Written by Apphia Michael
Need some inspo for dressing the kids to stand up to the seasons, and perfectly coordinate with everything else in their wardrobe? Look no further than minimalist black-and-white: simple, perfect...and always chic and on-trend. Let London-based stylist, writer, and former Wallpaper* Magazine Online Fashion Editor Apphia Michael show you why black is always a good idea.
I love the color black! There’s something so cool and versatile about it: striking and strong with contrasting tones, yet subtle when blended with matching dark tones. It’s pretty much what I wear every day (Christmas, birthdays and 95-degree vacays, too!). So it feels natural, maybe even subconscious, that I’ve ended up dressing my kids in blacks, whites, nudes and grays.
Gray fringed poncho $14, lace-up boots $17
Black tutu $7, lace-up boots $17
Why do little girls have to wear pink, frills and pastels, while little boys get sweatshirts with pictures of superheroes or trucks? The black-and-white trend we’ve been seeing on the catwalks the past few years has worked its way into kids' clothes – and I’m all for it! Besides the clean, graphic and minimal look I’m drawn to, I want both my kids to explore their own comfort zones on the fashion gender spectrum, beyond society’s stereotypes. Dressing my daughter Tallis in neutrals helps me feel like I’m giving her a blank canvas to develop her own style, interests and tastes.
Primark's doing a great job exploring the black-and-white story with key style pieces like the black leather jacket, stonewashed jeans and strong lace-up boots. Until recently, I'd been dressing Tallis in pants, leggings and oversized sweatshirts. But as the toddler years have turned into the pre-school years, and books, films and what her friends are wearing influence her more, I’m finding the requests for skirts, princess dresses and pink fairy wings creeping in – which is totally fine by me.
Her updated wardrobe shows the shift to more "feminine" gear: for this shoot I’ve paired one of her graphic-print black sweatshirts with Primark’s sparkly ice pink tutu for a touch of softness. I've mixed and matched different textures with a combo of Primark’s black cat-print tulle dress and furry cream sweater with a chunky gray linen scarf.
Judging by the FW16 catwalks, black-and-white's not going anywhere soon! I’ll be doing an update on the trend by refreshing Tallis’ wardrobe with lots of tone-on-tone pieces: I’m thinking head-to-toe blocks of neutrals, like whites, nudes or creams as well as blacks.
For example: she'll wear her black Primark tutu with a sparkly black sweatshirt and beanie, while one of my fave outfits – the combo of Primark’s black leather jacket with an oversized tunic and matching baggy dressy pants – will be our go-to for effortless fall style.
To get daily outfit inspo for you and your tots, follow Apphia on Instagram for plenty more black-on-black.