Updated on October 21, 2022 by Sarina Tariq
When I think of a well-groomed, immaculately dressed person, I always have the image of one dressed in a white shirt; always!
The color of the first dress of a baby is almost always white. A lot of brides do not think beyond white for their wedding day. When a doctor wears white, it reassures you that you are in safe hands.
The starkest of whites to off-colour whites – there are many shades to the color white and all of them or some of them or at least one of them are favorites of many.
White is the preferred color when you want to look clean or when you want to feel light or when you want to experience coolness or when you want to seem simple. It gives off the impression of purity, innocence, and perfection. When you want to depict something as modern you have white foremost in mind.
White color is a classic; whatever be the fashion of any particular time white is always in fashion. And it is like a clean canvas; you can make a masterpiece out of it, if you have the mind.
But there are some disadvantages to white color, sacrilegious as it may sound. White can make you look bigger, wider. It attracts your eyes and keeps them. It also attracts dirt. So unless you are careful you may not be able to hold on to the immaculate look for long.
Another thing is that if you use white as it is without any relief, if you are not careful you may end up looking too perfect and uninteresting – like a hospital bedsheet.
White has to combine well with other colors to bring it to its full potential. It also has to go well with your skin tone. Here are some tips on how you can do this, in fashion.
Does White suit you?
Shades of White color
When you are in a shop looking for white clothes you will notice that the white you thought was the white you wanted is no longer the white you want. There are so many different types of white – the white of the snow is different from the white you associate with smoke or that of paper white, or that of the milk. The white in your mind is no longer among the different white shades in the shelf.
Most whites are not truly whites -they are blue white, yellow whites and grey whites. Blue white undertones in a fabric makes it appear really bright. The yellow undertones in a fabric makes it look silky smooth.
You can notice the difference in the picture above because you have them side by side. But if they are kept separate you will say all whites are just whites.
- Whites with grey undertones -Silver white, Blanc de blanc
- Whites with blue undertones – Snow white, Bone white, Winter white, Egg shell white
- Whites with yellow undertones – Creamy white, Ivory white, Frost white, pristine white.
White shades – suitability according to skin tone
If you have black skin, most whites suit you. If you have a warm toned skin, you should prefer whites with a creamy tone. If you have cool skin tone, whites with blue undertones are better looking. But if you have very pale skin, better not to wear white (on its own) because it can make you look washed out. But for a lot of us white is a flattering color to wear
White color combinations for clothes
White and blue
This is a universally liked combination.
My favourite color combination is an ice blue and white.
White color and neutrals
White is great with most neutral colors especially beige, browns, and greys.
White with pastels
Pastels and white are a soothing combination with an elegant look.
Whites with bold and bright colors
You can pair white with bright colors like turquoise and coral. Many bright colors pair up well with white.
Emerald green and white is another great combination. All yellows combine well with white.
All white clothes
Too much of even a good thing is bad. So when you overdo white and choose it for all your fashion pieces – white dress, shoes, tights, hair bands, jewelry – you may either look washed out or artificial or worse, out of fashion.
When you want to go for an all-white look, choose whites with different tones. Or for different textures on white. You can also add a touch of other colors with accessories – go for striking jewelry and other accessories.
How not to wear white?
There are times when you may not want to wear white color – if you are in any of the Anglosphere countries and have to attend a funeral, you will not be wearing white. If you are going to a wedding where you know that the bride is wearing white, it is appropriate (and good mannered) if you do not wear white.
Another very important aspect for many – White can make you look broader. That is a bummer for many of us who love white. A white colored object reflects all other colors of light that fall on it ; consequently makes the body wearing this color clothing look bigger. So most often it is the least preferred color for any part of the body that you do not want the focus to be on.
But there are workarounds. You can wear it for that part of the body that you want to accentuate.
If you want a leaner look and you still want to wear white, it is better to go for a monochromatic look by choosing white all over or paired with a light-colored fabric, rather than wearing it with other bright or dark colors
Wear skin-colored under white clothes.
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