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My One-Color Summer Uniform (in 6 Easy Pieces)

It's official: I'm exclusively wearing white (plus ivory and cream) this summer.

By Tory Hoen

Life is complicated right now, and I, for one, do not have the energy for elaborate outfits.  That said, I like to look and feel good, even in isolation. So this summer, I’m taking a cue from my friend Lucy, who has worn the same thing every day for the past few years—literally. And not just the same “look,” but the exact same three pieces: a white T-shirt, white wide-leg pants, and when it’s cold, a white wool sweater. She always looks chic and effortless, and more importantly, she always looks like herself.

So as summer approaches, I’ve decided to try her method—first in quarantine, and then hopefully in the wider world (once it safely opens up). I’m allowing myself six pieces to Lucy’s three, but still adhering to her white-toned palette. It’s crisp, clean, and I never tire of white. (I do, however, spill on it—but that’s okay, because all of my picks are machine- or hand-washable.) By mixing true white with near-white tones (ivory, cream, bone), I can create outfits that have a bit of texture and tonal depth. Here are the six easy-to-wear and simple-to-style pieces in my summer rotation. 


The Anderson Pant in Bone

I freakin’ love culottes. They’re easy and nonchalant, while still conveying a sense of style. This particular pair is incredibly versatile: wear them with a T-shirt to flop on the floor with your kid (or dog or cat); pair them with the Lagarde shirt for a Zoom meeting; or throw on the Peggy top for an elegant glass of wine in your garden (or stoop, fire escape, windowsill, whatever).


The Leslie T-shirt in Ivory

Sure, it’s a white T-shirt—but what a white T-shirt it is! Made of high-quality Pima cotton (from a female-run factory in Peru), the Leslie is my go-to tee for summer 2020. I will wear it with the Anderson for a swingy silhouette or with the Foster for a sportier look.


The Lagarde Shirt in Cream

There’s nothing like a silky white dress shirt to make me feel like a Parisian. But actual silk in the summer? No thank you. The wrinkle-resistant (e.g. no-ironing-necessary) Lagarde has the drape of a fancy shirt, but the machine-washability of an old rag—just how I like it. I pair it with the Fosters, the Andersons, or my favorite white jeans.


The Foster Pant in Bone

The Foster pant is like a legging, but sturdier and more grown-up. In this shade of “bone,” it works beautifully with any of my white tops to create a summery, tonal look. I especially love it with the Peggy top for a beachy-yet-professional vibe, and it also looks great with the cozy Nancy sweater for evening strolls.


The Peggy Top in Ivory

This top feels like a basic tank, but has a more elevated look, thanks to its V-neckline in front and back. In other words, it’s perfect for video conferences, Zoom dates, or socially-distanced picnics in the park. Wear it to balance out the flowy Anderson pant, or pair it with the Foster for a sleek summer silhouette.


The Nancy Sweater in Ivory

We all need a go-to summer layer, and the Nancy sweater is mine. You can throw it over anything: a T-shirt and jeans, a sundress, a bathing suit. And if you want to attempt a full “Jackie Kennedy in Hyannis Port” vibe, wear it with the Lagarde (lapels peeking out) and the slim Foster pant.

Bonus: The Koio Sneaker

Don’t forget your feet! An all-white look calls for a cool all-white sneaker, and the Koio in leather (or canvas) delivers. Sporty enough for the streets but sleek enough for your (eventual) return to the office, this is the ultimate sneaker of summer 2020.

Tory Hoen

Written By

Tory Hoen

Tory Hoen is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor. She spent five years as the Creative Director of Brand at MM.LaFleur (where she founded The M Dash!) and has written for New York Magazine, Fortune, Bon Appétit, and Condé Nast Traveler. She loves doughnuts and inter-species friendships.

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