Why Basics Are Anything But: 9 Fresh Ways To Style Your Black Skirt

9 fresh ways to style a basic black skirt, proving that the piece is anything but.

Basics get a bad rep for being just that: Basic. They're seen as the plain workhorses in your closet, the uninspired pieces you pluck out when you're running late and need to get yourself out that door. While thinking of something as every-day as a white button-down or a black maxi might not inspire our hearts to melt like butter on toast the way an intricately patterned jumpsuit might, one shouldn't go as bar as calling them boring.

The thing is, the piece isn't at fault. The styling is.

To really make a simple piece turn heads, you need some clever styling skills that require a girl to roll up her sleeves and get a little creative in her wardrobe. To prove it, here are nine fresh ways to style a basic black skirt, proving that the piece is anything but. 

1. Pair It With A Masculine Shirt

Give your skirt a flirty touch by tucking in a baggy, masculine collared shirt into its hem. Roll the sleeves up to your elbows, leave a dramatic amount of buttons unbuttoned, and then pair the rest of the look with on-trend pieces like a smart leather clutch and chunkier heels.

2. Bring Out Patterned Shoes

The nice thing about having neutral bottoms is that you can take out your funkier pair of shoes and let them create a fun contrast in your look. Take this as an opportunity to drag out the leopard brogues, the snakeskin booties, the metallic block heels, or multi-colored summer stilettos. They'll add a fun pop to the look without overwhelming it. 

3. Layer It Up

Add interest to your basic black skirt by not being afraid of layering. Since you have a neutral palette going, adding a little more volume won't make you feel too busy or detract from the overall look. Try tying a black sweater around your hips, shrugging on a textured jacket, or choosing shoes that cover the tops of your feet and hit around the ankle to give you that "covered" look. 

4. Choose Off-Balanced Proportions

To create some interest against your slim pencil skirt, try warring with its sleek shape by pairing it with something thick, chunky, and over sized like a knit turtleneck. 

5. Go Super Casual With Sneakers

Black skirts usually have a more dressed-up, classic flair to them, so they feel extra fun when dressed down with a pair of sneakers. Contrasts always make for interesting outfits. 

6. Choose A Bold Outer Layer

Snazz up your black little number by pairing it with a bold outer layer, whether it be a printed duster jacket, a patterned cardigan, or an electrically colored coat. Whatever your pick don't be shy by the statement- the simple skirt will help balance it out.

7. Layer It With Thick Knits

Pair your skirt with the unexpected and match it against a thick winter knit. When most people are wearing cardigans and button downs with this workhorse piece, your styling will stand out because of its playful contrast between casual and classic. 

8. Add Texture

Add a luxe touch to your black staple by pairing it with a texture. For example, try pairing it with a fur coat or vest, velvet shoes, suede jacket, denim shirt, or lace shell top. If you mix texture in with the simple piece, it'll instantly look a little busier and more next-level.

9. Drop The Hems

Take advantage of the unassuming nature of a black midi by having some fun with mixing and matching hem lines. For example, go against the norm by mixing a black midi with a long, thigh skimming sweater, and then topping off the look with a longer cardigan or coat. The different proportions add a pop of fun to your look, but the neutral palette keeps it looking tame. 

Marlen Komar is a writer living in Chicago with a penchant for mom jeans and kimchi tacos, and primarily writes about fashion history. She has bylines in Bustle, CNN Style, Racked, Allure, Curbed, and Apartment Therapy, and rarely stays in one place too long as she travels for most of the year. Website: marlenkomar.com