Every year, Pantone picks their color of the year. This year it’s a bright purple called Ultra Violet, last year it was a springy yellow-green called Greenery. With every season, stores flip their merchandise and bright summer colors are relegated to the clearance racks to make room for autumnal jewel tones. Trying to keep up with the ever turning wheel of trends can be overwhelming and seem futile. Why buy the season’s hottest hue when in a matter of months it will be forgotten? If you’re fed up with this cycle, enter the world of black and white fashion. There’s a few reasons why black and white outfits will perennially hold their place in high style.
When we look at color theory, black and white illustrate the ultimate contrast. They are absolute, unlike other colors which exist in a multitude of tints and shades. This balanced binary opposition gives them striking visual appeal. Think of black and white films and photographs, they have an unrivaled timelessness and romanticism. Think of black and white as it exists in nature—on zebras, cows, penguins, etc—it’s always a stunning combination, as simple as it is infinitely versatile. If this has you convinced, you’ll be glad to know you can harness these qualities so you too can look sensational in black and white fashion! Best of all, buying pieces in these colors virtually guarantees you’ll have a wardrobe that can go easily from season to season.
Black and white outfits don’t have to be basic. Wearing all black doesn’t have to be goth. Wearing all white doesn’t have to look like you’re a member of a cult. While we wholeheartedly endorse owning staples like black skinny jeans or a white button up shirt, there are also ways to look trendy and unique while sticking to a monochromatic palette.
Prints That Pop
Coming in hot for 2018, checkerboard is everywhere. From slip on sneakers to miniskirts, you name it, you can find it in checkerboard. We love the simplicity of this print and its references to the Op Art movement of the 1960’s (namely Bridget Riley’s Movement in Squares) and early 1990’s skateboard culture. A head to toe look in this print is pretty full-on editorial, but a this is still a very wearable trend. We also love animal prints in this color scheme. Cow and zebra prints can also be a little out there, but an all black outfit with a bag or shoe in one of these prints is ultra chic. While this palette lends itself to bold, graphic prints, for a low key every day look you can try black and white stripes or subtle polka dots.
Pinstripes are a classic look, originating from men’s suits. This bustier top bodycon mini dress is a sexy twist on this menswear fabric. The cut of this dress shows off your curves while vertical stripes help create a longer and leaner silhouette. This is a great look for a cocktail party or night out dancing, especially paired with an oversized white button up. The tie front top is a great casual piece that wouldn’t look out of place in the office. It also uses the placement of stripes to subtly enhance your figure.
Of course, black and white prints can be mostly white too. For warmer months, a dainty print is a cute casual look that adds more style than a solid colored top. Wide scoop necks are super flattering on lots of body shapes, too!
If you want black and white fashion that’s minimalist chic, keep your eye out for avant-garde tailoring. With monochromatic looks, cut and fit is extremely important, but they also give you the freedom to play with unique or asymmetrical silhouettes like this linen skirt. Paired with a crop top, as seen in the photo, this is a sophisticated look for a gallery opening or dinner date. To style it more casually, a white oversized mohair turtleneck sweater would look great. To play with more asymmetry, try a half tucked white button up dress shirt. A skirt like this is a little avant-garde, but still totally wearable! Plus, linen is a great natural fiber that’s comfortable, durable, and sustainable. Another glamourous option is this little black dress with ruffle shoulder detail. Again, simple tailoring makes a statement without having to resort to sparkly embellishment or excessive surface design. A look like this is perfect for when you want to be subtly glamorous. With a minimalist dress like this you can pair statement accessories without looking overdressed.
One way to add dimension to black and white looks is through texture. Think sheer, eyelet, lace, fringe, embroidery, chunky knits, etc. Faux leather and faux fur also add an element of textural luxury to an outfit. This black lace mini dress adds a lot of visual interest with the variations in fabric. It’s long sleeved and high necked, but still shows off skin without exposing too much. Add a wide brimmed floppy wool hat, a sheer kimono, and heeled suede ankle boots for city witch vibes. As seen on this romper, draping or pleating can also add visual interest in a monochromatic outfit. Looks like these are simple and sophisticated, allowing your personality to shine through.
While we love all black outfits for their versatility and slimming effect, all white outfits (or a combination of the two) can also be totally stunning. White looks great against a variety of skin tones, plus it matches literally everything. This button up blouse varies things with an eyelet yoke and tuxedo-inspired pintucked front. This would be a great shirt for office wear, but could also be totally casual, worn unbuttoned over black cutoff jean shorts and a cropped strapless bandeau top.
These are just a few options for looks, the rest is up to you and your personal style, so get out there and be imaginative! Centering your wardrobe around some staple basics in black and white can help you be sure you’ve always got the perfect look regardless of the season or occasion. Lush Clothing offers wholesale dresses, rompers, tops, and more in a variety of black and white solids and prints, great for when you need to stock those timeless classics.