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Black and white all over

By Jen Wood Cunningham

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's sophisticated, glamorous, edgy and beautiful. It's cutting edge or it's timeless. It works at the office, it can be flirty and fun at a weekend picnic, or it can exude feminine beauty at a cocktail party.

These two colors -- often considered not colors -- can be worn in many ways and represent a variety of moods and styles. Black-and-white fashions look fantastic on everyone, so no one should miss out. Here are a few of the many ways you can rock the black-and-white trend:

  • Go mod with a black-and-white striped or geometric print dress with bold enamel accessories and create a feline look with black eyeliner. The 1960s mod trend has returned and has support from the all-star "Mad Men" cast and Banana Republic. Check out the Mad Men line at bananarepublic.com and get groovy.
  • Embrace your inner rocker with black leather and metal-studded accessories.
  • Bring your "A" game to the office with a black-and-white sheath and a patterned scarf or fitted jacket or sweater.
  • The trend is so popular, it's easy to find black-and-white fashions and accessories on any budget at many retailers in the Charleston area. Our models showcase the variety of looks and moods that can be represented with only black and white through fashions from Charlotte Russe, New York & Company and White House | Black Market, all stores in the Charleston Town Center Mall.

    The best advice I was ever given (in fashion and life) was to wear what makes you feel confident and attractive. If you feel attractive, fashionable and beautiful, that's the sweet spot. What you feel is what you present to others. It's who you are that you're allowing to shine through.

    Style comes from within and clothes and accessories express it. Lubov Azria, chief creative officer for BCBG MaxAzria, says, "Confidence is the ultimate accessory." One of our featured models, Brooke Pauley Lord, shared that quote a few days ago and added, "Now those are words to live by," and I completely agree.

    So ladies and gents, get yourself out there. Try different trends. Don't be afraid to try something new, something classic, something edgy. Experiment and find the way you can express your inner beauty in an outward way.

    Fashion advice from our models

    Q: What's your advice for putting together an outfit?

    Brooke Pauley Lord: Putting an outfit together is like a puzzle to me. I try lots of different things -- belts, jewelry, shoes, jackets -- until I get it just right! I love the challenge and the rewarding feeling when you have the ensemble ready to go out for the day or night! I just love fashion, so anything goes!

    Q: What's your favorite way to add a pop of color to the black-and-white trend?

    Traci Meadows: Black is my signature color, and nothing goes better with black than sexy red!

    Q: What accessories or cosmetics do you rock with black-and-white fashions?

    Rudi Raynes-Kidder: I like to add a bright red or hot pink belt and heels to a black-and-white ensemble. Sometimes I like to apply a colored eyeliner to accent.

    Q: What's your favorite place to wear a fabulous black-and-white ensemble?

    Meagan Shelton: I like to add a pop of color to black and white with a big piece of colorful statement jewelry, normally a necklace. I have some pieces from Stella & Dot that really complete an outfit. When I wear all black and white, I also like to wear my black-and-white Chanel glasses.

    Jennifer Piercy-Igo: I love the opportunity to wear a fabulous ensemble to a special night out with the girls or to a great party -- opportunities to socialize and have fun. Nothing gives you more confidence than a great outfit and, with two young boys at home, I don't get to do that often!

    Follow the WVStyle Team

    On-the-street looks can be used in black-and-white too -- the photos and descriptions are in the B&W pinboard on Pinterest, http://pinterest.com/wvstyleteam/trendspotting-black-white/. Get inspiration for more looks to try by following the WVStyle Team on Pinterest at pinterest.com/wvstyleteam or on Twitter at @wvstyleteam. You can follow #wvstyleteam contributors @miss_sociable and @sarahfrancke too. And, of course, stay in the know by visiting wvgazette.com/Life.

    Follow Jen Wood Cunningham on Twitter at @miss_sociable.


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