It’s All in Black and White
By: Sharon Mosley
It couldn’t get any easier than this, girls. When it comes to getting dressed this spring and summer, it’s all in black and white. Whether you check it out with a graphic mod mood or tango with the smoking hot tuxedo, the way to keep it simple and sophisticated this year is to give your wardrobe a dose of stark contrast. These are opposites that really do attract an instant sense of style.
Start with the basics — a black pencil skirt or pair of slim pants. Most of us already have these pieces in our closet. Yes, the miniskirt was a hit in the ’60s, but if you wore it then, you might want to stick to more of a knee-covering style this time around. You can still rock this classic look that never seems to go out of style with just a bit of tweaking of the hemline.
Ditto for black pants. Yes, the silhouettes do change, but that’s a good thing for most of us whose bodies also change through the years. Pick the style of trousers that fit you best — there are plenty of styles to choose from this season — from slim and trim to fuller and flared.
Then balance out the top with a feminine white blouse. The button-down is indeed another classic workhorse for most of us, but take it up another notch for spring and add a blouse with a few more frills. The new poet-inspired organza blouse is one way to dress up the old favorite. Or opt for a printed black and white top to change things up.
This white blouse can also do double duty after hours when it’s dressed up with a black suit. The boxier jackets are competing with the slimmer-cut blazers and sleeveless vests, but the tuxedo-inspired looks are at the forefront of the black and white trend. So consider the “la smoking” ensemble for your next spring fling.
Don’t forget that you can easily do black and white in reverse, too. That pair of white jeans that many of us have had in our closets for a year or so can make the transition as the neutral foundation for a new black tunic top or structured jacket.
The graphic black and white print is another winner for this easy to assemble wardrobe this year, too. And let’s face it — these new bold patterns are not for the shy of fashion heart. However, they are a great way to transform those other basic black and white items that we’ve had in our wardrobes for years.
Designers have created a wide variety of these new patterned pieces for us this year — from checkerboard coats to striped pants to digitalized printed dresses. The key to this season’s updated black and white prints? They’re all oversized and overscaled. The bigger the better. Animal prints even get the black and white treatment in new separates.
So you’ve decided to rethink your favorite black and white basics, but you find that this kind of wardrobe can be a little boring. Just add accessories! Give those classics a lift with a chunky gold choker, a pair of sparkling silver earrings, a pair of transparent Lucite heels or a bold black and white striped handbag. And for a little more fun — slip on a pair of op-art sunglasses.
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association. COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM