Black and White Wednesday is here! Let’s celebrate with some some shockingly fun black and white fashions!*

(We feel you “Bride of Frankenstein”! You could do so much better… I mean, his name is “Monster,” after all. And he’s not a self-made man. Like, literally. And besides, you don’t need your identity wrapped up in a man. You go do your thing, like start a hair salon.)

Edited by Colleen


Halfway through a week of student conferences, I decided to turn to villainesses and creepy-ass clowns for my #BlackandWhiteWednesday inspiration. This was also part of my gold and black themed week for my new position at the University of Iowa.

Specs: Extravagantly puffy & ruffly black & white blouse (J. Crew); black merino sweater (GAP); black headband (Target?); lip color : Cruella (NARS velvet matte lip pencil); black and white raincoat (Banana Republic); black tights (Target); yellow skirt (J. Crew, gifted)

SOTD: Sud Magnolia by Atelier Colognes


Student conference week style inspirations:

  •  “Crazy” Joe Davola dressed as Pagliaccio on SeinfeldIn retrospect, it’s a fucked up episode, in which he stalks & then woos Elaine, and then swears revenge against the rest of the gang when Eliane dumps him because his whole house is a shrine to her.(It’s the 90s!)
  • The black and white spots of my ruffled blouse are almost like dalmatian spots and with the aptly named lip color (Cruella), I definitely felt a little like Disney’s villainess. I guess in this analogy, my 101 students conferencing with me are the hapless pups?
  • Lucy from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Played by Sadie Frost, Lucy is a very flirtatious heiress/ a “virtuous girl” until she becomes Dracula’s Bride. She starts designing a bizarro wedding gown that everyone hates and then she dies. Girl, I feel you. I know what it’s like beginning the week as a lively redhead and at some point you just want to eat some babies just to get through to Friday.
  • David Bowie as Pierrot, the sad clown. We should all be inspired by Bowie’s aesthetics whenever possible. He studied and performed as a mime for a short time before launching his musical career, but he still returned to these roots in his performances as in his “Ashes to Ashes” video.  
  •  me

Sonnet, Dispatches from Istanbul:

Last week it was Spring Break Forever, bitches! I decided to spend my SB2K16 in Istanbul, Turkey. Last Wednesday we went to many of the famous landmarks on the European side in Old City. I dressed modestly (covering my legs), and brought a scarf along, so I would be dressed appropriately to go in and out of the gorgeous mosques.

I managed to power clash, print mix, and rock some menswear, so I’m feeling pretty good about my life choices. Specs: emerald high waist pants from Forever 21, polka dot blouse from American Apparel, chevron sweater from Target, Nars lip.

I am awestruck by the size and beauty of Suleymaniye Mosque

It was unseasonably cold in Istanbul last week, so many of the photos I took were in my outerwear. I still managed to incorporate the B&W spirit in my paisley print scarf- a find from Belgium. My turquoise jacket is from a street vendor in Zeleni Venac in Belgrade.


I was traveling on Wednesday, so I needed schlepping clothes, and ones I wanted to have for the week. Airport selfie, (taken less-than-surreptitiously, because we’ve been trying to de-stigmatize selfies from misogynist cultural commentators). Sweater and boatneck both Target, last fall and last week, respectively. Not pictured: dark jeans and black-and-white patent leather hi-top Converse.image

Our apartment in NYC (my husband lives there, I’m working on my degree in Columbus) is a mile from Penn Station, so when I fly in (to Newark) I then train to the city, and drag my suitcase through a gajillion people. What I’m saying is when I get there, I am sweat-soaked. Plus the apartment is 1000º–so I put on a second black and white outfit, featuring my newest ‘is this a blanket or a clothing item’ –this split side T-shirt from Target, which I want in every color and to wear every day. I’m also wearing these straight-leg/boyfriend jeans from Old Navy which are my best friends. Pretty much my whole Winter/Spring wardrobe is Old Navy or Target, and #pajamaswhenpossible.imageimage

I did eventually cool down, at which point I re-donned the drapey sweater (R). (L)–me trying to show you the slit/be Michael Jackson, à la last week’s #blackandwhitewednesday soundtrack.

I thought the scales on my shoes and the bathroom tile were similar, and thematic.


I haven’t been feeling super fashion-y lately, partially due to it being the week before spring break, partially due to it being that point in the semester, partially due to being busy, partially due to it being still winter basically here in Minnesota, partially due to not having done shopping in forever, partially due to feeling okay wearing a uniform. But! Black and white Wednesday forced me a bit outside of my uniform via necklace.

20160323_090341-01Because I don’t own any other collared shirts, this was my first attempt wearing one with a skirt. And, a-la Sonnet, I dressed it up with a statement-ish necklace (mine’s from Kohl’s, I think), except I hate buttoned up shirts, so did it my way.

I like this look b/c it’s casual, but still dressy enough to feel a little dressed up for meetings. Plus, when I ate lunch today, two girls were like, oh you can’t sit with us, on Wednesdays we wear jeans, which cracked me up b/c of our own post! Maybe they knew about it? Jk. But, they let me sit with them b/c of my chambray. So, winning all around!


This is totally what I wore last Wednesday asfarasyouknow. I bought this dress from my favorite hipster shop in Gent, CREAM, where I can really only ever find something that flatters me 1 in every 5 visits. I originally bought this for a wedding, but then I zoomed out on what I looked like in this dress and realized that the pink-y floral print was actually…way too wedding white. So now it’s just a spring dress.

To further celebrate spring, check out these rad sunglasses from &other stories. I’d have more to say about outfits and fashion, but I’m feeling a general malaise from yesterday. So I’ll just throw it to our beautiful and wonderful readers.

Reader Roundup:

Send us your pics when you do black and white on Wednesdays! use #sartorialscholarsBWW and/or tag us @sartorialscholars and tell us about your ‘fit!

J. Brendan Shaw

imageGoing monochromatic (minus my purple undershirt) […]–I love this J Crew top since it makes me feel like Audrey Hepburn (but with a beard).

Elena Benthausimage

Incidentally black and white Wednesday this week coincides with me teaching Othello with the help of Dympna Callaghan’s chapter “Othello was a White Man.”


* I realize that last week’s gif was scary, too, but I love horror films and Halloween. Halloween is one of the very few holidays I even celebrate (see also: Saint Patrick’s Day, sometimes Bastille Day, and Dyngus Day.)