How to Create Black and White Style - For Your Wardrobe

Now that we have taken care of making your home black, white and chic all over, it is time to set our sights on your wardrobe. Every woman needs a foundation of black and white separates. Don’t forget to throw in shoes, accessories and a few funky surprises for good measure! If you already own a few black and white pieces and don’t know where to begin, here are some sure-fire tips to help you ease into this timeless and versatile look.

Photo courtesy RetroGlider via Flickr
Photo courtesy RetroGlider via Flickr

Black and White Essentials

If you find yourself gazing into your closet convinced you have nothing to wear, consider picking up a few black and white basics. These essentials will give you the ability to pull a classic look together in the blink of an eye. Black and white will also eliminate color coordination issues—this combination always looks pulled together and elegant.

Photo courtesy of Brendan.lally...away via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Brendan.lally...away via Flickr

Little Black Dress

Most of you know the importance of a “little black dress”. Coco Chanel introduced this concept in 1926, and it has become a fashion staple. The little black dress holds its own in a world that relies heavily on trendy clothes. You should own at least one black dress that can go from business meetings to cocktail parties in the blink of an eye with the right accessories. Put it together with a cropped black jacket and black and white spectator pumps for the office, then ditch the business look by adding a wide black patent belt and red stilettos for a night on the town!

Classic White Shirt

Is it a blouse or a shirt? Whatever you call it, call it a must-have for your black and white wardrobe. Whether it comes in the form of a crisp button down or a feminine number with billowy sleeves and a peter pan collar; pair it with a skirt and throw on a black blazer or a wool cardigan for a conservative day look. Wear it untucked with a pair of boyfriend jeans for a casual weekend vibe. If your shirt is long enough, cinch it with a couple of thin black belts, slip on a pair of black leggings and ankle boots for a day of shopping. Make sure you purchase quality cotton or linen—it may be a slight investment, but with proper care, you’ll have it for many years to come!

Photo courtesy of Neys via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Neys via Flickr

Black Skirt

A simple black skirt is as indispensable as the little black dress when selecting the components of black and white style. Purchase a skirt and jacket set and you have automatically extended your wardrobe by two pieces! Choose a cut and length of skirt that flatters your body type then you can wear your APBS (all-purpose black skirt) with a solid white or black and white print top. Pick a black skirt made from worsted wool or a medium weight synthetic so you can wear it year-round.

Photo courtesy of ldhren via Flickr
Photo courtesy of ldhren via Flickr


You can never have too many solid white t-shirts in your closet. Dress ‘em up or dress ‘em down—they are your best friends! Find styles and cuts that show off your curves and stock up when they go on sale. Sleeveless, cap-sleeved and long sleeved white tees come to the rescue in almost any fashion emergency. T-shirts work with skirts, leggings, shorts and jeans.These chameleons of the black and white fashion world also take on the business world when worn under a suit.

Black & White Wardrobe Ideas

Photo courtesy of ldhren via Flickr
Photo courtesy of ldhren via Flickr

Wild Cards

Every woman needs a few of these black and white aces up her sleeve! Keep your black and white essentials constant and add a fresh perspective with these wardrobe wild cards. You don’t have to spend a great deal of money to add a few fashion forward items to your black and white repertoire. Think tunics, tees, skirts, shirts, shorts, sweaters, scarves and even leggings in bold geometric designs, animal prints, stripes, polka dots and florals.

Don't forget accessories! The sky's the limit when you go on the hunt for handbags, shoes and jewelry to complete your black and white style!

Photo courtesy of roberlan via Flickr
Photo courtesy of roberlan via Flickr

What Do You Think?

Which do you consider the most important piece in your black and white wardrobe?

See results without voting

© 2010 lindacee

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Comments 10 comments

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

You can't go wrong with black and white. Everyone looks good in black and white and the look is classic!

travelespresso profile image

travelespresso 6 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

Nice work Lindacee. I love my LBD and my black skirts. The skirts especially can be easily jazzed up or down as the mood takes me.

I love your comment about wildcard!

Guy Foxe profile image

Guy Foxe 6 years ago from SF Bay Area

I love your sleek style in this article--very smooooooth!

lindacee profile image

lindacee 6 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Thanks for the comment travelespresso! The LBD is a very important wardrobe staple. Doesn't hurt to have a couple of them in your collection -- they've rescued me countless times!

lindacee profile image

lindacee 6 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Thank you for checking out my Hub on B&W wardrobe style Guy Foxe! I can't take all the credit for the sleek & smooth style -- the clothes get all the credit on this one!

Klena profile image

Klena 6 years ago from England

What a fantastic hub - this will definitely help the New Years clean-out that I'm starting!

lindacee profile image

lindacee 6 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Thanks so much, Klena! That sounds like a great new year's resolution! Very ambitious!

Klena profile image

Klena 6 years ago from England

I feel there's no time like the present, plus the added incentive of New years :)

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jennyinfrance 4 years ago

Great advice here, as on all of lindacee's hubs. I've only just caught up with her, and she reminds me of something my Mum always said: "Common sense is NOT so common". The more I read of her wise words, the more I realise that Lindacee is proof of that.

Simplicity, as every French woman knows, is the key to elegance. However, it is just that - SIMPLICITY and NOT NEGLIGENCE. Forgive me for going off topic here, cos I'm not talking exclusively about a black and white theme, but I had to nip to the boulangérie at 6.00am. Here in France, that means making a minimum of effort. So I popped on dark denim jeans, a breton top, my black suit jacket, and black patent ballet flats. Since I had a hair appointment later, and didn't feel like doing a blow-dry at that time of the morning, I simply brushed my hair and used my black-framed Jackie O sunglasses as a hair band. It couldn't have been simpler, but to my mind, at least, it was more effective than going out in sweatpants. It also wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't had the black essentials in my wardrobe. So, fellow followers of this hub, let's make a pact shall we? NEVER to leave home wearing sweatpants!!! PS, it was a cold drizzly morning; had it been warm and sunny, I would have worn my white shirt instead of my black jacket, over my breton stripes, open almost to the waist, with both ends knotted over the waistband of my jeans. Sheer simplicity, sheer chic!

lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona Author

Bravo, Jenny! You brought my Hub to life with your excellent real world example! These are exactly the points that bear repeating. Just a few deftly selected pieces can give one a pulled together look no matter the time of day. There is no excuse for sweatpants (black, white or otherwise), short of exercising (even then, I'm not too sure)! I once had a neighbor that was quite amazed that I would look nice when I was doing yard work. I didn't realize I had even gone out of my way to look so presentable, it's just what I always do. Jenny, I vow to NEVER wear sweatpants outside the house and I will spread the word! Again, thanks for your delightful input. Greatly appreciated!

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