Sure, neutrals are nice, bright colors are bold, and pastels are certainly pretty – but sometimes you just want to make a seriously powerful impression, and nothing does the trick quite like the one-two punch of black and white, particularly when they form a pattern. Fans of this classic pairing are luck this year, because there are tons of chic black and white print pieces in the spring and resort collections.
A black and white print dress is quite simple to wear, yet makes a bold statement. However, a complicated or busy print can be overpowering, especially if you are petite, so this look works best in shorter dresses; if you want to go long, make sure the top half of the dress is on the bare side and definitely go sleeveless. It is also best to keep your silhouette simple and sleek, like this boat-neck sheath by Milly. For extra impact, add a bright accessory, like a cobalt blue handbag or lipstick red heels.
Sometimes, however, a dress is just bit too much, or a bit too formal for the occasion. For instance, when you want just a hint of drama along with an exotic feeling, try this beribboned velvet tank by Rose Anne de Pampelonne. Paired with chic wide leg pants and a pair of jeweled flat sandals, you are ready for a seaside villa – or at least a trendy sidewalk cafÃ© in your city. The blousy shape would also set off a pair of skinny jeans nicely, for those who aren’t into the glam resort look. Another black and white top that would work well with slim pants (or a pencil skirt) is this elegant Marc Jacobs silk colorblock blouse.
While donning a pair of black and white patterned trousers is probably a universally bad idea, the same print in a skirt is an excellent way to draw attention to your lower half, especially if your legs are your best asset. A graphic print like the one on this MaxMara wrap skirt is chic and contemporary, and the cut is incredibly flattering. Add a basic black top and a pair of standout shoes and you are good to go.
Of course, you can also work high contrast appeal of black and white into your accessory wardrobe. For instance, a zebra print handbag would show off your wild side, while a pair of oxford booties would pair perfectly with tailored piece for a menswear-inspired ensemble. Or perhaps vintage pieces tend to strike your fancy, in which case these adorable Vince Camuto pumps or this Goldenbleu clutch might fit the bill.
Despite the stunning variety of color options out there (or perhaps because of it), sometimes it makes a bigger statement to go with timeless black and white. After all, how many other color combinations are both completely classic and utterly modern at the same time? And besides, they are the only two shades that are always in fashion.