Graphic Black and White

If you know me at all, you know my love for color. Color makes me happy!

But even I can acknowledge there is a place for classic black and white pieces in a wardrobe. This season, the timeless combination has taken on a decidedly more graphic and modern look. (In fact, you might remember me donning this graphic black and white dress recently here.)

Here are three tips for making the look work for you.

1. Vary the print.

If you are mixing multiple graphic prints, be sure to vary those prints. That variation could be pairing different prints, like polka dots and stripes. Or it could be varying the scale of the pattern you choose.

Here, I chose to focus on black and white stripes. I liked the fact that this top actually employed two different scales of stripes – one on the bodice, and one on the sleeves. Taking it a step further, I added the black and white striped purse, giving my look three different sizes of black and white stripes.

2. Have a single solid.

It is important to have at least one solid piece in your look. Otherwise, you risk getting lost in a sea of prints. My solid selection was simply my white skinny jeans. They served to break up all the other patterns going on with the look.

3. Add a pop of color.

You know I had to go there! While I chose to throw in a bit of color with my shoes, your pop of color could be as simple as a bold lipstick or bright nail polish. That pop of color with add a level of depth and interest to the look.

Keep reading to shop my look, plus a selection of our top picks for graphic black and white pieces this season…

Shop My Look

Rebecca Minkoff striped top (here) | JBrand white skinny jeans (here) | Aquazzura sandals (here and here) | 3.1 Phillip Lim bag (here) | Valentino rockstud bracelet (similar here) | Madewell necklace (similar here) | Karen Walker sunglasses (here) | Nars jungle red lipstick (here) | Deborah Lippmann nail polish (here)

Shop Graphic Black and White Pieces

There is something comforting about the simplicity of black and white, especially when it is displayed in orderly patterns like stripes and grids and such. Do you enjoy wearing black and white? Will you be spicing up the traditional combo with some of these prints this season? Let me know your thoughts! Have a great week.


Photography by Ashley Cardoza



    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks so much, Olivia!

  1. Mara says:

    ah soo cute!! I love this outfit!!

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks so much, Mara! 😀

  2. Soraya says:

    Love this flirty off-the-shoulder top and your shoes are amazing! So colorful and fun. Thanks for sharing — Soraya

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks so much for the sweet words, S. Hope you’re having a good week.

  3. jillian says:

    I am LOVING this black and white look so much, and those heels are insane!
    xo, j

    1. Carrie says:

      Thank you, Jillian! I had to throw a little color in the mix. 😉

  4. Rochelle says:

    Great tips! You look gorgeous and I love the outfit!
    Good vibes Fox

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks a bunch, Rochelle!

  5. Liz Lizo says:

    I love the background, also this outfit is so chic!

    – Liz

    1. Carrie says:

      Thank you, Liz!

  6. Sheri says:

    Hi Carrie,
    You look great in white and black. I like the contrast. I am a little scared of white pants myself but perhaps I need to overcome that!

    I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed London so much. Crazy busy place! The history, buildings, scones were all good. I did a little bit of shopping, but also enjoyed just browsing and I must say that I am able to recognize many of the designers in the market since I have started reading your blog. I feel I am better “informed” if that makes any sense. I did buy a vibrant blue Karen Millen top from Selfridges.

    1. Carrie says:


      Thanks as always for the comments!

      1. Definitely give white pants a try. The easiest may be to pair a skinny pair with a tunic top.

      2. Ah, I loved reading the part about you feeling better informed while you were in London! That’s awesome. Yes, just browsing and appreciating the designers and their designs / art is so fun.

      I look forward to seeing what you purchased!

      Have a great day.

    2. Sheri says:

      Yes, I love your insights into the various designers. I am learning a lot. Here is the link to the knit cardigan I purchased.

  7. M says:

    Super cool look! Lovely tips

    Made in Mauve // Bloglovin

  8. Carrie says:

    Thanks so much, M! Have a great day.

  9. Jane says:

    Love this off shoulders top! Such an amazing look!
    xo, Jane

  10. Ally says:

    Black and white is my favorite color palette so you know that I love all of this. Great job with the photos, the contrast looks great between the background and those Aquazzura heels!

    Xo Ally

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks, Ally! You wear black and white so well. I really should try it more often.

  11. Jess says:

    I don’t mix a lot of prints so these tips are great! This entire look is amazing on you.

    Mimi & Chichi

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks a bunch for saying that, Jess! Have a great day.

  12. Michèle says:

    just fell deeply deeply in LOVE with the top

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks, Michele! It’s super soft and comfortable and easy to wear.

  13. Vanessa says:

    Yay, I’m back from NOLA and I finally get to catch up again!! You look lovely, as you always do! Such a stunner!
    Sending you much love!
    xoxo, Vanessa

  14. Carrie says:

    Ah, thanks, sweet Vanessa. Thanks for stopping by. Good to hear from you.

  15. Sahra says:

    Such a fab look! I love how the background comes into play as well!!

    XO Sahra
    Que Sera Sahra

    1. Carrie says:

      Thank you for noticing that detail, Sahra! That’s part of the fun for me. 🙂

  16. Anastasia says:

    I love that you always keep your advices very practical, Carrie! This outfit looks great on you – I like how you spiced it up with colorful heels!

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks a bunch, A! That means a lot coming from you.

    1. Carrie says:

      Many thanks!

  17. Courtney says:

    You can never go wrong with black and white! LOVE this look with the different stripes!
    XO Color Me Courtney

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