and white monochrome looks are one of the few real trends in
women's fashion. Monochrome is one of the simplest, most
chic of looks to work whatever the year. Monochrome never fails
to gain attention when done well.
Monochrome is easy for creating
a fairly effortless travel wardrobe, and it can be given the lift
of the moment with a bright accessory taken straight from the latest
colour trend chart. If colour blocking with
is not for you,
then go monochrome.
Think neutral. Think black with white. Think
of alternating all black or all white garments with the opposite
contrasting accessories. Accessories can be the key to
getting this look so easily.
This fashion look is always
smart, crisp and frequently fun as designers come up with new
ways of reworking the yin and yang of black and white.
monochrome look also lends itself to the
clothes trend which
designers celebrate every year. Whilst nautical clothes are also a true
trend for the modern woman, the underlying trend is the simplicity of monochrome. This dark
against light, black with white monochrome fashion look is classic, and the perfect choice
right now for anyone with a financially critical wardrobe budget.
Monochrome is capsule dressing and will stretch that
tight budget. Long after
coloured garments have faded into last season's oblivion
you will still be able to wear monochrome classics that stand
the test of time. The black and white monochrome outfits shown left are from
Miss Selfridge Spring Summer 2009 collection.
The ivory 'High
Gladiator Boots' right, are from Jonathan Kelsey at Harvey Nichols.
you like to make an impression consider first getting
killer fashion accessory. These knee high Gladiator ivory open summer
boots would certainly set everyone talking. They are the ultimate in
statement making Warrior woman footwear this summer!
futuristic boots by shoe designer of the moment, Jonathan Kelsey,
would take any fashionista into 2010 when worn
with a simple LBD.
Left - Office Taboo studded Gladiator sandals, £40 and also available
in black. Office High Summer 2009 Ladies Collection.
In footwear terms
Gladiator is still with us and stronger than ever graduating
to gladiator lines within both full on shoes and boots. But with hot summer days ahead
Gladiator sandals make the most sense. Many of us may well be
with such easy wear, run-about-town footwear like these comfy looking flat white Gladiator sandals. Gladiator sandals are still high
fashion and they offer breathable relaxed day footwear for pounding
the plaza near you.
Or choose the
zany spotted black and white ballerina flats shown below.
Below Left - Hobbs spotted white ballerina shoe - Black Maida Polka
Dot Pump -
Hobbs Summer 2009.
Below Right - Hobbs black and white striped brogue shoes -
Summer 2009 Footwear - Ferne - £139 Hobbs Spring Summer 2009.
Footwear is a truly easy way to introduce fantastical black and
white using boldly noticeable elements of monochrome. These will
always be a keeper item for any wardrobe since monochrome comes
in and out of women's fashion with such regularity. Take your pick
of monochrome footwear, from flat spotted ballerinas to striped lace ups, gladiator
enclosed sandals or the highest of statement heels.
Below Left - Zebra gladiator sandals £39.99 from the SS09
Ethnic range at River Island Clothing Co. Ltd.
Centre - Animal decorative
tribal statue heeled black and white shoes by Dior.
Below Right - Faith Footwear white and black court peep-toe shoe - Carlotine £65, €80. Sizes 3-9.
Anyone wanting to change their fashion look
this 2009 may well find
that monochrome is the first direction to take.
primary and secondary colours get added to the monochrome scheme
it makes the wearer think more about impact, style and
All of the outfits shown here can instantly be made to dance
with the vibe of the moment with the addition of the right
Tribal inspired costume jewellery is perfect for this season.
It's ostentatious, but available in most high street stores for
under £30. This is a fast fashion fad and best kept at costume
jewellery level. It is statement making, but very memorable and
so often best kept at the cheap and cheerful limited wearing
level rather than the investment required for fine jewellery.
Above Left - Accessorize Spring/Summer 2009 Mahiki
black/white Collar Necklace £16 (€27 Eire).
Above Right - ASOS.com Multi Bead Necklace, £14 Womenswear
Spring/Summer 2009 Accessories.
However, if classic black or white pearls would be an
investment pieces for you then look no further than my
Ocean page or to Dior for some serious costume jewellery with a
negative positive approach. These Dior designer earrings show two different
pairs of earring, but two very different jewellery looks.
