Just in case this comment written by Elizabeth was missed, I am posting it here as part four of the series on Brown vs. Black. Elizabeth has outlined several outstanding ways to marry these two colors together in one's wardrobe. If you've never visited her blog, A Merry Rose: Blooming as Keeper of My Home, you simply MUST go there immediately! She has a wealth of knowledge that she shares in her posts... each entry she has written has helped me enormously!
Regarding the black/brown dilemma, have you tried using cocoa or camel as your brown? These are versatile browns, especially if you are trying to include both warm and cool colors in your wardrobe.
(In theory, I don't believe in mixing cool and warm in your wardrobe. But, in practice, we all do it, don't we?)
Cocoa is a cool brown, and it pairs well with many cool colors. Being brown, it's not too bad with some warm colors, either. It's listed as a potential netural in the summer (low-contrast, cool-based) palattes.
To me, camel is even more versatile. You could build an entire wardrobe around a pair of black shoes, a pair of camel shoes and a camel purse. I've also seen lots of purses and shoes with both black and camel on them. That's the great thing about camel. While it's warm, it also coordinates beautifully with black.
I have dark blonde hair and ultra fair, pinkish, cool-toned skin. I look best in the light summer palatte. For simplicity's sake, I have narrowed down my best neutrals to winter(soft)white and light gray, with some blue here and there. But, I also confess to having some netural pieces in black in my wardrobe. It's not my best, but, being cool-toned, I can get away with it. And, sometimes, black is easier to find than other neutrals.
Being light, I can reach across to light spring and "borrow" light camel. So, I use camel with my soft (winter) white, with certain of my beloved pinks, with certain blues, with greens, and with black. For me, it's a great wardrobe bridge.