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White haute summer pieces to lighten your look

Memorial Day is past, and now come the invitations to garden parties, rooftop soirees and summer weddings. It’s time to break out the white-hued garments and accessories.

“Now you can officially wear white,” said Pascale Lemaire, a Maryland-based stylist. “But there are no rules in fashion these days. … Just make an outfit your own.”

And the summer offerings are full of options. The spring and summer collections during New York Fashion Week were loaded with white pieces. From Ralph Lauren's stark-white palazzo pants to Mara Hoffman’s ethereal maxi dresses and Christian Siriano’s pale frocks, there should be plenty to choose from this season.

Use white as the pop of color, or take a monochromatic approach, Lemaire said. When going in the monochromatic direction, make sure you combine patterns and textures, she added.

“Layer white so that it isn’t plain Jane,” she said. “Go pattern on pattern. Mix up the textures. Add in mesh and transparent fabrics.”

Katrina Dennis, a Baltimore-based partner at a law firm, wears white — with success — all year.

“I think white is classic,” she said. “I just don’t limit it to the summer.”

Dennis was named the winner of the 2015 Longines Most Elegant Woman at Preakness Contest. She wore a white blouse with sheer paneled sleeves, a white and black wide-brimmed hat and a multicolored white, green and red floral flare skirt.

Dennis wears white to all types of occasions.

“I don’t limit it to parties,” she said..

But the type of fabric is key for Dennis.

“The worst thing is to wear fabric in the summer that people can see through,” Dennis said. She suggests sticking with a thick cotton to keep clothing light — but not too light.

Lemaire and Dennis shared their styling tips for how and where to wear these 10 pieces in shades of white.

John-John Williams IV
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