I ran into a fashion industry acquaintance the other day (note his picture under "style") and we had a discussion about wearing black. He was adamant on his viewpoint that an all black outfit is unacceptable, and though I understand where he's coming from, I don't completely agree.

Let's just visit his point for a moment.  Black is the easy way out.  Think little black dress: It's sliming, almost always appropriate and everyone has it in their wardrobe. In a way, when you wear it head to toe you're kind-of cheating. Everyone can wear black, you don't have to think about it, it's uninspiring and uninspired;  it's like the kraft dinner of clothing.

However, if done right, and with a bit of flare, your blacks can look fresh again. Even... especially... If you don't add the cliche "pop of color". Here's a couple pointers on how to make your beloved all black look really work for you.

-NEVER wear two different tones. There are blue-blacks, brown-blacks, grey-blacks and everything in between.  Make sure you hold your pieces up to a good light source and make sure they match.

-Use texture to create interest. Eg, black cigarette pants in a cotton sateen, loose knit sweater belted at the waist with a patent belt and some patent heels to tie it all together. For guys try a pair of black shorts, deck shoes and a linen tunic.

-Make sure one garment in your ensemble is interesting, otherwise you'll look ever so blah!  Try a sweet lace top with simple cotton shorts and espadrilles for a light summery feel.

-Don't make all black a habit, it's a very difficult one to break!