The fun part of dressing in a coordinated fashion is looking like a couple. The girl's dress should be the focal point when coordinating with her date's shirt and tie. A black and white dress doesn't necessarily call for black and white only on him. The two outfits merely need to complement each other, not match exactly.
Patterns on Her
A black and white patterned dress will look best when your guy is wearing either a black, gray or white shirt paired with a long black tie. For a less formal approach, he can wear a shirt in pale green, tan, blue, pink, gold and most medium tones and pastels, with a black tie. When you are wearing a pattern, it's best to keep him in solids.
Patterns on Him
When you wear a black and white dress that has mostly areas of solid color, like a white dress with a black belt or black on top and white on bottom, he can wear a pinstripe or a small pattern shirt with black and white in it with or without an additional color. With a solid shirt he can wear a patterned tie in stripes or a geometric design, in gray or black and white. One additional color -- any color -- can be in his shirt or tie that goes with your makeup, accessories or flowers. Avoid large patterns close together because they create distortions -- keep the patterns to a subtle minimum on his shirt so they don't clash with patterns on the tie. A charcoal shirt and a lightly patterned black and gray tie looks elegant next to either a solid or patterned black and white dress.
Wear makeup colors that match either his shirt or tie color, if they are flattering to you. For example, blue eyeliner would coordinate with a blue shirt with a black tie; gold eyeshadow would coordinate with a yellow tie on a white shirt. A pink lipstick with his pink tie or red lip gloss when his shirt or tie is red would be just enough to tie your looks together.
Party in Black and White
A black and white party may require an exact match of only a black shirt and white tie -- though not suggested, as it is a little outdated -- or a white shirt and black tie, which looks conservative. For a monochromatic, modern look, he can wear a non-patterned white shirt and solid white tie, or a solid black shirt and solid black tie. If black and white are not strictly required at the event, a charcoal shirt with a silver tie can look striking, as can a white shirt with a light gray tie.
Paule McKenna is a celebrity makeup artist for print TV and film who began her career as owner of Los Angeles' first makeup studio. She has a makeup line and enjoys writing, marketing and real estate at the beach.