Carolina Herrera pairs a black-and-white ensemble with muted accessories.

How to Accessorize When Wearing Black & White

by Sara Cantu

Time is ticking and you're still searching for a fabulous outfit for your next night out. Look no further, because the timeless combination of black and white offers a seemingly endless supply of chic and stylish ensembles. When rocking pieces so bold, keep accessories perfectly complementary to focus attention on this striking color palette. Add-ons that enhance the cool, sophisticated vibe of black-and-white clothing are key to pulling off this classically trendy look.

1. Bold Brights

A small dose of eye-catching color incorporated into a black-and-white outfit is a great way to form a look that's classic but modern at once. For instance, a sophisticated outfit like black trousers and a crisp, white blouse turns playful when paired with a bright shoe in cobalt or red. Similarly, a hot pink clutch breathes new life into a simple white tank top and black skinny jeans, while an armful of colorful bangles adds a dose of personality. To take this sassy look one step further, apply a swipe of crimson or fuchsia lipstick for an extra punch of color.

2. Notice-Me Neutrals

Understated neutral accessories pair well with black and white as they allow the combination to shine on its own. A pair of black patent-leather heels is a fabulous accessory to pair with a wide variety of garments -- from sexy black dresses to elegant pant suits. Beige, nude and charcoal pumps combine beautifully with black-and-white dresses, as do neutral-toned bags ranging from hobos to shoppers. In the winter months, consider adding a pair of black or heather-gray opaque tights for additional coverage.

3. Playful Patterns

Patterned accessories add a cool, funky effect to black-and-white outfits. For example, a striped or checkered clutch is a classic addition to an ensemble of the same colors. Whimsical accessories -- think a floral scarf, a paisley handbag or a black pump with a polka-dot bow -- infuse youthful energy and highlight the modern vibe of a black-and-white outfit.

4. Modern Metallics

Opt for metallic jewelry to add a hint of glamour to your ensemble. Whether it's a gold chain necklace paired with a black tank top and white trousers or a sparkling bib necklace underneath a blazer, metallic accessories lend a extra style to any outfit. Gold strappy sandals or bronze pumps pair beautifully with black-and-white styles as well. For an instant dose of glitz, try a pair of metallic hoop earrings or an edgy cuff bracelet in gold or silver.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Loccisano/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images