The White Party

July 7, 2017

Thanks to some forward-thinking designers and global warming, seasonal changes don’t regulate our wardrobes the way they once did. Sure, you’re only going to wear that insulated parka when it’s actually freezing out, but the old-school rules that dictated what guys should wear when have changed. You can wear boots in the summer, you can wear floral prints year round, and you most certainly can and should be wearing white any day before, during, and after Memorial Day.

And to be clear here, I don’t just encourage you to wear white jeans whenever you please, I encourage you to wear head-to-toe white. It’s a 202-level menswear move but one that never fails to impress. Just look at Brad Pitt at the premiere of his movie War Machine in Tokyo, who made an all-white fit look as easy-to-wear as a T-shirt and jeans.

Sadly, not every man is as genetically blessed or as cool in every situation like Brad Pitt. But we can all take a page out of his style playbook and copy what’s happening here. As with any monochromatic outfit, wearing all white requires following a few simple rules. Sticking to them is the difference between looking like a leading man and being confused for an old-timey ice cream truck driver.

Brad Pitt in Isaia
Brad Pitt in Isaia

Your outermost layer is the most important layer.

Whether you’re wearing a suit jacket like Brad’s from Isaia or a denim jacket, your outermost layer should be cut slim to give the whole fit a defined shape. We call that a silhouette in the fashion world. And since light colors have a tendency to make everything appear wider, you want to keep the pants slim too.

Vary your tones and textures.

You can wear blinding white, but not every layer can be blinding white. When layering similar tones of any color, the key is to alternate shades. Go for off-white or eggshell and mix up the fabrics. Twill cotton next to gauzy knit cotton next to linen this time of the year adds dimension where otherwise there wouldn’t be any. Pitt’s layers have clear boundaries, from the cream-colored suit to the crisp white button down to his breezy white tee.

Skip the formalities.

In Brad’s case, that meant forgoing the buttoned-up dress shirt and necktie in favor of a simple tee. You have to remember to break things up in a monochromatic outfit not only with color and texture, but by making sure the layers don’t overpower the outfit’s most important element – you. So showing a little skin is as important as picking the right pieces to pair together.