Ask Allie: When to Wear White, Tucking in Shirts

I bought this. I really like it, and am anxious to wear it. The thing is, it is white. Really, really white. Do I have to wait until Memorial Day? Or can I add strategic accessories and do it earlier? I was thinking of adding a cardigan or a jacket and a red necklace to tone it down a bit. And of course, I can belt it, which is what I was planning on doing anyway. Ideas on styling (for both now and later)?

 

lands end canvas eyelet shift dress

What a super cute dress! I love Lands End Canvas and that dress looks to be so versatile.

Many people would tell you that wearing white before Memorial Day is totally acceptable these days. I disagree when it comes to white shoes and white bottoms and white pieces out of very summery fabrics like linen. Usually I would say that wearing white eyelet is not really appropriate for pre-Memorial Day, however I think you can accessorize it to make it spring-appropriate.

Looking at the dress, I can imagine it with a denim jacket, hip-slung belt and a pair of boots (Frye Harness bootsir?t=whaevewomneei 20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=B00385YHU8, which would be a perfect choice). This way, the white is broken up and not so obviously “Hi I am a white summer dress!”

death by platforms
Inspiration from the blogger Death By Platforms

I could also see you tempering the cutesy eyelet with black engineer boots and a biker jacket for a “tough but sweet” ensemble.

Once summer has arrived, you can do so much with this dress. Add color with a brightly-colored cardigan and/or skinny belt. Keep it simple with tan flat sandals and a few brushed gold bangles. I love turquoise with white – a chunky stone statement necklace and nude wedge sandals would make it look fresh yet still modern. Lands End Canvas shows it with a hip-slung belt, however I think this style of dress offers real belting versatility – a belt at the ribs, natural waist, or hips will all work; you can also try wide or narrow belts and find success with either size.

I would love to start tucking my shirt/blouse into skirts/pants but tummy issues make me very conscious. My skirt/pant size is between a 14-16. Do I go with a bigger size bottom and tuck?

I was absolutely terrified of tucking in shirts for all my life – I have always carried my weight in my lower belly and felt that this did nothing but emphasize my gut. However lately I have found it can actually be quite flattering.

I find it has less to do with the size of the skirt or trousers, and more the cut and fabrication. A stiffer, heavier or lined fabric keeps its shape and will help smooth the tummy. A wide waistband also does a great job of keeping the tummy smooth, and the doubled fabric of the band also keeps the garment from stretching out during the day.

styleit sarah conley
Inspiration from the blogger Style IT

I find a very straight or slightly wide-leg trouser or a straight or slightly a-line skirt are the best choices to wear to hide your tummy. Flared and fuller skirts, or very body-con styles can cling to the curves, accentuating the tummy (an exception is a midi-length gathered skirt – the length gives weight to the fabric, making a fuller style work on many figures without too much fullness at the tummy – example).

Adding a wide belt to the ensemble and wearing it a tad above your natural waistline will elongate your leg line, highlight a smaller part of your torso, and break up the line while also making it look more complete.

Be very conscious of where the skirt ends on your leg. Since you are already accentuating your curves with a tucked-in shirt, you want to be sure the skirt hits at a flattering length on your leg. Have it hit at a small part of your leg – just above or just below the knee are usually flattering on most women.

Don’t fear control garments – I have a high-waisted thong control garment that is my go-to when I wear a pencil skirt and a tucked-in blouse. It’s not super restricting, but does enough to keep the tummy looking smooth under clothing.

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10 Comments

  1. August 9, 2011 / 11:27 pm

    I didn’t even notice that until you mentioned it. I have to say I had a devil of a time finding a woman who wasn’t a size 4 wearing a tucked-in blouse. I didn’t want to use a picture from a store, and I wanted one that showed the woman in a flattering light.

    Thanks for bringing that to my attention, I do strive to use pictures that are relevant to my posts.

  2. kelly
    August 9, 2011 / 11:27 pm

    I wish you would have chosen an inspiration photo that was actually a shirt tucked in. That picture looks like a dress. It’s definitely not a shirt tucked in…

  3. August 9, 2011 / 11:27 pm

    I love this white dress! White is huge this spring/summer and I think there is never too much of it, if you wear the right accessories. I like the look of the belt on this dress. Playing with color would be a great option too. Don’t be afraid to wear white, play with your accessories and make it your own!

  4. August 9, 2011 / 11:27 pm

    Thank you so much for posting my questions! I’ll say that I have cheated and wore the dress last Friday with black leggings, my Frye Harness boots, and a denim jacket. I kind of liked it, but really, I can’t wait to rock it in the summer. I also can’t wait to try it with a motorcycle jacket like you suggested (I never would have thought of that, even though I have the dress and the jacket in my closet). I tried it on last night, and I really liked it, especially if I can find a cute belt to put with it. Again, thanks! You rock!

  5. Tiffany
    August 9, 2011 / 11:27 pm

    I too was terrified of tucking until recently. After having my son, I had a noticeable mommy pooch, and thought tucking would only accentuate it. However, a few weeks ago, I experimented with tucking a silk shirt into a pencil skirt and LOVED it! The scores of compliments I received that day sealed the deal – I am officially a tucker now. I’ve found that quality materials and skirts with lining make a huge difference. I don’t like large belts, but I agree about the control garments. I have several of the high-waisted control pants by Assets (Target), and a corset with panty attached (Fredericks) for days when I need extra control.

  6. August 9, 2011 / 11:27 pm

    I agree about the white shoes but for wearing white, yes the fabric is important and I think the climate where you live is important. Here in Dallas it’s been in the 90s all week. I say white is okay in that circumstance.

  7. August 9, 2011 / 11:27 pm

    I agree on the old fashion rules, esp about white shoes. Seems like I’ve been hearing that “no white until after Easter” is the new “no white until after Memorial Day.” I also think if you live somewhere warm most of the year like HI, So. CA, or FL, etc, you have more leeway.

  8. August 9, 2011 / 11:27 pm

    I think the question of wearing white isn’t so much the question of colour but rather a question of fabric and texture as you mentioned. I wear white year round, it’s one of my favourite colours for clothing, but the white coat I wear in the winter is very different from my white linen pants.
    Here in Slovenia we don’t have certain dates that mark “the official opening of white linen pants season”, but it’s something left to personal preferences. I think your particular Lands end dress would be something best left in the closet until the end of May. Personally I think you can get away with wearing it layered over a pair of jeans like a tunic, with a bright coloured trench. Very season appropriate.
    Happy Easter!

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