What's black and white and worn all over? The easiest spring wardrobe ever! But this year, it's not just about throwing on your favorite white jeans and black tee. Go ahead and get a little more creative. It's how you put it all together that makes the difference this spring. (And by the way...this fashion "uniform" can work in any season.) Here are five steps to making this classic formula work for you this season.
Step One: Start at the bottom. This is the base that anchors the whole look. While a black pencil skirt is a workhorse for the office, there are plenty of other options now to incorporate into both a professional and casual wardrobe. Wide-leg palazzo pants are this year's freshest update on the bottom line. In black or white, they do double duty at the poshest of parties on or off the beach. In black and white stripes they are even more chic. Team them with sleek tops and heels to keep the fuller legs in balance.
Step Two: Wear black or white head to toe. Just like wearing denim on denim is an ongoing "do" now, so is wearing all black or all white. In warm weather, white on white can be one of the coolest looks ever. If you prefer slimmer pants rather than palazzos, then white skinny jeans are always an easy option for spring and summer. Pair them with clean white off-the-shoulder blouses or tees and white sandals. Head-to-toe black can have an artsy edge even in spring. Just make sure you mix lightweight textures like chiffon, lace, linen and cotton. You can even add a little "shine" for even more interest.
Step Three: Make black and white pop with pattern. Stripes, polka dots, checks and plaids, even florals. Black and white gets edgy in all kinds of graphic designs this year. The bolder the pattern, the better. These prints are never boring, and they will give your classic black and white uniform an instant modern twist. For even more of a stylish fashion fix, try mixing different black and white prints together in the same outfit. Be aware of scale and keep the prints similar in size.
Step Four: Dress it up. One and done is the name of the black and white game here. Whether it's a dress blocked off in the two-tone colors or a jumpsuit splattered with black and white graffiti, one-piece dressing is another easy way to wear this classic combination that has stood the test of time ever since Coco Chanel made it the epitome of chic. Solid black or white pieces always provide a versatile base for layering, and can be dressed up for the office in the season's romantic slip dresses with a slouchy jacket, menswear vest or trench coat.
Step Five: Add black and white accessories. This may be one of the easiest ways to add some unexpected drama to your wardrobe this spring. The newest black and white accessories go way beyond the classic spectator pump. Think mod-style white "go-go" boots, an op-art studded handbag, retro black and white rimmed sunglasses or a wildly patterned zebra-striped scarf. Or try white ankle socks with black oxfords. Or a white leather backpack a la Chanel. Coco would love it.
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.