Sheer white top

Monochromatic White Outfit: How Texture and Shine Makes It Interesting

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Wearing a monochromatic white outfit does not have to be boring at all. By adding in texture and/or shine, you can take it from ho-hum to Wowza!!

Quote of the day: “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others.” Brain Tracy

I was happy to see some spring trends for 2022 that could be put together with our existing closets. And the monochromatic white outfit was one that fit the bill. In fact, we are going to showcase the idea in a couple of different ways.

Lesley started off by adding a statement necklace. Now Charlotte is adding texture and shine to the look that was inspired by the runway photos below.

Other options:
White and cognac
Cream with white

Pants: XOXO~~ Top: Mom made it~~ Shoes: no label-Bealls ~~ Purse: no label-from Caribbean cruise ~~Hat: Columbia-thrifted

Charlotte’s History with Monochromatic White Outfits

My mom tells me that this monochromatic white outfit trend isn’t new to her. She used to wear all white with a bright-colored shell and scarf back in the day. (Remember when we called those silky tops, “shells”?)

In today’s look which may not include a bright-colored top yet, I think the addition of the sheer and textured top creates an interesting look.

Even though the pants are plain white along with the hat, the top becomes the focal point and the shoes add the shine.
The only thing that isn’t “white” is the band around the hat, which could always be removed if you didn’t want it there.

Women over 80 in white

Sheer and Textured Top

My mom made this top many years ago.

In her words, “The fabric for the blouse has a scalloped edge so I used it for the hem and also for the sleeve hems. Being a knit material, over time the sleeves have stretched longer so I had to create a fold above the hem and sew it down so it wouldn’t hang down over my hands.
I lined the body of the blouse with a solid white material. This same pattern got made into about 4-5 different tops because it was easy to make.”

Insider tip: There are many ways to “shorten” sleeves when you think creatively. What Charlotte did makes it look intentional since the body of the top has an opaque underlining.

The idea of sheer sleeves is one that I think is perfect for women in the summer if you prefer to have your arms covered. You get the coverage but it’s not as covered as normal.

BTW, you can see how my mom has worn this shirt many other times. She wore it with her pleated skirt, her fringe skirt, and with a kimono outfit.

White Accessories Too

There are many options on how to accessorize a monochromatic white outfit. If you want to keep it all white, then you can do as Charlotte did and wear white accessories. These pearlized white earrings are very old, yet they still look great with her look.

Just because some jewelry doesn’t get worn all the time doesn’t mean you should throw it out. The advantage to accessories is you can gain 10 pounds and they still fit.

Even though we think of white as something for the warmer months, I think white accessories can be used in the colder months to brighten up a darker outfit too.

Insider tip: The best way to make sure you wear what you have is to stop categorizing it as summer/winter or any other groupings you use. I talked about this especially when thinking about how to wear your workwear when retiring. The secret is to stop thinking of it as workwear, LOL!

Charlotte is wearing her belt bag but styled it as a crossbody bag instead. Not all belt bags can do this as easily as others, but it’s smart to try it.

Insider tip: Remember, some belt bags enable you to change out the belt if you want it to be a different material, length, or color.

Texture makes a monochromatic white outfit interesting

White Pants are Ageless

I feel like anyone can wear white pants or jeans. Sure, I discussed the ways to get around the stain issue and the times you shouldn’t wear them in the previous post. But if you worry that they make you look bigger, then I hope that you rethink that idea.

One of the mindsets I hope we can learn (no matter what age you are) is that there is no rationale for looking smaller, taller, or any other “er” than you are. If you analyze the why behind many of the “rules” we have learned for style, it is very subjective.
Who decided we should look tall and thin? Why is that the industry standard right now? Does anyone else notice that the “beauties” of the Renaissance art times were all larger women?

Besides the truth of the matter is that fit can be a bigger factor in looking great in our clothing. I understand the science that dark colors appear to recede while lighter colors appear to advance. Yet every one of you is a fabulous person, and shouldn’t be receding at all!!

Insider tip: The important factor with white pants is if they are too thin and see-through. This is where having brands that you know are of better quality can help. While seeing them in person is the key, online shopping can still be successful.
The secret? Make sure you know the return policy before you add any item to your cart. If you have to return it, it’s not a failure, but part of the shopping experience.

Glitter Sneakers

The shine in Charlotte’s outfit is her metallic sneakers. Don’t think that glitter anything has to be relegated to either New Year’s Ever OR for kids only.
I know I see a lot of glitters when looking through the children’s section, but I bet you are young at heart. So there is no reason you shouldn’t wear glitter any time you want.

Having fun sneakers like these are a sure-fire way to feel modern and young. Since the glitter looks white, it’s perfect as part of this monochromatic white outfit. It may be “white” but it adds interest since it’s shiny.

If glitter just seems too much for you, then check out the metallic footwear options. I remember one reader telling me she was so glad she bought a pair of metallic sandals because she could wear them with everything and she received loads of compliments.
And that was over 3 years ago so they just don’t go out of style.

Spring trend of all white outfit

What if White Washes You Out?

Sometimes stark whites aren’t a great option for your complexion. I’m a huge proponent of wearing colors that make us glow, but on the other hand, I also believe in wearing what you like. As discussed recently, color analysis can be very helpful yet we shouldn’t let it deter us from the items we love.

One thought would be to wear an all-white column of color with a colorful topper as seen here.

Related posts:
5 ways to wear a bad color
Making your worst color look terrific

You probably already realize that not all whites are created equal. Just because something is called “white” doesn’t mean it looks exactly the same as other white items.
In fact, has anyone ever looked at which colors make up “white” paint? Trust me, there are tons of different combinations and thus they can all look different against our skin.

So hopefully you don’t rule out a white piece until you see how it really looks on you.

Monochromatic white outfit

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

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