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Black and white: Mad about monochrome

Have you ever noticed how, as if by magic, as soon as the sun comes out, the shops are flooded with clean, serene and – most importantly – white clothing. It’s easy to understand why white is an easy sell for summer. Whether it’s crisp, starched cottons or more bohemian lace there’s something apt about a brightly shining sun and even brighter whites.


But for those who are more crumpled than crisp, or extremely prone to spilling and staining, white can be just too much of a commitment.


All is not lost however, as monochrome is a perfect compromise, offering as it does the freshness of white with the safety and security of the infinitely more forgiving black.



Pictures: pale pink bridesmaid dresses


This season there’s plenty of monochrome to choose from. Stripes are the simplest place to start, and probably in your wardrobe in one version or another already. Gingham is a big trend this summer, in various colours, but don’t discount oversize checks, as seen at Sportmax, which have a pleasingly retro sensibility while still being modern enough to pass muster.


Those who would normally shy away from full-on patterns and prints might find that the simplicity of black and white makes such graphic looks far less scary. Sticking to the straight and narrow with linear patterns is a safe way to approach this – a basic Breton top in black and white even safer. But seeking out softer, more organic shapes is a step worth taking. That’s especially true of the delightfully dotty Dalmatian-print pieces that are the fruit of a collaboration between & Other Stories and Vans. If you’re still not sold on patterns, fret not, as black accents and trims provide a high-contrast take that adds the perfect hint of polish.


There’s an inherent formality that makes monochrome perfect for work, but don’t relegate it to the nine to five entirely – this summer’s sporty motifs are perfect for having fun in the sun. Still think black and white is boring? Bah, humbug!

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