Absolutely loving this glorious July heatwave. The high summer heat is hitting both sides of the pond in Ottawa and the UK at the moment. I bloody love the heat. Bring on the chance to lie in the sun, take it easy and keep, erm….hydrated, clink, clink! Some ‘ice and a slice’ along with my sunnies and I’m set to go. But when it’s this hot what do you wear in the day? Not alone what do you wear to work? Or what do you wear as you hustle around the city, hot as hell?
A white outfit. Instantly my body temperature feels a few centigrade cooler in white. A full-on, true all white outfit, psychologically delivers that damp cloth to a fevered brow. Do you have one? Now I’m not just talking a little white boho top or some summer white jeans. You also can’t count that Saturday Night Fever ‘John Travolta’ white suit, you have stashed away with those paint cans!!
So, this all began with a swipe on my iPad during a 10 minute indulgence of Instagram on the sofa. To give you an idea of how special this moment was then, it ticked all the boxes for comfort and happiness. This moment was a no-bra, hair-up, face mask on, glass of wine half drunk and pj shorts with no waist ties left in them, granting me to proceeded & tuck into some serious sea-salt popcorn, in fact, a huge great big bloody bucket full. As I’m joyfully swiping and ‘liking’ to my heart’s content, I came across this beautiful pic below of Chlöe Sevigny in a true show stopper white (or even off-white but frankly who cares about the bloody exact shade) it’s clearly not my comfort zone of a black or stripe outfit.
Now, Chlöe is one of those cool girls who was born with super cool style and a knack for taking anything that most of us would turn our nose up at in disgust and turn it into a lust worthy ‘key style piece’ for that season. The 41-year-old New York actress, model and fashion designer, with one image alone has just made me want to throw a great big lace net curtain over my body and reach for a Boater hat. Outfit perfection, Chlöe.
I have to admit that white is not a colour I gravitate towards. Not only because I’m a self-confessed disastrous, messy, spilling doll (no server or waitress jobs for me), but possibly because I associate white as a colour in the wardrobe that signifies ‘prim and proper’. I’m aware that I’m veering on the edge of being heavily prejudiced against the ‘white outfit potential’ in my wardrobe. Maybe that’s just the household supply of Resolve stain remover talking. Also, who doesn’t like to have the occasional spiffy ‘prim and proper’ moment once in while? Alas, I’m on a mission to address the summer whites wardrobe even further now. As a white outfit whispers ‘cool and high summer’ into my ear.
No wardrobe addition is complete without some research and delving into a spot of fashion history. So I thought I’d have a peek into what some true style icons of the decades 50’s-90’s gave us. Drumroll for some fabulous style inspiration please.
The Iconic white wardrobes of the past
The 50’s Marilyn Monroe
Claimed to be one of the most iconic images of the 20th Century, Marilyn Monroe stands on a subway grate in her white dress. This was a scene from the 1955 American romantic comedy film, “The seven-year itch”. Everyone knows that pose of her in her white dress. Marilyn dazzled in white and therefore claims the White wardrobe 50’s as hers. From the sultry fitted sexy dress to the white tulle playful skirt. She looked beautiful.
The 60’s Jackie Kennedy
Jackie Kennedy epitomizes the 1960’s for the white prep first lady style award. She wore beautiful white gowns on her tour of India in 1961. She nailed the simplicity of the 60’s necklines and rocked the shift dress shape. Accessorizing with her white gloves, white pillbox hats or veils were a must. However, we will always remember Jackie for her trademark strand of pearls.
The 70’s Bianca Jagger
No one rocks the white suit better than Bianca Jagger in my book. Jeepers Creepers did she make this whole look chic yet also appear effortless. Bianca Jagger oozed individual style. A big style moment in history is awarded to her wedding to Mick Jagger. The bride wore a custom-made YSL white skirt suit with a beautiful hat & sans bra. Absolutely breathtaking and so different for that period of time. Not your average bridal gear, alas not your average doll, Mick! Bianca continued to wear white and leave us in awe of her white suits, capes, head pieces and dresses. Absolutely bloody incredible. Standing ovation for Bianca.
The 80’s Debbie Harry from Blondie
Ahhhhh, Debbie. The lovely Debbie Harry from Blondie. This utterly fabulous style icon graced the album cover of the 1979 Album ‘Parallel Lines’ in a fab white little number. Her ultra simple white strappy dress looked amazing. This fab blonde continued to rock the white wardrobe in the 80’s with her essence of punk and cool. I wanted to be Blondie when I was a wee nipper dancing on my bed in my black satin trousers and messy hair,
no change there then! No other could own the ‘white wardrobe mistress’ title of the 80’s better than our Debs!
