Flashback to the summer of 1998. Freshly minted from the success of his album No Way Out, the newly famous P. Diddy (née Sean John Combs) had just bought himself a house in the Hamptons. Looking to make a splash among the high society types who looked down upon the nouveau riche like himself, Puff Daddy decided to organize a soirée of epic proportions that would impress guests of all social echelons. Thus, the White Party was born.
With its strict all-white dress code and guestlist of industry heavyweights, the White Party quickly grew to become the hottest event of the summer. Every July 4th, you could expect to see stars from Ashton Kutcher to Jonah Hill in attendance, dressed to the nines in dazzling crisp whites. Suddenly, monochromatic outfits were socially acceptable — albeit only in the optic shade of white.
P. Diddy’s iconic White Party may have retired in 2009, but the all-white look is still very much alive during these hot summer months. White-on-white ensembles were spotted on the runways of Calvin Klein, Maharishi and even flashy streetwear brand KTZ, featuring a range of crisp suits, tees, jackets and chinos sans color. Even though wearing all-white is undoubtedly high maintenance (read: skip the morning coffee), it conveys a sense of leisurely nonchalance that one would only feel when sitting poolside in the Mediterranean. More importantly, it sets off your summer tan like no other shade.
So how does one wear white on white without looking like a blank canvas – flat, plain and uninteresting? The key to creating intrigue with a single color is layering. Take the lead from Calvin Klein and superimpose oversized anoraks and bombers over slim pants, creating the illusion of depth. If you can’t create visual interest with color, as in this case, mix up your choice of summer fabrics with slub cottons, crisp linens and relaxed terry jersey for textural diversity. Finish off your achromatic ensemble with optic white kicks to match. Opt for minimal low tops to match clean cut outfits, and performance sneakers for athletic get-ups — we suggest the adidas Originals x White Mountaineering collaboration.
With Labor Day fast approaching, it’s time to indulge in your summer whites before they become a fashion faux-pas. Shop the pieces from the all-white editorial now on HBX.