Minimalist Black and White

casual chic in black and white

I don’t often wear black, or black and white

I like black and white as a colour combo, but I find it a bit too severe for my natural colouring. And although I really like black  accessories, I don’t like wearing black clothes, even in combination with other colours. It’s as if black takes the life out of any other colour next to it. So, I usually opt for navy and white instead, as I find it a bit kinder to my face…

However, every now and then I try to make use of the very few black (or black and white) pieces I have. This usually means adding an accent colour to the mix, with varying results.

This time I decided to add some natural, warm tones to soften the look. It doesn’t hurt that a cognac bag and gold jewellery also make this rather plain outfit look more sophisticated and luxurious.

casual chic in black and white

black and white 1300 x 1000

As I was aiming for a casual but sophisticated, minimalist outfit, I decided to keep the accessories and jewellery simple, streamlined and delicate. Just a couple of gold rings and my mother’s bracelet, with a minimalist pair of sunglasses.

And the sunglasses… There’s something very 70’s about them, isn’t there? The delicate rim, the square shape… Not the obvious choice for someone with a rather angular face. I tend to go for oversized cat-eye styles as they always compliment my face, so I was surprised how well this style suits me. And how much I like it.

This is an outfit my late mother could have put together. Well, except for the graphic t-shirt. And she probably would have opted for either olive green or navy and white instead of black and white. But the accessories are straight out of her playbook. Maybe that’s why I like this version of black and white: it feels natural, and it connects me with my ‘style DNA’.

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Outfit details:
t-shirt: PBO (old) / trousers: Grizas (old) / cardigan: Gant /
shoes: Ecco (old) / bag: Coccinelle / sunglasses: Longchamp


How do you wear black and white?

Linking up with:

Elegantly Dressed and StylishHigh Latitude StyleA Labour of LifeCurly Crafty Mom, Doused in Pink,  Not Dressed As LambLiving on Cloud NineElegance and Mommyhood, Nancy’s Fashion StyleShelbee on the EdgeA Pocketful of Polka Dots Style SplashAway from the BlueMummabstylish Mutton Years Style and I, Confessions of a Montreal Styling DivaIndependent Fashion Bloggers


  1. 12 July 2020 / 7:41 pm

    It’s lovely that you can incorporate some of your mother’s things into your outfit. While navy and white may be a bit better for skin tone, the black and white is still a great looking outfit on you. I used to wear a lot of black when I irked in an office. It looks professional and you can pair also the any color with it. Since I retired, I don’t wear much black at all. My preferences are for bright jewel tones.

    Love your t-shirt!


    • Tiina
      13 July 2020 / 8:19 pm

      Thanks, Michelle.
      Bright jewel tones are so much better than black: much more flattering on most people, and they brighten up the day, too.

  2. q
    13 July 2020 / 9:36 am

    I like this outfit a lot, especially how the stripes in the cardigan and text in the t-shirt make a pair. And the bag adds nice touch of colour.
    Typical black and white outfit for me would be black lower part (trousers or skirt) and white shirt or t-shirt or black and white stripes. To make an effort, I’ll play with volume and texture. Like skinnier upper part with wide and flowy trousers or knitted material on top and sleek lower part. Also I seldom wear bright pure white, I’ve noticed that for me off-white works better. Maybe that would work for you too? -q

    • Tiina
      13 July 2020 / 8:25 pm

      Thanks, I think it’s the cognac and gold details that make this outfit work.
      I’ve tried off-white, and although it works (marginally) better than pure white, it still drains me. Or, let’s just say that there are other colours that suit me so much better…

  3. 13 July 2020 / 3:50 pm

    Love this look and it came out exactly as you wished, casual and elegant.

    • Tiina
      13 July 2020 / 8:25 pm

      Thank you!

  4. 14 July 2020 / 10:09 am

    Quite a change for you Tiina but you can do it well especially with your cognac and gold tones added. A fun and casual look.

    • Tiina
      14 July 2020 / 2:08 pm

      Thanks, Jill. Yes, I think adding some warmer tones helps and makes this combo a bit less severe.

  5. Lise
    14 July 2020 / 1:41 pm

    Interesting adding the warm accessories. I like it. I have always thought I have very similar skin-tone, hair, eyes etc to you but I wear black and white well, although the black has to be more dominant.

    • Tiina
      14 July 2020 / 2:21 pm

      Thanks, Lise.
      Well, perhaps you have just a slightly warmer skin tone? I’m really pale, with pink undertones to my skin, and my eyes are also really light blue/green-grey. In these pictures I’m ‘tanned’ (= marginally less pale than in winter), so black and white is not quite as severe on me.
      I also always wear black and white with black as the more dominant colour, to create some contrast (because white against my face makes me look like a ghost…), yet avoiding all black near my face (because then I look like a vampire…). And I find that adding some warmer tones in accessories makes the overall look a bit softer, or kinder to my face.

