Love Aesthetics

June 22, 2013

Why White Never Gets Boring

 photo loveaestheticswhite-1.jpg

Why do you wear so much white?
Don’t you get bored with white and want to wear more color?
Are two questions that are asked to me a lot.
Though it’s hard to explain and put something like this into words (almost impossible to answer in a few sentences), I’ll do my best to give a bit of an explanation to why I am so attracted to non-colors. I’m only speaking for myself here. I do love seeing other people wear colors, personally I just don’t feel comfortable in them. Last year, Nathalie Wouters already asked me about this for an article about white in Dutch Glamour magazine, so I translated some of my answers.

White has less connotation than other colors.
When seeing red for example, automatically all cliches come to mind; red hearts, Santa Claus, the devil, tacky tight dresses, coca cola, valentines day… I don’t get this with white. White evokes more of a feeling; fresh, clean, pure, empty but mostly a feeling of ‘there are possibilities’. And because so little concrete images to mind when seeing white, I can project my own personality and mood onto it.

Colors are so specific, every shade brings its own very specific associations. When putting on a colored shirt it almosts feels like putting on a certain mood that comes with the color. With white, grey and black it is the other way around; you put the mood on the garment After wearing a colored piece of clothing a couple of times, I get bored of it. It is so specific that it becomes limited. Non colors on the other hand, are so general and nonspecific that the possibilities are endless, they aren’t connected to any seasons, they are appropriate for all occasions and moods.

With white, black and everything in between I’ve created a bit of a uniform for myself; I can grab clothes out of my closet with my eyes closed and it almost always works together. When tailoring clothes, the first patterns are also made in a creamy or white fabric. I think these early stages of garments are beautiful. By not adding any color or print all attention is directed to the technical details and fit, that is what interests me most in fashion.

47 responses to “Why White Never Gets Boring”

  1. Laura lexo says:

    I love white clothes! And especially when they are worn by you


  2. Tanya Minxy says:

    Great post! I agree with you, that’s why I wear black, grey and white most of the time, but sometimes I like to add a little color. White really suits you well =^.^=

  3. Supermooi verwoord! Couldn’t agree more! En ik vind wit en zwart (en alles in between) eigenlijk heel sophisticated staan.



    Personal Style Blog

  4. Anonymous says:

    Aside from you being chic, ultimately the reason I read your blog is because of all the white. It’s minimalist, oozes clarity, and I have a gargantuan crush on your blog – the layout, writing style, simplicity of it all. Keep on keeping on. With love, from London. M xoxo

  5. FASHION SNAG says:

    I totally agree! I love white and black mostly.

  6. Panty Buns says:

    I had been wondering why you wore white so much of the time. You have an interesting perspective on it. White does indeed coordinate with everything. I do have associations that go with white. Snow White, the Wite Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, wedding dresses and weddings etc.. I love colours but I also like the contrast of using white with dark or black with light. It is so true that white has so many more possibilities for an outfit piece than do colours. Your interest in the more technical details -the nature of the fabrics, the patterns, and tailoring. That is an art in itself.

  7. Maybe people feel repressed for something and they need TOO MANY colors in their lives. a way to feel accepted and normal. The gods might know…

  8. Anna Black says:

    Really interesting read, it makes perfect sense when I think about it, you may have converted me!

  9. Pernille says:

    I know exactly what you mean! πŸ™‚

  10. Nu heb je me wel nieuwsgierig gemaakt! Droeg je vroeger ook vooral wit-grijs-zwart, of is dat met het ‘ouder worden’ gekomen?
    En fris, puur, leegte en clean zijn toch wel associoaties die je maakt met wit? Misschien ietsje minder expliciet dan de voorbeelden die je gaf bij rood, maar het lijken me ook wel associaties. πŸ™‚

  11. Amanda says:

    Loved this post! I am similar to you but with neutrals. The best feeling has been to rid my clothes of all the brights and patterns that only have a one-wear possibility. Neutrals just make me feel so comfortable.

  12. Milex says:

    I see so much evolving from you

  13. K says:

    Agreed! I love how you put it into words.

  14. Chelsea says:

    Your thoughts remind me a little of that famous Yohji Yamamoto quote about black. Even though I keep a few clothes in colour, I agree that tailoring and construction is king.

  15. Georgia says:

    I completely agree with you on this Ivania. Have you read Kenya Hara’s book designing design and his concept on emptiness? I think you’d find it really resonates with you, he pretty much explains the concept of emptiness as you have just here with the concept of white. Although his discussion is more based around graphic design I think it applies to all aspects of colour in life really. Love your blog, keep up the amazing posts πŸ™‚

  16. I agree with you! I’m madly in love with white too. xx

  17. Vani says:

    Great answer! White looks amazing on you anyway.

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  18. Joy Yiu says:

    This is so well written, and I could’t agree with you any more. White does really give off something else than the rest of the colours.

  19. Leen Philips says:

    Great post! I was asking myself these question for a long time. Why should a girl always wear with, black or grey? But this is a real good explanation, and it makes sence! The white looks good on you!

  20. Leen Philips says:

    Great post! I was asking myself these question for a long time. Why should a girl always wear with, black or grey? But this is a real good explanation, and it makes sence! The white looks good on you!

  21. Fabliha says:

    I love how your style is so thoughtful and purposeful πŸ™‚

  22. Fleur says:

    I love your style, and this blog has inspired me to take up a more minimalist style in dress and design! Totally agree about the purity of white. Well said!

  23. ODYSSEY says:

    For the reasons you stated (and more), this is why I wear black. πŸ™‚

  24. everything you said i agree! plus white looks so A-M-A-Z-I-N-G on you!

  25. smiriamstyle says:

    In my opinion white is like lifestyle. It is pure and fresh.

  26. Katie says:

    I love your fashion/style philosophy.

