Get White on It

How to wear the color of the season

First we saw it in force on the red carpet (remember Emmy Rossum and Portia de Rossi at the Golden Globes?), and now it's splashed all over the fashion magazines. The color white has reinvented itself this season and has made a comeback. If you follow a few rules, you can keep it crisp, classic, clean and pretty. Rule number one: Wear off-white underwear (without a pattern), so you can't see it through your skirt or pants. Same goes for bras under tops.

 

White Accessories

Do ketchup and coffee gravitate to you? If you're prone to dripping on yourself and would prefer to stay away from white clothing, then accessories are the way to go. White bags make the perfect sophisticated statement with any outfit. In fact, straw bags are en vogue right now, so go ahead and kill two trends with one stone, and get yourself a white straw bag this season. White sandals can look killer whether you're dressing up or dressing down '- no need to wait until after Memorial Day. (That old rule went out with shoulder pads.) Or throw on a white belt and wristwatch as the finishing touch to that blah navy outfit you have on, and voila '- "nautical chic" is your new look.

White accessories are white hot, but when it comes to shoes, remember these rules: No scuffed-up white shoes allowed '- keep 'em clean and in good condition. White pumps are hard to pull off '- even when you're trying to achieve a very '80s look. Stick to sandals. White shoes and stockings are a no-no '- unless of course you are a nurse.

 

Sporty White

Sporting your whites isn't just for tennis anymore. White-on-white is a fashion yes-yes when it comes to fashionable wardrobing. A feminine white top paired with a skirt or a slim-fitting turtleneck and wide-leg trousers will score you big points. To give this sleek look personality, throw on some coral or turquoise accessories. If all-white isn't your game, then try "mixed singles" by pairing white jeans with a navy striped top or a white jacket with jeans and gold sandals. Check out KennethCole.com for some win-win white separates.

 

Dressy White

Nothing says sexy like a white dress for evening. And just because it's white, that doesn't mean you have to wear it tight. While form-fitting jersey dresses can sizzle, not all women can wear them. Try a double-layer linen or organza dress with layered thin gold chains around your neckline. And the hot white skirt suit can replace your little black dress for the season with a pair of trendy metallic sandals or two-tone black and white heels. For a sexy, dressy look, wear a full skirt or puffed-sleeve jacket with something slim on the top or bottom.

 

White Basics

A white button-down shirt looks chic and fresh with cropped jeans and colorful flats, or dressed up with a full skirt and a fabulous necklace. Think back to Sharon Stone at the 1998 Oscars. She drew raves in her men's white shirt and lavender wrap Vera Wang skirt, all cinched in back with a dragonfly pin.

White denim should be at the top of your shopping list for the season. Buy white jeans long and lean or cute and cropped, but buy them right away. A white denim jacket is so versatile it can be worn with everything from a full skirt to print pants.

As for an all-purpose bag, a white "slouchy" bag will last you the whole season. Click on ColeHaan.com or Botkier.com for great selections.

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