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The New Rules of White


Nothing says summer like the crisp color white. But are you wearing white the right way?

Fashion consultant Emily McCormick lays out the new fashion rules.

Most important rule: WEAR IT! White is summer’s black. Take a typical winter outfit, let’s say jeans and a navy and white striped shirt with boots. Take out the jeans, put on white pants, and you’ve created an entirely new look.

White is timeless (something we will talk about in a minute). It’s fresh, clean and you can wear it with virtually every color. It gives a wardrobe a POP.

Rule 1: Wear It Now

The old “don’t wear white before Memorial Day and after Labor Day ” rule was meant to be broken; it isn’t logical. So, when I’m itching for spring in April, I can’t wear white? Or, it’s a hot September and I have to stash away my whites and go to drab browns and blacks? Not so! You can work white into your wardrobe all year long, just be tasteful in how you do it.

We should all be wearing white right now! Consider putting away your ultra bright white pants in the Fall, but don’t be afraid to buy a great white jacket. And definitely incorporate some winter white (cream) dresses or pants for nicer occasions, in the winter.

Rule 2: Consider your skin tones.

Whites look gorgeous on olive, dark brown, or other dark skin tones. Really clean and fresh and it pops. If you’re Caucasian, try a cream on top or white pants and color on top. Also, don’t wear whites on top in pictures. It will drown you out.

Rule 3: Black disappears, white is electric.

This rule was actually pointed out to me by my aunt, who is an interior decorator. Black is invisible. White draws attention. That’s true with clothing as well. Because of this, be careful with white accessories. Accessories should be a reflection of the name, something to accessorize, or to be ancillary to the outfit. White stands out so much, that shoes and purses and even earrings can end up looking cheap and drawing a lot more attention since, no matter your ethnicity, white is always lighter than your skin tone.

In lieu of white, go with camel or tan accessories. They match with everything. If you’re trying to do something fun for summer, try a colored shoe…doesn’t have to be matchy-matchy.

Rule 4: Don’t go too tight…white shows everything.

Need I say more? Not too tight on top or bottom. Make sure the white pieces you buy, actually fit.

Rule 3: Don’t be afraid to wear white pants.

And dirt is no excuse, ladies! With the invention of a beautiful thing called “bleach”, white is actually easier to wear than tan, cream, etc. because it can be easier to wash. They’re bright, happy and completely change the look of an outfit. I used to buy into the, “I can’t wear white pants because they’ll make me look bigger” theory. No longer. I think the fresh, crisp look outweighs that argument. Everyone should be able to participate in this look.

Rule 4: Be smart with your underwear.

Yes, I said it. Do not wear dark colored underwear or bras. White shows everything.

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