It won’t surprise many of you to learn that a hefty portion of my daily existence is dedicated to the matter of clothes, the wearing and the thinking of; nor will the revelation that an equally bulky serving of my business-as-usual goes towards determining the looks that I like and, ultimately, why I like them.

Rarely do I talk of the swipe-left styles that didn’t tickle my fancy… Those ‘it’s not you it’s me’ ensembles that seem to look fan-bloody-tastic on everyone who isn’t yours truly. Working in this industry, par exemple, I’ll regularly encounter mind-bogglingly chic individuals who can rock the all-black-errrything wardrobe with effortless élan – and, theoretically, it should be a getup that anyone can nail with little to no effort whatsoever. Theoretically.

I’ve dabbled with the dark side of style on occasion, however my maximalist brain has never quite warmed to the idea of throwing sartorial shade on a permanent basis – and I’d hazard a guess that I’m not alone. Lo and behold! Here’s my handy (fingers crossed) and succinctly-or-not named guide to ‘how to wear black when you don’t like wearing black’, straight from my heart to yours. Deep breaths… We’ll get through this together!

Abigail wears Victoria blouse by Isa Arfen; floral wrap skirt by Ganni via Browns; Anthos 55 sandals by Neous

Introduce A Print
When bookending your look with block black pieces, introducing a subtle print in-between it all will lift the mood of the entire ensemble; the floral motif of this Ganni wrap number is ideal, since its contrasting notes are based by a darker shade to bring a seamless continuity to the overall scene. A voluminous Victoriana blouse à la Isa Arfen will echo the ruffle of the hem, meanwhile Neousminimalist ‘Mum’ sandals will anchor those flyaway frills with some requisite simplicity.

Abigail wears Myrtha dress by Kitri; 90 knee high boots by Dorateymur

Accessorise Playfully
Counting myself among the multitude devotees of a statement accessory, for me, balancing an LBD with a bright and bold accompaniment – like a bag or, in this case, a shoe – is something of a no brainer. Dorateymur’s Piet Mondrian-esque pairing will kick up the wattage of a pared-back palette, meanwhile their streamlined silhouette can act as a counterpoint to the wafty wondrousness of a Kitri midi dress.

Abigail wears T-shirt by Christopher Kane (similar style available here); asymmetric polka-dot dress by Richard Quinn; sculpted heel mules by Marques'Almeida

Experiment With Layers
If I’ve learned anything from the recent runways, it’s to layercake like there’s no tomorrow! Trust me, this is by far the easiest route to guaranteeing a getup with dimension and interest, whether you’re looking to introduce texture or mix messages of daytime and eveningwear. A Christopher Kane slogan T-shirt and Richard Quinn runway dress partnership exemplifies the latter to a, well, tee (pun intended), and the touch of tactile tangerine via Marques’Almeida will emphasise the contrasting textures in the ensemble as a whole.

Welcome to the dark side... Shop our favourite jet black pieces here:

In case you missed it, read Caroline Issa's column on the season's practical shoes to wear on the go.