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The Perfect Harmony

While I have been waxing lyrical about not wearing all black (all the time), I do love all grey and all white. Just as great are black and white worn together – they are a classic pairing and you could never go wrong … except perhaps being mistaken for a waiter in a restaurant. That could be rather embarrassing for both parties!

Joking aside, for those who say they like to wear all black because it makes it easy to put an outfit together, it is just as easy to put black and white items together. Coco Chanel was a great champion of this combination. She said: “Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.”

Chanel’s successor, Karl Lagerfeld has said: “Black-and-white always looks modern, whatever that word means.” Timeless, Karl; it looks timeless, so it always looks contemporary. Neither shade is synonymous with any particular decade; they are always in fashion.

 “I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.” – Coco Chanel

If pure white does not suit your complexion, try a softer shade of ivory, vanilla, cream or eggshell. Nor does black suit everyone (contrary to popular opinion). According to colour theory, black is not the best shade for light and warm springs, or summers of any description. Click here for more information on finding your perfect colours.  

And if you are not accustomed to wearing colour, then a gentle way to introduce some is by adding a single coloured accessory to your black and white garments, without fear of looking clownish, or the angst of trying to match different colours when you are unpractised.

Fashion Notes

This modern silk blouse, by Decjuba, and Banana Republic skirt are really quite detailed enough on their own – I wouldn’t add more than a pair of shoes and a bag to wear them on the town. But just for today, I have gone all-out fun with adding vintage accessories into the mix.

From the top: an Edwardian velvet and sequin toy top hat that I purchased from a UK-based eBay seller; vintage 60s polka dot net gloves bought from an American Etsy store; a vintage 1940s black bag with soutache embroidery that I pounced on in a Sacred Heart Opportunity Shop; and a pair of modern Italian-made woven leather heels by Stefano Stefani, which also came from a thrift store, this time the Salvos.

Next time you go to assemble an all-black outfit, why not throw caution to the wind and throw in a bit of white? In the immortal words – echoing Coco Chanel – of the song, ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony.

Photos: February 2016

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