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How to pull off an all-white ensemble in bold new ways

Experts decode monochrome basics for sunny holidays

Deepika Padukone wore a white corset top from Dolce & Gabbana accessorised with a pair of statement gold earrings recently 
Deepika Padukone wore a white corset top from Dolce & Gabbana accessorised with a pair of statement gold earrings recently  (Instagram)

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As temperatures go up, so is our collective urge for a fuss-free closet that spells uncomplicated summer chic. For those itching to amp up their warm-weather wardrobe this season, look no further than Simone Rocha's frothy white dresses crafted with exaggerated collars and broderie anglaise trimmings.

White may be a given this season but its current iteration comes in playful knits -- perforated, crocheted and needled -- making it breezy, breathable and sensual at the same time.

Heading to a beach resort? Then your ultimate companions are Loewe's and Proenza Schouler's pointelle-knit dresses in whites and off-whites. You can't possibly go wrong in Chloe's smocked cotton poplin midi dress and Jil Sander's crochet knits.

Loewe Paula's Ibiza's white pointelle-knit dress
Loewe Paula's Ibiza's white pointelle-knit dress (

Back home, labels like Uri, Yavi and Summer Somewhere offer multiple options in white apt for a comfy escapist getaway - from pleated sundresses to forgiving tunics to strappy slips.

Recently an array of Bollywood stars have also gravitated towards pristine white ensembles. For instance, Alia Bhatt looked sophisticated in a monochrome trouser suit and Deepika Padukone sent the mercury soaring in a white corset off-shoulder look accessorised with a pair of statement gold earrings. Actor Bhumi Pednekar was a vision in a strappy white slip dress with a thigh-high slit. We got a panel of experts to suggest the coolest way to embrace monochrome this summer while avoiding the cliches.

Designer Mrunalini Rao of label Uri always encourages her clients to embrace simplicity when it comes to all-white. “It is the ultimate sophistication. Worn with a thoughtful curation of accessories, this timeless tone can lend incredible confidence and comfort to the wearer,” says Rao.

A design from Uri
A design from Uri

A spotless all-white ensemble holds immense potential. “For a pared-down summer-ready look, add minimal gold accessories – a layered chain necklace or a simple pair of hoops – or couple with a statement piece of jewellery to amp up your nighttime celebrations. One could wear whites with shoes in unexpected colours, or an eclectic handbag to instantly elevate one's sartorial style,” she adds.

While on vacation, she suggests gravitating towards easy-breezy silhouettes that promote comfort. “My favourite way to wear white is in its most simplistic form – moving away from embellishments– proving that less can often be much, much more,” she says.

Summer and whites are a match made in heaven and allow the personality of the wearer to shine through. Designer Aniket Satam observes that whites are just like blacks and can be dressed up and down depending on one's mood. “They can oscillate from day time wardrobe to evening essentials. However, the Spring Summer 22 focuses on pieces which are handcrafted -- be it crochet or laces – and more glammed up and sexy as compared to the whole innocent and feminine take on white. Also, another reason for whites being on trend for summer is the emergence of Y2K fashion as a lot of celebrities and style icons like JLO, Madonna and Britney Spears had made whitewashed glam an essential look,” says Satam.

“For a day time look, select an old-school day dress and team it up with a wicker basket bag, dainty floral scarves tie-ups and channel the modern day prairie chic country girl. For the evening version, choose corsetry or a well cut tailored suit and glam it up with stacks of minimal gold jewellery,” he adds.

Designer Yadvi Aggarwal of label Yavi suggests opting for unexpected pairings. “A good way to stand out from a crowd of basic whites is to play with prints and proportions. A summer essential like a shirt-dress can be transformed into a unique outfit with just the addition of a statement patchwork jacket of the same length, or a pair of cigarette pants in an eclectic print. Fabric accessories crafted in coloured printed textiles can often lend character and synchronicity when it comes to adding pops of colour to a pristine ensemble. When taking a break for the summer, allow nature to play the role of a discerning stylist–seasonal flowers added to one’s hair, or cowrie shells on a string bring a freshness and newness to a classic hue,” says Aggarwal.

A design from the label Yavi 
A design from the label Yavi 

"You can pair different shades of white together or play with textures. And if you're looking for a more feminine look, opt for styles that are cottage core - bustiers, prairie dresses. You can keep it clean by wearing chunky gold jewellery and contrasting footwear," says Meghna Goyal, founder of Summer Somewhere.

Strappy jumpsuit from Summer Somewhere
Strappy jumpsuit from Summer Somewhere

Accessorise your white looks with shell and pearl necklaces, enamel bracelets and acetate sunglasses and you're good to go. Finish off the beach babe ensembles with a pair of nifty espadrilles and a basket bag and you're all set to channel your inner Jane Birkin.

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