Why Do Berliners Wear So Much Black?

The shade of Berlin fashion
The shade of Berlin fashion | © xusenru/Pixabay
Megan King

If you know anything about Berlin – its nightlife and its various subcultures – you’ll notice the prevalence of black, which permeates all areas of life. Black seems to denote some kind of uniform here, be it for those who are a part of the cult of Berghain, Berlin‘s most infamous club, or for everyday hipsters dressed in this de facto urban look. In a city epitomised by free expression and individual style, why do people wear so much black?

Historical and cultural influence

Berlin has a rich history, including the era of the Bauhaus movement and the punk subculture, both of which embraced black as a prominent color in their fashion expressions. This historical influence has left a lasting impact on the city’s fashion scene.

Not so specific to Berlin

Black is not so specific to Berlin as it is to streetwear and urban fashion across all cities in Europe, though it seems to be the most talked about in Berlin. Berlin is moody, creative, underground and rogue, a character that doesn’t exactly reflect bright colours. Dark clothes add to the chic, street-wise look of young people in the city. Powerful, edgy, sleek and strong; it’s an understated shade that creates a statement. It definitely imbues a sense of seriousness with it, and quite frankly, from its weather to its history to its party culture, so does Berlin.

The Holocaust memorial in Berlin. Sharp lines and a complex history define the mood and fashion of the city

Sexy and grundge

Berlin‘s street style is best described as fashionable without being fancy, and black is the shade that does the job best. Black is sexy and grungy and fits with the atmosphere of any party, fashion or art event. In Berlin, many of the shops selling all -black fashion take their inspiration directly from the city’s nightlife culture. Designers have more room to get creative with their lines and patterns and less time fretting about colours; it has opened up a whole new avenue of design in the city.

Moody, creative types flock to Berlin

Versatility of the shade

The dark lines are stylish and versatile – you can wear black clothes with any other colour, and it can be dressed up or down. The hue is straightforward and to the point; having an all-black wardrobe means you’ll spend less time worrying about what to wear and what matches, and you can count on always looking good. Wear the same outfit everyday and no one will notice – German efficiency at its best.

Global fashion trends

The popularity of black fashion is not unique to Berlin; it is a trend seen in many major fashion capitals worldwide. Berlin, being an influential city, is naturally influenced by global fashion trends.

If you want to see the best of black fashion that’s pushing the boundaries, visit Berlin‘s Alternative Fashion Week coming up at the end of March.

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