Summer in Blue and White

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By Roxy L. Rowton

As welcoming as a gentle summer breeze, the harmonious color combination of blue and white is a perfect sartorial gesture to a season of recreation and relaxation. If fashion has a favorite color palette for the sun-drenched days and balmy nights of summer, it’s got to unabashedly be blue and white! This enduring color combination has been the inspiration of sartorial interpretations throughout the chapters of fashion.

Originally, this color scheme was made popular by the timeless decor staple of blue and white chinaware. The production of blue and white textiles in the 18th century paved the way for the duo to become a celebrated color combination in clothing. The iconic color duo has inspired fashion legends, such as Christian Dior and Valentino, as well as present-day designers Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, to curate collections of special patterns and motifs. The staying power of this classic color duo is indisputable.

In the warm-weather closet, blue and white lend a refreshing take on classic silhouettes and everyday staples. Layer the closet with timeless silhouettes in refined fabrics of blue and white to assemble a simple, pared-down wardrobe of pieces that style for day, night, and everything in between. Tone down the bold contrast of deeper blues and cooler whites with softer hues of cream and pastel blues. Tissue-weight fabrics, cloud-soft textures, and relaxed cuts make this duo a breeze to wear when the temperatures begin to sizzle.

Like so many of our fashion favorites, style hinges on utilitarian practicality and sophisticated sensibility. The pieces we love and wear from season in to season out are a sartorial nod to comfort and simplicity. For an easy approach to warm-weather dressing, a collection of blue and white pieces delivers every time in terms of style and functionality. Whether basking in peaceful places or soaking up sunny spaces, take cues from sky and sea for an organic palette of sun-washed chambrays, cool navies, deep indigos, dark denims, maritime stripes, and aquatic blues to crisp whites, creamy alabasters, cloudy linens, and sea-foam knits.

Ten Ways to Summer in Blue & White

  1. An elongated knee-grazing denim duster, a navy and white horizontal stripe tee, crisp white chinos, and indigo espadrilles
  2. A lightweight seersucker jacket and trouser in blue and white, white silk tank, and denim sneakers
  3. A graphic navy and white motif skirt, a soft blue button-front oxford (cuffs rolled and collar popped) and blockheel navy suede pump
  4. An airy off-the-shoulder white broderie anglaise cotton top, a blue and white pastel gingham pant that falls to an ankle-grazing hem, and embroidered slipper mules
  5. A midi-length navy and cream pinstripe wrap dress, navy tote, and white Panama hat
  6. An aqua maillot swimsuit paired with a two-tone linen voile midi wrap skirt, jeweled Greek sandals, and white straw sun hat
  7. A classic bandana-inspired print shirt of soft cotton, cropped navy wide-leg chinos, and white leather penny loafers
  8. Pleated tissue-weight midi skirt with a playful vertical stripe mixed with a bold horizontal nautical striped or a tonal floral top
  9. A breezy sundress cut from multiple tiers of variegated blue and white stripes that is ideal from beach to bistro or pool to patio
  10. Tonal blue tropical jumpsuit with generous blooms and belted at the waist with a white corded rope

Wardrobe and style consultant Roxy L. Rowton ( spends much of her workweek in the closet or the fitting room helping women look and feel their very best. She has two-plus decades in the fashion, apparel and beauty industries.


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