the ever-intimidating White & 5 tips on how to wear it

I'm going to be the first one to say it - white is intense

Anyone will tell you that I love my blacks, greys and dark neutrals, but white is another story. So crisp, so clean ... so intimidating. Especially to those of us who drink coffee, eat colourful food, and sketch with Sharpies and Prismacolours all day. But alas! Fear not! There are ways to wear white without living in constant fear, and there are certain tips that every girl should know about wearing the world's most unforgiving shade.

tip 1.  The cut and quality matters. Now I'm not saying that every piece of white clothing you buy has to be pristine and perfectly fitted, but I find that the cut and quality matters more in white than anything else. For example, if you are buying a sharp blouse for work, check that it fits you well, doesn't wrinkle too easily, and is as opaque as possible. On the other hand, if you're buying a loose t-shirt to wear to a concert or out on the weekends, a little translucency can be an interesting twist, and wrinkles don't really matter. So remember to pay attention to the translucency, cut & quality.

tip 2. Wear it on top. White reflects light, and is great for adding a little glow to your face, especially when you're feeling tired. I prefer wearing white on top for this reason, and also because it's easier to see if you get something on it (which I usually do). Pants... eek. You will never know if you sat on something, and chances are nobody will tell you. Also, pants have a tendency to show underwear through (not classy) and don't add glow to anything. That said, white pants CAN be done successfully, but the ratio of Good White Pants to Bad White Pants is about 100 : 1.

tip 3. Wear it with colour. White is fantastic for bringing out colour - whether it's another piece of clothing, your favourite piece of statement jewelry or shoes, or even your... undergarments, if that's your thing (and the time calls for it). I have a very large Egyptian-style turquoise necklace that doesn't work nearly as well with anything else than with white. My red blazer only looks right with a white blouse underneath. My brightly patterned scarves look bangin' wrapped over a white t-shirt or blouse. Get my drift? Colour, colour, ra ra ra!

tip 4. Or wear it with neutrals. There is so much goodness in neutrals, if you can't already tell from my past posts. The trick with whites/neutrals together is to not get too wrapped up in the neutrality. Clear as mud? Here's what I mean - a white blouse over beige pants is slightly less exciting than sorting your sock drawer. Punch it up with pattern, volume, jewelry, or just more interesting pieces.

tip 5. What goes underneath matters most. White, as mentioned before, is very unforgiving. And unlike most other clothing, it does matter what you're wearing underneath. A crisp white blouse can be ruined by a scrappy black tank top showing through, and a boring white tee can be sexed up a bit with some sort of lacy underthing (I'll leave the specifics up to you... I'm not going to pick your lingerie for you).

And now, white inspiration!

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