Whatever black or white accessory you select, here are some examples of monochrome that will see you
through the summer of 2009. The simplest looks depend
on a basic black or white dress, with the alternate tone as an
accent. In these cases you don't even have to work hard on
getting an accessory as it comes with the garment.
Starting simply with a little black number and a touch of
white or ivory cream here we see the major floral rose trimming
trend that features throughout clothes for 2009.
as applied pin-on pieces, appliqué, or fabric print as
shown below right. If you are suffering with credit crunch
wardrobe deficits then the addition of simple contrast corsage
or belt to an existing black or white dress maybe your instant
Above Left - Hobbs Kyra, embroidered dress-£169, Gemma corsage - £59,
Dandy court shoe £149 - all items Hobbs Spring Summer 2009
Centre Left - Long Tall Sally Spring Summer 2009 Monte Carlo
Pleated Skirt Coat. The outfit has a 5 button fastening pleated
skirt detail and 2 tone lining. Dry cleanable. Sizes;10-20
Black. £120. Available from www.longtallsally.com online at 0870
990 6885 and also stores nationwide.
Far Right - Hobbs Spring Summer 2009 Iliana short sleeved dress
Architecture and geometry are a feature of many pieces even
on the high street. Catwalk inspiration comes from many
designers, but for circular references Chloe was inspirational.
Geometry can affect
both the cut shape of a garment and also be introduced as linear
patterns and print.
The first dress feature a play with striped pattern, crossover
back straps and tulip skirt. The central shift dress below
looks to the catwalk with its feature collar using circular
scallops. The last prom dress uses dynamic angles and parallel
lines to create a bold striking pattern that will ensure lots of
Above Left - Black and white striped tulip dress £17.00 in store
end March from the Primark Collection for Summer 2009. Primark
Centre - Petal frill collar black and white dress Hobbs Spring Summer 2009.
Above Right - Monsoon black and white dress. Kristen dress £115 / €194 Spring/Summer
2009 - February Monsoon Spring/Summer 2009 - Occasionwear.
Simple shift dresses in plain white accessorize well with black
patent or mixed black and white accessories. The high street has
plenty of selection among white dresses or white and black
garments. Tribal and animal references are used across the
Left - Oasis Spring/Summer 2009 Oasis Stores Ltd white dress.
Centre - Belted dress, £45, T59 8804D Marks & Spencer Spring
Silk white and black dress, £79, T50 7410 in store April Marks & Spencer Spring
Wide belts instantly create a dynamic look on any black and
Dressing up or dressing down can be very easy with a wardrobe
based on monochrome. Monochrome is simple and elegant. It can be
the perfect answer when you have no idea what to wear as it
adapts itself so easily to any occasion. The look is always
chic, never tawdry or out of place. The most classic example of
all is the
nautical fashion take, but as a black and white striped top,
trimmed with this season's hot haberdashery a self fabric rose
The first image below is courtesy of Boden.
This white dress centre above and from Marks and Spencer is
shown here worn as a pinafore shirt dress. Yet it is a button-through summer
dress which could be worn as it comes, slipped over swimwear as
an instant cover up, or worn over trousers or long sleeved tunic
or dress and worn like a modern sleeveless coat over other
layers. Image courtesy of Marks and Spencer and from their new
Be aware that Marks and Spencer now ship fashion
goods to various parts of the globe. Links all over this website
will take you straight to the online store.
For a special dress up without wearing full evening/cocktail
wear or longer lengths, what could be more stunning than this
Alberta Ferretti coatdress from Harvey
Nichols and shown far right above. The classic shape worked in fabric to thrill has a
simple yet pure architectural form bound to give a great figure
to the wearer. Image courtesy of Harvey Nichols.
dresses will flatter different problem figures.
fullness in the dress left, is perfect to disguise a bit of a
tummy, whilst the darker top disguises a heavier bust as focus
is drawn to the collar bones and the wide neckline. This style
would be good for small top heavy women but with small shoulders
as it adds width making it an area that the eye settles toward
at necklace level.
Left - New! in at JOY - 2 in 1 Patterned Skirt Black and
White Dress £45.
Near Centre - Monsoon Spring/Summer 2009 - Originals Adlyn
Black and White
Dress £160 / €271.
Far Right - Monsoon Spring/Summer 2009 Main Range Black and
White Empire Dress.
