All the Year Long!
Happy day, Reader Dearest!
Memorial Day weekend is come and gone.
For those of you who don’t live in the US, the long Memorial Day Weekend is the unoffical start of summer. Pools open. Schools are letting out or wrapping up. White clothes will be coming out of storage and into the closet.
Which means it’s a good time for a post with some tips for wearing white.
TBPH, as a teen and young woman, I never wore white.
Black was so much more cool and (believe it or not) very few others dressed in black. So I did my own thing and wore all black all the year long.
Now, it’s the reverse! Get ready for the non-sequitur.
Every few weeks, I take a moment to remind you that style is not merely a hobby; it’s my business. Our mission here at Closet Play Image is to inspire you with Bright Ideas for Your Style and Your Wardrobe! When you find something useful, illuminating, or simply amusing, please share the joy with a friend OR on social media. Pin on Pinterest if you like! While you’re being supportive, please sign up for my monthly newsletter; there I share highlights and special content (and offers) only for newsletter subscribers. Sound enticing? Thank you for helping keep the lights on and internet up and running! You’re cooler than a cute new pair of white jeans for summer!
Back to our regularly scheduled programming: I wear white all year long, but not everyone does. it’s a personality thing… If you find white tempting but have concerns about how to make white work for you, here are five tips to try!
Find (Or Make) YOUR White
White is white, right? Wrong. I don’t like to get all know-it-all-y but there are more whites than you can shake a stick at. If you don’t believe me, pop on over to the paint department at your nearest home improvement store and get lost in the paint chips.
Fortunately, you aren’t trying to find your white at the paint store, just the clothing store. When I drape a color client, we look at a variety of whites to find the one that works best. Think of three basic whites, bright white, soft white and an ivory. These three have parallels to the different light bulbs available! Bright white is glaring and harsh. Soft white is easier on the eyes and warm white cast an ivory glow.
When shopping, hold the white garment for consideration up to your eyes. Is the white similar to the whites of your eyes? If so, it’s probably a good white for you. If the item looks brighter or more yellow than your eyes, keep looking. If you already own it, make it your white!
How do you make a white yours? Too-yellow whites are hard to shift, but if the item is cotton, bleach can be worth a try. Just don’t overbleach and burn your garment! More frequently, I find warm complexioned women need to soften/yellow their whites to blend with their coloring. You can use fabric dye (just a bit) and repeat until you achieve the effect you desire OR you can try tea dying the item. Yes, tea. Like the kind you drink. I have a memory of my mom tea-dyeing curtains to soften the white.
Add a POP of Dark
If you feel like white drains your coloring, the kind of white may not be the problem! If the Overall Value of your coloring is deep, you will look better in deeper colors. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear white, it just means that you need a touch of something dark near your face to help create harmony with your own coloring.
Adding a dark topper, scarf or necklace can help bring the Overall Value more in sync with yours. If you have dark hair that frames your face, you may find you feel better in white when your hair is pulled back!
Create a Column
Wearing all white is often more flattering than wearing White + Black or White + Navy or White + Color. It creates a column of color that is great for the vertically challenged among us. White + Dark or Bright creates a High Value Contrast that flatters a High Value Contrast coloring. If your Value Contrast is low and your coloring light, an all white look is a great choice! (And a favorite of stylish Italians, male and female.) Don’t worry about your whites being perfectly matched. Variations of color and texture add interest to your outfit! Especially when you wear white all the year long!
Splash with Color OR Pattern (Beyond Stripes!)
A quick Pinterest search for White Jeans Look (or Outfit) makes me weep. White + Black. White + Denim. White + Brown. White + Olive/Camo. Let’s give bonus points to the White + Animal Print (bottom center)! It may be neutral but at least it’s interesting!
There are SO many other colors and patterns to choose from! Let’s get creative. Choose brighter colors if your Value Contrast is high, softer colors if your VC is low. White is a blank canvas that you can do almost anything with… Artists know that white space is powerful.
When I pulled my Summer Capsule Wardrobe, I was taken aback by all the white shirts! Could White Shirt Summer be the new Hot Girl Summer? LOL!
Remember how I said above that I never used to wear white? Well, it wasn’t until I joined the Navy and a white uniform became part of daily life for half the year did I learn how to wear white. I learned to look before sitting down. To not drag my hems when getting into a vehicle. And to be VERY careful when drinking coffee. I learned to carry a piece of chalk with me. Yes, chalk. You can cover up small stains with chalk and it helps absorb the stain until you get home and to a washing machine! No, the Tide pen did not exist at this point in history! For more style tips I learned from my time in uniform, check out these posts!
How About You?
Are you a fan of white? If so, for a season? Or all the year? Does a column of white feel scary? What color(s) do you like best combined with white? Do tell… I love to hear your ideas!