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How to wear white now

Where the white things are: The snowy hue was a popular trend as seen in this jumpsuit and coat at Mulberry S/S 2013.

White, like carbs, is a tricky thing. When managed badly, it can make you look bloated and disproportionately large. Or, when ill-fitting, can give people the impression you work in the nursing industry.

Often the fear about white is simple: it’s difficult to wear. Unless you boast a rail-thin figure (and a possible coke problem), the hue can be intimidating. Veering between virginal and matronly, its connotations are vast: from representations of chaste maidens, Nurse Ratched and women of means (no blue collar worker can afford the high-maintenance element of a white wardrobe).

Yet that didn’t stop designers from co-opting the hue for monochromatic ensembles this season. From the athletic permutations at Alexander Wang to the louche severity at Band of Outsiders to the crisp minimalism at Calvin Klein, white was a banner theme for the sharp dresser. Clean lines, a minimum of frills and a fresh, contemporary sensibility lent the all-white ensembles a certain gravitas.

In tasking four women to share the way they intend to wear white this year, it was clear that there’s no one, universal route for the snowy hue — just a simple, uncontrived silhouette.

To anyone attempting the all-white ensemble, the rules are easy: wear with ease and avoid dusty chairs.

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