I’ve always shied away from portraits in black and white, because it always seemed less forgiving than colour, but it’s really not that scary! Like with everything else, you just need to play to the strengths of the medium you choose. I was trying to create a moodier shot with this particular photo, and I think that’s a domain in which black and white photos really shine. It also helps if you have a pre-determined plan/vision in mind, rather than just shooting and hoping for the best.
PS: Tiff actually made that top herself. Details here, if you’re also into sewing and all that jazz.