This ensemble was inspired by the fab black and white tunics I saw at AllSaints a few weeks ago, like the Flora Mortis T-shirt, Decadence top and Emi Fressia dress. It’s also a look that works for some of my clients — hard edge with a touch of feminine softness. The hard edge is achieved by incorporating an almost all black look from head to toe with some leather, hardware and chunky shoes. The softness is achieved by incorporating unstructured tunics in soft drapey fabrics like silk and combed cotton blends, touches of white, and in some cases a more daintier and prettier shoe. 

Here are the components of the outfit formula: 

Bottoms: Think black leather or pleather jeggings or pants. Mixed media options are also good. Skinny ponte pants with zipper detailing are another way to go. Or stick to black skinny jeans. 

Tops: You’re after relatively unstructured tunics or short dresses to wear untucked over the slim-fit black bottoms. Keep the fabrics soft, drapey and pretty to contrast against the harshness of the rest of the outfit. The soft fabric of the top provides further textural interest. Choose solid black, or black and white patterns. 

Topper: A topper is not essential, but a black moto jacket in leather or pleather is the first option. Non-leather black motos in cotton or ponte knit are a more comfortable option with a little less edge. A cropped black tuxedo jacket could also work, as could a dark blue denim jacket or mixed media black and blue denim jacket. 

Footwear: Black shoes are key to keeping the look all black or almost all black. Chunky sandals, booties, cut-out booties, Birkenstocks or peep-toe booties are fab for an extra hard edge, especially if they have some hardware. Think black pumps, wedge sandals, mules or gladiators for daintier shoe options. 

Accessories: You’re after a black clutch, satchel, bowling bag or upscale backpack. Personally, I like the idea of hardware on the bag to break up the monotony of an all black ensemble. Black patent is another way to introduce textural interest. Finish off the outfit with jewellery, watch and eyewear as desired. 

I wouldn’t wear these outfits because they feel too black and hard edged for this leg of my style journey. But I’d happily wear the tops and black moto with white skinny jeans and white or metallic shoes to further soften the look to suit my current style sensibilities.

Hard Edge with a Soft Touch