Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Ways to Wear White

It’s hot. The humidity hasn’t hit the 90% mark as of yet, but still, anything over 92ºF is hot.

When the mercury threatens to burst through the top of the thermometer, I turn to airier fabrics — cottons and linens whenever possible. Yes, lightweight wool wicks moisture, but I don’t have any 1/4 lined, super 130’s frescos in the closet. Yet.

But I do have a white linen suit. That’s it above, accessorized to look more modern, since I can tend toward costume, if I’m not careful. The shirt is poplin, charcoal pencil-striped, the pocket square is black and tan patterned, and the tie is black knit. I wore black chiseled toe Venetian loafers and no socks and no belt as the trousers are lower rise and would have shown the black leather at my waist. (I had some voice over work to do, not on-camera.)

If you are in a creative field, I encourage you to take the plunge and wear linen — white linen if you can get away with it. It really will make you feel very elegant. Add a blue linen blazer, at least, for those days when you don’t have to see clients or go to court. Sometimes it’s nice not to worry about wrinkles.

I’ve wanted a white linen suit since the Christmas holidays, 1990, when I was fortunate enough to be afloat a 54′ power boat in the BVI’s. Somewhere around three in the morning, I was awakened by the racket coming from shore, about 100 yards from where we were anchored. Junkanoo had spilled onto the beach. As I peered with binoculars through the porthole, bleary-eyed with champagne, I saw a bonfire ringed with 35 or 40 people dancing and blowing horns, whooping it up. And around this festive group rode a whitehaired, tanned man on a bicycle, waving a bottle, barefoot, barechested, in a crumpled white linen suit. Easy in the islands.

I would have added a pocket square. One must have one’s standards.

11 thoughts on “Ways to Wear White

  1. I passed out. I don’t remember breakfast, but lunch consisted of freshly-caught- off-the-stern-and- grilled spiny lobster, more champagne and corn on the cob.

  2. That’s the life! Sounds amazing. We’re making plans to go sailing from San Diego to Baja, Mexico, stopping at deserted islands in the Sea of Cortez, dining off grilled dorado, tacos, and wine. BVI is on the list for next year.

  3. You said it LBT. If only I could bareboat! I have a good friend who does the islands every year, but he has reached the stage where he just heads for St. Barth’s.

    Your trip sounds perfect.

  4. Oh, I am loving your tall tales and that white linen suit, you look positively smashing. My husband has his father’s white linen suit. Nothing says Summer like white linen. I also love it with a pale pink shirt and a silver gray tie!

  5. Complete perfection. My best I spy from the side of a boat was a pig awaiting us on an uninhabited island in the Bahamas. Friendly and welcoming, he was happy to take the snacks we offered. Posted clearly on the beach was a handmade sign that said, “Please don’t feed the cats.” of which we never saw one. It was an amazing trip,

  6. EEL ~ Forgot to mention, that’s a very nice pic, BTW. How do you deal with the ‘see-through’ qualities of white linen?

  7. Hi Johnny, actually I don’t “unflip” them. They are taken using the integrated camera on my MacBook Pro and the Photobooth application. I think it gets my good side.

    Thank you Mrs. B., Great story! I liked taking the tender onto the beach to be greeted by two handpainted signs: “The Blue building is the grocery.”
    “The Pink building is the supermarket.”

    LBT, heavy weight linen is your best bet. It drapes better, too. That said, I always make sure to wear heavier white knit boxers in case.

  8. Your husband is a lucky man, Mrs. PvE! I imagine that we all have good adventures to share… And thanks for the pink shirt/silver grey tie suggestion — it’ll be my choice this coming week!

  9. The fact of the matter is that there are more than enough designers offering jeans for all, but not all of these jeans can be worn by you. You should not only consider style, but you should also pay attention to quality in relation to price.

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