Moody Dressing: How to Elevate a Black & White Outfit
We’ll always have a love affair with color but dressing in black and white is one of the best ways to look instantly stylish. We’ll even go as far as saying that it’s the universal answer to sartorial woes, particularly those days when you feel like you have nothing to wear. A streamlined all-black outfit may solve that dilemma. Not only is it straightforwardly elegant, but it also elongates and enhances the figure—especially for petites. On the other hand, all white—while being minimal—makes a light and bright statement that makes the coordination intentional; like you went out of your way to make an effort.
Monochromatic dressing has been a staple in major fashion cities like New York for a reason. And if you pay attention to their street style, it’s anything but boring. This only further proves that you don’t need loud hues and in-your-face patterns to be fashionable. If you ask us, it’s all in the details.
Read on to see our best tips on how to master this simple and sleek uniform and incorporate it into your fall layers in the best moody way.
Choose a Shade
Practice this styling technique by choosing either solid black or white first. It’s much easier to build looks without extra additions to take away from the streamlined look. Plus, some outfit formulas are just too good to change. Look for well-cut pieces that fit your height well to ensure that the ensemble does its job to enhance your stature and avoid looking frumpy.
- A straight-leg pant like the Westport Signature Black Straight Leg Jeans does wonders for making you look taller. Wear it with a popover or button-down French tucked-in and a pair of pointed heels for a boss look to the office.
- Off-duty outfits are even better with a detailed sleeve. The Sweet Carnation Ruffle Top would pair nicely with a pleated or slip maxi skirt.
- When it comes to matching sets, linen is always a winner. The Laurent Midi Skirt with the Estelle Linen Top is lightweight and easy to wear—with almost any type of shoe too.
Enhance With Texture & Shape
One way to make a monochromatic outfit stand out is by using textures to catch the eye. Anywhere from a glossy satin to delicate chiffon pleats. Another fool-proof trick is to choose shapely pieces and let the details do the talking. A white puff-sleeved top is a far better choice than a plain white tee. On the dressier side, a cinched silhouette on a midi or maxi dress would do more favors on most body types than a straight empire waist.
- An all-black combo is much more eye-catching with a glossy shine via a pair of comfortably chic leather leggings like the Roz & Ali Tummy Control Faux Leather.
- Hit two birds with one stone in the texture and shape department with the Velvet Short Sleeve Puff Top that’s still simple enough to wear with any bottom.
- Garden party and cocktail hour looks are solved with a tiered dress like the Peony V-Neck Midi. Little details like a high-slit and figure-hugging self-tie belt work amazingly to embellish its clean and stark color.
Make It Pop
The great thing about black and white clothes is that it goes with anything. From a bold crimson pout to a leopard clutch, the styling possibilities are endless. Take advantage of this by injecting some color or pattern to both add a striking pop and accentuate your ensemble further. Take notes from street style at fashion week with a colorful shoe or a structured bag for an unexpected highlight that will blend seamlessly into the look.
- Inject an edgy influence to an all-black outfit with a pop of vampy red such as the Mersi Ruby Studded Crossbody.
- A dress or jumpsuit for parties wouldn’t be complete without a clutch. Try a leopard one like the Spring Straw Leopard Clutch for daytime festivities for a hint of print.
- When wearing a mini or midi skirt or trousers that go above the ankles, a pop of pastel like the Yoki Friday High Heel is a nice contrast that brings the highlight to your legs.
Wear It In Print
Who says you have to stick to minimalism? You can still rock the black and white palette in an adventurous way by wearing it in a chic pattern. We always gravitate towards zebra prints whether it’s in a top or a statement earring—it’s just a lot more modern than the conventional leopard. But if you’re not partial to animal print, look for something that’s more classic such as artsy stripes on a kimono or a subtle graphic popover.
- Kimonos aren’t just for summer. Wear a B&W version for fall like the Black and White Loose Kimono as a robe with your favorite jeans and block heels.
- Prints don’t have to be loud and overpowering. A chain design like the Cocomo Loop Chain Popover is a subtle but still chic way to wear a patterned blouse with black as the more dominant color.
- Don’t forget to accessorize! The Animal Print Arch Earrings won’t just complete your look, it’s a statement maker too.
Meet In the Middle
Take it from Karl Lagerfeld himself—mix and match your black and white pieces. One easy formula we love is a matching set finished off with the opposite color. For instance, a white top with a white skirt can be topped off with a black leather jacket or peak lapel blazer. For something more casual, wear any all-black outfit you like and pair it with white heels. Just an effortless way to liven up the look by breaking the palette.
- Practice fall layering with a simple outfit formula. Mix in whites with a black one-piece like the Wild Orchid Pleat Jumpsuit by wearing a white slim-fit turtleneck underneath and finish with white leather boots.l.
- Wearing shearling is one of the reasons why we love the cold. Combine black and white in the coziest way with the Hooded Sherpa Coat.
- You can never go wrong with this wardrobe hero. Channel the NYC uniform with the Faux Leather Jacket, a white tee, and your favorite black jeans.
Black and white pieces are wardrobe heroes for a reason. Its ease of wear is just one of the many reasons why it’s such a beloved styling technique throughout the fashion world. This color combination is anything but boring when done right. In fact, it’s a foolproof way to look sophisticated with minimal effort. Remember to utilize textures and take advantage of color by adding it as a special element to your sleek monochromatic looks for a two-in-one standout.