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Fashion Spotlight: Back to Black

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Welcome to the Spotlight. I’m Laynie, here to give you inspiration for the best outfit you’ll wear next week. To start things off, we’re going to go with a classic: all black. Don’t tell me that black is boring, plain or Goth. It’s professional, classy and chic. Think about it. Every season there are fads and trends, but without a doubt you know you’re going to see at least some black on the runway. From Coco Chanel to Alexander McQueen, it seems as if all designers think alike: You have to balance out the fashion of the moment with some black. Yet there is so much style bursting from an all-black outfit, provided that you tailor it right. Not sure what to wear with this new knowledge? Let me help you out:

1. My first favorite is the new ponte knit bow top from Banana Republic. If you’ve been searching for an upgrade to your everyday black tank top, look no further. This simple black tank features a bow in the front that adds just the right amount of style. Even better, it also has a gold zipper detail in the back — just a little bit of edge to contrast the sweet bow look.

2. Now, do you really need another pair of black pants? If they’re J. Crew’s pixie pants, of course you do. They’re just the thing you exercise-gear and leggings-loving people need — consider this an important investment. They are essentially an upgraded pair of leggings. The material is thick, to get you through the chilly mornings and nights, and the pants are so incredibly flattering that you’ll be addicted from the minute you try them on. And based on the number of wears you’ll get out of them, I’d argue they’re worth the price. They are also available in the new leather-lined version, for those of you who are a little more edgy.

3. Lastly, let’s talk shoes. Although you can’t beat a little black, heeled bootie this season, I couldn’t resist including H&M’s adorable black loafers. The suede material is a perfect addition to any outfit, as well as the gold chain detailing. Slip them on to complete any outfit flawlessly.

Still worried that black will make you look too boring? Consider an accent color. For me, it used to always be neon pink nails. But since I’ve grown up in my style, I’ve been turning to my over-sized beige cardigan a lot this season — it’s a chic way to break having too much similarity in a mono-colored look.

Try it out for yourself. Send me pictures. Let me know what you think. Is black too traditional, without enough room to embrace trends in your style? In my opinion, absolutely not.

Weekly challenge: Try a monochromatic look one day this week. Just don’t go too overboard — if you’re going to try this look with a color that’s not black, I don’t want to see anyone looking like a Smurf!

Contact Laynie Stephens at laynies ‘at’ stanford.edu.