Black And Brown Are The Ultimate Neutrals - Here's How To Pair Them For The Perfect Look

You can't wear black and brown together: right? Well, not anymore. While combining these two go-to neutrals has long been known as a fashion faux pas, things are changing. Black and brown are both neutrals, so by definition, they can't clash. Why is it, then, that we think of them as such a bad match? There are ways to mix black and brown that may look mismatched or even drab. Yet, when done right, the black and brown pairing is chic, understated, and modern. Plus, opening your mind up to this color combination can totally change how you style many pieces that are already in your closet.

Still, after spending all our lives believing that a black and brown fit is a major no-no, it may be hard for some of us to break out of that belief. There are so many ways to rock this rich, sleek color palette that are foolproof and will make even the biggest non-believer into a big fan of the wonderful world of black and brown looks. 

Black and brown prints

If you're eager to attempt your own black and brown look, but you're a bit wary of how to combine the colors, starting with a piece of clothing in a black and brown print is the perfect way to do it. From a black and brown plaid skirt to a black and brown striped sweater, mixing these two colors in a print ties the outfit together and allows you to build an outfit around the unique color combination with the help of one connecting piece.

Mixed materials

When mixing and matching unexpected colors, you may not be inclined to mix and match unexpected fabrics, too. Yet, there's something about two very different fabrics and textures that complement the black and brown color combination in a rich and unusual way. We love this light brown leather jacket layered over a crushed velvet black dress, because these textures make for interesting finishes and details. You can also try a silky brown button-down tucked into a black faux leather skirt, a black lace dress under a brown suede jacket, and so many more unique combinations. 

Warm brown coats

Faux fur probably comes in more shades of brown than any other color. The same goes for beloved, cozy teddy coats. Whether you have a fancy faux fur coat, like this one from The Drop, or you love to snuggle up in a teddy coat, like this fuzzy pick, a brown coat is a way better option for winter than you may think. Most people choose black for their heavy winter coat since this is a piece that needs to go with everything. Yet, brown is an unexpected, yet neutral twist that pairs perfectly with black staples. 

Brown accent on an all black look

What's more classic than an all black outfit? Basically nothing, though, most of us don't want to dress in all black all the time. This is why all black outfits with red shoes or bright neon bags are popular. However, a stop in between an entirely black look and a bold, scene-stealing pop of color is something that so many of us want. This is why we love a single brown piece with an all-black ensemble. Choose a light brown jacket or a brown bag for a neutral, yet unique go-to look. 

Subtle pop of color

While much of the appeal of a black and brown outfit is the understated color palette, that doesn't mean that you can't add some color to the look, as well. We love the way this classic red lipstick complements the palette without distracting. Other ways to add that subtle pop are with a bold bag, a bright pair of shoes, or even one article of clothing in a colorful shade. Which color you choose for your pop depends on your shade of brown. For chocolate brown, bright blue and pale pink work well. 

Almost monochrome

Monochrome looks are all-the-rage, and of course, all black looks are as classic as it comes. For this look, you'll need a black outfit and plenty of black pieces, like jewelry, sunglasses, a bag, and shoes. Load up on black accessories to drive the monochrome look home. Finally, pop on a jacket or cardigan in a deep, cool shade of brown to give your black fit a modern upgrade. This faux leather moto jacket is the perfect brown shade to make your outfit look just shy of monochromatic in an unexpected way.

Leopard print

Black and brown prints can pull any black and brown color combination together and make for a neutral yet unique ensemble. One of the most classic black and brown prints out there is leopard print. One leopard print piece can make a black and brown outfit work with ease. We love this leopard print jacket layered over a bandeau and paired with some boyfriend jeans. While black is the color that's paired with the leopard print in this outfit, the print would make a brown bag and brown shoes work perfectly for a chic ensemble.

Moto jackets

Most of us have a black faux leather moto jacket somewhere in our closets. Popping on a black leather jacket works surprisingly well with pretty much any outfit as a base. This is why we love using a black leather jacket as a piece that bridges the gap between black and brown. Pick your favorite pair of brown pants, a midi skirt, or even a maxi dress, like this super sleek option from Amazon. Pop your black moto jacket on top, and feel free to add on black accessories for a put-together look with plenty of dimension. 

Brown accessories

Brown accessories are always easy to find since they're the perfect go-to staple, and they make for a softer neutral than black. Yet, if you think that your brown shoes, bags, jewelry, and sunglasses can't be paired with an all black outfit, you're definitely not alone. To some of us, it just seems wrong. This outfit shows how much interest is added to a black monochrome look by pairing it with a brown bag, sunglasses, and sandals. While the outfit would certainly work if these accessories were black, the brown gives the look more interest. 

Black and khaki

Brown encompasses many shades, and while not every shade of brown works with black in any shape or style, black and khaki are always a match made in neutral heaven. Whether you have a favorite pair of khaki pants or a cute khaki mini skirt, feel confident when pairing these pieces with a simple black top and black accessories. The color combination is easy, effortless, and chic without making a big fashion statement. Plus, it's an easy way to get even more wear out of some of your closet staples in a new, different way. 

Brown with black tights

Black tights are always a cool weather staple, yet most of us think that they work with pretty much any color but brown. Yet, a black top, tights, and accessories paired with a brown miniskirt are utterly chic. You can get this look by pairing your black tights with this warm brown suede mini skirt and a black sweater, or you can go for a different look with a black top, tights, and this pleated chocolate brown tennis skort. We also love the idea of black tights with a brown mini dress like this one

Pattern mixing

Pattern mixing is such a fun way to add interest and dimension to an outfit. While mixing bold patterns may feel counterintuitive when you're already hyperaware of how the different elements of your fit might work together, it's actually a great way to elevate your look. We love the mix of these small, subtle prints on this flowy, oversized shirt and wide-leg pants. Not every print will clash in a fashion-forward way, but choosing smaller prints in neutral colors is a great way to make this look work and leave you with a super cool ensemble.

Paired with other neutrals

Black and brown is the perfect updated way to pair neutrals. To add even more interest to your black and brown outfits without breaking the neutral vibe, try incorporating other neutrals. White and cream hues and shades of grey are chic additions to a black and brown outfit. They can add a bit more contrast without sacrificing the chic and unusual elements of a black and brown outfit. We especially love how this outfit pairs a black and white print with warm brown accessories for a soft yet statement-making outfit.

Coordinating flannel

Most of us have a flannel or two in our wardrobes for cozy outfits on cool days. Black and brown actually make for a surprisingly common color palette for flannel shirts. Once again, a piece in a black and brown print makes this color palette much easier to build an outfit around. Flannel is definitely no exception to the rule. So, grab a black and brown flannel, and pair it with a black top, jeans, and brown accessories, or layered over a brown dress and black tights. We love this one for under $25. 

Dark browns with matching blacks

If you're a fan of sleek, minimalist outfits and are head over heels for the monochrome fashion trend, black and brown should be your new go-to color palette. Create your monochrome black outfit, and swap one piece out for a cool, dark brown version, like this mock neck top. When choosing a deep shade of brown like this, it makes for such a subtle change to monochromatic black. Yet, with only a slight update, you can make your look so updated and fresh.