Styling Tips: Jolyn Shows Us 3 New Ways to Wear Black & White

on 11:43 AM

Love it or hate it, let’s just be honest: black and white pieces are must-haves in any wardrobe. A black blazer, for example, can be a game changer in many an outfit, and a basic white tee, well…we all know the versatility of this item is endless. Nonetheless, as with all things in life, there needs to be a balance.
This post will balance the yin and yang of black and white, changing predictable into classic and “fashion rut” into “fashion must.” So get ready to re-evaluate those oh-so-basic neutrals in your closet as I’ll show you three ways to wear them for work, the weekend and all those fabulous parties I know you fashionistas are attending.
AT THE OFFICE>> Being a professional, sophisticated businesswoman doesn’t need to mean wearing the same black suit with different blouses underneath day after day. When given the challenge of wearing professional attire but still letting some of your vivacious personality shine through, I have three words for you: mix it up!
The pieces of a suit may be sold together, but that doesn’t mean they always need to be worn together. Take this white pencil skirt, for example. Although it’s sold with a blazer (at a bebe store near you), that’s not the only item you can pair with it. In this look, it’s paired with a black waterfall-lapel blazer and my favorite trend that never goes out of style: stripes. Stripes are a great way to “bring together” any black and white look, and believe me, while still professional, this look is far from boring.
WEEKEND CASUAL>> If you’re anything like me, sometimes “weekend” looks can be the most stressful to put together. Okay, okay, it may just be lunch with friends, but there’s something about trying to look casual yet still fashion forward that always puts me in a fashion conundrum. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; my go-to advice for those of you who find yourselves in a similar pickle is simple: layer, accessorize, details.
My goal is for people to look at my outfit and think to themselves, “Hmm…I would have never thought to wear those pieces that way.” It’s easy to put a white top over black leggings and call it a day, but it takes a little creativity to take an outfit from “blah” to “brilliant.”
Take this look, for example. The striped sweater could have easily been paired with a plain pair of leggings—but the look is so much more “weekend prepster” with the layered pop of pink underneath. The leggings could have been plain black—but the zippers add that level of detail that makes them perfect for accessorizing with coordinating gold accents, like the studs of these booties, the bag’s pyramid clasp and chain and, of course, the statement necklace.
So, yes, looks such as these do take a little thinking outside the box (or in this case closet), and definitely a little trial and error, but believe me, the end product is always worth it.
PARTY NIGHT>> Possibly one of the biggest complaints that I both hear and have about wearing either black or white to a party is the phrase “But I want to stand out.” Yes, standing out often involves color, sequins, fringe, beading (the list goes on), but does that mean a black dress, a white dress or a combination of the two colors will make you less the shining star you are? Not at all! Again, it’s all about balance.
Balance classic with edgy as this look does with a shift dress that (I kid you not!) looks good on everyone, accented by a daring necklace, a statement shoe (or bootie) and a clutch that ties the look together. Then take it a step further and do a statement lip color. The contrast of mixing black and white with a pop of color, even if that color is solely on your lips, goes a long way.
So while the sequins of your dress may not be shining like a disco ball (please note: I have nothing against sequin dresses and happen to love them), you can still stand out and make a statement—and sometimes that simpler statement can go a long way, especially if you want your outfit to look effortless. Remember: although you may want to stand out, you never want to be the girl who looks like she’s trying too hard.
— Jolyn, Area Manager & Stylist