If you don't feel punchy in purple and you feel not-so-hot in pink, then how about just keeping it simple and stick to that all-time fashion classic combo - black and white? Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is famous for saying "Black-and-white always looks modern, whatever that word means." The chic combo has been the go-to favorite of celebs and everyday women for decades. And in the Paris spring fashion shows, black and white ruled the runways.
Here are some simple ways to update black and white for this spring and summer:
—Start with white pants. White jeans have become a basic staple in warm weather wardrobes, so if you haven't bought a pair yet, find a great-fitting brand and stock up. Cropped is the name of this game this season, no matter what style of white pants you wear...slim or wide-leg, frayed or cuffed. And if you are a legging lover, then switch to jean-like high-waisted jeggings. For a change at the office, team a long jacket with a pair of shorter white pants.
—Transition with a black turtleneck or leather jacket. From Audrey Hepburn to Natalie Wood to Jackie O, the black turtleneck has always been a symbol of cool, understated style. Ditto for the black leather moto jacket. And in the chillier months, these two pieces are perfect matches for white — white jeans, white trousers, a white skirt. You can't go wrong with this look...slip on driving loafers for daytime, and kitten heeled mules for the evening to lighten up those last nippy days.
—Top off with a black one-shoulder top. The cold shoulder look is still a big hit, but the latest way to show a little skin is on the diagonal. This trendy piece with a '70s vibe is perfect to wear under jackets for work when a dinner date is on the calendar. It also makes a great backdrop for a statement necklace or pair of dangling earrings, just like last season's cold-shoulder tops or off-the-shoulder peasant tops that are still fashion favorites.
—Dress up with a black and white striped blouse or blazer. Stripes are one of spring's biggest trends, and black and white stripes are inspiring all kinds of toppers from long, menswear-tailored jackets to ruffled striped blouses and that all-time favorite — the boatneck tee. Mix and match with solid white or black pants for a whole week's worth of possibilities.
—Suit up for all occasions. The black pantsuit and skirt suit have long been the staples of professional women everywhere. Now the white pantsuit is taking center stage as its rival. And since white is no longer a winter no-no, this head-to-toe look can be enjoyed year-round. But in spring and summer, the white pantsuit seems like a breath of fresh air and can easily be versatile enough to incorporate into any working wardrobe or party attire for that matter. To get the most wear out of these two classic suits, take the separates apart for even more possibilities. Trend update: jackets that are a little more oversized and longer in length.
—See it in print. Black and white comes alive in all kinds of prints and patterns this year. Designers are making news with polka dot tops, geometric abstract tunics, houndstooth checked dresses, zebra print jackets and gingham skirts. Just one of these newsmakers added to black and white basics that you already own will give your wardrobe a whole new spin for spring.
—Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. You can't say it enough. Black and white goes with everything, and that's one of the reasons the fashion crowd loves it. So, if you've been a fan for a long time, then you may just want to add a little extra panache to your favorites. White ankle boots are the season's hot item, but black slip-on sneakers with white rubber soles are on every shoe retailer's trend radar. Handbags are another way to put some black and white on your shopping list...from python printed totes to checkerboard clutches...classic ways to keep it simple this spring, yet so "modern, whatever that word means."(SET CAPTION)The classic combination of black and white gets updated for spring with stripes in long jackets (www.thombrowne.com).(END CAPTION)
To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.