Real Clothes: Like a virgin


Imagine having the sort of lifestyle where you could dress from head to toe in white or cream and feel comfortable. Hard, isn't it? You'd have to be very rich and very thin - these are unforgiving shades and yes, they get dirty. But they are also fantastic for lifting your spirits and just a dash of white or cream could give your wardrobe a whole new lease of life. These light neutrals can be worn with virtually any colour and will add instant luxury to old favourites.

There is nothing like a complete oufit in white or cream to make you stand out and feel special. But if you're reluctant to go the whole hog, then put your toe in the water gently. Of course white won't flatter your figure like black does so play it safe - wear it on the top half of the body, not the bottom. A simple cream polo neck jumper with a pair of black trousers will look stylish whatever your shape. A cream coat is another good bet, guaranteed to turn the dreariest outfit into something special.

If the thought of the dry-cleaning bill makes you feel faint then try accessorising. Oasis has the perfect item for beginners - a fleecey scarf sprinkled with sequins that will leave your friends' pashminas in the shade.

Michele Smith

Senior vice president, Burberry

Natural tones of white are important this season. They form a good base for the stronger colours like rust and sunset. Cream is an elegant alternative to black or navy, and works well in luxurious wool and cashmere. A person dressed all in cream can make a statement that is strong but subtle.

Gabriele Strehle

Designer, Strenesse

Whites reflect the new softness and warmth that women desire. It is a luxury colour and reflects sensuality, power and harmony.

Elspeth Gibson


White can be a very difficult colour to wear - it should not be worn by everyone. Bright white can draw colour out of your face and can look cheap unless you have a light tan. People with paler complexions should wear off-white instead. Evening wear can look great in white but only if it is cut and made well. Gold and silver trims complement white and lend a richer evening feel.

Caroline Bennett

Colour Me Beautiful

Everyone can wear white; however, you need to find the right shade to complement your colouring. People with cool colouring can wear white; those with warm colouring should opt for off-white, cream or ivory. White is for creative types or those wanting to make a fashion statement. It's great for the festive season, especially if you team it with a splash of colour. Avoid wearing white on heavier proportioned bodies as it draws attention to those unwanted areas. For a dramatic look, wear it against dark shades.

Roger Tredre

Editor in chief,

Worth Global Style Network

White is such an impractical choice, but who in the fashion world has ever worried about practicality? It's best to wear off-whites, or white in tonal combinations. Try white for coats, big chunky knitted jumpers, and scarves and hats. Make sure it's machine washable.


Shrug, pounds 85, Diesel StyleLab, 12 Floral St, London WC2 (tel: 0171 833 2255). Fleece tube top (s-l), pounds 18, French Connection, 249 Regent St, London W1 (tel: 0171 399 7200). Padded skirt (s-l), pounds 75, Replay, Cooshti, 57 Park St, Bristol (tel: 0171 505 2700)

White velcro-fastening jacket, pounds 129, Alexander Campbell, House of Fraser, Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent (tel: 0171 836 4886). Pleat skirt (sizes s-l), pounds 75, Replay, as before. Mittens, pounds 30, Diesel StyleLab, as before

Cashmere/silver-beaded vest, pounds 295, The Scotch House, 2 Brompton Rd, London SW1 (tel: 0171 581 2151). Cream satin skirt (s- l), pounds 75, French Connection, as before. Hat, pounds 14.99, Oasis, 292 Regent St, London W1 (tel: 01865 881986). Gloves, pounds 5.99, H&M, 261-271 Regent St, London W1 (tel: 0171 323 2211)

Cream fur-trim gilet (sizes 8-14), pounds 40, Miss Selfridge, 221/223 Oxford St, London W1 (tel: 0800 915 9900). Cream hipsters (sizes 26-34), pounds 110, Diesel StyleLab, as before. White tights (s-l), pounds 6, Aristoc, department stores (tel: 01773 525520)


Cream skirt (s-l), pounds 210, Moon Younghee at Whistles, 21 St Christopher's Place, London W1 (tel: 0171 487 4484). Double-layer jumper, pounds 150, Alexander Campbell, 46 Monmouth St, London W1 (tel: 0171 836 4886)

Sleeveless top with beaded trim (sizes 6-12), pounds 85, feather skirt (sizes 8-12), pounds 1,250, Tommy Hilfiger, 51 New Bond St, London W1 (tel: 0171 290 9888). Cream fleece sequin scarf, pounds 19.99, Oasis, as before

Photographs by NEIL MASSEY

Make-up by Sharon Willmore using Cosmetics A La Carte.

Hair by Giuseppe Bulzis at Windle using Bumble & Bumble (tel: 0171 497 2393).

Stylist assisted by Gwyneth Holland.

Photographer assisted by Martin Worsley.

Modelled by Mari.

Thanks to Lee Valley Ice Rink (tel: 0181 533 3154).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
Arts and Entertainment
Eurovision Song Contest 2015
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
peopleIrish journalist shares moving story on day of referendum
Arts and Entertainment
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
newsLiz Kendall: profile
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?