How to dress for a white party, without looking like a magician?

Dear reader,

The question was asked to us by a reader.

It is true that wearing all white can be intimidating. Many are not confident they could pull it off.

So here are some tips:

It is probably best to avoid the dress shirt. Play with textures: wear a more casual shirt like linen or oxford cloth button-down.

See if you can get away with off white, ecru colours, especially for linen.​​

Here, we find the off-white trousers to be more pleasant to look at, than the white shirt. Notice the suede shoes — great pairing.

Here, the off-white ensemble just works very well.

Avoid black leather goodyear welted shoes. Suede shoes with a thin sole are more appropriate – more casual, e.g. loafers.

This way, no-one will confuse you with a magician, or a nurse.

Unfortunate resemblance with a nurse…

White parties are usually hosted on warmer days, thus guests are not expected to dress very formally.

So don’t feel forced to wear a jacket. If you want to wear a suit, try linen.

Bear in mind that white linen shirts are see through. If you have fair skin and a dark hairy chest, it will show through the linen — try on before buying to make sure you feel good in a white linen shirt.

You don’t want to look like this:


The linen shirt and cotton chinos don’t pair well together

How about linen trousers?

It depends:

Dress linen trousers are fine. Even better, try a linen blend (e.g. linen with silk, cotton, or fresh wool).

Regular linen trousers could be too casual. Cotton chinos would be better in this situation.



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Jamie Larson