This post started out as an entry about wardrobe staples, and how I always cringe over certain magazine staffers' popular recommendation "a black pantsuit and two options of crisp, white shirts". How are these useful for those of us who are not confined in a cubicle all day long, and who are not into the business look altogether?! But let me elaborate on this in another post, later this week.
Black and white is probably the one combination of colors that has fascinated me and inspired my fashion choices the most, ever since I was old enough to choose my own clothes and to have some influence over what my mother purchased for my closet. At 13, I wore black and white striped or checkered tights with my black mini skirts, color blocked black and white sweaters and white polka dots on an otherwise plain black dress. Not to mention I sewed my first striped balloon skirt, and thus got to learn already at an early age that vertical stripes are nowhere near as cute as their horizontal, nautical counterpart.
These days, my black and white favorite staples include a lace Anna Sui dress, a variety of black tops with ruffled white collars or lacey cuffs, striped long-sleeved tees, a much loved nautical cashmere sweater, a black boucle skirt and fitted, belted jacket that I wear with white Chanel-esque ruffles, a color blocked Furla purse and matching buckled flats. And my b/w wardrobe never ceases to expand...!
This amazing color combo offer such a wide array of interesting and fashionable looks and styles, that it would indeed be a shame to waste your hard-earned money on a classic black suit with tailored white shirts, rather than dreamy ruffles, crazy prints or leather and lace, just because you chose to blindly take some anonymous assistant fashion editor's advice instead of following your own taste and style. Unless you happen to be the boardroom type, of course! Then stop reading right here!
Below are some of my current favorite black and white styles - all of them surely not being staple-worthy, yet they should hopefully serve as good inspiration for anyone who wants to look stylish without relying on a single splash of color.... and who is not the suit kind of gal.
Pictures above: Chanel lace cuff, runway looks at Chanel and Lacroix.
Romantic. Who does not need a little ruffle, ribbon, boucle and Lagerfeld in her life? Below: Emina Cunmulaj in Chanel for Marie-Claire, Lara Stone in Fendi for Bazaar.
... Karlie Kloss in Vogue.
.... Chanel fall '09 campaign - anyone who does not love it must be crazy.
... Mariacarla Boscono walking for Givenchy (AW09, New York), Jessica Stam in Vogue Italia, a SS10 look at Marchesa.
Preppy. OK, almost all of them. Because I never get sick of stripes. Editorial look in Bazaar (I think... 99 % sure), Hugo Boss fall '09 campaign, AW09 look at Armani.
Cute/whimsy. Two looks from a Glamour (!) fashion story (both remind me of myself as a teenager), Moncler fall '09 ad.
Trendy. From biker chic to boho: Glamour look, Balmain fall '09 ad, Nolita ad.
.... and three different takes on lace: socks at Gaultier, scarf at Moschino, skinny pants from Valentino.
Hot/sexy. Fall looks at Tiger of Sweden, Lindex lingerie and Dolce & Gabbana.
Tailored. A less midtowny take on the concept: Tiiu Kuik in Lover, fall campaigns at YSL and D&G.
Avantgarde/editorial. Lara Stone in W, Sasha Pivovarova in W, model whose name escapes me in Vogue Russia. Don't worry so much about the labeling here - I chose to classify Lara's and Sasha's looks as avantgarde since I find them absolutely breath-taking... but would never for a moment consider wearing any of these getups myself (paper bags, anyone?). But then I added the Russian Vogue spread and that changed everything.... beautiful, right? And wearable, indeed!
Which are your most-loved black and white staples? Let's hear it!
Man in a Can, 57th & Madison. - Because we all need a break now and then.
4 years ago