White is a cool oasis in a sea of bright fashions

January 08, 1992|By Bernadine Morris | Bernadine Morris,N.Y. Times News Service

White is hot. It's also cool. At a time when color is exploding all over the fashion world, white is soothing. Its impact will be growing in the next few seasons. Most designers like it neat: no jewels, no color accents, no complications.

Women whose bodies can take the glare have long known that the most dramatic style they can wear to the beach is a white swimsuit black is the second. The impact of a white organdy blouse or even a white T-shirt is unchallenged. White silk, linen or cotton pants have long been a summer staple in smart women's summer wardrobes.

But now that colors as riveting as yellow, orange and green are taken for granted, alone or in combination, white has a special charm in every article of apparel. Crisply tailored white suits, seductively draped jersey dresses and casual shirt dresses are some of the expansion areas, adding a more formal slant to the predictable array of casual separates.

Areas of bared skin, whether at the neckline or midriff, are particularly attractive with white fashions. Good shoulders can, in fact, be the best accessory.

In resort areas like Palm Beach, white clothes have already made an impact on the fashion scene. They are being worn not only by slender young women with good complexions but also by older women who have long known about the flattery of white against the skin. It is almost universally effective, appealing on blondes and powerful on women with darker skins or suntans.

All the significant shapes of the warm weather seasons ahead are available in pristine white linen, cotton and silk, including the sheer, transparent versions of these fabrics. The short bouffant evening dress, the long slithery style with the obligatory side slit, and sundresses pretty enough to wear for dinner are all part of the array of white fashions currently in the stores.

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