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  • On Trend- How To Wear White Right a la Gwyneth Paltrow and Kelly Rutherford

    2011 RHS Chelsea Flower Show - VIP Day

    For this week’s 15th Anniversary of FocusOnStyle online, and in honor of the warmer weather (finally!), let’s revisit timeless tips on how to wear white BEFORE the old adage of waiting for Labor Day.

    I don’t know about you, but looking light & brght is tops on my list after this wicked winter. Postcript: since the writing of this post, I know own a couple more white coats! S.H., online since 1999!

    >> RELATED: White Clothing Care Tips- You Don’t Have To Marry the Drycleaner (if you don’t want too) 

    I’ll Have What She’s Having: White clothing tips to not look like a bride, a nurse, or the Good Humor man!

    According to old school fashion rules, Memorial Day is the official time to finally break out the whites. There’s no need to look at calendar to see when wearing white looks right, if you know how to put it together!

    There’s nothing hotter this season than white– albeit chalk white, off-white, weathered white, or a subtle tint of cream. Easy as wearing white sounds to be, too much of a good thing can absolutely be overkill.

    Two ways to wear white: Gwyneth Paltrow mixes tan pants  and  tobacco colored platforms & Kelly Rutherford adds a a classic beige Kelly bag and nude pumps to her white sheath.

    Although white technically may be the absence of color, getting heavy handed with it has a tendency to have you look like a bride, a nurse, or the Good Humor man.

    But mixed in the right way, white is fantastic!

    Take for instance, Gwenyth Paltrow in her white blazer and shirt. She layered delicate chain necklaces to create some “texture” near her face and opted for tan slim pants and chunky tobacco platforms to create a casual and neutral palette.

    Kelly Rutherford accents a cream sheath dress with a beige Kelly bag and nude pumps for classic chic. Both ladies are playing with the nuance of shades to create interest and keep it modern.

    Here are my tips on how to wear white…

    • First, find the shade of white that best compliments your skintone and teeth color… that right, TEETH. If you’re teeth are on the yellow side, opt for creamier shades or wear white on the lower part of your body while you run out and get yourself some teeth whiteners!
    • Consider texture like eyelet, ribbed T’s, heavier vs. featherweight fabrics to create monochromic interest.
      These are the FIRST white shoes that I bought in years: MM6 Maison Martin Margiela  Canvas T Strap Wedge Sandals

      These are the FIRST white shoes that I bought in years: MM6 Maison Martin Margiela Canvas T Strap Wedge Sandals

    • Use neutrals and nudes to add dimension, like the ladies above.
    • Try a clean graphic approach by mixing crispy chalk whites with clear, bold colors like red, electric blue, or black.
    • If you wear white shoes with a white outfit, try texture like suede or mottled leathers, rather than basic white, flat white.
    • Sandals or shoes that show some skin are better than closed shoes when it’s a white on white combo.
    • Use color, or the absence of color, to visually “shape” your figure and wear the brighter whites only on body parts that you want to emphasize.
    • No matter what it’s about fit– a flattering pair of white pants will ultimately look better than ill-fitting black pants!
    • Don’t forget your undergarments! Nude color bra and panies are best, unless you intentionally want your undies to peek out!

    >> YOU + ME: Do you want to work one on one with me to get control of YOUR look? I just opened a few more V.I.P. spots for my One On One Style Mentoring Stylist Sessions.

    CLICK THIS: More ways to think about wearing white this summer…

    Originally Published on: May 27, 2011

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