During the hottest days of the year, nothing says "cool" like a crisp white shirt.
“White is a key color for summer 2013,” says Jane Monnington Boddy, director of women’s trend forecasting at Stylesight.com. “It will also continue into spring/summer 2014.”
READ: Hot Hues to Add to Your Closet This Summer
“One of the biggest influences is the white shirt, which has matured and evolved with notable volume,” adds Boddy.
Too bad this summer staple can be so unforgiving. Luckily, stylists say bright whites can can make you look slimmer when worn correctly.
We asked some fashion experts to share their red carpet secrets to looking white hot:
Keep it Loose
“The key message is volume, and it is this that will make wearing white easier as it sits away from the body,” explains Boddy. “White, when worn skintight, can be harder to wear."
Pay Attention to Fabrics
Image consultant Brian Maynor explains that while cotton and linen are natural, breathable fabrics that are ideal to keep cool in the summer, they can, depending on the piece of clothing, be stiff and make one look wider. “I recommend using fabrics or treated materials that skim smoothly over your body,” says Maynor. “Stiff and bulky is definitely one way to create volume, but it is not the most comfortable for flattering.” Maynor also advises to make sure that the outfit itself is appropriately sized for your body shape as ill-fitting clothing, regardless of what color it is, can make anyone look bigger.
To add a slimming effect to any white outfit, stylists suggest hiding any problem areas with a dark hue. For example, if you wear a white skirt, consider a navy v-neck shirt, which will make your upper body appear smaller. A white skirt that hits just above the knee will also how off your legs and also elongate your body. And if you're not a fan of white to begin with, consider rocking a pearl-hued blazer or light jacket to stay warm when the AC is blasting.
Cinch Your Waist
“When it comes to looking slim in white, a great trick is to bring attention to the thinnest part of your waist,” explains celebrity stylist Colin T. McDonald, who has worked with actresses Amanda Seyfried and Renee Zellweger. “You can easily do that by cinching it with a fun belt in a bold or metallic color.” Another accessory to consider? “A long statement necklace will bring the eye to that part of your body,” he says.
Purchase Quality Jeans
"White cannot handle pulls and lumps like a darker color can, so you need to wear tight white in a fabric that is thick enough to hide flaws,” says Ceceila Myers of online personal styling site CakeStyle. “If your jeans are thinner, you may see problem areas you didn’t know you had. Avoid that depression and find good thick denim for your white jeans.” Some stylists even suggest going a size up to ensure your white jeans will elongate your shape.
Take Note of Your Skin
White can enhance your natural features without flaunting flaws if you pick the best shade that suits your skin tone. “All shades of white are fair game from optical white, oyster bone, stone, cream and off-white,” says personal stylist Dara Michelle. “You need to find one that flatters your skin tone without washing you out.” To make a chic statement, incorporate hues of beige on problematic areas.
Go All White
Wearing all white may sound scary, but according to fashion correspondent Raina Seitel, an all-white outfit will actually make your figure look longer and leaner. “Even go as far as to do a white or light mani/pedi,” she says. To balance your look, don’t be afraid to include a pop of color, which will take some of the spotlight away from your body. “Accent with a colored bangle, earrings or shoes,” she says. “A red lip also adds good contrasts and really pops with an all-white look.”
Stripes are on-trend and for a good reason. Contrary to popular belief, horizontal stripes can enhance a slimmer figure. A striped dress is a stylish way to incorporate crisp, cooling white without the fear of looking wider.
Get the Essentials
According to style experts there are two white wardrobe pieces you should invest in: a pair of boot cut pants for day and an A-line dress for night. Unlike those curve-enhancing skinny jeans, a boot cut takes attention away from your hips. And an A-line gown cinches right at the waist.
Keep it Simple
“The key to making your all-white look flattering is minimalism, so stick to well-cut pieces, clean lines and subtle accessories,” says Michelle. “A good rule of thumb is to limit any glitzy accessories or overly fussy details to one, two at most, per outfit. A crisp white pencil skirt with a classic white top alone can be fabulous.”