Fifty Shades of White

Shades of White

White matters always, whether you are investing in a fantastic white Balmain blazer, or looking into a wedding dress, it is important to note that not all whites were created for you.  Most of the time when we are looking into purchasing a white item of clothing the cut and fabric play a greater role than the actual shade of white, we believe that this needs to change.  Focus on the shade and tone of white first and then move onto the cut and fabric.

There are plenty of color experts out there that will happily advise you on what shade and tone of white will work best for you.  Generally the darker the skin tone the darker shade of white you can wear.  Below you will find the basic breakdown, cookie cutter version of what works best on whom BUT, we say, just try the item of clothing close to your face and wait for the ‘light’.  If your face lights up, this is the item for you, otherwise keep on going.


Shades of White


The reason why we are cautiously optimistic of the chart below is because so many other factors come into play.  The opacity of the fabric for example, the same color doesn’t show up in the same way on linens as on cottons for example.  Also, at times there is the design element to be considered.. ruched, pleated etc all will play a role in how the color reflects on your face.  Another thing to consider of course is the cut.. Billowy gauzy dresses may not be the same as fitted crepe numbers.. So again, seeing is believing.  Put the item of clothing close up to your face, or better still, try it on, and let the light do the talking for you!


  • Cool skin tones(those with blue and pink undertones) work well with classically, bright white (because it also has cool undertones) and pairs well with silver accessories.
  • Bronze skin tones(with orange, yellow or red undertones) are best with bright white or cream, especially when paired with gold accessories.
  • Olive skin tones(with a pale greenish or yellow undertone and no pink) looks best with creams.
  • Black skin tones(which can have yellow, blue or red undertones) are more versatile and work with all whites or creams, as well as silver and gold accessories.
  • Warm skin tones(dark brown, light brown, or even pale provided that there are golden or yellow undertones) go best with cream or ivory whites and either gold or silver accessories.