A dash of white to cure your winter woes
Can't wait for spring? A splash of white in your wardrobe is an instant perk-me-up
On mannequin: Hat, Aldo, $15 reduced to $6.98, aldoshoes.com; flower on hat, $5.50, Claire's, claires.com; shawl worn as scarf, Pins and Needles, $39, Urban Outfitters, urbanoutfitters.com (Bill Hogan/Tribune photo)
Sure, we can whine and whimper about the weather or we can do something positive — like go shopping.
Buying something white or "winter white" — another name for ivory/cream — is the perfect pick-me-up and can transition smoothly from now into spring, when, incidentally, the fashion gods have declared that we will be wearing a huge amount of white.
To join the whiteout trend doesn't have to cost much more than a season's worth of SPF 45. All but one of the items shown here are priced less than $40.
Much of the white clothing and accessories now in stores is on sale and that includes clothes lightweight enough to work now and well after the flowers bloom, too.
"Winter white looks extremely elegant and very sophisticated … and teams beautifully with black, gray, camel, navy blue," says Gregg Andrews, a fashion director for Nordstrom.
"Mixing your whites is very chic. … The key to it is, you have to mix your texture," Andrews explains.
"The nice thing about whites is you can layer them. They don't have to match," says Susan Swimmer, fashion features editor for More magazine. "White gets more interesting when it's layered." Consider, for example, a flouncy blouse like the one on this page, layered beneath a sweater and over a lace-trimmed cami, all in varying shades of cream.
See photos of Ellen's winter white picks here
It's almost a fashion cliche by now that nothing beats a great white shirt, but Swimmer says "get one with an interesting collar, or neckline, or tuxedo pleating down the front."
I think even a simple, crisp, classic shirt can look great and entirely modern teamed with an interesting sweater or jacket. I keep going back to the label Foxcroft for wash-and-wear convenience. No ironing! Ever. (Find them at Nordstrom, suepatrick.com and, if you hit it right, your local Goodwill store.)
Just sporting some white Elton John-esque sunglasses can make you feel better about the gloom.
What could be more counterintuitive for kicking winter to the curb than wearing a pendant that looks as if it's been hacked off a glacier. But somehow it seems summery fresh.
An armload of ivory bangles, mixed with gold, are a good winter antidote and you'll find them by the bowlful at mass retailers like Forever 21 (at less than $5 each). Ditto for shoulder-grazing earrings in faux moonstone or feathers.
--Mind your underthings: Nude, not white, bra beneath a sheer top
--Cream-colored clothes best for winter-to-spring transition: Save bright white for later.
--Mix multiple white shades and textures:
--Look for end-of-season markdowns on lighter weight (non-wool) winter white clothes and accessories