Today’s post is written by StyleBlueprint Birmingham intern, Jordan Carlson. 



As everyone is ready to ditch the cold and rainy weather for the likes of spring and summer sunshine, the fashion world is already thinking about fall again. With Mercedes Benz Fashion Week coming to a close in New York recently, one of the most prevalent trends was the use of black and white. Designers such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Wes Gordon, The Row, The Rachel Zoe Collection, J. Crew and DKNY used a mixture of bold blacks and stark whites to create women’s ready-to-wear, versatile tops, modernized women’s suiting, and dramatic couture evening gowns. What makes me really excited, though, is that black and white, as well as darker hues, are also a very popular trend for spring and summer!

Diane von Furstenberg– Fall 2013 Collection

Diane von Furstenberg – Fall 2013 Collection. Image credit:


Alexander McQueen – Fall 2013 Collection

Alexander McQueen – Fall 2013 Collection. Image credit:


Rachel Zoe – Fall 2013 Collection

Rachel Zoe – Fall 2013 Collection. Image credit:

No matter what is on your social calendar, a little black dress is sure to look amazing, while standing out against the traditional pastels we normally see when spring has officially sprung. The good news is that if you find the perfect black, dress, skirt, or silk top, you can snatch it up and wear it year-round. Trust me: the unofficial rules of fashion are giving you a nod on this one! New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 was full of black, ready-to-wear designs:

Marc Jacobs Spring 2013 Collection

Marc Jacobs Spring 2013 Collection. Image credit:


Tibi – Spring 2013 Collection

Tibi – Spring 2013 Collection. Image credit:


Tibi – Spring 2013 Collection

Tibi – Spring 2013 Collection. Image credit:

Photo Credit: FayesVision. Jessica Alba in Louis Vuitton, Beyonce in Osman, Miley Cyrus in ASOS, Kristen Stewart in Balenciaga Spring 2013 ready-to-wear

Jessica Alba in Louis Vuitton, Beyonce in Osman,
Miley Cyrus in ASOS, Kristen Stewart in Balenciaga
Spring 2013 ready-to-wear. Image credit:


While I am ecstatic to hear the world of design is going back to the basics, some may mourn the pop of color they are accustomed to wearing, especially here in the South. Not to worry! You can easily update your wardrobe in keeping with the Spring and Fall 2013 trend of black and white, and add in elements of color for pizazz. The secret? Accessories! I recommend scooping up spring and summer accessories for these added pops of color, and there are lots of great things to choose from this season!

Here’s a great basic black dress, followed by a few of my favorite recent accessory discoveries that are perfect now and will make the transition to fall just as easily:

The Basic Black Dress

From J. McLaughlin, this dress is the perfect item to dress up or down. It's both of the moment and timeless.

From J. McLaughlin, this dress is the perfect item to dress up or down. It’s both of the moment and timeless.

A Bright Handbag in On-Trend Coral

Victoria Beckham Spring 2013 Top Handle in Tangerine will make any basic outfit scream with color!

This Victoria Beckham Spring 2013 Top Handle bag will elevate any basic outfit and would add a perfect punch to our black dress above, or most any black and white ensemble. And not only is the coral color yummy, it’s also right on trend this season. Image credit:

Colorful Everyday Ballet Flats

Tory Burch flats

Tory Burch Spring 2013 Reva Flats in Derby Green will mix well with neutral hues for spring and will add that needed spark of color for Fall 2013. These are a great way to add that casual pop of color to our black dress. Image credit:

The Statement Necklace

J Crew Bubble Necklace

J. Crew’s famous Turquoise bubble necklace will be on point for spring and will look smashing paired with a black silk shirt for Fall 2013. I would love to see this with that black sheath dress, wouldn’t you? Image credit:


Another thing to note: you can always add color to any outfit by simply throwing on a scarf or tying one to your handbag to add a little colorful flavor. I really like Love Quotes NYC scarves because they offer different fabrics for different climates and a plethora of color options I also am sucker for a colorful Alexander McQueen Skull scarf, or your more traditional classic Hermès.

Love Quotes NYC scarves

Accessorize with Love Quotes NYC Scarfs, as seen here on Sarah Jessica Parker in a variety of different colors. Image credit:


Hermès Galop Chromatique Silk twill scarf

Hermès Galop Chromatique Silk twill scarf. Image credit:


I can’t forget to mentions nails! While there are so many choices in color and products (e.g., shellac, acrylic, and traditional ol’ polish), it is hard not to notice celebrities and fashionistas using bright and bold colors to complement their style. On a special evening out, I like to match my nail color to my handbag or shoes because I am usually wearing some variation of black, so I need to spice it up with color wherever I can.


Lovely color choices for nails! Image credit:

Remember, also, that vintage accessories–bags, shoes, jewelry–are a great way to make black feel fresh and unique–no one else will have the exact same thing! Vintage shops are an option, but don’t forget about your mother’s or your grandmother’s closet. (And truth be told, I think my mom is still hunting for some items I may have simply “borrowed” to add some vintage flavor to my seasonal ensembles. Sorry Mom!)


This vintage alligator bag is a classic. A perfect ladylike accessory. (Makes me think Mad Men. Martinis, anyone?) From Etsy.


Whatever you do, make it your own!


Thanks, Jordan!


JordanKeayCarlsonHeadshotAn avid competitive equestrian, Jordan Keay Carlson’s sense of style and eye for classic, yet on trend items comes from her upbringing around one of the fashion world’s oldest themes- the equestrian lifestyle. Designers such as Hermes, Ralph Lauren and Gucci have all inspired Jordan to dress, as she likes to call it, ”classic chic.” A strong proponent and activist for K-9 rescue organizations, Jordan shares her life in Birmingham with her three rescues dogs: Scout, Apple and Alexander. Jordan’s unique sense of style has landed her professional styling opportunities in Los Angeles, California, Charlotte North Carolina and Birmingham, Alabama.