The latest summer fashion trend for 2013 – Monochrome

Black and white monochrome bodycon dress with frills by Forever Unique

Black and white monochrome bodycon dress with frills by Forever Unique

Unfortunately there is little we can change about the horrible weather in the UK by moaning about it, but we can cheer ourselves up by looking fabulous!  I can feel a bit silly wondering about in this murky grey in a summer floral dress, but I can look just as summery and stylish in one of the hottest summer fashion trends – colour blocking monochrome.  Indeed, the spring and summer catwalks 2013 have been dominated by a bold glare of black and white monochrome prints incorporating stripes, zebra print, polka dots and big blocks of black and white.  This is a timeless trend with roots harking back to the 1960’s mod era; the trend has now undergone a modern twist and has been endorsed by celebrities such as Beyonce Knowles, Rhianna, Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton but to name a few.

There are so many reasons why I love monochrome, mainly because there is something very clean and simple about a black and white ensemble, giving the impression of modern, powerful self-assuredness, whilst still remaining elegant, sophisticated and not too overbearing.  Monochrome is also such an easy trend to wear, so it is no problem finding it in shops in all seasons, and it will never go out of fashion (and believe me, fashion waits for no-one, so it’s brilliant to be able to have a good solid staple style in the wardrobe!).  It’s also great for plus size ladies, as the black minimizes the areas you want to hide, and the white enhances the areas you wish to show off.  Another big tick in the monochrome style box is that it transcends seasons, so it is a great transitional trend which will take us seamlessly from summer into autumn and beyond.

Stunning black tie monochrome summer silk floaty maxi dress

Stunning black tie monochrome summer silk floaty maxi dress

So how do I wear monochrome?

Monochrome can be a single coloured black or white dress and you can contrast the black or white with the opposing colour for your accessories.  Alternatively, you get the best of both worlds and combine both colours together in one dress with a gorgeous print or with dazzling, bold blocks of colour.

How do I accessorize monochrome?

The key is that if you are going for a monochrome look, stick to monochrome only.  Adding an extra colour with your accessories can lessen the whole effect.  Instead, stick with black or white accessories and shoes.  If you are going for a one colour, completely black or white dress, go for the opposing colour for your accessories to break it up a bit.  If you go for the same colour for the accessories you can be in danger of your outfit looking too black or too white.  Likewise, go for an opposing colour bag so it doesn’t blend in too much with the outfit, and it will give a nice little colour break to your ensemble.  Another look I love if you are going for a plain black or white dress is to add zebra print, stripes or polka dot accessories into the mix.  Again, try to make sure that these accessories are predominantly in the opposing colour.

If your dress has both black and white, match the accessory colour to the colour which is least reflected in the dress.  Another piece of advice when it comes to accessories is not to mix the colours of the accessories too much (e.g. a white necklace and black earrings), particularly if you have a dress with both colours as it can be a bit too much for the eye and can look a bit messy.

Monochrome black and white disc fascinator - perfect for Ladies Day at the Races!

Monochrome black and white disc fascinator – perfect for Ladies Day at the Races!

If you are going to the races, don’t forget to complete your monochrome look with a daring and sophisticated hat or fascinator for a real Audrey Hepburn kind of look.

How should I wear my makeup with a monochrome outfit?

I believe that as black and white gives a very clean, bold effect, bold makeup looks fabulous with it.  Dash a nice, thick black line with some liquid eyeliner on the upper eyelid with a flick at the corners of the eyes and use an eye pencil for the inner rim of your lower eyelid.  Being a fan of false eyelashes, I recommend a pair of these also for a dramatic look.  I also love red or pink lipstick to finish off a monochrome outfit, remember, the look is bold, so don’t be shy when it comes to the lip colour!