The 90’s Courtney Love
So who took the lingerie slip and vintage white gown to task and came out the other ‘style’ side smiling?! Yes, Courtney Love was the lead singer of the band ‘Hole’ and was prolific on the front line of the 90’s punk and grunge scenes. Not one to shy away from the public attention, Love’s marriage to Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, along with some uninhibited stage performances and song lyrics, resulted in catapulting her to take the throne of 90’s grunge Queen in one of her infamous white slips.
*all above images via pinterest
The Luxe Inspo
For a delightful touch of luxe and “poshity-posh’ then I take a trip over to the Net-a-Porter pages. There are some stunning pieces. None of them are my reality at the moment but that doesn’t stop me swiping away dreaming up imaginary shopping carts of some true winners. Look at these beats. If I wore any of these I could only consume water through a sippy cup with a side plate of dust!
Clockwise from the top left: Valentino cape back wool-crepe mini dress from Net-a-porter, Marni ruffled short dress from Farfetch.com, Chloe textured crepe mini dress from Matches fashion
The High Street Inspo
Mango’s spanish roots shine through with their collection of pretty white and ivory dresses. Perfect for hazy summer hot days. Great details along with some great price points. Summer sales time makes them even more appealing for these hot days.
Left to Right: Embroidered long dress, Embroidered dress, Embroidered detail dress (yes, Mango’s titles, not mine! )
Good old Gap always deliver some great cotton pieces and better still, they always have a Sale on or at least a discount code for online shopping. I love the simplicity of these white pieces. Three different styles for high heat but all with the same winning result.
Left to Right: Eyelet and mesh shirt dress, 1969 Denim slouch ankle destructed overalls, Linen fit and flare dress
Fab pieces from Topshop, we wouldn’t expect anything less. Love this off-shoulder dress. The waist tie detail nails it for me. But then again, the floral cutout and lace detail of the neighbouring outfits are sublime. So pretty and delicate but also easy to wear to go about your daily life.
Lace floral cutout dress by Glamorous, Airtex lace 2 piece outfit, Bardot white dress
Styling the white outfit
There are various ways to conquer the all white #OOTD outfit of the day. You can master the all whites regardless of body shape or comfort zones. Play with proportions and cloth weights. Inspired by Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran at the gig I attended last week, cue visions of white leather trousers on a man who does not give a f*&^ and just seemed to be enjoying his moment !! I had to wave ‘hello’ at this fab white leather biker jacket. Yes, I know this is too bloody hot to wear in a heatwave. But this is fantasy dressing and just bear with me as I dream of dressing for a day where I am not grocery shopping at Farm Boy, cleaning the bathrooms and going to watch a 9-year-old play baseball in the blistering sun. This white biker jacket and lace skirt is what I imagine myself wearing in New York as I nip out around town taking in an Art exhibit followed by drinks and a fashion chat with Lenadra Medine and then going for a fab dinner soaking up the summer city evening. Dream my friends, never stop daring to dream!
How I wear mine
The Hot Summers Day Dress
Back to reality now. I bought this Mango off-white dress a couple of Summers ago. Despite it only seeing the light of day in the months of July and August, I absolutely adore it. It is perfect for the scorchio days! It is light and roomy without any cling or restriction. I bloody hate the feeling of being restricted when it 40c out there. The cotton blend washes easily and then I just chuck it on. Bingo! I feel I will have this summer white beaut for a good few more summers to come too. It’s folklore boho essence in the embroidery captures that timeless vintage touch with a nod to the french designer, Isabel Marant. It may only creep out of my wardrobe for two months of the year but its a summer capsule winner in my heart. No regrets buying this baby. There are many dresses like this at the moment flying under the summer sales radar. I can’t recommend the ‘little summer white dress’ highly enough.
Wearing: Madewell straw fedora hat, Mango embroidered dress, Sam Edelman tan and gold leather sandals.
The Hot Summers ‘Hilda Ogden’ Ensemble
I really cannot be arsed to deal with my hair in the heatwave moments. With all the humidity we get in Ottawa’s summer months, I head for scary big frizz territory. Not too far off from Monica’s glory moment in that Friends episode. So when I’m bored with a hat, then I reach for a headscarf and give Coronation Street’s Hilda Ogden a good run for her money!! This is an easy ‘ready to chuck on and go’ outfit. A simple Gap tank and H&M white cotton skirt. Feels light, cool and airy. Love this bandana/hair tie from H&M. My hair is up and out of the way without even the sound of some dodgy singing as I clean the bar at the Rovers return!!
Wearing: H&M scarf as hair tie (current), Gap cotton tank, H&M white cotton skirt (current in sale for $10!!!!!!), J.Shoes suede sandals, Wilfred free suede bag.
Please don’t be scared by the lack of mascara in this pic. I don’t wear mascara on the crazy hot days as the thought of looking like Hilda Ogden crossed with Alice Cooper is just a little too much bear on the 35c+ days!!!
Calling all white outfits and Resolve stain remover bottles, across the land. Go fourth and conquer the great Summer heatwaves!