All Whites Are Not Created Equal

 Classic Carolina Herrera with a pop of color

Classic Carolina Herrera with a pop of color

I love sales – especially final, 70% off sales! Saks is one of my favorite store because they have quality clothes that range from new designers to those who are very well known and very expensive. The best part is that their sales are fantastic. I had been shopping with a client a couple of weeks ago but had not had the opportunity to go back and look at anything for myself. Prompted by an email with news of an additional markdown, I made time to visit the store! One thing that I noticed this season is the predominance of white. It reminds me of Carolina Herrera, a noted New York designer who always has an elegant, feminine collection. She is a beautiful lady with a classic persona. Edgy would never be a term used to describe her or her collections.

More ivory -- adorable!
More ivory — adorable!

However, her signature mode of personal dress is a beautiful white blouse with a skirt or slacks. A long taffeta skirt with an elegant white blouse could easily be her choice for attending an evening event while selecting a classic white blouse to top off her traditional skirt or slacks for day wear. If you are thinking that this is the time to stock up on white because,  How could you possibly go wrong with white? here are some cautions. All whites are not created equal! There are icy whites, warm whites, creamy whites, ivory, ecru and the list goes on and on.

Punch it out with red!
Punch it out with red!

The first consideration is to match the white shade of your teeth and the whites of your eyes. Your best shade of white will be to pick a tone that complements both your teeth and the whites of your eyes. Many people may discover that the whites of their eyes are not truly white or their teeth are more a creamy white than an icy white. A very white shade will magnify the difference of your teeth or eyes and not be as flattering.

Black and white punch.
Black and white punch.

This morning I was at a business breakfast and found that the man and two women in front of me in the breakfast line were all wearing a combination of black and white. Each expressed his/her personality in a different way and looked so right. Had they switched their choices around, it would have been all wrong. That’s the power of knowing your style. I find that an icy white is difficult for many people to wear well. It may resemble the uniforms nurses wore years ago.

Same blouse - pop of color
Same blouse – pop of color

It can look clinical and sterile. White is a wonderful fresh, cool color for summer but may need a splash of color to add the punch you need. I found two white dresses that I really liked. One was more of an ivory color, mainly lace but it projected a dressier look thus was not as versatile. The other was a pure white and a great design for business but did not fit as well. The other factor is that my teeth are much more ivory than sparkling white. I chose the lace knowing I would still have many occasions to wear it, it fit like a glove, and the ivory was my best white.

Warm white for this blonde.
Warm white for this blonde.

Let’s not forget that the 70% off price made it a superb buy even if I didn’t have quite as many options in times that I could wear it. I encourage you to take time to discover which is “your” white.   It is a great basic for your wardrobe but will look best when you discover which shade is best for you and if you need a pop of color.

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