It's taking a while for the weather to actually be good enough for us to embrace Spring trends (seriously, it's almost April, can I take my chunky jumper and boots off yet?) but it looks like we may finally be heading for some slightly milder weather. So with that in mind, in the next couple of weeks we'll be taking you through some of the key trends and how to wear them, starting off with one of the biggies - monochrome.

Monochrome means 'shades of one colour', leading many to argue that black and white - the trend the fashion world likes to refer to as monochrome' - is actually not monochrome at all, because it features two shades. But let's go back to high school physics for a minute, when we learned that black is technically the absence of colour. If black isn't a colour, black and white is monochrome. It's monochrome white.

Ha! Suck on that, pedants!

Enough of the science, onto the trend, which we saw on the catwalks mostly courtesy of a certain Mr Jacobs (at Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs) but also at Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, Narciso Rodriguez and many more. The high street has jumped right on the bandwagon with this one and you can't move in stores for black and white stripes, dots and prints.

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Esmera Zig Zag high neck dress £14.99 at MissGuided
Tibi striped knitted cotton top £300 at Net a Porter
Black and white graffiti print jersey skater skirt £18 at Glamorous
Black and white striped cross back dress £35 at River Island
Block print skinny trousers £42 at Topshop

The easiest way to try this trend is with a bit of colourblocking on a dress or blouse, but braver souls may wish to try horizontal stripe trousers (beetlejuice, beetlejuice, beetlejuice!) or a full-on maxi dress. Chessboard prints look really cool teamed with denim or leather - the bargain midi dress from New Look is perfect for this. Add a bright accessory like a neon clutch or a stack of bracelets to break up the black and white - it can look a bit 1960s mod fancy dress if you don't add that something extra to modernise it.

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Vertical striped skinny jeans £16.75 at Forever 21
Influence chessboard midi dress £14.99 at New Look
Boogie monochrome patterned court shoe £85 at Dune
Tabitha polka dot and stripe contrast shirt £20 at Boohoo
Black / ivory pencil dress with side peplums £25 at Dorothy Perkins