The x factor

White’s right

June 28 - July 5, 2006
Gulf Weekly White’s right

There’s something cool and refreshing about white clothing that makes it chic all summer long.

Since it reflects light and absorbs perspiration, making it less noticeable than other colours, the wearer looks cool and collected, even when the temperature soars. Small wonder that white has been a long-time favourite of residents of hot climates.
Now that the temperature’s rising, it’s time to take a quick look at some basic guidelines for wearing white. While some of the old rules have relaxed in recent years, there are still some factors to consider when wearing white:
1) Always wear flesh-coloured underwear. Years ago, the rule was to wear white under white. Not anymore. Since white bra, panties, and camisole lines tend to show through, your undergarments will be less obtrusive in flesh tones.
2) Be careful where you put your white since white reflects light and makes things appear larger, don’t wear solid white on your largest body parts only, like your chest, hips, or thighs, because it will make those areas look bigger. Instead, opt for white monochromatic ensembles, which elongate, or wear white on a small body part.
3) Stay clear of white stockings unless you’re a nurse, a bride, or under age five, white hosiery has no place in your wardrobe. Yes, it was popular 20 years ago thanks to Lady Diana because it did for her what it does for everyone: it “chopped her up” visually and made her look shorter.
4) Think twice about wearing white shoes, white shoes scream “summer!” and are a popular choice for warm weather months. But since white shoes make your feet look bigger and can also visually “chop up” your leg and make you look shorter, they may not be the best choice. Look for shoe styles that elongate, or steer clear of white shoes entirely and opt for flesh-coloured shoes instead.
5) Don’t wear white to a wedding unless you’re the bride or in the bridal party. While a white blouse worn under a different-coloured garment is acceptable, (like a pastel suit, for example), the tradition still holds firm: white is reserved for the bridal party. Don’t try to compete with the bride on her big day.
6) If you don’t like the way white looks on you or if white just isn’t your colour, try an off-white shade instead like ivory, eggshell, or oyster. Pure white looks good on only a fraction of the population, so you are not alone. Try another light shade instead.
Wearing white is a great way to look chic, stay cool, and enjoy the warm weather months. If you employ these tips when you dress, you can look calm, cool, and collected – even on the hottest days.

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