At a time of year when so many turn to wearing black, why not try the polar opposite…white! Though it is absolutely fine to wear bright white year round, there’s something so rich and “wintery” about the off white shades during the snowy months. I find winter white to look more professional than pure white when it’s cold.
But considering personal coloring, preferences and all the questions I get about white (yes, you can wear it after Labor Day,) here are a few ideas and guidelines for looking fresh in white both professionally and casually.
Winter white from head to toe
When you’re wearing all winter white, vary the textures to keep things interesting. Consider chiffon, denim, chunky rib knits, cashmere, satin, wool flannel, gabardine, faux fur, lace, leather and more. Then mix to your heart’s content!
Although wearing the exact same shade of winter white from head to toe is an extremely elegant, professional look, it’s much more modern to subtly contrast your shades in an outfit. Cream, bone, champagne, and ivory are just a few of your choices. Feel free to pair pure white denim with these off white shades for a casual, cool girl look!
Winter white with black
It’s super important to be intentional with this color scheme to create a standout look! Both your tops and bottoms should be very high quality, or else the finished effect will look less than expensive. Again, go for luxurious fabrics. Perhaps a pair of wide legged ivory, gabardine pants with a black, cashmere sweater. The combo seems so “Bonnie and Clyde” chic, yet modern!
Yet another option is to finish your head to toe winter white outfit with black accessories. Instead of accessorizing your look with a simple, pendant necklace, mix it up by layering it with jet-black beads and white pearls. Starting the day with more chunky jewelry, this would be a great way to take your outfit from Desk to Dinner.
If you’re wondering what color shoes to wear with the black and white ensemble, take a cue from your hair color. If your hair is light, stick with a lighter shoe. If it’s dark, go for black (again, keep it expensive.) Either way, you’re creating bookends with your hair and shoes, keeping your appearance extremely balanced.
Pure white in winter
In terms of wearing pure white that’s a weight heavy enough to look substantial enough for cold weather, my vote goes to white jeans. Then to keep your outfit from being seasonally confused, choose a wintery sweater. As unexpected as pure white in the depths of the season, a thick, cozy, pastel sweater is the perfect way to go.
Of course, you know I’m suggesting this for casual wear, and I’ve never been a fan of destroyed denim, but I ran across Caitlin’s blog, loved her outfits and couldn’t resist sharing with you. You can find the rest of Caitlin’s blog at Southern Curls & Pearls.
I know pastels are not a client favorite, and they’re a little hard to wear for a lot of women, I offer a second way to wear white denim in the snow with panache. Black against the white denim feels a bit overdone and harsh, so I suggest navy. I first read of this outfit in the Inès de La Fressange book, Parisian Chic City Guide, while planning a trip to Paris. Now a navy, cashmere, v-neck pullover and white jeans feels so French Chic to me!
Now then, I can practically hear you asking, “what shoes”! I feel like it’s a bit trickier to get the shoes right with white jeans in the winter. Again, I’d go with the “bookending” technique I described above. Caitlin did this absolutely perfectly! Not only do her Ugg boots match her hair, but she even ties it in further with the tan puff on her beanie.
If you’re more apt to wear dark boots, (although, you may be hard pressed to find navy, but wouldn’t they be cool,) I advise booties instead of riding or over-the-knee boots. Dark leather tall boots are just too heavy and upset the balance of the outfit if you’re tucking the jeans in.
I encourage you to experiment and have fun creating your “white out” ensembles to mix things up this winter! It seems like it’s going to be a long season, and anything you can do, even changing your look a little, can seem to warm the day.
If you’d like help creating new winter outfits in your closet, just holla’! I’ve got a fresh eye, and haven’t seen your clothes over and over. You’re sure to come away with combos you’d never have thought of…and we’ll have fun along the way!