Tips for Wearing White
By Diana Pemberton-Sikes
There's something cool and refreshing about
white clothing that makes it chic all summer
long. Since it reflects light and absorbs perspiration,
making it less noticeable than other colors,
the wearer looks cool and collected, even when
the temperature soars. Small wonder that white
has been a long-time favorite of residents of
hot, tropical climates.
Now that the temperatures are rising all over
the Northern Hemisphere, it's time to take a
quick look at some basic guidelines for wearing
white. While some of the old rules have relaxed
in recent years, there are still some factors
to consider when wearing white:
1. Always Wear Flesh-Colored Undergarments
Years ago, the rule was to wear white under
white. Not anymore. Since white bra, panty,
and camisole lines tend to show through, your
undergarments will be less obtrusive in flesh
tones. Look for pieces that closely match your
natural skin tone to create a clean, seamless
2. Be Careful Where You Put Your White
Since white reflects light and makes things
appear larger, don't wear solid white on your
largest body parts only, like your chest, hips,
or thighs, because it will make those areas
look bigger. Instead, opt for white monochromatic
(all one color) ensembles, which elongate, or
wear white on a small body part, or use white
to accentuate a figure asset.
3. Steer Clear of White Hosiery
Unless you're a nurse, a bride, or under age
5, white hosiery has no place in your wardrobe.
Yes, it was popular 20 years ago thanks to Diana,
the late Princess of Wales, because it did for
her what it does for everyone: it "chopped
her up" visually and made her look shorter.
Which is fine if you're a tall princess trying
to look shorter than your prince - but not so
great if you're short, medium, or plus size,
trying to look taller and slimmer.
4. Think Twice About Wearing White Shoes
White shoes scream "summer!" and
are a popular choice for warm weather months.
But since white shoes make your feet look bigger
and can also visually "chop up" your
leg and make you look shorter, they may not
be the best choice. Look for shoe styles that
elongate, or steer clear of white shoes entirely
and opt for flesh-colored shoes instead.
5. Don't Wear White to a Wedding
Unless you're the bride or in the bridal party,
don't wear all-white to a wedding. While a white
blouse worn under a different-colored garment
is acceptable, (like a pastel suit, for example),
the tradition still holds firm: white is reserved
for the bridal party. Don't try to compete with
the bride on her big day.
Finally, if you don't like the way white looks
on you or if white just isn't your color, try
an off-white shade instead like ivory, eggshell,
or oyster. Pure white looks good on only a fraction
of the population, so you are not alone. Try
another light shade instead.
Wearing white is a great way to look chic,
stay cool, and enjoy the warm weather months.
If you employ these tips when you dress, you
can look calm, cool, and collected - even on
the hottest days.
Diana Pemberton-Sikes is a wardrobe
and image consultant and author of "Wardrobe
Magic," an ebook that shows women how to
transform their unruly closets into workable,
wearable wardrobes. Visit her online at http://www.fashionsavvy.com