What are your thoughts on white garments, particularly when it comes to purchasing them? I surmise that out of all the colours one finds on the colour spectrum, no colour is more pervasive and ubiquitous like white. Everyone has a white item; car, house, shirt, underwear, sunglasses and whatever else. Therefore, one can argue that the colour white is almost mandatory is some way, shape or form. With this post I want to focus on white clothing for gents and how I buy it. From childhood we are somewhat bombarded and in turn enamored with white; our christening is in white, our school shirts are white, and as we grow older we find that white has certain symbolic meanings. For the last decade or so it seems you haven't lived until you've attended a white party, which have seen no abate in their popularity. You have the frowned upon white shoes and next to every little black dress you have 'every' woman's dream dress, a white wedding gown. I've become drawn to the colour because of its versatility and just how much it enhances my wardrobe.
White is also a delicate colour, hard to clean, cantankerous at best and incredibly laborious, therefore, proper wear and care is important. Ever since embarking on this style journey I have always gravitated away from white clothing simply because of the characteristics I have listed above. The only white I have had in my closet are shirts (which are standard), under garments, and T-shirts (what's a hip-hop head without a XXXXXL tee?). However, when I started thinking about what I was missing out on in terms of other types of white clothing I started of thinking of buying them in pairs as opposed to a single piece. This is a theme that runs in my wardrobe for most of my white garments. Whenever I buy white clothing I buy it in pairs or in a short space of time if the item is slightly pricey. I do this simply because white clothes wear, tear, and soil easily; as well as the fact that it always helps having another one as back-up. Those are probably the reasons why I buy white garments in twos or more.
The picture above is a microcosm of the white garments in my wardrobe. When I purchased the Aeropostale golfer/ polo on the left, I decided to buy two of the same thing, simply because I wanted to have it easy if and when I wanted to wear a white golfer. The shirt on the extreme right is light, 100% cotton by Brooksfield. It was very inexpensive, purchased at the now closed down Menz Wearhouse. I bought it in 2009, and for some reason I decided to buy two because I liked the fact that it was double cuffed especially for such a light garment. This shirt is ideal for summer. The middle shirt, is a standard, semi-spread white shirt by Trenery. It is a barrel cuff and is ideal as a business shirt. Whereas I have other white shirts I wear casually, I don't wear the Trenery casually. It was issued to me at my sport gig on TV and when we entered the 2014 season, I once again asked for a white shirt because the brightness of a white shirt can never be restored once it's been worn. The last garment I wish to highlight is the white trouser. Sure, I've had and worn white trousers before, like back in std 1, but this is the first time I'm making a conscious decision to make forays into white trouser territory. I'm intrigued by them and I can't believe at the infinite combinations that I can try. I also like the fact that I can wear white trousers in winter, in fact throughout the whole year. It was a no-brainer that I buy two of these trousers because they are made of linen, soft and I had them altered to my exact specifications.
I've said this before and I'll say it again, the best way to preserve white sneakers is to have more than two pairs in your rotation, in that way you minimise wear and tear, as well as any kind of soiling. The wonderful thing about white sneakers is that they now differ in terms of design, texture and materials between summer and winter. In summer, they are slim throughout, even the sole. In winter, they are thicker with a contrast colour rubbery sole.
Wearing them with care is absolutely important, just because I have two or more of the same thing that is not license to be reckless. However, it's reassuring knowing that I have back-up, which allows for greater use and long lasting care.
PG: Man to man, generation to generation.