  27. Imge says:

    Ik vind het zo leuk om te lezen hoe gepassioneerd je over alleen al de ‘kleur wit’ kan vertellen, wauw.
    Nu ik er ook over nadenk en dit lees snap ik (denk ik?) wat je bedoelt, al het witte waar je in te zien bent op je blog, ziet elke keer weer zo fris en clean en weer anders en nieuw uit. Je kan er eindeloos mee doorgaan. Ik vind het zelf altijd zo geweldig hoe je (bijna) alles zo clean wit of zwart hebt, niet alleen qua kledingstijl maar ook interieur etc., al draag ik zelf wel kleur en zou te bang zijn om daar afstand van te doen.

    Ahhh I honestly admire you!!

  28. Brandi Lynne says:

    I honestly don’t think you could have explained this any better. I have similar feelings towards shades rather than colour, and am working towards an amalgamated wardrobe of black and white.

  29. Flora Amies says:

    I like this post! I often feel kind of pressured (i’m not sure by who, though) to wear more colour. But I naturally gravitate to black, white and grey. I don’t know why but i’m most comfortable in those colours, I think it suits my skin best and I feel like I can think in something ‘plain’.


  30. Yorien says:

    oh oh your thoughts are amazing. you teach me more than my professor at the university. seriously.

  31. Ik ben het helemaal met je eens!

    Ik ben zelf vooral fan van zwart, ookal draag ik kleur ik kom er steeds weer op terug :p

  32. Sarah says:

    You and Terence Koh could be besties πŸ™‚ Such an articulate and interesting explanation, thank you for sharing! And props to the commenter Georgia for bringing up Kenya Hara. I just saw this great talk of his about emptiness – – and yes, it does sound similar to your ideas! I love this idea of white/minimalism representing a blank slate on which to project any possibility. And I like the distinction Hara makes between emptiness and simplicity, because as much as I love the theory of minimalism, I’ve always felt conflicted by my aversion to its association with mass production/efficiency/hegemonic corporate greed/erasure of diversity. According to Hara, the Western idea of simplicity is tied to these things, but the Japanese concept of emptiness, though it looks similar, is meant to allow space for creativity. That’s the approach I think you take as well, Ivania, and I’m totally on board with that!

    I used to be so intimidated by white, especially when it came to clothes. It would represent pressure to me (like the pressure to not get it dirty) and you can’t hide with white. It’s easier to hide behind color and embellishment because of their associations and loudness. But white is so naked, so quiet. You’re left to fill it with your personality, even vulnerability, which can be scary. There’s a reason why the advice for painters with creative block is to paint their canvas another color besides white. Staring at a white canvas can feel overwhelming because of all the possibilities, but that’s the world we live in today (especially thanks to the internet which makes so much more possible). It takes courage to face that white canvas (life), face that fear, and paint your soul on it anyway. So now instead of feeling intimidated by white, I am inspired to see it as an opportunity. And the example you’re setting as someone who wears white daily, definitely helps ease the intimidation I used to feel! πŸ™‚ Sorry I rambled on forever. Really enjoyed this post, keep the great thoughts coming!

  33. Lulu Frances says:

    wow, beautifully said and absolutely understandable! loved reading this πŸ™‚

    on another note: i went to cos for the first time last week and basically all the (white) things reminded me of you, actually the whole shop did!
    haha, i bought a dress (but not in white…twotoned blue and green…)

  34. @ Sarah and Georgia: Thanks for the Kenya Hara recommendations; will try to get my hands on that book! and loved the video on emptiness

    dankje Imge voor je aardige woorden, en ja, dat is precies wat ik bedoel πŸ™‚

  35. I think it’s amazing that u stick with your taste and your aesthetic. also the colour white suits u a lot and I love how you round up your looks with perfect hair and accessories choices. Always waiting for more! πŸ™‚

    xx, Sabinna
    Broken Cookies

  36. Anonymous says:

    i love your blog and your stile, so don´t feel offendet! but white is not at all an non-conotated colour. seen from the perspective of postcolonial studies for example white and especially white garment is connotated in a lot of problematic ways.

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. I like how you think about white, greys and black.

    I agree that these colors indeed do not reflect a certain mood. For example, if I see someone dressed in bright pink, it would give the impression that they’re happy, even though this isn’t always the case.
    I find it incredible that you are always dressed in these colors, as I was inspired by you, and tried it out, but a few days later went back to dressing in colors. I don’t know, maybe I don’t have the stability in dressing which you have (I’m not being sarcastic). I hope that I’ll reach that level of deepness one day.

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  40. @Sarah
    I’m glad you enjoyed the video – Hara’s concepts have completely changed the way I think about colour. Also the second part of your post really resonated with me, I was trying to figure out what it was that made the thought of an all white outfit so intimidating (there have been many mornings when I am all ready to go in my high waisted white jeans with plain white top and then chickened out and gone for the old faithful black ensemble).

    You would absolutely love his book. Not only the content but the cover and overall aesthetics of the book is completely amazing (all white, embossed details, slightly metallic finish and pure white gloss dust cover)

  41. e says:

    such a great post – while i also have associations with white (brides, doctors/nurses/medical, ghosts, etc) i also see it as a blank canvas. when i used to paint it always killed me to put the first mark on the paper or canvas – the material itself was always more beautiful to me than what i did by covering it πŸ™‚

  42. Anonymous says:

    While reading this post about the colour white, a song came into my mind: it’s “la bianchezza della balena” by vinicio capossela. The lyrics are taken from a poem by Melville. Mabe you know what I’m talking about, if not, I hope you’ll have the time to give it a listen.
    I don’t usually wear so much white but I really appreciate your style and your photos.
    Love, Anna.

  43. Milena says:

    Love everything you said in this post.

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