A black and gray dress is an ideal candidate for spicing up with accessories in bold colors.

Outfit Ideas for a Black & Grey Dress

by Jennifer Blair

No matter what the style, a black and gray dress can be a surprisingly versatile addition to your closet. Since black and gray are both neutral shades, the dress can work with wardrobe pieces in a variety of colors so you can easily dress it up or down depending on your needs. That means the same black and gray dress that you wear to work on Monday can work just as well on Saturday when you're running errands -- just switch up your layering pieces and accessories, and you'll have a brand-new outfit.

Stay Neutral

A black and gray dress is a classic wardrobe piece because it features two neutral colors. If you’re wearing it to the office, keep your entire look neutral and pair the dress with other black and gray pieces for a polished, understated look. Slip a black blazer over the dress or layer a soft gray cardigan on top. Opt for black heels or ballet flats and a gray purse to tie the look together. If you want a little variety in your look, you can also pair your dress with other neutral shades. Loop an ivory scarf around your neck, or cinch the waist of the dress with a smart white belt to help brighten up your look.

Play With Color

When you’re dealing with a neutral black and gray dress, it’s the ideal time to play with color because you can combine the dress with accessories in bold, bright shades without clashing. Throw a hot-pink cardigan over it, or pair it with a wide red belt to break up all the black and gray. A statement necklace with vibrant tangerine or turquoise stones also works well with the dress. Even your shoes are an opportunity to make a statement – instead of basic black, opt for cobalt heels or cranberry ballet flats to jazz up your outfit.

Dress It Down

While a black and gray dress may be polished enough for the office, you can also dress it down for a more relaxed look. Instead of a tailored blazer, pair the dress with a denim jacket or even a hoodie for a sportier look. Swap out the black heels for a pair of black, open-toed wedges or gladiator sandals. Flip-flops also work if you’re going for a very casual look. In cooler weather, black opaque tights and slouchy boots can pair well with your dress. Finish off with a knit beanie or beret for a chic, relaxed look.

Go Edgy

A simple black and gray dress can sometimes have a sedate, almost safe feel, so you may want to toughen up its look by pairing it with edgier pieces. Try wearing it under a black leather jacket – choose a fitted style that complements your figure. Flat motorcycle boots with buckles or other hardware are an ideal option when it comes to shoes. Add some bold jewelry like studded leather cuff bracelets or a funky skull ring, and your basic black and gray dress definitely won’t seem tame anymore.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Getty Images