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White Pants for Work: Yea or Nay?

White Pants for WorkReader L wrote in to ask about white pants for work — do they make more opaque white pants for work? What are the best tricks and tips for wearing white pants to work? We’ve talked about how to keep white blouses white — and the best white opaque t-shirts — but we have’t talked about white pants in a long while. First, here’s reader L’s question:

With the beginning of spring and lighter colors I’d love to get a pair of white pants for work. The few I have tried on have been very see-though up top. Do you have any suggestions for white pants or tricks to help with too sheer pants?

First: the old rule is that you aren’t supposed to wear white until Memorial Day. So technically, white pants are only for summer, not spring. But I’m seeing them EVERYWHERE this spring (particularly for weekends, with distressed/ripped white skinny jeans) — so they’re clearly more popular (to say nothing of all the suffragist connotations with white pantsuits). So let’s talk about this: do you wear white pants to work, whether in spring or summer? What rules do you have around “white pants for work,” and what tips and tricks do you have to make sure they’re not too sheer?

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The Hunt: White Tops for Spring

 white tops for workSure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

I would guess that 60% of my closet — if not more — is black. White appears far less frequently — but even I love to herald the beginning of spring by buying a few new white tops every year, and (if they’ve held up well enough), pulling out old favorites from previous years.  The white blouse, of course, is a classic — but sometimes you want something that isn’t quite as fussy or as formal as a blouse with collars or buttons. (If you’re on the hunt for a basic button-front blouse, a silky collared blouse, or a basic tee or shell to wear beneath a suit, check out our latest roundups on those topics.) I never know what to call these items (tops? shirts? white non-blouses?) but I do think they’re something that makes every outfit more versatile — and can be an easy way to take your more formal suits away from the dreaded “I’ve got a secret interview today” territory. Of course I am on #teamwhitecamisole as well, but that’s me…

In my mind, white tops break down into basic general categories, which I’ll lay out below…. I’ll note at the outset that a lot of these tops come in colors other than white, which show the details FAR better than the white versions, at least online. In fact, the very fact that there IS a white option may be hidden because the color doesn’t show up against your screen — so use the dropdown color picker menu if in doubt (screenshot of what I mean here).

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Coffee Break: Spring Garden Pashmina

As we drift into springy and summery weather (finally) we are rediscovering our love of lightweight scarves. For temperatures in the low 70s, the scarf always strikes us as the perfect accessory. Wrap it around your neck (multiple times, if you like) on your way to work, or use it as a stole if you’re sitting outside having a drink or grabbing a bite after work. The best part, we think: unlike a jacket, it’s easy to scrunch the scarf up and stick it in your bag if the weather suddenly turns hotter. Today, we’re liking this Spring Garden scarf from Affordable Scarves — at $11.26, it’s definitely affordable.  Spring Garden Pashmina

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