5 ways to carry off a monochromatic wardrobe

One wouldn’t argue the association of summer with colours, be it in the garden or on clothing racks.

But if you’re tilting away from the predictable colour palette of the spring 2012 season, then black and white should be your protocol.

Londoners and Melbournians are often criticised for purposely injecting this colour palette on the streets of these cities, but you can’t blame them, a monochromatic wardrobe can prove to be more versatile than one filled with colourful prints.

Don’t get us wrong; we’re not ruling out a wardrobe splashed with colours, in fact, we’re adding another row of monochromatic tones to it. Adopting colours can be great, but sometimes you need the sharp aesthetic and confidence to guide your style. Especially, when your head starts to buzz, just in time for the heat.

five ways to carry off a monochrome wardrobe

To clear the misconception, if you pick black and white to be your colour of choice for this season, it doesn’t mean you have limit yourself to an androgynous style of dressing.

These colours are chiefly to give more structure and uniformity to an outfit, whether you do it with stripy wedges or a sheer chiffon blouse.

To dig into the ying-yang of style, we’re taking the palette to the extreme end of the colour wheel with five styling tips and shopping suggestions.

Lovers of Coco Chanel’s Parisian style, this is your moment.

Add a different texture with each piece. For instance, mix black leather with chiffon blouses, satin trimmings and woven accessories.

To provide you a styling example, team these perforated leather shorts by Kelly Bergin with a sheer white organza Marc Jacobs top and KARL’s two-tone leather shoes. Use the ongoing fabric trends and put together outfits that convey a completely different story.

monochrome wardrobe
Kelly Bergin perforated leather shorts, Marc Jacobs organza top, KARL sandals

Use this season’s sultry hot sheer trend to vamp up your monochromatic outfit. Team a sheer black top with a high-waisted skirt or straight-leg pants. This Alexander McQueen blouse is animal printed, sheer and in a monochrome palette. You can’t get any sexier than wearing this style of blouse with black shorts or white pants.

Alexander McQueen Bloues
Alexander McQueen blouse

Adding to the current trend of athleticism in the industry, use black and white in a sporty, yet chic manner. Look for styles with racer necklines, geometric abstract shapes, strapping or exposed zippers and buckles. We love this colour-blocked dress by Helmut Lang. The pleated layering of black and white fabrics adheres to the colour theme, while the silhouette remains athletic and precise.

Helmut Lang Dress
Helmut Lang dress

Alternating the two colours on the body could risk monotony, especially if you’re not blessed with long limbs. Let one colour dominate the look and use the other for adding a twist to the ensemble. Take inspiration from this Reverse harness top, where the black-crop top with geometric cut-outs essentially directs the outfit. But the mingling of the monochrome-tones in the skirt takes the outfit on a different journey. It doesn’t cut the body in unflattering shapes, instead makes it look leaner and longer. A perfect fashion body dream at its best, perhaps?

Revers Harness Top
Reverse harness top

Give oomph to an outfit with a hint of colour or embellishments, either with a vibrant lips or an embellished accessory. The look will still make heads turn without any diversions. This season’s current hot clashing colours are gold, cobalt blue, wine red, tangerine or mustard. The black trimming solely limited to the side of these straight-leg pants, by Gucci, is a great way to fake the appearance of long legs. The decorative golden buttons at the bottom add the extra bling.


Gucci Straight Lege Crepe Pants
Gucci crepe pants

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Author

Written by .

Shitika Anand is a freelance journalist, based in Sydney, who is addicted to coffee, vintage boutiques, bright-glitzy earrings and British stand-up comedy. Her bank account weeps every time she walks out of a shoe shop, but her shoe rack throws a 'welcome home' party for the new member. Her undying love for words is obvious when she narrates her entire life story to a stranger on the train. Which is partly the reason she's resorted to writing. When not blogging, she can be found in a corner of her nearest bookshop, hiding under a monstrous pile of international fashion magazines. You can read more of her work on her personal site, Sweet Dreams in my world.