Optic Magnetism - All White Dressing by Ashley Ogawa Clarke

It should be said that, at least on a practical level, wearing white is an act of all-out sartorial bravery. Indeed, if you can navigate a day without coming into spilling distance of a glass of cabernet sauvignon (or you have a trustworthy dry cleaner on speed dial just in case you do), an entirely white outfit conveys a kind of effortless and invincible polish that other shades simply can’t compete with. Throwing on a white T-shirt, coat and trousers may not inspire the desire to go and watch a rugby match, or to dance the night away in a grimy club basement, and nor should it. What it will do, though, is afford you a sense of instant put-togetherness.

White, like black, has a kind of built-in longevity; it won’t bend to the fickleness of fashion trends, but there’s still something about an outfit in shades of ivory, ecru or cream that feels contemporary right now. It’s not as moody or as self-conscious as black though, nor is it as understated as navy. Instead it sits comfortably on its own terms, breezily sophisticated.

White clothing, of course, is charged with endless cultural touchpoints. It’s the colour of virgin snow and wedding dresses; the lab coats of scientists, or the spacesuits of astronauts in storybooks. In Buddhism, white is a symbol of purity and knowledge, and at traditional Buddhist funerals the family of the deceased will wear white as a symbol of respect and grief. The American modernist Georgia O’Keefe, when she wasn’t wearing entirely black outfits, wore all-white in the form of silk dresses and tunics, while the Japanese film star Toshiro Mifune famously wore an incredible white suit while playing the suave Yakuza lieutenant Matsunaga in Akira Kurosawa’s 1947 film Drunken Angel.

"White is incredibly easy to wear (and look good in), appropriate in the heat and the cold."

Still, don’t let the illustrious sartorial history put you off – you don’t need to be a celestial being, a rocket scientist or even a handsome film star to wear an all-white outfit well. On the contrary, if you can overcome the day-to-day practicalities of keeping it clean, white is incredibly easy to wear (and look good in), appropriate in the heat and the cold.

If you’re reading this, you likely already know that Studio Nicholson excels at making white clothes – it could well be said that along with black and navy, white completes the holy trinity that holds the brand together, so you’re in the right place. But where to start? A simple but effective way to approach all-white is to begin with denim. Double denim in the conventional sense conveys personality and a sense of style, sure, but double-white denim turns it up a notch; a Texan Tuxedo with a dash more edge and elegance.

"A simple but effective way to approach all-white is to begin with denim."

Studio Nicholson’s Lazar Denim Jacket, for instance, can be worn with a relaxed pair of black or navy slacks, but will look particularly snappy with some white jeans like the versatile Bill Denim Pant. For a further point of difference, consider adding some signature Studio Nicholson gravitas by way of a wider silhouette in the trousers – the Puch Denim Pant (incidentally in the same dazzling Optic White shade as the jacket) are a good shout here thanks to their roomy shape.

Consider also the appeal of mixing an matching different fabrics and tones to breathe more life into a monochromatic look (this trick also applies when wearing all black and navy, but due to the heightened visibility is particularly effective when it comes to white), for example by layering a merino wool or leather vest over a plain white T-shirt. Studio Nicholson’s Bure Knit – an oversized cable knit sweater crafted from midweight organic cotton – will add some tactile warmth and texture to a look, and is a trusty wardrobe staple to take through 2022 and beyond. It will team convincingly well with the Bridges Pant in Water (a pleasantly muted shade of cream).

Whichever way you approach it, the real boon to wearing all white is that it’s a shortcut to looking refined yet artful, an ostensibly bold statement that equally isn’t trying too hard. Quiet confidence! Understated magnetism! In other words, the ineffable stuff that dressing well is made from.