We often praise the bright colours and vibrancy of African fabrics on this blog. However, not all our African textiles feature bright hues. Several are available in black-and-white colour schemes, including one example of Organza French Net Lace and one example of Vlisco Exclusive Hollandais fabric. But what are the advantages of these starker, more monochromatic fabrics? For today’s blog, we’ve compiled a list of the ways they can be used in order to demonstrate their benefits. You might be surprised by some of them.

1. Making a bold statement

Black-and-white colour schemes combine very well with bold African patterns. This combination is usually bold and very striking. While vibrant, colourful African fabrics project a sense of joyous, exuberant energy, black-and-white ones project a sense of razor-sharp refinement and poise. Like their polychromatic counterparts, these fabrics’ patterns lend them a sense of energy. However, the black-and-white colour scheme makes this energy appear more contained. You can, therefore, use these fabrics to create an outfit that makes a bold statement: “I am dynamic, powerful and in control.”

2. Cultivating a dignified air

For certain formal occasions, such as important meetings or high-class fund-raising events, it’s important to appear dignified and stately. Black-and-white colour schemes always look quietly dignified. Of course, it’s possible to create a highly respectable outfit using our more colourful fabrics, too: using black-and-white fabrics just makes it easier. Bright colours are better when you need to look friendly and approachable; black and white are better when you need to look statesmanlike.

3. Creating an all-purpose outfit

Black-and-white colour schemes go with everything. As a result, a black-and-white garment is easy to accessorise and can be worn in almost any setting. However, due to the detailed designs featuring on most African fabrics, a black-and-white outfit made from these fabrics will never look generic. In short, these materials can be used to create an outfit that looks distinctive but suits any occasion.

You may never have considered monochromatic African fabric before. However, the New Year is barely a week away. Why not try something new in 2017? Try wearing black-and-white African fabrics.