October 31, 2014

Shopportunities: How to wear white now

Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matters International, answers your questions each month.

Dear Cheryl,

I want to add some white clothes to my wardrobe, but don’t want anything too girlie or bridal. What do I start with?

—Miranda P, Sanibel

White is always a good choice for the high temperatures of summer, as it reflects heat (unlike dark colors, which absorb it). Start with a white shirt—it’s a year-round staple in any woman’s wardrobe. And this season, the oversized white shirt is a trend in many designers’ collections. Don’t confuse “baggy” with oversized. To avoid the former, keep the look sharp and tailored with crisp fabrics or have your shirts starched when laundered.

The white tuxedo jacket appeared on the spring/summer catwalks. And where better to wear one than here in Florida? Feminine, yet structured, it’s a stylish and extremely versatile piece. Teamed with pants, it looks polished, or simply pop it over a dress to take you from day to evening. If all-over white is too stark for you, don’t be afraid to combine or layer several different whites together. It’s easy to achieve with different fabric weights and textures, which will do the work for you. It looks chic and fresh and avoids any hint of being too bridal.

WHAT TO WEAR: On a European Vacation

Planning a vacation to all those romantic European cities and sites of historic interest we’ve seen in films is incredibly exciting. But if the thought of putting together the clothes and accessories you’ll need for each destination is less enthralling, remember that a little planning goes a long way in that direction, too. Start with some research on the climate, local customs, activities and attractions at each destination. Then make a note of the activities you’re likely to participate in (remember, sightseeing counts as an activity).

Build your vacation wardrobe around a base color palette—neutrals are the most versatile—and add bright pops of color to switch out the look of an outfit entirely. Separates are your best friends. You can create far more looks with separate tops and bottoms than with standalone single pieces. Layering separates is also the perfect way to cope with changes of temperature.

It’s vital to respect the culture of the country you’re visiting and specific dress codes may be required. For example, many Italian churches request that shoulders and knees be covered—this applies to women and men. Doing your homework before you go will help ensure your vacation is the experience of a lifetime.

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