Today, Tina Adams of Tina+Rebecca Wardrobe Consultants writes for StyleBlueprint about the virtues of wearing white.
I simply cannot get enough of white. Why? White is the best tone to offset every other color, whether primary or neutral. We know you’re skeptical because you’ve heard all of your life that black is the foundation of your wardrobe, but just hear us out. Or better yet, try this: put on a pink sweater with a pair of black pants. Now, keep the pink sweater on, but switch to a pair of white pants. It’s revolutionary, isn’t it? And enlightening!
White as the foundation for your wardrobe is one of our signatures, and we come by it honestly. Two of our favorite muses, Jackie O. and Audrey Hepburn, were the first to popularize white jeans/pants in the 60’s. So for us, white is not only the foundation to a great wardrobe, but it’s also essential to creating a timeless look.
I have been accused of limiting my color palette to a color stick (as opposed to an entire color spectrum, like icy pastels or warm autumns), because rare is the day when I’m found in any other color family than white. I often pair my white with…white (surprise!), and Rebecca loves to offset white with caramels.
This season is the perfect time to add some foundational white pieces to your wardrobe – it’s everywhere now! Gap and Ann Taylor have devoted entire story lines to white. And old-fashioned rules no longer apply. You can wear white 12 months of the year. It’s not just for the period between Easter and Labor Day. And, you do not need a tan to wear white. (But do wear lipstick to provide contrast.)
So perhaps, we’ve convinced you that white is a timeless and beautiful color, but you’re still not convinced that white is for you. Hear this, and believe it: women of all shapes and sizes can wear white. A simple rule of thumb is that white fabrics should not be too tight or too thin. We usually recommend going up at least a full size when buying white pants. White looks fantastic on any and every woman! And yes, plus size women, you, too, can wear white if the pants are bootcut and the skirt is cut on the bias.
White is elegant and quite simple. And one of the principles to keep in mind when dressing in simple classics is that “it’s all in the details.” The simpler the individual pieces, the more correct they have to be. A basic white tee must fit in the shoulders and have a flattering neckline. (We recommend v-neck or scooped, not crew neck, which can be too boyish.) A white blouse must not pucker at the placket and it must fit well with no extra fabric in the back (choose a custom fit to avoid these pitfalls of off-the-rack blouses). White jeans must be thick enough to hide VPL’s. White fabrics must be fine, high quality cottons, silks, linens or wools. No polyesters or acrylics. And as we always say, fit is first. Cuts must be right – bootcut for pants, bias cut or pencils for skirts, darts and seams in blouses.
Now, there are a few fashion no-no’s that cannot be overlooked. Don’t wear white to a wedding. White is reserved for the bride. This is not just an old southern tradition; it is respectful to the bride on her special day. (SB says: unless you are Pippa!) Don’t wear white to a funeral. Again, it’s about respecting the family. Don’t wear white shoes – ever. (Do you really want your feet looking any bigger or whiter?) And last but not least, don’t wear white tanks. They too-closely resemble the dreaded wife-beater.
Have we convinced you? Are you ready to add some foundational white pieces to your wardrobe? We recommend GAP‘s Long and Lean white jeans; Michael Stars or Three Dots white tees (made from thicker materials and flattering, fitted cuts) and custom T+R blouses (for a truly perfect fit).
Check out our blog for more useful tips….www.tinarebecca.com.
Thank you, Tina! We agree on all counts, except we have to say that we just can’t give up the white tank – it’s one of our summer staples. But, Tina and Rebecca look far more put together on a daily basis than we do, so take our commentary with a grain of salt…
Tina shared some care for white tips with us as well:
- Wash your whites at home and then have the dry cleaner press them. This will stop the yellowing process that happens when many whites are dry-cleaned.
- Need some brightener for your whites? Try one aspirin (not advil, not tylenol, ASPIRIN). Reach for it before bleach for an overall brightening effect.
- Look at your tees closely. When they start to yellow in the pits, toss them and buy some more.
We, at StyleBlueprint, found some pictures at both People.com and from the Worthny.com website of different ways to wear white. Hope you are inspired!
From People.com we can see that the white-hot dress for summer is, indeed, white.