Monochrome Style Guide

Not sure how to wear monochrome? No worries, this quick guide has all the looks you need to know. 

For those who aren’t quite ready to embrace those bold statement colour palettes, as seen in our blue outfit guide; then fear not, we’ve got an alternative for you. Black and white, or better known as monochrome, can create some of the most timeless looks in a man’s style and is deep rooted within the history of men’s fashion.

While in the 17th and 18th century monochrome was more associated with formal-wear, modern times are less constricted and it’s easier for the everyday man to create smart or casual black and white outfits. The simplistic nature of monochrome allows style choices to easily be made made; creating a effortlessly masculine edge with any look.

When styling monochrome; remember to keep it playful by varying the textures within your look; consider leather-look options, patchwork on t-shirts, or two-tones with sweatshirts. We present to your our guide on how to style this striking look in three unique styles – sporty, alternative and smart.

how to wear monochrome look

Sport

Despite the fact that monochrome started to get a look in in 17th century suits, there’s no need to stick to the formal look if that’s not really your style. Try out an eye-catching yet understated look with a pair of joggers and a well fitted T-shirt. You could go simple with a white top and black joggers, or go a little more intricate with a patterned black and white top and black or white joggers.

Keep the contrast bold if you’ve wearing joggers, as they’re typically a more relaxed design and a striking look is going to keep the outfit interesting. If the weather gets cold just throw on a simple hoodie and you’re all set.

For footwear keep keep things simple if you’ve got a lot going on on top. A classic pair of slip on Vans, or white plimsolls will keep everything wrapped up nicely. If you want to keep the colours neutral, but feel that simple plimsolls aren’t for you, try a thicker soled trainer for a 90s edge that will keep things vibrant.

How to wear monochrome street

If you want to accessorise keep it simple with a black and white cap and a zip rucksack. Both will merge into the monochrome vibe as well as the sporty look, so you won’t look out of place when wearing them.

how to wear monochrome accessories

If you’re part of the subsection of people who hate joggers, and, despite liking the sporty look, would never wear them, then don’t worry, there are other sports options that don’t involve the controversial leg wear. Keep things understated with an oversized black and white hoodie and pair it with some black slim fit jeans. To add some texture go for a pair of leather look trainers, and finish off the look with a sports classic – a sleek varsity jacket.

monochrome sports look jeans

Alternative

Although black and white sounds kind of boring, there’s no reason for you to lose any creativity when it comes to dressing in it. Interesting designs and a clever mix of patterns and textures can create a look that’s eye catching and contemporary. That’s probably a reason that a lot of alternative looks work so well when they channel the monochrome style.

monochrome look alternative

One way to get an alternative edge to your monochrome look is to keep things simple and focus on different textures. A leather jacket is iconic piece that will never go out of fashion, and can instantly add an interesting twist to an otherwise plain outfit. Throw on a white T-shirt and match it with a pair of black skinny jeans for a clean but laid back that won’t try and fight for attention with the jacket. To complete the look you can slip on a pair of leather boots to subtly match with your leather jacket and draw the outfit together.

how to wear monochrome alternative

If that’s too simple for you, and you want something a little rougher looking you can go for items with patterns and bulkier designs, as well as accessorising with bolder pieces. A fitted checked shirt in black and white is an eye-catching piece, and although it can be dressed up into something formal, it’s just as easy to give it a casual edge. Match it with a pair of black skinnies to keep things put together, but rather than adding some sleek boots to the mix, choose a chunkier pair instead to create a finish that isn’t quite as sleek. If you want to add more to the outfit you can also accessorise with some simple silver rings to add some more depth to the look without going for overkill.

 how to wear monochrome alternative look

Smart

Now there’s a reason that monochrome was originally seen as a something for formal occasions. Black and white is classic combination, and steering clear of possible clashing colours can ensure that your outfit is kept simple and smart. There’s not really much that can go wrong here, as the suit is something that’s been seen for hundreds of years, and we can all dictate the general rules – white shirt, black trousers and jacket, and the finishing touch of a tie in, in this case especially, black.

How to wear monochrome smart

If you’re going for a monochrome look with a suit then it’s best not to mess around with it too much, and just keep things simple. However there’s no reason you can’t accessorise a little while still keeping within the theme. A good watch is a classic staple and will instantly add a touch of class to an outfit.

A leather satchel would also go perfectly with your formal wear, and saves you having to shove you wallet and keys into your pockets. Choose one with a simple design so there’s no risk of it classing with the smart elegance of your suit. We also added in a little extra here. If you want to really stick to the monochrome theme then you can make sure that even your stationary fits in. There’s no reason you can’t look fancy even when you’re scribbling something down.

how to wear monochrome accessories

For those of you that want a smart look without actually going as far as wearing a suit, there is a way to achieve something sharp, but with a less restrictive feel. Black tailored shorts are both comfortable, relaxed, but less casual than their jean counterparts. Matching a pair with a white oxford shirt and black loafers will complete the monochrome look in a less striking, and softer way

monochrome preppy look

You can also go for some cuffed black chinos paired with a white shirt or t-shirt, finished off with a pair of lace up brogues. The overall look is great for summer days at the office or a evening meal out, and will effortlessly merge comfort and style together.

smart monochrome look

End Note

We just showed you a few ways that you can incorporate the stylish monochrome look into different styles to suit your tastes. Although at first the scheme can feel a little restricting, you’ll probably find you dress in it more often than you think, and the overall look is something that’s simple, yet modern, classic and sophisticated all at once.

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