Do you like the idea of a black and white outfit but find the reality a little boring?
I must admit that I fall somewhat into this category.
Black and white can be a tad on the severe side, especially if like me, you’re a lover of colour and patterns. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some bloggers who do black and white brilliantly. Only last month a blogging pal, Jill of Grown Up Glamour, out did herself with her stunning Black and White Overload post.
Bouyed by Jill’s black and white brilliance and ever willing to experiment myself, I gave myself a wee challenge; how to add some fun to a monochrome outfit.
Now before you all go er, but Petite Vix … you’re wearing denim! Yes, I do know this outfit isn’t totally a monochrome one! Don’t worry, my glasses don’t need a change of prescription.
The denim’s actually intentional. Besides, denim is an honorary neutral, rather like leopard print and snakeskin are.
With the absence of bright colours to catch the eye, we have to employ other sartorial tricks to make the outfit stand out.
Tips to lift your Black and White Outfit from Stark to Stylish
1. Think about the silhouette you want to create. Although I’m wearing a loose trench, underneath, the outfit is actually very sleek and slightly tailored with the ankle skimming trousers. Once you’ve decided the shape, then decide the ratio of black to white.
2. Play with fabrics. Without the contrast and vividness of colours, fabrics and textures will avoid the outfit looking flat. Here, my embroidered eyelet top, is a contrast to the silk feel of the bandana.
3. Eye catching accessories or details: a scarf or bandana, unusual jewellery or detailing on one of the key pieces. Or as Jill did, layer your black and white pieces to create depth.
4. Finish with funky shoes!
Back in the summer, I did a black and white pattern mixing outfit of checks and florals but that had shades of graphite grey and flashes of turquoise. This time, I wanted to do an Autumn outfit that was a conversation of black and white.
With my black and white pattern mixing outfit, my starting point was the two key pieces of joggers and jacket. But with this outfit, it all started with the polka dot bandana.
I absolutely adore polka dots, spots and dots. There’s just something about the dottiness of them that makes me smile. My black and white polka dot bandana definitely adds the necessary pizzazz to my outfit.
And heaven knows we all need a good dose of pizzazz in our lives!
There are a few ways I could’ve worn my bandana; around my bag, wrist or in my hair. However, it really had to be the obvious one of round my neck, as the polka dots highlight the eyelet top I’m wearing beautifully. I like the visual play the closeness of the two pieces give. The bandana is white spots on black and my black cami under my white top gives the illusion of reversing the pattern. Clever huh?
‘So cool – playing with the dotty positive and negative.’
I liked that phrase so much, I had to use it. Thanks Melanie!
And as the scarf and top are perfectly complimenting each other, there’s really no need to add anything else to the body of the outfit. It would simply detract from it. Less in this instance, is decidedly more.
I’m not going to tell you how long it took me and Tall Brown Fox to get that darn bandana positioned just so with the ends fanned open enough!
tweak, pull, twist, don’t move, right click before the wind blows, oh darn it, start again!
But worth it in the end. It does look rather spiffy.
Next up was choosing a fun bag and funky shoes.
The suede fringe on my bag adds another texture to the silkiness of the bandana and the embroidery of the top.
My Topshop ghillies from last year are perfect for this outfit. The criss crossing laces provide visual interest and a pathway to take the eyes up the body. The openness of the shoe on the instep, breaks up the black on the lower half just enough.
So, that’s the black and white part neatly taken care of. Now why the denim trench?
Well, we’re into October now, which for me is when Autumn really starts. In September I’m still basking in the warmth of the Summer but there’s been a subtle change in the air since we’ve slipped into October, so out came the denim trench.
With the overlay eyelet top and cami I’m warm enough in the torso: the trench is really just for my arms. Its unfussy design feels just so in keeping with the outfit. It compliments without distracting.
Black cami and Eyelet top (old)
Joy the Store Fringe bag Boohoo Fringe Bag
And this is the Black Spot Print Bandana I’m wearing, bought only a few days ago
No more shall I feel black and white is potentially boring. With a pop of polka dots (and a dash of denim), I’ve managed to magic some of my own monochrome magnificence!
How do you like to wear your black and white?
Linking with Not Dressed As Lamb / Confident Twosday / Garay Treasures / Turning Head’s Tuesday / Style Me Wednesday / ColorandGrace / JerseyGirlTexanHeart / Living In Colour / High Latitude Style / Happiness At Midlife / JerseyGirlTexanHeart / Eleganceandmommyhood / A Labour of Life / Curly Crafty Mom / Fashion Should Be Fun / A Pocketful Of Polkadots / Jeans And A Teacup / Nancy’s Fashion Style / Fine Whatever /