Looking through fashion Instagram accounts and lookbooks for the upcoming season made me realize one thing: monochrome is about to be a huge trend in men’s fashion.
In many ways, this is great news. It’s a super flattering trend and monochrome outfits are easy to put together. If you build a monochrome wardrobe you can reuse the same pieces across a wide range of outfits. There’s far less chance that a pair of trousers won’t go with a jacket if it’s all part of the same pallet.
The main risk of these fits is that your items matching too closely creating a bland look. But, experimenting with shades, patterns, textures, and details is an easy way to avoid this happening. The images below all do this with real skill.
I had a great time searching for the best current examples of the style. Here are some of the best men’s monochrome outfit ideas I found.
Men’s Monochrome Outfits
Look for Interesting Checks and Patterns
One of the big risks of a monochrome outfit is it looking boring. Choosing an item with an interesting pattern is an easy way to avoid this. We reckon black and white checks are a great way to add some variety to your fit.
The image above even adds a second pattern via the jumper. The monochrome colors mean that despite the two quite in-your-face patterns, the outfit is overall still quite muted. The fact that one of the patterns uses large shapes (the jumper) while one uses small shapes also makes for a nice contrast. If the jumper was a similar check pattern the outfit would look far too busy.
The easiest way to add a pattern to your outfit is definitely on the top half. Coats, jackets, jumpers, t-shirts are were you should be looking. But, the brave among us may find joy by looking for patterned trousers.
White Trousers are Here to Stay
White trousers seem to have been growing in popularity and they’re an item that lend themselves perfectly to monochrome outfits. Wear a wider style for a really on-trend look as per the image from Zara below. Meanwhile, a pair of skinny white or off-white jeans is a brave look that isn’t going away.
A full white outfit is harder to pull off than an all-black one or a mixed one in my opinion, so pair white jeans with black boots and a black jacket for a really sharp contrast.
Texture is Key
Using different textures in your outfit is another easy way to break it up, especially if you use the same color throughout. I love how the outfits in the below image from Topman combines denim, fleece, cotton, and leather (in the sneakers) to create an interesting look with plenty going on.
Pay Attention to the Details
The major risk of a monochrome outfit is that it could get boring, especially if the majority of your outfit is made up of one particular color.
You can avoid this by adding unique details to your outfit to break it up. In the image above, the white buttons on the shirt (and the white trainers) do a great job of adding some detail to an outfit that would otherwise be entirely black.
Meanwhile, the white belt (or drawstrings?) on the trousers below do the same job in a super unique and refreshing way. On a related note, I really like the add idea of making your whites slight off-whites as per the jacket and belt in the image. Of all the men’s monochrome outfits on this list, the one below is probably my favorite.
Footwear is Huge
Monochrome outfits are the perfect places to let your footwear shine. There are two reasons for this. First, black and white are common footwear colors meaning you probably already have plenty of items in your closet. Second, as the rest of the outfit is typically going to be toned tone, going for standout shoes is a great way to make a statement. Polish up your black boots or bring out your freshest white sneakers to finish off your outfit.
Streetwear is Fully Onboard
The trend easily transports over to street wear. I love the long water resistant jacket in the image below. Streetwear is also a great place to show off all-black or all-white sneakers.
Keep it Simple, Stupid
When all else fails, remember you can just pair a white t-shirt with black trousers and be done. Or white trousers with a black shirt. Or black shirt, black trousers. Or… well you get the idea. Whatever you choose, its an easy way to look great.
If you go for all black or all white, I like the idea of going slightly off-color. For example, in the image below the jeans have very slight wear on them and the t-shirt is about one shade away from full-on black.
What is a monochrome outfit?
A monochrome outfit is one that is entirely made up of a single color. When styling the outfit, you can use different shades, patterns, and textures to keep things interesting.
Is monochrome the same as black and white?
No. This article focused on outfits that are varying shades of black and white, as well a bit of grey. If you wanted you could also extend the definition of monochrome to simply being different shades of a single color.