Monday, October 12, 2009

Personal style: the black & white post

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!


  1. my most belove white is a chanel white shirt and black is the chanel black classic flap bag.

  2. That was one of my favorite Chanel shows

    Maison Chaplin, the internationally recognized most stylish and glam fashion blog by some fashion houses!

  3. Love this post... You know how I love black and white. Hugs!

  4. I love black and white ! So chic !

  5. Ahhh black and white. It can look so elegant, yet so edgy.


  6. Black and white is one of my favourite mixes as well. I like wearing a white skirt with black tights. But one of my favourite black staple is my black dress. I wore it to work over the summer and am now pairing it up with tights to move it into a more wintery outfit.

  7. YES!
    I never get sick of stripes, especially if they are made with sequins....

    i've been wondering for the past few days
    why i don't get updates from you on my dashboard.
    and just then, i realised that i'm not a follower.
    bahahhaa, i'm so smart.
    but yeah, i'm following you now :D

    i love the last few pictures! :D

    about your friend and dirty dancing,
    that's just wow.
    i do that with aladdin,
    but i'm not that obsessed that i watch it everyday!
    bahaha :)

    love annie, xx

  9. My favorites are the Karlie Kloss. Hope you had a great weekend! :O)

  10. Chanel makes the best classic black and white pieces.

  11. Great post. Black and white are the best colours, they are allways chic.
    Lovely pictures.

  12. Wonderful post!!
    I love looking at all these images!

    xo Laura

  13. great post! i love black and white on everyone else but when it comes to myself, I don't seem to have the discipline to keep from saying, "now for that splash of color...." am i a hopeless case?

  14. awesome pictures ;)

    i totally agree, its very flattering and stylish to wear, but given the choice between a black and white suit and a huge poofy pink frilly betsey johnson explosion...i know what one i would choose ;)


  15. Love the hot & sexy look. Great post!

  16. Great post. I love all the b&w editorials! Those two colors are so much fun to put together because there are so many ways to do it. I have four or five b&w favorite favorite however is a black and white checkered St. John skirt with black Express tank and popping red Jimmy Choo heels. It's my favorite outfit to wear when I have to attend press conferences. :) (I'm a journalist).

  17. Guess who just so happens to have black and white on today?

    You can never go wrong with black and white. When I was younger, I don't know who told me that I should NEVER wear black and white -EVER. It stuck with me for a while, but then again my tacky self used to wear mismatching socks on purpose (because I thougth it was fashionable)

    You know I love the romantic look, The Chanel photos of course, are amazing. I am also loving the preppy look.

    Thanks for entering the giveawy and becoming fan on FB! Have a good one CC!

  18. Gorgeous pics, I adore that Chanel HC that Karlie wears so well xx

  19. Such an amazing post. There's something so sophisticated about black and white. My favorite black and white pieces are black skinny jeans, black suede over the knee boots, and my black handbags. In terms of white, it's my white v-neck boyfriend tees. You can never go wrong with black and white. The two colors also serve as a wonderful canvas for brighter-colored accessories - red and such! :)

  20. I am obsessed with black and white in fact to list my basics would take me all night! Black jeans and leggings and long length & sleeve b&w tops are my staples. I have a million white with black print t-shirts mostly Westwood but my favorite is Karl Largerfeld for h&m. Black leather pencil skirts, black tailored shorts, blazers... Ok I you get the idea. But my absolute favorite items are my Chanel's which are mostly black, white or b&w. I have a b&w Chanel hat which is my current favorite thing. I loved that Chanel collection soooo much!

  21. Ahhhhh I love monochrome! It can make cheap clothes look more expensive and it just works. It just works. Alexander McQueen, houndstooth. LOVE.

  22. black and white is the perfect combination and noone can do it better than chanel

  23. here you are:))...

    it's kinda sad but funny:)

    great post!

  24. I love black & white too! Always classic, never goes out of style.

  25. chanel was just genious making this combination accesible to women!
    nice pics =)

    PL ♥

  26. Black and white just work, i fyou don't already own this you need o get white shoes!

  27. I love the Victorian lace look...white or black. White just looks awful on me so I try not to put it too close to my face!

