Springtime generally inspires us to break out our long-forgotten floral frocks and pastel duds; affording us a chance to strut the streets in bright colors and pretty patterns.

But we can't live in Taylor Swift's "ME!" video forever. Even folks with serious flower-power occasionally want to channel their inner Audrey Hepburn, and black ensembles can connote power, elegance, and polish.

And who says our darkest hues must stay relegated to the back of the closet until the temperature (mercifully) drops once more? Take a page out of Grace Coddington's book—the Vogue creative director once described black apparel as a "clean palate"—and dare to don your darkest even when the sun is shining.

For inspiration, we've pulled looks from a handful of Houston influencers all flourishing in shadowy shades. We can all take notes on their approach to make dressing on the dark side a total breeze.

1. The Color-Block

Break up an all-black ensemble with a lighter hue (starkly contrasting white is the obvious choice) to draw more attention to a specific accessory or component of your outfit.

 

2. Jumpin', Jumpin'

As effortless as it is ubiquitous, the easy, breezy jumpsuit easily adds a dose of springtime playfulness to an all-black get-up.

 

3. Dressed Down

Channel this casual-cute look with a graphic tee for a splash of color and personality. 

 

4. Polished Polka Dots

This classic pattern adds a touch of whimsy to black-and-white for a mod-inspired aesthetic.

 

5. Pop 'Til You Drop

Adding a single pop of color—demonstrated here via magenta heels—to an otherwise neutral ensemble is a tried-and-true way to spice things up.

 

6. A Dash of Denim

Real talk: Is there a better pairing than jet black and classic denim? We think not.

 

7. Power Pose

Graphic pattern + two-piece set = pure #girlbloss vibes.

 

8. Keep it Short

It’s May in Houston, and when the temperatures rise, so do our hemlines. Keep it fresh and flowy with something adorable that you can bear to wear outdoors.

 

9. Garden Vibes

Embrace the botanical for an instant day-brightener. It is spring after all.

 

10. Show Your Stripes

Perhaps the most time-honored pattern, stripes don't need a season to sharpen up an outfit.

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