The One Color That Will Make All Your Summer Outfits Look So Expensive


(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images via @slipintostyle@oliviafaeh)

Ah, summertime. What would we do without you? It's arguably the best season because of the freedom it gives us to explore, even if it's just a little weekend away or dressing scantily for no reason. You can see how easy it is to get caught up in the excitement of warmer temperatures. But there's usually a turning point in midsummer when my desire to not overheat outweighs any fantasies about frolicking around in the season's biggest trends. When it's sweltering hot, you need a fuss-free way to ensure you look cool, no matter the temperature. For the fashion set, that hack is wearing one specific color: white.

Call it cliché, but this color never fumbles when it comes to crafting the perfect summer outfit for a hot summer day. Sure, there are so many noteworthy color trends, but none embody rich-mom energy quite like this hue. That's not just because it's tough to keep white clothes clean (you have to have a great dry-cleaner on speed dial) but also because white can make the more basic items (think button-downs, trousers, and maxi dresses) feel exuberant. But don't just take my word for it. Ahead, I've rounded up 15 white summer outfit ideas and shopped out the key pieces to re-create the looks for yourself. Whether you're a minimalist or maximalist, these outfits will convince you that this color is easy to wear and will have you feeling yourself for the rest of the season.


White Tie-Up Top + Cargo Pants + Colorful Shoulder Bag
(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

Just because white isn’t the "trendy” color of the moment doesn’t mean it can’t be trend-forward; case in point: the look above. The simplest way to make this hue feel fresh is by opting for fashion-forward pieces (like a tie-up top and cargo pants) in this color for the perfect summer outfit.

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White Dress + Colorful Wedges
(Image credit: @chainkyr)

White dresses are a staple among the fashion set—and for a good reason! This beloved piece acts as a blank canvas; the styling possibilities are endless, and you can’t go wrong. But should you need somewhere to start, pairing it with fun accessories (like colorful wedges) is a surefire way to look chic this summer.

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White Suit Set + Pink Bag + Pink Shoes
(Image credit: @nitsanraiter)

I’ll admit that most suiting already errs on the luxe side, but when it looks like the outfit above, it screams money. Of course, you don’t have to dole out all the dollars to look rich, and you don’t even have to book a trip to Lake Como—you just have to find a great white suit set and pair it with vibrant shoes and a handbag for an outfit that will make you feel (and look) like a walking bank account.

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White Cropped Top + Slip Skirt + Body Chain + Cowboy Boots
(Image credit: @shhtephs)

This color may often seem dull, but that’s just because you haven’t found a fun way to wear it. I implore anyone adverse to this hue to test-drive the look above. Try pairing a white crop top with a matching slip skirt, body chain, and cowboy boots and see if you feel the same way. (I bet you won’t.)

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All-White Cropped Sweater + Maxi Skirt + Heeled Sandals + Curved Bag
(Image credit: @daniellejinadu)

Are you ready to embrace this hue to the max? Then opting for an all-white ensemble is the way to go. Pair a white cropped sweater with a maxi skirt, sandals, and a unique bag, and you’ll prove that this minimal hue can make a maximum impact.

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White Tie-Up Top + White Trousers + Layered Chains
(Image credit: @thevisuelofgrace)

If you need further proof that this hue is far from vanilla, look no further than the outfit above. Pairing a white cropped tie-up top with white trousers and layered chains proves that this color can satisfy cravings you didn’t even know you had.

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White Silk Pajama Set + Black Bandeau Top + Sunglasses
(Image credit: @oliviafaeh)

Though this color can instantly make anything chicer, if you want to embody that drip, you’ll want to invest in at least one set in luxurious fabric (think: silk or linen). Even if you opt for an iteration that comes in more of a beige or off-white tint, slipping into an all-white set is a sure way to look stylish all summer long. 

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White Top With Matching Skirt + Colorful Bag + Sandals
(Image credit: @aniyahmorinia)

Not to be a broken record, but is there any easier way to look elegant than with an all-white look? Nothing beats wearing a white puff-sleeve top with a matching skirt, colorful bag, sandals, and a good pair of sunglasses—it’s truly the pinnacle of perfection.

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All-White Look With One-Piece + Cover-Up + Earrings + Sunglasses
(Image credit: @ninasandbech)

Consider this your public service announcement that there’s possibly no better way to dip your toe into embracing an all-white ensemble this summer than embracing it for a beach day. You may not be at a beach in the Riviera, but if you wear a head-to-toe white look, you’ll look like you came fresh off the boat.

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White Knit Tank + Matching Skirt + Flip-Flops + Shoulder Bag
(Image credit: @sasha.mei)

For those late summer days when temperatures finally begin to drop, you don’t have to ditch this hue immediately. You can transition this tint into the fall by opting for pieces that lend themselves well to transitional pieces (e.g., a knitted set that can be worn with flip-flops in the summer and boots and layers in the fall). Forget the rules regarding this color and have fun with it.

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Oversize White Button-Down + Shorts + Strappy Sandals
(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images via @slipintostyle)

Reminder: You don’t have to wear head-to-toe white to get the full benefits of wearing this color. Style an oversize button-down with your go-to pair of shorts, strappy sandals, and a woven bag. Do this, and you’ll channel that effortlessly chic aesthetic French women have down to a science.

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Baseball Cap + White T-Shirt + Cargo Pants + Sneakers
(Image credit: @mobinapeiman)

I must admit that anything athleisure-related never falls within my definition of "polished,” but the outfit above scores points with me in a way I never thought possible. Who would have thought a simple white cropped T-shirt with matching cargo pants and sneakers could look chic?

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White Romper + Statement Shoulder Bag + Platform Sandals
(Image credit: @maryljean)

Honestly, I can’t think of better proof of the power of this shade than this ensemble. A white romper paired with a statement shoulder bag and platform sandals seems simple enough, yet it’s so damn stylish.

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White Puff-Sleeve Top + Black Miniskirt + White Fisherman Sandals
(Image credit: @dawn.tan)

Happen to be one of those people who can’t quite justify a full white frock? I get it; maybe you are accident-prone or don’t like monochrome outfits. A simple way to break up this color is by pairing it with other neutrals—e.g., a white puff-sleeve top paired with a black miniskirt and matching fisherman sandals.

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Statement Earrings + White Ruffled Dress + White Sandals
(Image credit: @fashionwithjazz)

You’ve made it to the end of this story, and hopefully, you’ve realized that this color can make even the simplest outfits feel special. A white dress with ruffles can be turned into a whole moment if paired with fun earrings and matching white sandals. But beyond my look, your beloved staples and everyday ensembles can feel more elegant if you’re courageous enough to wear white.

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This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Next Up, Fact: Every Summer Look That Screams "Old Money" Includes This One Ingredient

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman

Jasmine Fox-Suliaman is a fashion editor living in New York City. What began as a hobby (blogging on Tumblr) transformed into a career dedicated to storytelling through various forms of digital media. She started her career at the print publication 303 Magazine, where she wrote stories, helped produce photo shoots, and planned Denver Fashion Week. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as MyDomaine's social media editor until she was promoted to work across all of Clique's publications (MyDomaine, Byrdie, and Who What Wear) as the community manager. Over the past few years, Jasmine has worked on Who What Wear's editorial team, using her extensive background to champion rising BIPOC designers, weigh in on viral trends, and profile stars such as Janet Mock and Victoria Monét. She is especially interested in exploring how art, fashion, and pop culture intersect online and IRL.