Head-to-toe white is a trend I’m hugely enjoying for this summer but one I fear I should watch from the sidelines.
It’s chic, elegant and expensivelooking, even when you haven’t spent a fortune. But Colgate white, as Vogue has dubbed it, is an intimidating trend for mere mortals, especially those of us who have two small children. It’s a dilemma because some truly breathtaking white designs came down the catwalk for Spring / Summer 2022..
There were loose-fitting pleats belted at the waist at Hermes; mini skirts and matching bandeau tops at Valentino; and layered looks with voluminous shirts tucked into tiered skirts at The Row. But white is a lifestyle – you need one nanny per child and a driver.
Dress, £ 169, phaseeight. com; heels, £ 95, dune london. com
I’m not a neat person, I’ve accepted that, but I can start the day looking almost presentable. However, I can’t stop children’s jam-covered mitts ruining a fabulous pair of white trousers before I’ve even left the house.
Jumpsuit, 149, whistles.com; trainers, 195, meandem.com; necklace, £ 349, daisyjewellery.com
Dress, 150, meandem. com; sandals, 55.99, zara.com
I so want to be the woman that slips into Me + Em’s pure cotton cheesecloth dress, with its flattering deep V-neck and drop waist. I want to stroll down a Caribbean beach wearing it, gazing longingly into the eyes of my husband (not my real husband, of course – the sort of husband who could also wear white and keep it white).
Wearing it head-to-toe to an event could work (no children, taxis there and back) and that’s when I’d be investing in Ghost’s fabulous double-breasted suit, which is sophisticated without being stuffy.
Left: Blazer, £ 225, and trousers, £ 195, ghost. co.uk; earrings, £ 125, merola.co.uk; necklace, £ 349, daisy jewelery. com. Right: Top, £ 79, and skirt, £ 89, mintvelvet. co.uk; heels, £ 225, russell and bromley. co.uk
The key is to experiment with textures and tones. White denim makes a great base, so if you don’t own a pair of jeans now is the time to treat yourself. Try a wide-leg design, which is more forgiving, and fashionable, than skinnies. Or dive straight into Whistles’ fabulous white denim jumpsuit. With its fitted waist and cropped legs, it looks great with trainers or flat, strappy sandals.
Blazer, £ 139, and shorts, £ 79, mintvelvet. co.uk; vest top, £ 25, albaray. co.uk; loafers, £ 155, camillaelphick. com
Another place to start might be a crisp white shirt. And a white accessory will work for even the messiest of us. Zara’s selection of block-heeled summer sandals are fabulous, and you can’t go wrong with a pair of trainers from Me + Em. Go on, live dangerously and give it a try … just avoid the children’s spaghetti bolognese.
Blouse, £ 125, Ganni at fenwick. co.uk; jeans, £ 90, jigsawonline.com; bag, £ 225, russell andbromley. co.uk; sandals, 32.99, zara.com