Style Guide: Black and White Fashion

It’s Black and White

 

A hot trend right now, though I am not quite sure when it’s ever been out of style, is black and white.  Celebrities and fashionistas can be spotted wearing this head-to-toe monochrome look in bold, graphic patterns.  It may just be one of the easiest trends to emulate because no shopping is required – unless you need to restock your basic black and white staples.  Here are a few well-known celebrities modeling the en vogue look.

(Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé Knowles, Drew Barrymore and Eva Longoria.) www.people.com

Black and white styles transcend seasons, age, and body type…if you wear them correctly.  Here are a few pitfalls to avoid.

White when it’s not right.  While many in the fashion world have completely abandoned the rule of no white between Labor Day and Easter, if you still abide try pairing black with winter white or cream for the colder months.  You should probably avoid any type of white shoes during winter, but a coat, sweater, or handbag in eggshell can be stunning.

Stripes headed in the wrong direction.  When vertical, stripes can be our best friend; but the relationship goes quickly south when those stripes head east to west.  Unless you are petite and looking to create the illusion of curves, you should probably avoid horizontal stripes altogether.  If searching for black or white tops with a bit of interest, opt for ruffles, an interesting collar, or bold color-blocking, as seen in the styles above.

Color confusion.  When wearing black and white, it’s important to remember which color does what.  For example, black is generally slimming and white is not.  Therefore, if you are looking to minimize the thighs, behind and waist, don’t wear poorly fitting or pleated white pants.  They will have the opposite effect.  However, nicely tailored black trousers with a fitted white blouse can be one of the most flattering looks a woman can wear.  On the other hand, loose-fitting white linen pants with a well-cut black tunic can make for a supremely classic resort look.  Just be mindful of what type of black and white pieces you are looking for and where you want to put them on your body.

Playing it safe.  While some black and white pieces are beautiful enough or interesting enough to make a statement on their own, simple black and white combinations can be boring.  However, they can also provide the perfect backdrop to accentuate a special accessory.  Just because you are sporting this popular trend, doesn’t mean you have to wear just black and white from head-to-toe.  A turquoise linen scarf, multi-colored statement necklace, or those sassy pumps you’ve been dying to wear will complete your look and allow you to express your individual style.

This spring, when the weather is lovely and you are enjoying getting out and about, make the most of the black and white trend.  Identify several pieces from your wardrobe (or pick up some new ones) that can easily be mixed and matched with each other.  Then, take inventory of your accessories and shoes, setting aside some of your favorite and most colorful.  When you need to get dressed in a hurry or can’t decide what to wear, you will have ready-made outfits that are comfortable, effortless, and totally you.

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