The One Color That Will Make All Your Summer Outfits Look So Expensive
Ah, summertime. What would we do without you? It’s arguably the best part of the year 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 it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of warmer temperatures, but there was a turning point in midsummer when my desire to not overheat outweighed any fantasies about frolicking around in the biggest trends of the moment. 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 when it comes to crafting the perfect summer outfit for a hot summer day, this color never fumbles. Sure, there are so many noteworthy color trends, but none of them 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.
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 cardigan and cargo pants) in this color for the perfect summer outfit.
Hot Girl Summer can start now thanks to these cargo pants.
White dresses are a staple among the fashion set—for a good reason! This is a beloved piece because it 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.
These wedges are at the top of my wish list right now.
I’ll admit that most suiting already errs on the luxe side, but when it looks like the outfit above? It’s screaming 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.
Pair with the matching Linen Suit Trousers ($50).
Don't worry; this look is office friendly, too.
Pink is the perfect hue to go with an all-white ensemble.
This color may often seem “dull,” but that’s just because you haven’t found a fun way to wear it. I’d implore you to test-drive the look above for anyone adverse to this hue. 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.)
The contrasting white stitching on these boots has me giddy.
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.
My jaw dropped when I first spotted this handbag.
If you need further proof that this hue is far from vanilla (not literally, of course), look no further than the outfit above. Pairing a white cropped tie-up top with white trousers and layered chains proves that this color is sure to satisfy cravings you didn’t even know you had.
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.
Pro tip: Wear accessories in contrasting hues to really make your all-white outfit pop.
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.
Pair with the matching Remi Washed Canvas Maxi Skirt ($74).
Whenever you need a quick outfit idea, you'll turn to this set time and again.
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.
Love supporting small brands? These earrings are from a rising Latinx accessory label.
What's not to love about a white swimsuit?
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 just have fun with it.
These sleek platforms will pair perfectly with all your summer looks.
Reminder: You don’t have to wear head-to-toe white to get the full benefits of wearing this color. Simply take an oversize button-down, and style it with your go-to pair of shorts, strappy sandals, and a woven bag. Do this, and you’ll be channeling that effortlessly chic aesthetic French women have nailed down to a science.
A white button-down will always look expensive to me.
I must admit that anything athleisure-related never falls within my definition of what “polished” is, but the outfit above scores points with me in a way I never thought possible. Who would have thought that a simple white cropped T-shirt with matching cargo pants and sneakers could look chic?
Spice up your T-shirt collection by opting for a cropped iteration.
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 just so damn stylish.
Rompers will always be that staple you'll turn to when you need to rush out the door.
Just think how pretty this bag would look against an all-white outfit—dreamy, amrite?
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.
Fisherman sandals are having a moment.
The embroidery detailing on this blouse has me bawling.
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—speaking from personal experience here. 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 own beloved staples and your everyday ensembles can feel more elegant if you’re courageous enough to wear white.
White floral earrings are the accessory that will take any all-white ensemble to a whole new level.