Last week while getting dressed, my crisp white jeans caught my eye and I grabbed them. I wore them with my leopard Vans and a black sweater and headed out, not thinking much about it. The commentary that followed about having white jeans on “already?” (“Isn’t that a look for after Memorial Day?”) made me head to the good old world wide web to try uncover where this outdated rule came from, and why.
Looking back in history, leisure clothes were not common in the early 20th century, although the rules of decorum began to loosen in the summer months. Appropriate attire was required again at summer’s end. In 1894, Labor Day became a federal holiday, and over time society esposed it as the natural endpoint for summer fashion. Unless you were wearing “winter white” aka cream, or going on holiday, white pants, shoes and the like were considered unacceptable after this time. The clothing changes clearly distinguished those who were wealthy and those who were not and over time this fell away, yet somehow the rules of wearing white remained.
My Vogue A Trois for this week is a pair of white denim pants, the 8040 Tali Zip, from one of my favorite jean labels, J Brand. White jeans are beautiful blank slate on which write a story about who you want to be that day. The fabric is good year round and the ankle zip is modern and versatile.
It’s all about the hip sneaker this spring, people. Whether they are an embellished, metallic or patterned style, sneakers are everywhere. I love this pair of Splendid Solano Sneakers because they are two trends in one—cool footwear and metallics. The Paige Denim Audrey Mixed Print Silk Shirt is a really pretty combination of stripes and floral in grey and white. Wear it under the pink cropped Zara jacket and paint your nails Essie’s Pop Art Pink to match. The House of Harlow Nomadic Warrior Arrow-Fringe Necklace and the Michael Kors Small Sloan Jeweled Flap Bag give your look just the right amount of edge so you are a little bit sweet and a little bit salty.
The white denim pant has a skinnier leg with cool zipper details that work well with a heel. The Miu Miu Floral-Print Point Toe Pumps make a gorgeous statement against the pure white pants. Add the Madewell Stripe Market Popover, tucking it in on one side in the front, and add another bit of blue with this Sole Society Polka Dot Scarf. Rock these pearl colored Kate Spade New York Della shades when the sun comes out and don’t forget a statement bag. I have a long-standing love affair with the Chloe Marcie Bag and this Laguna Blue couldn’t be more fabulous. It complements the floral shoes without competing with it for attention. The Armani Exchange Sarena Gold Bracelet Watch with its blue watch face is an elegant touch.
This rag & bone Talia V-Neck Sweater from the Spring 2014 Collection was spotted on more fashion editors than one could count this past month, and has been touted as one of the most covetable items for this season. Its sport chic vibe and modern take on a classic look make it a very versatile piece. It looks as at home with jeans and boots and it would with leather shorts or a swingy skirt and has an understated graphic appeal. I gave it a high/low look, with Manolo Blahnik Soussaba Leather Pointed Flats (another covetable trend in flats this spring), a J.Crew linen pocket tee in grey, a leather and metal H&M necklace, and the iconic Chanel flap bag in a summery crochet style. Tom Ford’s lipsticks are the gold standard, and this Flamingo color flies off the shelves.
Anyone who has read my past posts knows that I am not a rule follower, especially a rule that came from who-knows-where, and is incredibly outdated at that. What I do adhere to is this: fabric matters. You’ll freeze in linen pants in January and you will be extremely hot in velvet in July. Common sense about fabric—yes. Nonsense rules about colors—no. And white denim, any time of the year.