Wednesday, February 29, 2012 5:17 PM
The idea of wearing white clothing is enough to make most of us shiver in fear. It is not so much the clothing item as the whiteness itself and the thought of expertly maintaining that pure whiteness that sends us into a tail spin.
I have some news for you: White does not have to be high maintenance.
Long a favoured shade of chic Europeans, we kiwis have not embraced this colour at all. Perhaps in part due to the fact that it is the antithesis of our national colour black. All of the things the colour black is perceived to be: easy to match, easy to wash, slimming, hides stains, etc…, white is not.
White has a reputation for being difficult to maintain, is known for being notorious at attracting stains and hideously impractical around children, pets, gardens, food and well, just about anything. It seems to be reserved purely for playing bowls and being the colour du jour for the bride at her wedding, other than that most kiwis it seems wouldn’t be caught dead in it
The fact of the matter is that, apart from looking chic, the opposite of what we believe about white is true. If the item you buy in white is a natural fibre (cotton, silk, linen etc.) and machine washable then white is an easy care great buy. I have never met a stain that a bit of frend or a good nappy san soaking can’t remove, so buy and wear white with confidence, don’t let a bit of dirt fear render you paralysed when next faced with a white garment in your favourite store. If I had a dollar for every time someone used to bring a white item up to me when I was a shop girl and ask me “does this come in black?” I’d be rolling in dough. It might come in black – but it won’t look half as stylish.
White is equal to black in the goes-with-anything stakes. And I mean anything, yes, even cream. It is equally as versatile and transformative - giving other colours a dramatic lift.
It can be the ultimate partner to blue, looks perfect with plaid and is the ideal antidote to the shocking neon’s and acidic shades of summer should you need a break from those headache inducing brights. Then of course there is the obvious pairing: black and white. They just seem right together. If all white is to challenging for you, try introducing it slowly – a bit at a time, with a hint of white in a pattern, or with other colours. Black and white patterns are an elegant and smart choice anytime.
A blanc palette serves as a very calming & soothing neutral backdrop to something you want to make pop. Then again white can be the pop itself as a daring accessory in a bag or shoe.
Have I convinced you? If not, then perhaps an iconic celebrity moment will: Bianca Jagger in her white pant suit, Marilyn Monroe in her white seven year itch dress, Nat King Cole in his white dinner jacket, Calvin Klein in his signature white tee and of course Karl Lagerfeld in his crisp white shirt and even crisper collar. Most recently Rooney Mara, Gwyneth Paltrow, Milla Jojovich and Octavia Spencer at the 2012 Oscars. (This was a very big year for the white dress on the red carpet)
All of these examples are truly iconic and timelessly elegant in white.
This season the white dinner jacket is a hot trend and easy to wear with anything. Over dresses, with jeans, with shorts, with this classic staple – anything goes. Another strong trend that is difficult to ignore is the lace or textured white dress. Often in a 60’s shift dress shape, there are many styles to suit. Long sleeves, cap sleeves, no sleeves. You can find the one the works for you. Don’t be afraid to pop it in a wash bag and send it through the machine on a delicate setting. Easy care, easy wear.
White is the epitome of cool. Keep calm and try it on.