Why black, white and denim works

Black, white and denim are the foundations of every stylish woman’s wardrobe. Take a look around when you’re next out and about and clock how often these three colours pop up in everyday, wearable looks.

The perfect black, white and denim capsule

Since Gabrielle Coco Chanel launched her unmistakable collections in the 1920s, women have been creating timeless yet fashionable looks using this simple colour palette. To quote her “Women think of all colours except the absence of colour. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.”

How often have you heard that a great pair of jeans, simple white shirt or tee-shirt and a well-cut blazer create a knock-out look? Think Emmanuelle Alt (ex-Vogue Paris Editor), Kate Moss, Alexa Chung and Sienna Miller and some of the killer combinations they’ve worn over the last 20 years or more.

Great pair of jeans
White shirt
Well-cut blazer

Black is known for its practicality and slimming powers; white for lifting the complexion and keeping cool in the warmer months and denim, the ever-present fashion work-horse, that can be dressed down with sneakers and a sweatshirt or dressed up with heels and a ‘nice top’.

The Francy from Golden Goose

Our favourite denim brands such as Paige, J Brand Frame and Boyish offer such versatile collections these days that there’s literally something for everyone. Skinny jeans are still the easiest style to pair with trainers, boots and Birkenstocks but head to a straight-legged crop (for example Le Original or Le High Straight from Frame, the Cindy from Paige or the Tommy from Boyish) if you want to embrace the newer, more fashion-forward shapes. The darker the wash, the slimmer you’ll look: white jeans will ALWAYS make you look wider so balance them with longer length tops to draw the eye down, rather than across, the body.

Prima boots from Shoebiz CPH


The Tommy straight-legged crop from Boyish

The BWD team love an all-black look (think Scandinavian off-duty model vibes including a high-waisted black jean, black stomper boots, over-sized black hoodie, a bomber jacket and statement sunglasses) but we understand it’s not for everyone. Adding a crisp, white top to any blue or black denim jean, skirt, short or dungaree gives a fresh and European feel to your outfit. Add pops of colour with accessories and ALWAYS think about incorporating a touch of glam by showing off your curated-ear in the style of Maria Tash, adding a bracelet stack from Coco & Janes Loves or layering some striking silver or gold jewellery from Liou.

High-waisted black jeans
Coco & Jane Loves bracelet stack
1/OFF Paris Vintage Bomber

Black jackets come in all shapes and sizes. Our go-tos include a pressed wool overcoat from Harris Wharf, a leather biker jacket from Set and a padded goose-down coat from Duvetica. When it’s warm, we like to throw on a trench coat in camel or black or pair a vintage black boyfriend-blazer with a graphic tee from Anine Bing or Ragdoll LA: all worn with your favourite jeans of course,

Set leather biker jacket
Duvetica goose-down coat

You’d never think of baking a cake without having the essentials in your larder: eggs, flour and butter, so why would you ever have a wardrobe without the key ingredients to build a strong outfit? Investing in the pieces you wear day in, day out; year in, year out that never go out of fashion is the gift that keeps on giving. Of course you can add your own pops of colour and print that reflect your personality and lifestyle, but spend time on these AFTER you’ve got the foundations in place and you won’t go far wrong.

More Articles