Last week’s outfit formula was a Summer column of black, which was more popular than I expected it to be. This week I’m talking about its polar opposite — a column of white.
First, I’d like to debunk a few myths about wearing white:
- ANY size and height can wear white. The fit and the fabric of an item play a bigger role in making an item flattering than its colour. My size US16/18 clients rock white jeans, pants and tops. So does my 4ft 9” size US000 friend.
- Everyone looks good in a shade of white. It’s a question of choosing YOUR white. Bright optical white, off-white, ivory, cream, champagne, oatmeal, bone or a very light tan can be your white. Sometimes an extremely pale pearl grey can be your version of white.
- No need to match your whites exactly. Mismatching them looks better than you might think.
- White is not that impractical. Black and dark colours can show as many stains as white, depending on the cause of the stain.
- Pale-skinned people can successfully wear white, and so can blondes. Wear a little more eye make-up, add some blush, and define your lips because it’s that easy to look bright in white.
Here are four ways to create a column of white to get you started.
1. White Separates & Cognac
A chic and dressy combination with cream pants and blouse, and cognac belt and bag. The shoes are white, but feel free to throw in cognac footwear. White tops can be see-through, which means wearing a white, cream or tan camisole and nude-for-you bra. Ankle-strapped footwear is perfect with cropped pants, and they don’t need to be heeled.
2. White Jeans & Oatmeal
This is the easiest combination. Pair white jeans with a white top and layer a tan, oatmeal, bone or cream cardi over the top. Feel free to layer an optical white cardi for a full-on column of white. Add cognac, tan, white or metallic footwear and bag. A belt to match is optional.
3. White Dress & High-Contrast Support Act
A casual and pretty white dress is beautiful. I love how this one has been combined with casually elegant flat sandals, and a bag to match which pulls together the look and amps up the polish. Here, a black bag and shoes create a high contrast with the white. It’s especially effective bookending with black hair.
4. Avant-Garde Cream
Create avant-garde, fluid and somewhat oversized layers with lots of drape in shades of white. Here, the shorter length of the culottes and shorter asymmetrical hem make the silhouettes just flattering enough by providing structure. Black shoes effectively bookend the outfit. Metallic, pearl grey, white, tan or cream footwear will work too.
White is my favourite neutral, and I can wear warm and cool tones of it. I therefore have lots of white in my wardrobe and will wear a column of white before a column of black. I don’t have a white dress yet, but can pull together many combinations with white jeans. How about you?