How to wear the monochrome trend - work

How to embrace the monochrome trend

Nikki Parkinson Fashion, How to 33 Comments

Call me crazy but please don’t shoot the messenger. New-season styles have landed in your favourite stores and boutiques.

Yes, I fully realise that it’s still very much winter but fashion waits for no woman.

Thankfully, one of the strongest trans-seasonal trends you’ll find right now is the monochrome trend. And I’ll tell you something for nothing, Stylers … being on trend was never more easy.

The whole black and white thing was shining out at me from every fashion store I walked past in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall last week and it made me smile for all of these reasons.

5 reasons to embrace monochrome

1. This is a classic look. It’s timeless, so even if the fashion gods are not dictating that it’s a style for the season, you can wear it anyway. Which means you probably already have pieces that fit the trend and, therefore, plenty of opportunities to “shop” this one from your wardrobe.

2. It ALWAYS looks smart. No matter what the occasion or time of day, whip out a black and white ensemble and you’re good to go.

3. You can work this look on a budget because the combination is inherently stylish. Still aim for pieces that are made well and in fabrics that will wear well over time (remembering this trend will always come around again).

4. The monochrome look lends itself very easily to a splash of colour with accessories. And I’m pleased to report that my fave from last year, chartreuse, is back with a vengeance. You’ll also find orange, green, red, fuchsia and shades of blue doing their showpony thing.

5. Importantly, this is a trend you can embrace now when it’s still cold. Layer with coats and tights and then peel off those layers in the coming months for a crisp spring look.

Monochrome for every occasion

How to wear the monochrome trend - casual

1. Country Road jegging $99.95 | 2. French Connection knit $99.95 | 3. Converse sneakers $89.99 @ Style Tread | 4. Blue Bungalow scarf $29


How to wear the monochrome trend - work

 1. Sussan dress $89.95 | 2. Saba jacket $239.20 (on sale) | 3. Red Phoenix Emporium necklace $169 | 4. Sterling & Hyde bag $159.95


How to wear the monochrome trend - evening

1. Witchery jeans $129.95 | 2. Sportscraft top $111.30 (on sale) | 3. Seed blazer $189.95 | 4. Molten Store clutch $89 | 5. Diavolina heels $139.95 @ Style Tread

Are you a fan of this trend? Do you find it crazy that the fashion seasons have changed?


  • Kellie

    This is one of my favourite trends! I just posted something about monochrome on my blog also – it’s really a great way to go from day to night as well, especially when knocking off work!

  • Sam

    Hi! Can you explain what you mean by monochrome? I thought monochrome meant shades of one colour (eg varying shades of grey or blue) but you seem to indicate it means black and white. Is this a fashion thing? Just wondering. Loving your blog, BTW!

    • Monochrome does mean shades of one colour but it’s also a term for black and white photography so I suspect that’s where fashion has “borrowed” the meaning from. Thanks for loving the blog!

  • Am so loving this trend!

  • Love your picks for professional stylers, Nikki – I also like adding colour to monochrome through colourful cosmetics like a great red lip. Thanks for the inspiration! x

  • Julie

    I like this – I’m a fan of simple style. Love that scarf Nikki! (also loving your daughter’s coat…think I need something similar as we’re heading there soon…brrrr!) xx

    • Bought my daughter’s coat last year from The Iconic … served her well on two trips to NZ!

  • BABY! You’re speaking my language today. I’m THE MAYOR OF MONOCHROME!!!!

  • Em

    Monochrome is often a base for me – an enduring favourite. I used to keep it very monochrome with a red lip (still do sometimes), but these days I’ll more likely pair it with more colour. Yesterday I wore a black ponte skirt and white shell top to work, with a chartreuse/citrus cardigan (super bright), a citrus and grey scarf and topped with a further pop of fuschia lips. So much fun … so many compliments! I have fairly dramatic colouring myself – very dark hair, pale skin etc so find these contrasts in bright colour really suit me.

  • I love this look…I’m not great at adding colour to core pieces of any outfit but I love adding them in accessories (especially scarves!) so I could live in this trend forever 🙂

    • It’s such a classic and stylish trend there would be nothing wrong with that at all!

  • Janelle@awhitefarm

    Loving that first outfit!! Off to shop with google thanks!! xx

    • Those pants will be very comfy too Janelle … just need a good supply of nappy san!

  • Emilia Rossi

    I enjoy wearing a Karen Millen monochrome kinit dress with bright red MAC red matte lipstick. Melbourne can feel very sad in winter and being a colour person I always need to add a touch of colour to my look during the colder months.

  • angie

    I love this look- almost too much! I think I need to try the ‘pops’ of colour Nikki. I’ve recently ordered this dress:

  • GoddessMel

    My wardrobe is ALL about this look – my base is black, white and some navy (which of course also goes with the black and the white 🙂 ). I then have a fave fashion colour each season – so far I’ve built up bright pink, cobalt blue and emerald green, plus the almost-obligatory nautical addition of red. Glad to see I’ll still be on trend through the new season. (BTW, I have a black and white panel fit & flare dress on the way from Target as my basic piece for this season, so I guess I’m ahead of the pack LOL).

    • Target have worked the trend – yes they have – and Gok Wan is also promoting and styling it heavily!

      • GoddessMel

        I love my Gok! I had the delight of being styled by him on his first Westfield tour to Australia and have continued to embrace the lessons learned. After your tip, I went off to Target and got myself a snazzy monochrome tote that is getting a serious workout (and it was free because I used my FlyBuys points to get it!). Any tips on where to get a white with black stripes blazer (noting there is a ponte at Target, but is black with white IFYKWIM)?

        • Oh great to hear that … and haven’t seen the jacket you’re looking for. I have black with white from Sussan last spring but that’s it.

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I love this look Nikki ,did you get the Target catalogue Gok Wan has done a monochrome Style lookbook in the catalogue and I think it is a very stylish.I even have bought my first piece for this look some time ago a grey,white( and black trimmed top(it is sort of mottled) that I plan on wearing with my leather panelled Ponte pants ,wedge boots and a black blazer,such a chic and timeless look.
    He also featured some neon pieces to be worn with it and it just makes the outfits pop.
    You are so right about this being a classic classy any age look ,love it!
    Thanks for this post I am a bit over winter now lol it has been cold here and I hope you are feeling a bit better today.

    • Yes, I did get that catalogue but couldn’t link to anything in it as it wasn’t online yesterday. Very much worth checking out!

  • Housewife in Heels

    Happy to hear this. I have a pop up fashion store in Given Tce, Paddington- selling last season clothing at discounted prices. And turns out there’s quite a bit of monochrome from ‘last season’. Good to know I’m on trend!

    • Ooh, tell me more … feel free to plug the name and address of your store!