Ask Lex: When is it Okay to Start Wearing White?

Reader: The weather is changing now. Is it ok to wear a white outfit before Memorial Day?

This is a tough one! Yes and no. For the early spring it’s okay to start adding pops of white to your look, but a full blown all white look might be premature. Not because Memorial Day has not come and gone, but more so because all white has a very summery feel. You can’t skip over spring style!

The important thing is to mix white into your look subtly. Rather than going immediately for the bright whites, go for an off-white. Instead of wearing white head-to-toe, offset the white piece with a pop of color. Your white looks should be attention grabbing, but not for the wrong reasons. Here’s how to do it like a pro.

Go neutral

Tone down your white with neutral colors like tan, gray, and blush. It’s a great tasteful way to dip your toes into the pool rather than diving right it in. When worn this way you could do it year round.

Wear with pops of color

If you want to go the opposite route of neutral, try adding a pop of color instead. White pairs nicely with pastels, but just as well with brights/neons.

Go for prints

When it comes to skirts/dresses rather than submerging into full white, try flirting with prints. It’s just white enough that you’ll get that desired pop, but not so white that you’re jumping the gun. It’s a bit soon for flowy white dresses outside of wedding related activities (when you’re the bride).

Toughen it up with leather

A perfect way to wear white is to spice it up with some leather. At first glance you might think that the two don’t pair well together. It’s actually an ideal juxtaposition.

Wear white shoes and accessories

When all else fails, you can break out the white shoes and accessories. Whether its pumps, bags, or sunglasses, pops of white are especially valid this time of year. It can be your way of saying you’re ready for spring/summer.

Don’t wear the full suit, but do wear the blazer

I actually got two Ask Lex questions regarding white. One was more broad (above), while one touched on if it’s okay to wear a white suit this time of year. I decided to roll both questions into one giving the suit question a dedicated bullet. The answer is subjective, but I personally think it’s way to soon for a white suit. Maybe around Easter weekend you can break it out, but even then I’d say hold off.

You can start wearing your white blazer that comes with the suit though! Pair it with jeans, layer it over prints, or wear it over a dress. The combinations are truly endless with white blazers. It should be a spring staple (especially for the office).

When do you think it’s okay to start wear white?

*Lex answers questions on Tuesdays. All submissions are anonymous.