While you may be waiting until Memorial Day to wear white in adherence to an antiquated rule that we think you should abandon – quickly (plenty of stylists agree) – you should feel no hesitation to sport some black and white. In a sea of pastels, florals, and brightly-colored stripes, stand out with a sleek and chic combo that stands the test of time season after season.

For some black and white inspiration to color your wardrobe this season (pun intended), look no further.

No Gray Area

Everyone knows you’ll never go wrong with a black bikini, whether you’re lounging on the beach or hitting a high-energy pool party. A black and white bikini will up the style ante a bit while setting you apart from the bright and patterned suits most everyone else will be sporting.

l*space bikini black and white

The L*Space Keep it Wild Jaime bikini is the traditional triangle bikini with a few twists. The reversible bottom makes waves as a solid or patterned piece, and the top ties it together with its lace-up style plunging V. It’s also perfect for photo ops against colorful tropical backdrops, or selfies by the pool – your choice.

 

Brighter Than the Sun

Pack your bags, take a drive to Palm Springs and channel your inner Marilyn Monroe with a pair of cat-eyed sunglasses, universally flattering and, in this color combo, infinitely simple to match with any outfit. In addition to its chic form, this pair from Stella McCartney is made from 50% natural materials, so you can go green while you go monochrome.

sunglasses black and white

Compact Contrast

Looking for a tiny way to take part in this trend? A petite bag “charm” – fitting, as this fluffy charm from Iphoria adds plenty of it – is an affordable and uniquely simply way of splashing some black and white on your current ensemble.

bag charm black and white

Block Party

Nothing is more effortlessly stylish while being unbelievably easy to wear than the A-line dress. Flowing slightly away from the body, the style complements both curvy and straight-up-and-down body types alike.

alice+olivia colorblock dress

The Maya colorblock dress from Alice + Olivia is a racerback version with the added bonus of smartly-placed black and white sections meeting at the narrowest part of the waist for even more eye appeal.

 

Black and White Down Under

The newest and most sensible style of beach towel abandons its predecessors’ four-sided rectangular frame for a form more suitable for sharing – a circle.

amaroo towel beach people

The Amaroo towel itself has a perimeter of fringe and a pattern inspired by indigenous art of Australia, where its designers, The Beach People, call home. With a diameter of nearly six feet, two plus Amaroo equals cozy sunbathing in style.

 

Precious Patterns

Alright, so it’s not exactly “blingy”; but natural patterns and materials, like the black and white feathers adorning the Serafina Josephine necklace, are still very much in this year. Don’t think you have to save this chic piece of jewelry for a festival or pair it with a peasant top. The gold hardware and tidy placement of feathers makes it more than suitable for a dressed-up ensemble.

serafina necklace black and white

While you’re there, pick up the Warbler earrings (also from Serafina), that will accentuate an updo.

warbler earrings black and white

Go for Seconds

Target’s collaboration with Marimekko is a win-win for you and your guests who will undoubtedly be wowed by your ultra-chic and of the moment place settings – while your wallet feels no pain. The line includes an entire array of dishware and serving plates in strikingly simple black and white patterns emblematic of the notable Marimekko brand.

marimekko plate black and white

Options to creating a look with a couple of black and white items, whether it’s for your wardrobe or your home, are boundless. Don’t overthink it; it’s one of those beautifully simple decisions where you don’t have to pick one or the other, because they work the best together.