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How to accessorize a black & white dress

Updated April 17, 2017

So you have an absolutely fabulous black and white dress, and you can't wait to wear it to an upcoming party. You may be wondering about the right way to accessorise the dress, and whether you should stay monochromatic or go bold. Unfortunately, there is no one simple answer to guide you. On the bright side, that means you can freely use your creativity to personalise your outfit without worrying about breaking any hard and fast rules of fashion.

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  1. Decide on one bright colour to use to accessorise your dress. Many people choose to combine red with black and white, but you can also go with yellow, teal, emerald green, hot pink or any other colour you like.

  2. Choose shoes, a handbag and jewellery that all involve the accessory colour you've chosen. They do not have to match or be the exact same shade, but they should be related enough that they all go well together. Keep in mind that they do not have to be solid colours; you could choose a black handbag with hot pink trim, or a silver necklace with a turquoise pendant.

  3. Apply somewhat toned-down make-up. If you feel the need to bring the bright colour from your accessories into your face, do it very subtly. Bright yellow accessories can be fashionable, but bright yellow accessories with matching eye shadow crosses the border into laughable.

  4. Keep your accessories black, white or grey for a striking monochromatic look.

  5. Play with patterns since you aren't playing with colours. For example, if your dress has black and white stripes, consider carrying a white purse with black polka dots, or wearing black shoes with a white floral print.

  6. Apply colourful and dramatic make-up. This will help bring the look to life as well as continuing the dramatic theme of a monochromatic outfit.

  7. Choose a metal tone, such as silver, gold or copper, and wear accessories either made of that metal, or in a matching colour.

  8. Consider adding a belt in the colour of the metal you chose to pull the whole look together.

  9. Extend this look into your make-up by wearing eye shadow in the metallic colour you chose, and using a lipstick that contains a hint of the same colour.

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Things You'll Need

  • Black and white dress
  • Various accessories

About the Author

Morgan O'Connor

Morgan O'Connor has been writing professionally since 2005. Her experience includes articles on various aspects of the health-insurance industry for health-care newsletters distributed to hospitals as well as articles on both international and domestic travel.

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