May 3, 2016

How To Wear White Right Now

white denim santin cami soft neutral outfit

Whites are trending big this season and neutrals have come so far from plain old tan. Soft, pastel hues like blush, dusty blue and mint have made their debut and become the new essentials to a well-rounded wardrobe. Neutrals have definitely garnered a bad rap over the years – deemed dull and boring, or overlooked in favor of more colorful trends. But when combined, neutrals can create an effortlessly chic and timeless look that’s surprisingly simple to pull off.

So if you’re looking for a refreshing spring style alternative…. 

AND

….you consider yourself a rebel, someone who prefers to live life on the edge, push limits, break rules and wear white any.day.of.the.year you please…

giphy (3)

 

then continue reading…

I know not everyone is sold on this trend (new mamas especially might find the idea laughingly unrealistic). You’re not alone; neutrals have never really been my cup of tea. My style has always centered around color – and lots of it – from the time I was old enough to dress myself (you can imagine what a mess I was in the ’90s).  But when outfits like these kept popping up all over Pinterest and Instagram, I became a woman obsessed with recreating a similar look for myself:

soft neutrals layered look

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soft neutrals, soft pastels, white denim

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Once I started experimenting I found it wasn’t all that difficult to achieve. And what good would I be if I didn’t share what I learned through my (many) trials and (many) errors with ya’ll?

Starting was hardest part. I was so convinced that none of my neutral pieces would work well together or that I wouldn’t be able to pull the look off.  Things got better when I stopped over-thinking.  Once I started playing around with varying hues, and different tones of neutral (or unusual color combos like ivory and cream or beige and light pink) things started to fall into place.   My biggest issue was finding an outfit that didn’t wash me out.  I learned that if I paired pastels (light blue or pink) with soft neutrals and white denim, I had an outfit that worked – without washing me out.   Here are few other styling tricks that worked for me:

1. Add Black Shoes or Black Bag to Create Contrast

neutrals outfits black shoes black bag

Adding contrasting-colored accents is another way to keep an all-neutral outfit from washing you out. Contrasting colors like black will break up the monotone look by adding interest and pulling your outfit together. When I switched from nude mules to black booties and added my black bag, I was shocked at how much better everything looked.

To keep the black boots balanced, it helps if you have a few heavier textures in your outfit.  Denim (jeans or a jacket), a sweater, or balancing the boots with a matching bag all seemed to do the trick.

overalls white beige sweater

Outfit Details :

Denim Jacket –KUT from the Kloth’s ‘Amelia’ Denim Jacket available at Nordstrom

Overalls – I can’t believe how much I love these relaxed fit white overalls I scored from Old Navy recently. The denim is good quality with the perfect amount of stretch.

Sweater – My sweater is an older version of Ann Taylor’s knitted beige sweater. Currently, a similar version from Ann Taylor.

Mules – I bought these dv Nya Booties at Target because they were having a sale and I loved the style. While affordable, they aren’t the most comfortable mules I’ve ever owned.

pastel off shoulder white denim2

Outfit Details:

Top – An open-shoulder, pastel blue top with straps that keep it right where it’s supposed to be. My version is from H&M and currently sold out but some similar tops include this  Lovers + Friends ‘Life’s a Beach’ Top , available on Amazon and Clu’s Off Shoulder Button Down Top in blue sold exclusively on Shopbop. Looking for a cheaper option? Try Lucy Love’s Hollie Cold Shoulder Top in Mineral blue on Amazon.

Jeans – My tried and true Democracy’s Booty Lift Cropped Jeans that I distressed myself (I have a DIY post in the works!)

Mules – Target’s dv Nya Booties

Bag – Another fav of mine, the ‘Kerry’ Fringe Crossbody Bag from Nordstroms has served me well these last few months.

2. Play with Layering and Different Textures

nuetrals collage 2

Mixing and matching textures is a great way to add interest and break up an all-neutral outfit. You can play with the different moods evoked by the individual textures. For example, a satin camisole has a delicate, feminine vibe but when you add a faux suede moto jacket, the look automatically becomes edgier and more playful. I paired a knit sweater with an eyelet embroidered white skirt and it a made a world of difference.

