Clothes vs. Outfits: Black and White Basics

black and white

Top Left, Bag: Tory Burch 797 Satchel ($525) Shoe: Trump Indico Pumps ($90) Earring: Mini-Pearl Studs ($16) Ring: Nest Gold Dome Ring ($95)

Right, Scarf: DvF Silk Scarf ($90) Ring: Kate Spade Cameo Jewel Ring ($78) Bag: Brahmin Phoebe Satchel ($295)

Bottom Left, Bag: Hamilton Satchel Tote ($348 + 20% off) Shoe: Kate Spade Tock Flat ($198) Necklace: Petal Necklace ($26)

A sleek black pencil paired with a lightweight sweater is a good option for the transition from winter to spring.  The reason being that you can add tights on colder days, and go bare-legged on warmer ones.  These outfits were meant to be worn with bare legs or sheer, nude nylons, but you could switch it up accordingly.

As I mentioned this morning, I like the lightweight J.CREW sweaters for days when I need a quick outfit.  I think the ivory shade is a good staple.  This Reiss skirt is just the right mix of fitted and ladylike.  However, if you need something cheaper, the J.CREW 120s skirt is my favorite, but this Charlotte Russe skirt is a good inexpensive option.

Plus size?  A friend who works at Nordstrom says that they are selling out of these Sejour skirt because women love them so much.  The stretch pencil skirt at Eloquii is also popular.

Top Left.  This outfit is made up of one of my favorite color palettes: ivory, black, gold, red and leopard.  It sounds gauche, but with simple, classic pieces it looks really chic.

The red satchel is phenomenal, but so, so pricey.  This Dooney satchel is better at $300, and this Franco Sarto satchel is a good choice at $110.  Also, the leopard pumps are sold out in most sizes.  If you’re not adverse to paying a little more, these Enzo pumps are $120.  But if you need to spend less, finding something in your size could be tricky this late in the season.

I love the way pearl earrings set off the soft glow of an ivory sweater.  I also added a big dome ring for some drama.  Looking to spend less on this little bauble?  This open work ring is $30.

As for the hair and makeup, I would keep it soft and simple.  Light waves, a kiss of pink blush and a touch of red lip tint.  Maybe a full matte red lip if you are feeling daring.  I would also paint my nails with a bit of red.

Right.  This outfit is all about the pop of pink.  The pink in the scarf and the pink in the ring.  Not satisfied with just a pop of pink?  Try this bold Kate Spade scarf or this Mercy Delta Tokyo scarf.  Just looking for something cheaper?  Try this pink print scarf.

Need ideas on how to tie the scarf?  Head over to Pinterest.

The pink ring complements the pink in the scarf, but if you need something less expensive, try this pretty $25 ring from Nordy’s.  You might also concern a little pink nail polish.  I wouldn’t go with bright pink, but a soft pink like Essie Pink-a-Boo.

Lastly, I didn’t add a shoe to this grouping, but if you’re looking for recommendations, I’d go with the J.CREW basic black pump.  You will need a ball of your foot insole though, no padding in those puppies.  Other than that, very comfortable.

Bottom Left.  For the last outfit, I added a statement necklace in a simple metal palette.  I love the delicate petal design, and I can’t get over the awesome price.  If you prefer a long pendant, I would try this art deco, feast for the eyes from Bauble Bar.

Dark teal is a color that can be worn (or in this case, carried) year round.  I love the sleekness of this Hamilton tote, but I do not love the price.  This London Fog faux-ostrich is just as sophisticated and under-$100.  I also like this Elliott Lucca tote at $175.

For this outfit, I chose a flat because I was feeling a bit of Audrey Hepburn.  I like flats with a structured bow on the front.  The Kate Spade’s are a great choice, but these Joan & David’s and these Sam Edelman’s, with a sweet little bow, are a bit friendlier to the wallet.

For the hair, I would wear it up in a low, twisted bun.  For the makeup, I would wear a winged black liner and some Black Honey lip gloss, and I’d add a bit of deep purple to my nails.



  1. GoGoGo says:

    These all look great here on the page. A question though (maybe a rookie one): outfits here on CHS sometimes seem to rely on the bag to bring the color in. Duing my workday, my purse lives on a chair and serves more as office decor than a part of my outfit, so Outfit #3 would be colorless for me.

    OK, I guess that's more observation than question. In any case, I would lvoe to find some more colorful jewlery that does the work. I avoid black and white because it brings me back to my food service days…

    February 13, 2013/Reply
  2. Tierra says:

    I can attest to the greatness of that Eloquii skirt! I have it and it is a piece that I wish I could wear every single day!

    February 13, 2013/Reply
  3. Rachel says:

    Here is another great affordable alternative to the teal Hamilton tote:

    February 13, 2013/Reply
  4. LS says:

    I have these Kate Spade flats in nude and love them. I get compliments on them all the time. I feel like they're a really nice alternative to the Tory Revas that we all see everywhere.

    February 13, 2013/Reply
  5. tina says:

    Totally agree with GoGoGo…

    February 13, 2013/Reply