Fashion Notes: An all-white plight
Dressing in all white can bring on a whirlwind of anxieties. It’s a trend that can come off as slightly soft or strangely severe – and either way, simply too hard to emulate. While some may write off the style as being somewhat subdued, an all-white look can actually exude more attitude than all black, and in my opinion, it makes a stronger style impact. But when standing in front of your wardrobe trying to piece together your white possessions, it can seem more intimidating than the easy task of throwing on black over black.
Street style photos have shown us that a baggy white knit paired with ripped white jeans and white high-top Chuck Taylors are the ingredients for the ultimate laid-back-luxe look; a bridge between feminine and grunge, completed with an oversized envelope clutch and fishtail braid. It’s a relaxed, easy-to-wear outfit that ticks all the right boxes: glamorous, carefree and independent.
For a more formal take on the trend, it’s essential that you invest in a pair of high-waisted trousers. If you can afford to splurge, shop Chloé, Valentino or Issa – otherwise, Zara and River Island have suitable options. Fabric-wise, crepe silks, linens, brocades and jacquards are excellent choices. Choose trousers that are tailored, cut off at the ankle or folded twice at the cuff, and pair them with pointed white pumps or pleather cap-toe platforms for a pleasing finish.
With white-on-white dressing, layers are key – wear coats, capes and cardigans over collared shirts for that fresh-from-fashion-week look. Boyfriend blazers with loose fits and stark lapels like those shown in Temperley London’s spring/summer collection are great final touches, and when paired with palazzos, produce a bizarrely androgynous-chic vibe. Flattering the feminine form isn’t always your first priority when taking on the all-white trend. If menswear isn’t your style, try to jazz it up with sheerness, and while sheer panels can definitely add interesting dimension, make sure they stay subtle and don’t become too distracting, lest they cheapen your look.
Texture can take a white ensemble to the next level. At spring/summer runway shows, Balenciaga’s stiff silhouettes mixed white mesh nets with starched white ruffles and feathery white fabrics, and many of Roberto Cavalli’s couture-esque white-on-white pieces were formed from soft white pleats and intricate white floral nets, topped with dainty white pussy bows. Cotton eyelets are must-have textiles for 2015, as are embroidered white-on-white designs – the Chloé spring-summer show characterised “uptown boho” with plenty of crochet, cut-outs and curvy hem details in crisp textured whites.
An all-white canvas is the perfect starting point for accessorising. The best jewellery to wear with white is gold – and lots of it. Think big chain-link chokers, oversized watches, glam earrings and croc-embossed leather purses with subtle gold hardware. While white shoes may seem daunting, they’re a safe investment, as long as you don’t plan on trekking through wet sand. White trainers are casual and playful (not to mention comfortable) ways to make your outfit look effortless, and with white jeans, strappy white, nude or light-brown heels look exceptionally classy. If you’re still on the fence about all-white dressing, there’s an easy fix: inject your personality into the outfit by accessorising with your favourite reflective Ray-Bans, silk scarves or printed flats to make the look your own.