Summer classics: white everything

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It is not easy to be a person who loves to wear white in the summer and also to be a person who is highly prone to spilling coffee on herself, so I always keep a lot of this stuff handy and hope for the best. And I love the look of head-to-toe white, but find it works best when I break it up with bright (or dark) shoes and belts and other accessories. I own this tuxedo shirt from Nili Lotan and wear it endlessly once it’s warm out: it’s super-light and makes whatever I pair it with look nicely put- together.

A denim jacket looks so crisp in white, and I like the shrunken proportions of this one.

Madewell’s Central Shirt is kind of a must-have: it’s got a good slouchy-but-not-too-slouchy fit and is reasonably priced. It also comes in a multitude of colors and prints, if you’re interested.

These straight leg cropped pants from Everlane would look fantastic paired with a simple white tee.

I think these strappy flats are fun and a little bit sexy (for flats); here’s something similar but cheaper.

This gauze popover is so well-priced, and it just looks really breezy and easy to wear.

And how much do these carpenter pants remind me of seventh grade? Except they’re a good deal more well-cut than the ones I wore back then.

The waist tie here is a flattering touch; it’d be aces with a denim pencil skirt.

The clean lines up top on this dress balance out the flouncy bits below.

I’m close to pulling the trigger on these wedge espadrilles: they strike me as more sophisticated than your typical espadrille.

Some people stay away from linen shirts like this one because they wrinkle so easily, but I kind of like the way they look when they get a little rumpled.

Nili Lotan’s Tel Aviv pant is a favorite of mine—they’re both skinny-of-silhouette and slouchy in all the right places.

You can’t get a whole lot more classic than Stan Smiths, and while fancy designers like to create pricey riffs on them, I still think that nothing beats the original.

I loathe tight white jeans, and this straight-leg pair is just roomy enough without looking shlumpy. These Levi’s 501s are pretty good too,

I’ve shown you (and own) this Veronica Beard ruched dress in black, but I think it’s pretty smashing in white too.

Nothing beats a pair of pull-on pants for ease of wear, and unlike some pants with elastic waists, these look good  with a top tucked in.

The pintuck detailing on this top give it a slight peasant-y vibe, but it’s more polished than a straightforward peasant top.

And finally: a white linen pant makes for a nifty beach cover-up.

 

 

 

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23 Thoughts on Summer classics: white everything
    Joannawnyc
    3 Jun 2019
    11:40am

    I love a good white summer shirt/trouser/skirt–linen, broderie anglais, gauze, etc. etc. It’s a bit of a summer style signature for me. But you need to buy in multiples and keep some of those spot treatment pens/wipes around at all times! Great selection!

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    Mae
    3 Jun 2019
    12:41pm

    I love every pair of shoes in this post. Especially the clear-strapped flat sandals with the flouncy dress. Please don’t tell me where to find them.

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    EW
    3 Jun 2019
    1:00pm

    so, for some reason all mentions of tight white pants recall this (Tight Pants dance, J Fallon, J Lopez) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLUvOtqTmYM

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    Mary
    3 Jun 2019
    1:15pm

    I don’t like tight white jeans either – I’d die of heat!

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    Mary
    3 Jun 2019
    1:17pm

    It’s challenging finding a white boyfriend jean, for some peculiar reason. I cam occasionally find them online but never in the stores.

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    Kathi
    3 Jun 2019
    1:23pm

    I love white clothing but shy away from an all white outfit/dress since it reminds me of my mom’s hideous polyester nurses’s uniforms she had to wear back in the day. I really like the two dresses, especially the Veronica Beard one.

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      Heather
      3 Jun 2019
      8:46pm

      I’d love a less-expensive version of that Veronica Beard dress. (Wish I could afford the original but sadly, cannot.)

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    laura w
    3 Jun 2019
    1:52pm

    Ok…I am a spiller also, but my biggest concern for my white shirts is the yellowing factor. Especially on my white button downs. Any great ways to get rid of the yellow or better yet keep the yellowing from happening in the first place?

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      Lori
      4 Jun 2019
      1:41am

      I’ve had excellent luck soaking washable whites overnight in a sink filled with hot water and a *big* scoop of Oxo Brite (or any brand of non-toxic, oxygen-based whitening granules), followed by regular cool-water washing and line drying. This process has turned yellow back to white, and removed grass, blood, grease, mud, and chocolate stains!