  28. amazing blog!
    thanks for stopping by mine and leaving sweet comments :)
    added you to my blogroll :)

  29. love black and white, it's such a classic combination and it can be worked into pretty much anybody's style.

  30. wow, my whole wardrobe is consistent of all black and white. just recently i have been trying to pull out some color, but it is so hard to stay away from the racks with the lace and sequins being everywhere.

    i loved this post. oh and btw, yes i am confided to a cubicle, yet i wear crazy dresses everyday, with the occasional black pant, white ruffle tops, etc.. haha :)

    xo ash

  31. The black and white will always be a chic staple to any look. Everyone must wear it more than once in a lifetime! Anyone can pull it off.

  32. ahhh nothing beats black and white! i love getting inspirations from Chanel. Great post :)

  33. great post- i found it really inspiring. i love the combo of black and white.

  34. Gorgeous post! I wonder if I could pull off horizontal Armani stripes? Hmmmmmm. Black and white is classic. I LOVE a black tee with a white statement necklace!

  35. my crush on cute/whimsy !!!
    shuch a lovely post (again**°*°*°)

  36. I love the romantic black and white styles! Beautiful images!

  37. Love black and white!!! Such a great palette!! Another great post!!!

  38. love love LOVE black and white always and forever
    excellent post!

  39. Fantastic post. I always seem to come back to black and white for effortlessly chic staples, such as my black-and-white floral trench from Old Navy and graphic print dress from J Crew.

  40. incrivel!!!
    adorei as fotos!!
    adorei o post!!!
    adoro esse blg!!!
    lindo d mais!!!

    um otimo dia!

  41. Another incredible post Miss Couture, the best part may have been reliving our own days with checkered tights, among other styles. Plus, as we may have said previously, it is such a classic color scheme, and an outstanding style statement when done well.

    Love your posts!

  42. hun, CONGRATULATIONS! just wanted to inform you that you WON the chic in the tropics-ChickDowntown giveaway! you get to bag the LNA zipper leggings. kudos again!

    pls email me your complete address, name, your size and preferred colour over at kindly do that ASAP.:) leave me a comment over at my blog once you've sent your particulars already!


  43. Gorgeous post, darling! Loved hearing about your 13 year old style! And I have always adored that striped Armani gown :)


  44. I am a huge fan of the high contrast of black and white. My entire wedding was full of black and white details. Check it out

    The entry title is Black and White inspiration board!

  45. thanks for the help with the IFB badge!
    I love black and white :) they just put a white house black market here in Kansas :p

  46. Fabulous post. I'm a big believer in the power of monochrome to flatter anyone.
    My staple's a black and white bandage skirt and blazer!

  47. oohh love Chanel!

    For all things fashion:

  48. Yes, I love black and white but I don´t usually wear it. Why? I don´t know.I love all the pictures in the post. They are current collections but they totally look inspired in the past. Love them!
    B* a la Moda

  49. Not really my personal style, but i do love black and white. Chanel has definitely maintained its originality.
    love the blog

    They are just so classic and you can`t go wrong with them! Just like a girls little black dress. . . us guys can`t live life in fashion without the basic white or black collared shirt. Can`t go wrong with them because they can be worn with anything!

  51. black & white are my go-to; especially for my work wardrobe. absolutely timeless-- i like a pair of ankle length black pants & crisp white blouse!

  52. I havent seen some of these pics before..

    MAISON CHAPLIN, the internationally recognized most stylish and glam fashion blog by some fashion houses!

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  53. From biker chic to boho is my personal style and I LOVE it!! I also adore Chanel!
    Great post as always!

  54. i love the first pic, the jessica stams and the moschino ads! fab!

  55. you know how to sew? impressive. I also never get tired of stripes. i like when i see people wearing them. they are so chic and timeless.

  56. great post! black and white is so classy and chic! =)

  57. Thanks a lot for the comment, black&white always elegant, proud combination for me !!!

  58. LBD and pearls by far :) I love anything classic and Hepburn-ish and to me, black and white screams classic Chanel and old hollywood :)


  59. Now this is more my speed. When everything's black and white (or gray) at least you know you're matching! ;-)


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