We’ve all heard it… every year some person declares with their nose held high- as if they fell out of The Great Gatsby and are heading home to the East Egg- that you can’t wear white until after Memorial Day and should promptly pack it away come Labor Day. And to them I say- pish posh! This “rule” came about over time, but historically, it was really just a way of life. Back when folks dressed more formally on a daily basis and pre-central air, it made sense to wear white in the blazing hot summer months out of practicality. Also, keep in mind that, unlike our guest bedroom sized, walk-in closet wardrobes today, there was a time when one only had a few outfits total and they consisted of winter or summer- Summer being their whites in a lightweight fabrication.
Remember- when it comes to fashion- there are no rules. That said, I don’t think any of us leave the house in the morning with the intention of looking ridiculous. If you look in the mirror and you’re feeling good about the look you’ve got going, then I say go for it.
Last time I checked, Joan Rivers wasn’t camped out in Manchester trying to catch me in a bad outfit! I believe that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. But, I’ve certainly been guilty of missing the weather forecast in April, only to leave work after a late day rain shower when I’ve got white pants on that are ruined because they skimmed the mud and splattered all over the back from my cute sandals flicking the mud up as I walked. So here are my recommendations for wearing white right now:
Check the Weather Even if the calendar says April 10th, but it happens to be snowing where you are, it is not recommended to wear white linen pants. The style of clothing needs to be in-sync with the season. Yes, people will raise their eyebrow at you if you wear your white Bermuda shorts in VT in January…even if it is unseasonably warm.
Fabric Fabric choices are the most important when pulling together a season-friendly (and stylish) outfit. You would never think of wearing a white parka in July; likewise, don’t wear your white linen trousers in the fall or winter. Make sure that the fabric you are wearing is appropriate for the time of year and the temperature.
Pulling it together I like to ease into seasons. Add one piece at a time and work up to a full blast of one color. I mean, let’s get real- if I put on a white shift dress right now, you wouldn’t be able to tell where the dress ends and my arms or legs begin. I need some sun on those legs! Plus it’s cold. I like to go with some white skinny jeans and a bright cardigan or blazer in fuschia or tangerine with some statement accessories and flats- Done!