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        dana d
        4 Jun 2019
        8:55am

        YES! This is my treatment for whites also! Works beautifully…

        also, I buy Nili Lotan up-cycled on TheRealReal…spills don’t hurt as much…

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      c.w.
      4 Jun 2019
      7:26am

      I was advised ages ago to add about a quarter cup of white vinegar to my white loads which helps with the yellowing factor (I pour it into the “fabric softener” section of my machine). I’ve also found that it’s the type of water you have in your city system that promotes the yellowing. High mineral count, higher yellowing factor.

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        Mamavalveeta03
        4 Jun 2019
        4:22pm

        I also get yellowing under the armpits – deodorant, perhaps?

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      HickfromStyx
      4 Jun 2019
      11:18am

      Double rinsing is an option on some washing machines, and it is something my mother always did with whites.

      If you live in a hard water area and don’t have a water softener, you can buy laundry water softener for the washing machine in some grocery stores. Other options used by my grandmas:

      Mrs. Stewart’s blueing (NOT recommended by me). I dont know if you can buy the stuff now.

      One grandma said the problem with discolored whites is the kind of detergent, or too much of it. She used borax and laundry soda to wash whites. She also had a bar of laundry soap to rub on collars and underarm areas before washing. That is still sold today.

      And another solution was to wait for a sunny, windless day in summer and lay the whites out on the grass to dry. It works (in a fenced yard with no pets). She did this occasionally to refresh the white load.

      Hot water was the old-fashioned solution to bright whites, and it works, too. if you dare risk the shrinkage and misshapen modern fabrics.

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      Koyuki
      4 Jun 2019
      9:18am

      Hydrogen peroxide works on yellow sweat stains for me. 🙂

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    Mamavalveeta03
    4 Jun 2019
    2:55pm

    I really love a great white tux shirt or popover. But I’m not so sure about white on white. Every time I’ve tried it, I’ve gotten snide comments like, “It’s Mr. Softee!” Or “Nurse Val?” So, I’m not into it. (I know, toughen up! 😉) The linen button down, and the jeans are great…separately.

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    Julie
    4 Jun 2019
    9:12am

    I ordered the gauze popover from Nordstrom in white and black. I’m sorry to say they were a disappointment and I returned them. The cut was very boxy, which I could have lived with, but the dealbreaker for me was that they are extremely thick. Not the best choice for the sweltering summer heat. Just a little caveat.

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    Eloise
    3 Jun 2019
    9:20am

    I can’t do white exceptnon weekends. No matter what I do/try very hard not to do, my commute somehow ends up a dirty one.

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    Laura
    3 Jun 2019
    9:22am

    I really love those everlane carpenter pants but they’re totally see through on me. Is this a problem unique to me? How do others handle the white see through pants situation?

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      Kim France
      3 Jun 2019
      9:49am

      I always find that wearing underwear that matches my skin tone does the trick, but perhaps that’s too obvious a tip and you’ve already tried it. In any case, here’s what I like: https://rstyle.me/+GSNpWU6mtWsKICvGWrj_Iw

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        Trixie
        3 Jun 2019
        10:02am

        I also swear by nude underwear and cut out the pockets. It’s a bummer not to have them but it looks infinitely better.

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          EmilyD
          4 Jun 2019
          10:17am

          Have you tried red underwear? I Googled “bras to wear under white shirts” and they suggested red, which bizarrely, magically kind of works.

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    c.w.
    3 Jun 2019
    7:17am

    I love wearing white winter or summer even though I’m a “spiller.” The J.Crew linen shirt is going in my shopping bag for sure. I’ve promised myself that this summer I will take the time to go to Nili Lotan and try on her pants to see what the fit is like on my body so the Tel Aviv pants may end up in my shopping cart as well. And as to fit…I have a pair of faded black Madewell jeans and love them soooooo…..I’m reaching the hide-the-credit-card stage! What a GREAT selection of white!

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      y.k.
      3 Jun 2019
      11:55pm

      I made same oath -heading to Nili Lotan when I’m in NYC later this month!

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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