InStyle’s Special Projects Editor Cindy Weber Cleary has been a fashion editor for the past 20+ years. Needless to say, she’s picked up some tricks along the way. Catch her column here each week for how-to tips and style secrets on her favorite, timeless styles.
There is something so yummy about wearing "winter white"! Just think of the synonyms: vanilla, alabaster, cream, banana, pearl, blonde, ivory—it’s a rich color palette that brings to mind the foam on my daily skim latte. It’s a little touch of luxury that works whether you’re in a cold climate or a warm one, depending on the weight of the fabrics. No wonder so may designers gravitate towards pale shades at this time of year!
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The key to wearing stark white as a grown-up woman is to avoid anything too virginal or bridal, such as lace or chiffon. I saw an acquaintance on the beach last summer wearing an eyelet cover-up. The contrast of this girlish fabric with her mature, tan complexion wasn’t flattering (note to self). Crisp cotton, pique, linen, or structured fabrics in white-white are fine. A white shirt is an essential for women of all ages!
reiss.com; COS shirt dress, $125, cosstores.com; Protagonist pants, $640, theline.com.
In general, I think it’s easier for women of a certain age to wear warmer tones, such as ivory. The softer color easier on one’s complexion and still brings light to your face. And, remember, you don’t necessarily want to wear pale shades head to toe. Always put the lightest colors on your slimmest body part and place darker shades where you want to deflect attention. Personally, I love a creamy sweater and coat paired with a charcoal or black bottom, which works best for my figure.
bananarepublic.com; A.L.C. zip up, $325, intermixonline.com; Eileen Fisher jeans, $178, eileenfisher.com.
The other gorgeous way to pull off this look is to use texture to create interest while keeping everything tonal. Simply pair a hand-knit turtleneck with a flat-knit trouser or a partially sequined skirt with a crisp white shirt. Or throw a faux-shearling coat over white jeans and a crew-neck for a chic, comfortable look with an Aspen-ready vibe. You don’t need to be traveling somewhere fabulous, but why not look like you are?
harrods.com; J Brand turtleneck, $398, intermixonline.com; Whistles skirt, $330, whistles.com.