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Why Magicians Wear Black?

Why magicians wear black. Have you noticed that magicians – or any magic user, for that matter – predominantly share similar colour palettes in relation to their wardrobes? Why do you think that is?

Let us delve deeper into the subtle messaging behind this!

Black has been pigeonholed as a magician’s decor of choice for a host of valid reasons.

In areas of dark magic, black represents the following: death, darkness, protection, the Underworld, and resurrection.  Allegedly, wearing black protected the user from any negative influences. Handy when combating supernatural forces!

However, why has black remained a prominent staple in any contemporary close up magician’s wardrobe?

It is crucial to remember that a magician should never make their performance about themselves. Yes, you must look professional – but your appearance should never overshadow your routine. A friend of mine in Malaysia still loses his mind when someone pulls out a coin from his ear, but I doubt that he would receive the magician similarly if he was dressed in bright pink or yellow spandex.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Should my pal above – for example – decide to produce a stage production wearing a yellow leotard and ruby slippers, more power to him! However, audiences would end up focusing more on him instead of the routine he is performing. Distraction is all well and good – and certainly part of the game – but doing it to such an extraordinary degree would quite simply take away from your craft.

Employing a black wardrobe works for its spectacular simplicity. Some professionals may decide to base their appearance on their surrounding areas – be it the background, lighting, or stage settings – this can also work. 

Contrary to what you might think, having a black motif also allows for extraordinary variety in your wardrobe. A tuxedo? Stylish in black!  A suit? Very suave! A black t-shirt with slacks? Raw!

Applying black inevitably stands out with a majority of our surrounding areas. Due to this seemingly insignificant fact, it provides the illusion that a magician – any magician – possesses abilities that others could only hope to imagine.  The less extravagant a colour palette a magician uses, the sleeker they appear.  There are exceptions to the rule – of course – but the absence of colour provides an air of mystery. You would have already won half the battle as soon as you appear in front of your audience.

At the end of the day, we all have our individual strengths when it comes to our appearance. But one thing we can all agree on is that when we dress in black – we look good and suitable for any occasion!

In an interesting piece of psychological research, a person who predominantly has a black wardrobe comes across as someone more trustworthy than an individual wearing multiple colours.  n various cultures worldwide, black is widely accepted to remove discord and confusion.  How? By revealing the truth about ourselves and that of the people around us.

According to a study by Mindless Mag, research in colour psychology suggests that those who wear all black find a sense of togetherness and certainty. Throughout their survey, black came first or second in most ‘good’ traits (for example – confidence, intelligence, and sexual appeal). It rarely featured in connotation to seemingly ‘bad’ traits.  For more information, click the link below to read some key facts about the study for yourself:,figured%20in%20the%20bad%20traits.%E2%80%9D

Let us look at various iconic characters in cinematic history who rocked it in black:

Scarlett O’Hara from “Gone with the Wind” [1939]

The Wicked Witch of the West from “The Wizard of Oz” [1939]

Holly Golightly from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” [1961]

Lydia Deetz from “Beetlejuice” [1988]

Morticia Addams from “The Addams Family” [1991]

Catwoman from “Batman Returns” [1992]

Diana Murphy from “Indecent Proposal” [1993]

Trinity, Morpheus, and Neo from “The Matrix” [1999]

Severus Snape and Bellatrix Lestrange from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” [2011]

Selena Kyle from “The Dark Knight Rises” [2012]

John Wick from “John Wick” [2014]

Walter from “The Dark Tower” [2017]

T-Challa from “Black Panther” [2018]

Finally, when the G.O.A.T of magic David Blaine first appeared on television screens, he did so in a black t-shirt and black jeans. I’d be lying if I denied that that has had an inevitable influence on my fashion sense (it’s mostly what you’ll see me in).

Hopefully this article give you a good understanding of why magicians wear black. To summarise, it’s striking simplicity has various positive psychological implications for us magicians.

If you find any resonance in this post, please do consider sharing it.  What are your thoughts?  Let me know in the comments below: I would love to discuss the matter further with you!

Have a wonderful day!