We’re firm believers in the energizing power of bold color combinations, but if you’re looking for the perfect hue to kick off a new year brimming with possibility, go with white. Proven to symbolize a fresh start (look up color psychology consultant and theorist Faber Birren for receipts), it serves as a physical representation of new beginnings. We’re using the color as a sartorial blank slate, the most fashionable way to channel some welcome hope and optimism in our 2022 style.
Building on its inherent positive associations, wearing white can take on various meanings and strike a range of associations. First, there’s a fearlessness to wearing the color most susceptible to life’s little errors involving coffee, food, and toddlers. Its ties to the tennis world connote a crisp, sporty sensibility. Finally, the white suit has a feminist political history that can be traced from Kamala Harris’ vice presidential acceptance speech to suffragist rallies at the turn of the century.
In that spirit of power and new beginnings, we’ve pulled a selection of white wardrobe staples created with a distinctly female point of view to accompany you through 2022.
Nigerian label Andrea Iyamah describes their Hadasa Corset Dress as “fit for a queen.” The regal energy is undeniable with its crisp ivory hue and defining corset construction. Crafted from comfortable stretchy cotton, the fitted corset gives a generously cut floor-length skirt. Bow detailing on the hips adds playful energy that keeps the look casual. The hourglass silhouette, flattering and timeless, is also unapologetically feminine. This dress invites you to channel the self-assured sensibility synonymous with royalty into your style—the perfect starting point for a prosperous year.
Fashion’s continued fascination with the white shirt echoes back to Coco Chanel’s integration of menswear elements into her designs in the 1920s. Today, designer Frank Aghuno’s label Fruché reinterprets the beloved wardrobe neutral as a statement piece in the form of a sculptural dress iteration. Hand draped in Lagos, Nigeria, and the Osagie Dress builds on a traditional shirting structure with asymmetric construction and sculptural sash-like layers. The paneled bodice, wide cuffs, and drape from the right hip imbue the design with a certain formality that feels appropriate for a gallery opening, brand launch, or front row appearance. That’s not to say this dress doesn’t retain the styling versatility of the simple white shirt on which it’s based. Dressed down for the day, it becomes a head-turning look for brunch with besties and the inevitable shopping sprees that follow.
Designer Diarra Bousso, inspired by white seashells spotted on a remote island just off the coast of Senegal, created a jumpsuit style that thrives on versatility. The Diarrablu Umy jumpsuit can be worn in nineteen different ways, including an option that uses the versatile Cupro fabric as a head wrap. This wealth of customization options means you can personalize the jumpsuit not only to flatter your figure but also to showcase jewelry. In addition, for a bespoke shopping experience, you’re asked to specify your height before adding to cart so that the studio can tailor the trouser section accordingly. With its measured details and multiple adjustments, this level of considered design makes it easier than ever to individualize your look in a way that gives you confidence for the year ahead.
by emmy kasbit
The Adanna suit by Nigerian label Emmy Kasbit is a blend of crisp linen and Akwete. The latter, traditionally handwoven on a loom by Igbo women, is named after the South-East Nigerian town in which it was created. With pockets on the blazer and trousers, this design feels modern in its utilitarianism. The blazer’s single back vent allows for freedom of movement, while vertical zigzag stitching above the pockets adds a touch of individuality. As always, it’s worth remembering that the pair can be worn together or separately with a suit. The linen’s slightly sheer quality has a party-wear sensibility that makes it clear this suit is designed for celebration. Wear it toasting everyday victories and keep it steamed and ready for the next historic inauguration.
Complete your white look with gold jewelry that adds a touch of texture.
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