Whether or not it's acceptable to wear picket fence white after Labor Day is an ongoing debate amongst women. Will we look seasonally inappropriate with a blanche maxi dress? In reality, just because the months have changed, it doesn’t mean the weather has. And furthermore, what are we supposed to do when we buy white jeans on sale in August and only have two weeks to wear them?
We’re rewriting the rules on this fashion trend because when it comes to dressing fashionably, it’s not always black and white.
DO: Make sure the fabrics are transitional
Wearing a silk, white dress to our friend’s cocktail party will be harder to pull off than a jersey knit skirt. Similarly, the gauzy tunic that we normally put on for the beach will look a little out of place walking down the sidewalk. The weight of the white fabric is important here. Lightweight materials, like linen, eyelet and charmeuse, are meant for pool parties and barbeques.
Heavier materials, like denim, khaki and cotton twill, are more suitable for the pre-fall time of year. The plus side? We’ll be able to get an extra wear out of those cute, flared skirts.
DON’T: Wear all white
Diddy’s White Party was very June 2009, so it’s probably time we stop dressing for it in September 2013. Wearing head-to-toe all-white-everything should have been something we crossed off our bucket lists back when it was 100 degrees in July. The q-tip look feels a little too stark when the backdrop changes from sand and yachts to leaves and football. Save the white silk blouse for blue jeans, not tennis skirts.
DO: Early September, 75 degrees or above, sunshine
Even though the calendar says it’s September, the weather outside feels like July. It’s not quite autumn yet, but the air feels cooler than in the dog days of summer. So, it’s only fitting to throw on a pair of easy white cutoffs or a jumpsuit before heading to brunch outdoors. If it feels like summer, then it’s safe to wear white. The only caveat is on an overcast or rainy day – our whites will likely get dirty, and the contrast between a dark sky and our bright outfits appears a little peculiar.
DON’T: Overdo it with white accessories
Remember the saying, "Less is more?" That definitely applies here. Essie’s ‘Marshmallow’ nail lacquer, cork or hemp wedges, turquoise jewelry, blanc clutches, and floppy hats should be stored for next season. Unless we are vacationing to Miami, these extras have no place adorned on alabaster ensembles. Try, instead, pairing white pants with gold shoes and rings for a more glam attire. Winterize a white skirt with black tights, or add a navy scarf to a white leather jacket.
DO: Invest in “winter whites”
Winter whites are shades of cream, ivory and pearl. Depending on material (we wouldn’t wear a milky white merino wool sweater to a pal’s rooftop fete), these hues are very luxe and sumptuous come fall and milder climates. As an added bonus, most of these garments can be worn year-round – so long as they are paired with appropriate separates.
These neutral colors always give a feel of sophistication and opulence, especially in textiles like (faux) furs and heavy knits. Wear them in summer with flat sandals or dress up with jewel tones.
Top Photo Courtesy: Jean-Baptiste Fort