Oh Carrie. How perfectly you summate the sentiment every other woman in the Western world must have immediately felt in hair-pulling horror as the news that the all white ensemble is one of this season’s key trends hit the fashion newsstands. Admittedly, I actually quite like what my hair’s doing today, but wear all white? Why, I had jambalaya for lunch: the only thing saving me from wearing it as an interesting print is that my dress is black and thus you can’t see how much I’ve dropped down my front. All white? Well, here I must once again hand over to Ms Bradshaw.
Traditionally, the all white ensemble is reserved for mythical virgins, brides and those going as ghosts for Halloween in a sheet with two holes cut out for eyes. But this season, designers such as Christopher Kane, Givenchy, Calvin Klein and Philip Lim have embraced the ‘virginal innocence of youth’ as embodied by white attire and shoved in manfully down our throats.
Now, as someone who has not been able to eat spaghetti without staining since 1990 ̶ and only then because it was chopped up and I was being fed with a spoon shaped like an airplane ̶ I more than anyone am aware of what an absolute arse this is. This is the kind of trend we snorting agree to with a snarky, ‘yeah, when I can accessorize with my impenetrable-by-dirt plastic bubble.’ I hear you. But this is where we are letting ourselves down. After all, how often have we been periodically crippled or worn crop tops in our allegiance to fashion? Now we’re being threatened by a color? And not even a color. C’mon guys, we’re better than this. Here’s how to do this with aplomb:
1. Pick your moment: weddings, Italian restaurants, festivals and children’s parties are not your time to shine. On the other hand, a white tuxedo ̶ the holy grail of the trend ̶ is achingly chic and entirely appropriate for any evening event where you’ll be standing lots ̶ equally to show it off as to avoid creasing ̶ and will be drinking light colored drinks. A similar principle can be applied to the weather, though if possible, I do recommend buggering off to the Mediterranean for the duration of the summer to wear this best.
2. In the absence of color, experiment with different fabrics and textures: a leather jacket over a silk dress, for example. Note: thicker, weightier fabrics will prevent unnecessary flashing and exposing under things (even if you’re in light lingerie, thin or cheap material will let it shine through).
3. Try using off white/cream shades to offset the brilliance of Dazz-lauded whites. More flattering; less scary.
4. Get a grip: how often do you wear a white tee with your jeans or a white shirt to work without automatically descending into a massive flap? Adding a pair of bottoms to the mix should not throw us. We must not let this beat us. Just watch where you sit.
5. If all else fails, wear a bib. Why, I had a very nice dinner date with a gentleman, promptly and firmly tucking my napkin into the cleavage of my white dress upon sitting down. Five months later and we’re very happily together, which leads me to the conclusion that 1. bibs are not in fact the dirge of all sexuality; 2. sometimes, practicality is key and function must win out over (or at least occasionally reside side by side with) fashion; and 3. That he must never leave me ̶ I’ll never find someone who’ll love me as I am again.
And there you have it. See, not that hard after all, eh?
Amy Lavelle is a journalist from UK fashion comparison site Style in View. She’s contributed to a number of publications including Spindle magazine.