It's easy. It's breezy. And it's classic. Black and white has always been a favorite fashion statement for style-makers. Just ask Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Onassis. Even modern-day actresses like Charlize Theron still embrace the look (check out her 10-page photo spread in this month's Vogue). The chic color combo is one of the coolest ways to pull a wardrobe together, especially in the summer. Here are a few updates on this classic duo:
—Ankle pants. Trousers may be standard at the office, but shorter, slimmer pants that hit right around the ankle are a great way to "summarize" not only your professional style but weekend looks as well. These classics will work with heels and sandals, as well as jackets and more casual tops. They are a seasonal must-have that will carry you right through fall when you can pair them with boots.
—Bermuda shorts. Reserve the denim Daisy Dukes for fun at the beach and stick to these longer styles for everyday wear. White shorts are like white jeans — a great summer wardrobe basic that pairs with virtually everything. You can dress up shorts with longer jackets or wear them with tees and tops in neutral black or white. There are lots of mix-and-match possibilities here.
—Graphic printed skirts. This is a way to put some fun in your summer staples. Invest in a black-and-white skirt — fitted or flared — in windowpane checks, polka dots or painterly florals. Then top it off with a classic white shirt for work or a tank top for play.
—Pop art shifts. Black and white also gets artsy for summer in simple, sophisticated sheath dresses that skim the body with bold designs that pop with stylized drama. These are the dresses you will want to wear when you need a mood boost. You will definitely stand out in a crowd.
—Mesh tunics. The see-through trend is one of this year's hottest looks. In black or white, these tunic tops are usually layered over tank tops or even swimsuits. These longer tops are best when worn with slim pants or skirts.
—Cropped tops. Admittedly, not all of us want to bare our midriffs, even if it's 100 degrees outside. However, these short tops are making their mark this summer even at the office. The trick? Wear high-waisted pants or skirts to minimize the belly bulge, or layer a longer camisole underneath for more coverage. The black-and-white striped crop adds a fresh touch, on its own or under a jacket.
—The slim suits. Wearing white or black from head-to-toe is another big fashion trend this summer. Suits are crisp and clean, and on the sleek side. For fun, wear them with strappy cage sandals or sporty white sneakers. Take apart the pieces and dress them up for evening with chiffon tops or silk halters.
—Maxi dresses. The little black dress goes long on style this summer. The maxi is a great way to celebrate the warm months in easy, cotton black and white knits. Look for slinky slip dresses with sheer lace or crochet insets to be favorites. Garden parties will never be the same.
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.