article images

Meet Your Monochrome Capsule Wardrobe

Why this stylist loves classic black and white for work


Everyone has busy lives, so why complicate things by agonising over your wardrobe? At least, that’s one of my reasons for choosing to wear monochrome, particularly for work. The other is that black and white has always been so elegant and chic. Think Chanel, Givenchy, The Row… all designers and labels that know the quiet power of an all-black, white or mixed ensemble. 

I often wear all white, particularly now my children are older, and it’s funny how frequently people say they like my look. That said, all white can be tricky to pull off, so if I can, I’ll buy pieces from the same brand to ensure they’re exactly the same shade. 

What sets apart this new take on monochrome is its modern shape. You can find a black blazer in pretty much any store, but an elongated shoulder line makes it much more interesting. Same with the extra width on the Oroton pant. Most of the pieces below work well together and will also mix in with pieces you already have in your wardrobe. You’ll be spending money to save money, sort of. 




Look 1

This Lee Mathews cashmere turtleneck is definitely an investment knit, but I love its slouchy shape, raglan sleeves and high neckline. It felt like wearing a hug.

This look is really big-on-big, thanks to the Oroton pant, but not overly so – I think you could definitely wear this to the office. I paired it with a kitten heel, but you could also choose a flat. You’d have to be prepared for frequent dry cleaning, though – those white hems would get grubby quickly.

Look 2

This blouse just feels very Katherine Hepburn, doesn’t it? It’s a silk twill with a lapel that makes it look almost like a jacket. I felt very confident wearing it. You’d be quite impressive in an office in this shirt. It’s dressy enough to wear out to dinner, too. 

I’ve matched it with the Oroton pant again to show the versatility of the oversized shape. Definitely a staple. 


Top| OROTON; Bottom | OROTON; Shoes | ZARA

Look 3

All-white is bold and always looks chic. I broke my rule of only choosing same-colour pieces from the same brand, but the match here is very close. 

I have a few clients who say they’re too grubby to wear white, but I do think it’s very achievable in the office. It feels very fresh. The trainers I chose are plain, no embellishments, which adds to the crispness of the look. 


Jacket | COS; Bottom | OROTON; Shoes | Rubi

Look 4

This is a very simple black top with elongated sleeves, which I’ve just folded back for interest (and practicality). Both the top and black pant are foundational pieces for a work wardrobe and I bet most of us have them already, so you can easily mix in a more directional piece. 

These Viktoria + Woods pants are a great cut, and you can see I felt really relaxed wearing this look! I also loved the sparkle on the Alias Mae flats – they’re great for dinner out but totally fine for work, too.


Jacket | Viktoria + Woods; Bottom | Viktoria + Woods; Shoes | Alias Mae; Earrings | Mimco 



Nicole is a fashion stylist and former Fashion Director of Australian Elle

view more Fashion

No Comments