Similar in line, the centre dress focuses on the skirt and
would suit those who wish to draw attention to their hips and
smaller waistline. The white skirt section also gives the false
hem illusion making the onlooker believe the skirt is shorter
than it is yet being comfortably longer for a woman who dislikes
real shortness in a frock.
The third paisley border, white-on-black dress can be very
effective for the shorter woman. The border draws the eye to the
hemline. The deep V neckline draws the eye to perhaps a handsome
cleavage. Since the eye is drawn to two points far apart this
certainly helps elongate when the soft gathers also help cover
up any midriff bulge.
This style of dress so often suits shorter women as the distance from bust to hem
of the skirt helps to elongate, and create a false
illusion of streamlined fabric. So often shorter women
like the definition that a raised empire dress or raised tunic
waist can give them. It may well be one of the few occasions
when the seam actually sits where it is intended to sit, unlike
a normal waistline seam which may be too long in the body and
create unsightly back folds of fabric.
A petite woman, with shorter arms, may prefer a sleeve
that is not full length leaving this in between length to settle
wherever it suits her best. These are some of the wardrobe tips
and tricks to play with when shopping. Think where you want to
draw the eye to and where you want to draw it away from whilst
creating an illusion of balance.
Taller women may love dresses too, but many will look really
stunning in an all white trouser suit such as this one worn by
Lisa Butcher for Long Tall Sally.
Confidence comes from choosing
the right clothes for the body you have.
This white trouser suit could easily be made more versatile with
this black and white sequin top from. Left -
Sardinia Outfit with Sardinia
single button jacket £85, Sardinia Waistcoat £46, Sardinia
Palazzo Trouser £60 - all Long Tall Sally Spring Summer 2009.
Right - A monochrome inspired sequin top perfect for jazzing up
a basic skirt or pants. Details - Taryn - £99 sequin vest
Hobbs Spring Summer 2009.
If you are tall and rangy then a zebra stripe bandage style
dress like this one right may make you look a million dollars. Pattern and print is dynamic in monochrome as these example
Right - Jane Norman Body con fitted black and white dress in
zebra stripes perfect for a young toned figure
and good arms.
Tropical and Animal Monochrome Fashion are headlining racks in a
store near you.
These Zebra and cow print garments and bags are fashion
having great fun with itself.
Far Left - Animal empire line Kaftan tunic by BHS Spring
Summer 09 Holiday Shop - Monochrome Kaftan £20.
Near Left - Marks & Spencer Spring Summer 2009 - Animal Print
Black and White
T-shirt £19.50, T69 0751F in store April-mid
Both of these tops and long tunic dress are ideal as swimwear
Lots of swimwear is also worked up in monochrome black and
white. Take your pick from styles like these.
Left - Matalan Swimwear - Contrast animal Zebra top black and
white swimsuit £10
- Matalan SS09 Women.
Centre Left - Marks & Spencer Spring Summer 2009 black and
white swimsuit -
Centre - Marks & Spencer Spring Summer 2009 black and white
swimsuit T52 4476,
Centre Right - Marks & Spencer Spring Summer 2009 black and
white swimsuit - £29.50.
Far Right - BHS monochrome black and white swimsuit £25 - Spring Summer Holiday
Shop 2009 at BHS.
Black and white checks and tablecloth check linear patterns are hot on the tail of
animal and tribal clothing. These black and white gingham
dresses present similar fabric but informal and formal options.
On trend budget beater details :-
Left - Tesco Spring Summer 2009 Cherokee Womenswear - Black and
white dress in check fabric £14.
Centre - Marks & Spencer Spring Summer 2009 - Gingham black
and white dress - £45.
Bags are also available
in checks or the very popular square and diamond quilted bags
with gold intertwined chains and which ape designer handbags
rather well but at high street prices. Above
Right - Miss Selfridge Spring/Summer 2009 Accessories quilted
bag with gold chain - £25.
Copyright of images courtesy of Prshots, Miss
Selfridge, Harvey Nichols, BHS,
River Island, Marks & Spencer, Accessorize Monsoon, Matalan, Principles, Hobbs, ASOS,
Long Tall Sally, Primark, Dior, Faith Footwear, Office Footwear.
Date added 13 April 2009 - Ref:P.715
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