Monochrome Madness: Why Wearing All One Color Is the New Black

Conventional wisdom holds that you only wear all-white to your wedding and all-black to funerals (and existentialist gatherings). But fashion insiders know better. There’s a monochrome look for every occasion. Let style-setters like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Ciara show you the ropes.

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  • For an easy way to make a big impact with clothing you already have in your closet, coordinate a single-color ensemble. Depending on the pieces you choose, it’s a chic look that can be worn to the office, to brunch, and out on the town.

  • The Occasion: Brunch
    Photo credit: Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

    The Occasion: Brunch

    For a peachy keen brunch ensemble, offset a girly chiffon maxi skirt with a comfy sweater.  The subtle pattern on the skirt keeps the look interesting.

    As Seen On: Stylist Kate Foley was spotted at the opening of the Vince flagship store in New York earlier this month in a sweater, skirt, and her signature red lip.

  • Topshop Knitted Mix Stitch Sweater ($60) in Peach

    Topshop Burnout Floral Midi ($100) in Apricot

    Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil ($24) in Syrah

  • The Occasion: Cocktail Hour

    If you’re thinking pink, a fluffy sweater provides a great counterpoint to a luxurious satin pencil skirt and makes the look fall-appropriate. Echo the color in your jewelry and pile on rose gold midi rings.

    As Seen On: Singer Ciara was spotted in a Doriane Van Overeem Mohair Sweater, Topshop Vinyl Skirt, Miu Miu Rasoir Sunglasses ($335), and Gianvito Rossi pumps, during a Parisian shopping spree earlier this month.

  • Rachel Smooth Midi Ring ($6) in Rose Gold

    New Look Petite Fluffy Textured Jumper ($36) in Pink

    Cedric Charlier Satin Pencil Skirt ($431) in Rose

  • The Occasion: A Night Out
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    We’d usually find an outfit consisting of stilettos, a strappy tank, and a leather mini skirt a bit over the top, but in all black, it looks polished and sophisticated. Just remember to keep accessories dainty and minimal, and choose a clean shoe like a sandal.

    As Seen On: Leggy supermodel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, recently stepped out in London wearing Michael Kors pumps, an Isabel Marant necklace, a Jacquie Aiche 14k White Diamond Bezel Body Chain ($425), an Azzedine Alaia clutch, and a Zadig & Voltaire leather mini skirt.

  • Hellessy Caroline Satin Camisole ($365) in Black

    Mason By Michelle Mason Mini Leather Skirt ($585) in Black

    Tibi Amber Ankle Strap Sandals ($365) in Black

  • The Occasion: Traveling
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    The Occasion: Traveling

    Elevate your favorite gray sweatshirt with cozy wool pants and functional heeled boots so you look chic, without being too buttoned up. The neutral palette means the pieces can easily be paired with what you've packed, giving you extra style mileage. (Pun intended).

    As Seen On: Paris Vogue editor, Capucine Safyurtlu, was snapped by a street style photog looking cool and casual in a gray sweatshirt, cropped trousers, and ankle boots.

  • American Vintage Prarie State Cotton-Jersey Sweatshirt ($100) in Gray

    J. Crew Cropped Donegal Wool Pant ($138) in Heather Gray Multi

    Hogan Lace-up Ankle Boots ($377) in Gray

  • The Occasion: At the Office
    Photo credit: Billy Farrell/

    The Occasion: At the Office

    By keeping the color professional (read: no neon pink) and the fabric luxe, monochrome can be office appropriate. Polish off a trouser and blouse ensemble in rich, Yves Klein blue with a pair of confident earrings for a cool masculine/feminine vibe.

    As Seen On: Into the Gloss blogger Emily Weiss attended the Calvin Klein S/S 14 after-party in a Reed Krakoff Wool & Chiffon Blouse ($990) and Slim Tuxedo Stripe Pants ($890), a Reed Krakoff black Anarchy Clutch ($1490), and a pair of Saint Laurent Classic Jane Ankle Strap Sandals ($795).

  • Rag & Bone Easier Pant ($290) in Royal Blue

    Equipment Brett Blouse ($198) in Regal Blue

    Karen London Brass Desert Moon Earrings ($90) in Turquoise

  • The Occasion: The Weekend
    Photo credit: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

    The Occasion: The Weekend

    An all-white ensemble can come off as pristine and prissy. To make the look more approachable, choose casual separates like overalls and an oversized sweater. Graphic sunglasses add a fun punch.

    As Seen On: Blogger/street style star, Hanneli Mustaparta, arrived at the Rag & Bone show in New York last month in Frame Denim S/S 14 overalls, a Calvin Klein sweater, and a Chanel bag.

  • Free People Washed Denim Overall ($148) in White Water Wash

    Marni Two-tone Acetate Sunglasses ($390) in Unique

    Petit Bateau Women’s Long-Sleeved Tee in Plain Vintage Cotton ($49) in Ecume


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