Also, I’m just beginning to understand just how useful layering is when it comes to styling outfits. Especially when dealing with that pesky washed out look. Clashing colored aren’t a problem here, so you can really play around with different combinations of texture, hues and styles to help perfect that all-neutral look.

 

white pencil skirt camel sweater 2

Outfit Details:

Sweater – same Ann Taylor knit

Skirt – I got my layered eyelet pencil skirt from Banana Republic last year during one of their ridiculous sales. The skirt most similar to mine is T by Alexander Wang’s Circle Cut Out Midi Skirt at Nordstroms. But a few cheaper options are  Nanette Lepore’s Easy Breezy Mesh Striped Pencil Skirt available at Neiman Marcus and White House Black Market’s super cute  Lace Cut-Out Pencil Skirt.

Shoes – My Adidas Performance Men’s Samba Classic Indoor Soccer Shoes are my favorite white sneakers at the moment. They’re super comfortable and go with just about everything. You can read how I styled mine here.

Bag – You guys know how I love my fringed accessories and Patricia Nash’s ‘Niccioleta’ Fringe Leather Bucket Bag from Nordstrom is no exception.

 

 

Outfit Details:

Overalls – Old Navy Overalls

Tee – Swing Tee also from Old Navy

Denim jacket – KUT from the Kloth’s ‘Amelia’ Denim Jacket available at Nordstrom

Mules –Target’s dv Nya Booties

3. Lighten Up The Outerwear

If I had to pick one piece that I relied on the most and wear constantly, it’s the pink, faux suede moto jacket.   For me, this piece was the key to really nailing that pretty, watercolor vibe.  Adding a darker jacket would’ve changed the look drastically.  This is the type of piece you can throw on with white jeans and tshirt and it’s interesting enough to make the outfit.

v satin cami suede moto_

whitejeans three laters final

Outfit Details:

Necklace –  18′ Gold Engraved Flowers Locket from Amazon

Jacket – Calvin Klein Women’s Faux Leather Moto Jacket Available on Amazon

Camisole  – Frame’s Sheer Cami Top on currently sale at Fwrd. A slightly less expensive and very similar version is available at Anthropologie.

Jeans –Democracy’s Booty Lift Cropped Jeans

Booties – My well loved Dolce Vita Jaeger Booties from Amazon

If you need some inspiration to get you started, here are a few of my favorite soft neutral pieces:

 

Hope this was useful for you guys and as always, I love hearing your thoughts and how you make this trend work for you!

Jess

10 Comments
  • abbieleigh
    May 3, 2016

    This was awesome. Extremely useful! Very glad that you addressed the washed out dilemma.

  • Yvonne K
    May 3, 2016

    That white mesh skirt looks so fresh and that bluish cami is gorgeous!

  • Belinda
    May 3, 2016

    perfect!

  • Laura Jansen
    May 3, 2016

    LOVE that faux jacket!! Perfect!

  • Stephanie S.
    May 3, 2016

    If I hadn’t seen the picture of you wearing the CK faux leather jacket, I never would have looked twice! Great inspo!

    • Jess Ross
      May 4, 2016

      I know, I wasn’t sold at first either, I alllllmost didn’t get it but now I wear it with everything!

  • Tanaya Mankad
    May 4, 2016

    Gorgeous! I am SO on board!

  • Sayonada Y T Laeng
    May 4, 2016

    What magical bra are you wearing under the cami?! (Also, totally trying this tonight!)

  • Houseofboys
    May 4, 2016

    I bought that eyelet BR skirt then returned it–wrong size. Do you wear it often because I heart it still but didn’t know if I’d wear a pencil skirt running about. (I’m totally a neutrals girl btw. I just declared-in my mind-that all I need are blue, dusty pink, various off whites. )

  • aross884
    May 23, 2016

    I must have the CK jacket – totally!

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