Choosing a title for this article was a big dilemma for me, I admit, because I don’t really believe that white has a widening effect. I do believe, however, that unlined white trousers can pose a problem and that the area around the pockets can be a bit of an issue for those with wider hips. We’re mostly apprehensive about white, because we’ve heard countless times how it optically widens us and adds a few extra pounds. On the other hand, just take a look at some of the plus size labels, and you’ll see that their collections actually entail a lot of white pieces, sometimes even head-to-toe. So, where does the truth lie? And most of all, how to wear white? I’ve assembled some advice for you.
The bottom part is usually more problematic
I learned from a very talented Italian stylist that the bottom part is always more questionable than the top, but the good news is that we notice the top first. This means it’s definitely worth emphasising it, so use this part to play around with white. Bow and lace blouses are trending right now, as are off-shoulder tops and light ponchos, which help us transform our summer wardrobes into autumn ones. Opt for these pieces and style them with contrasting colours on the bottom: a floral skirt, black pants, and definitely some high waist pieces.
The “white pants don’t suit everybody” myth
Fashion gurus are clear about this: there are white pants for every woman and every figure. I can agree with them, but I also have to stress that the low quality, unlined pieces are better left alone; they look bad even on models, the only exception are 16-year old girls, but that’s another story. Skinny pants require a longer shirt; the bum and hips are usually the most common problem areas, so make sure they’re covered properly. This doesn’t mean wearing a tent for a shirt, however. Always opt for pieces that are right for you and emphasise them with a wide belt, if necessary.
Play with proportions
This is key when styling white, so use layering or go with wide bottom pieces and skinny tops, and vice versa. The proportion play gives materials life and movement, which creates a more harmonic, more appealing figure. This fact remains: a white outfit requires a certain amount of confidence; don’t fret over your hips, thighs or bum, it’s just your figure. Focus on your fortes instead and put these tips to good use to make you look gorgeous.
Use different materials
White is the most universal colour, which is great, of course, because you can wear something made of cotton, silk, linen, lace, tulle or whatever you prefer. It’s always good to mix different materials as this creates a much more diverse and intriguing look. This also diverts attention away from problem areas; if you wear a tight white T-shirt and you have some belly fat, it will show, but if you wear a longer knitted piece over the T-shirt, it will hide the waist and bypass the issue. Similar is true for trousers: style them with a white lace tunic and add a pair of high heels. Don’t forget, if the top is longer, it can shorten your legs, so do wear the heels.
The importance of accessories
Belts are imperative, they play a huge part in styling white. If you’re still apprehensive, opt for a thin belt in a contrasting colour, such as black or cognac, which is a still a big trend. This helps break the ensemble and make the outfit even more wearable‒and probably less demanding for you. Matching the colour of the belt to your shoes and/or bag is another helpful trick to elevate the level of elegance.
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