  6. 14 July 2020 / 2:49 pm

    Fun outfit! I can’t pull off B&W, but maybe something whimsical like you’re doing would work…

    • Tiina
      14 July 2020 / 4:55 pm

      Thank you, Michele. I find black and white a very demanding combo, and seldom wear these colours. This is probably the first black and white outfit I’m happy with.

  7. mireilleftm
    14 July 2020 / 4:21 pm

    I think you did well with the pieces you chose: they do not look harsh against your coloring and they make for a fun outfit. You look quite nice in black and white.

    • Tiina
      14 July 2020 / 4:57 pm

      Thanks, Mireille. I think it’s the gold and cognac accessories, they really add some warmth and make the outfit work.

  8. 15 July 2020 / 2:51 pm

    How interesting re the idea of style DNA, I wonder how much of it does pass down from mother to daughter (Mum was and still is a stylish wee lady, I guess we are very simple and pared back but apart from that our colourings and choices are quite different maybe – Ill have to think about that). As for wearing black and white – I love that colour combination but on me it doesnt work sadly so I have to admire it on others – Im short so chopping myself in half doesnt work and whilst I suit white and black I dont have a strong contrast in features so too much contrast washes me out, but I really like the combination

    • Tiina
      16 July 2020 / 12:14 pm

      Thanks, Juliet. I find black and white a very challenging colour combination, too. I need to be very careful choosing accessories, otherwise it will just be a bit bland and boring. Like you, I like black and white on other people, not so much on myself…
      And yes, I think we get style influences from our mothers, or the people around us. And we are probably also influenced by the culture that surrounds us. My style choices have definitely been influenced by the whole ‘Nordic (or Finnish) aesthetics’.

  9. shelbeeontheedge1
    15 July 2020 / 6:51 pm

    What a wonderful graphic tee! I personally love black and white all day every day so I am completely crushing on this outfit! But it is definitely different from your normal color palettes. It is fun to try new and different things. I just photographed a bright yellow dress yesterday for a themed collaboration coming soon, but yellow really is not so great on me. But it is still a color that makes me smile, so I wore it anyway! Thanks for linking up.


    • Tiina
      16 July 2020 / 12:17 pm

      I think black and white looks best on people with stronger contrast in their natural colouring, so it definitely suits you. I need to soften it a bit to make it work, as slightly softer/muted colours suit me better.
      But you’re right, it’s good to try something new or different every once in a while, even if it’s just for a moment,

  10. mummabstylish
    16 July 2020 / 12:47 pm

    Love the Tee shirt slogan! Thanks for sharing today. Jacqui x

    • Tiina
      17 July 2020 / 6:06 pm

      Thanks, Jacqui!

  11. 16 July 2020 / 2:28 pm

    Love how the t-shirt and the cardi create a ‘set’, which looks so nicely coordinated!. And your accessorizing is always brilliant!. Totally agree that these sunníes look fab on you and they have a ‘retro’ vibe, really cool!
    I’m a huge fan of black&white (with red or yellow accents) even if neither black nor white flatter my complexion, so I avoid them near my face: I usually wear a necklace or scarf!.

    • Tiina
      17 July 2020 / 6:08 pm

      Thank you!
      Yes, it was the retro vibe that attracted me to the sunglasses. They’re so 70’s, something my mother could have worn. And they look as if they were meant to be worn with this bag, so that was a definite plus.

  12. Lucy Bertoldi
    17 July 2020 / 11:09 pm

    I love black and white- always chic and classy. Easy to style as well because its’s such a great statement. Thanks for linking up- Have a great weekend xx

    • Tiina
      20 July 2020 / 4:06 pm

      I find black and white rather challenging to style. Maybe that’s because it’s not the best colour combo for me. I love it on other people, though.

  13. 20 July 2020 / 1:41 pm

    This is a fun black and white outfit! I really struggle to stick to just neutral outfits – always have to add a little touch of colour, but when you wear black and white like this it’s always such a classic combo! It really doesn’t need much accessorising, as you pointed out 🙂

    Thank you for joining the #weekdaywearlinkup!

    Hope that you had a great weekend 🙂 Ours was busy with a birthday party and our rescheduled family photo shoot – making the most of all the relaxed restrictions here 🙂

    • Tiina
      20 July 2020 / 4:07 pm

      Thanks, mica.
      I know what you mean: I struggle with neutrals, too. And I envy people who look amazing in neutrals. I always need to add some colour, otherwise it just looks bland.

    • Tiina
      1 August 2020 / 11:06 am

      Thanks, Ada!

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