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Spring 2013: Black and White

From Stripes to Graphics, Black and White Lit Up Runways

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Is there anything easier to wear than black and white? It always looks timeless, crisp and translates into everything from ballgowns to natty shorts. From Marc Jacobs to Chanel, here are some of the best black and white fashion trends for spring 2013.

1. Graphic Appeal

Marc Jacobs, Spring 2013
Joe Kohen/Getty Images
At design houses like Marc Jacobs, black and white took on a super bold appeal with graphic prints. This cutout dress was just one of the many graphic looks on the runways which included op-art looks, colorblocking and awning stripes.

Wear It: Try it big and bold on body parts you feel confident about or go for all-over big graphic prints (they are surprisingly good at camouflaging body faults.)

2. Animal Prints

Animal prints in black and white at Marc Jacobs, Spring 2013
Joe Kohen/Getty Images
Animal prints take beautifully to black and white, from zebra to snow leopard to giraffe. Here, at Marc Jacobs, the small black and white animal print looks almost delicate.

Wear It: While black and white animal prints are beautiful, make sure not to overdo it. Try the animal prints in small doses and on things like bags and shoes for the biggest impact.

3. Awning Stripes

Dolce & Gabbana black and white stripe suit
Vittorio Zunino/Getty Images
Oversized stripes at Dolce & Gabbana made for an eye-appealing and crisp suit look. Horizontal stripes may not be the easiest to carry off, but they can work when worn right.

Wear It: The easiest way to wear bold stripes

4. Embellishment

Jason Wu embellished shirt
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
While graphics and bold patterns are hot in black and white, so are more subtle treatments, like luxe embroideries at houses like Jason Wu. This color combo always looks fresh, timeless and expensive, even in embellishment..

Wear It: This is a really pretty and feminine way to carry off the trend. And the good thing about black and white is that it rarely looks overdone.

5. Colorblock

Stella McCartney
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Big chunks of black and white -- even with sheer inserts -- set off the contrast beautifully at Stella McCartney.

Wear It: You can create your own colorblock look by wearing solid white and black pieces mixed together.

6. Minimal Black and White

Chanel dress
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Just a little trim of white or black is enough to give even the sleekest sheath a little punch, like here at Chanel.

Wear It: Look for minimal, clean designs that have trim in black or white to keep the silhouette clean but interesting.

7. Mixed Prints

Marc Jacobs mixed prints
Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images
The best way to wear a black-and-white print? With more black and white prints, like it was worn at Marc Jacobs.

Wear It: Mixing black and white prints is easier than most color combos. It's easiest if they are similar-sized because then the scale looks right.

8. Small Print Black and White

Stella McCartney
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
While many of the best black and white prints are big, bold graphic looks, small prints -- like this dot from Stella McCartney -- look fresh, too.

Wear It: Ditsy prints look rich in black and white -- for the most flattering look, choose a print with less white ground in the background (it's more flattering and you'll look slimmer.)

9. Black and White Tweed

Chanel suit
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Up the ladylike ante in black and white this season with a super chic tweed suit from Chanel.

Wear It: Try smart-looking suit separates in tweed or opt for a slim-cut sheath dress for a sophisticated turn on black and white.

10. Variegated Stripes

Marc Jacobs stripe dress.
Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images
Want to really try black and white in something totally wearable and springlike? Variegated stripes (which are stripes in different sizes) looked amazing for spring at Marc Jacobs.

Wear It: Go with the closer together black stripes on your larger body parts, the thinner, wider spaced areas (with more white showing) on your smaller body parts (all that white and small stripes make that area look bigger.

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