestions from my wardrobe. These aren’t the only ones I’ve tried, just the pairs of jeans I’ve worn the most over the years. I included fit, styling, and fabrication notes to help you navigate the options.
These are by far my most-worn high-rise pair, and I love these as a slim alternative to skinny jeans. They’re a traditional non-stretch denim but are not as rigid as other Levi’s styles. I sized up in these per reviews, and size 27 hits just above my ankles. The color of this pair of jeans is a very lightly washed black, which, in combination with the inseam, makes them perfect to wear with sneakers, heeled sandals, and low-shaft ankle booties. See how I styled them with a coatigan in this post.
If you’re someone who enjoys feeling trendy but isn’t ready to go all out with straight leg jeans, these are a great option. They have stretch, a high waist, and a tapered cut that comes in more throughout the calf and leg opening than traditional straight leg denim. I recommend sizing down at least one size as these will stretch. I wear size 24 and am typically a size 26.
I got these full-length skinny jeans years ago, and they’re still one of my most reached for pairs. They are a deep, true black that makes them easy to dress up. The material is crazy soft and comfy for a true skinny yet does not sag or loosen over time. They are true to size and also available in a cropped version. See them on me in this post.
These were my first pair of black skinny jeans, and I still pull them out from time to time! Since they are fully rigid, I don’t find them comfortable to wear for hours, but when I want to create an outfit with a pair of true black jeans that looks streamlined and makes me feel ‘pulled in,’ these are amazing. Unfortunately Everlane no longer makes this exact style, as it was replaced with The Way-High Skinny Jean, which I haven’t tried but have excellent reviews.
These are my newest pair of black jeans and have quickly become a favorite. I love the laid back look of ripped jeans, and these are truly so flattering, especially if you have a little curve. The elastane gives them a bit of stretch, so I wish I’d sized down as I expect mine to loosen up with more wear. They look great with sneakers, boots, and heels and are available without rips as well.
I hope this style guide and black jeans roundup gave you some fresh ideas on how to style black jeans in a fresh way this year!