At Queen’s, students often joke that we’re all unified by an unofficial uniform. Lululemon leggings, the Aritzia Super Puff jacket, Blundstone boots and white sneakers often characterize this seemingly classic everyday look. Before I go any further, I would like to make something clear – I’m not here to throw shade at those that choose to wear this fit on the daily! I often fall subject to sporting this homogenous look myself – who can resist the practicality of a Blundstone bootie?
My point is that fashion offers so much more than this small range of clothing pieces. This winter I challenge you to take a small step outside your comfort zone and adopt a look that continues to be considered a fashion faux-pas by many: winter whites.
Wearing white in the winter? Groundbreaking concept – I know. While this may or may not be a new look to you, the revolutionary aspect of the look is apparent once we consider the historical underpinnings of the phrase that many baby boomers, including my beloved mother, drilled into our generation throughout our childhood: “you can’t wear white after Labor Day!”
During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the wives of affluent male figures ruled the fashion industry with an iron fist post Civil War in the United States. During this tumultuous time, the dichotomy between the wives of old money, compared to those of new money, was more apparent than ever. In order to deepen and reaffirm the divide between those of different socio-economic status the women who were already in the high class felt it necessary to create a set of arbitrary social norms. One of those being no white post Labor Day.
Notably, not all renowned self-identified women in the fashion industry adopted this rule. Coco Channel continued to act as a pioneer in the fashion industry by disregarding these elitist unspoken rules. If Coco Chanel can stray from societal norms in a patriarchal world order at the turn of the twentieth century, then we can certainly follow in her steps and step outside our comfort zones – even if it’s something as small as sporting white pants in the winter.
White linen may not be the most practical fabric for the cold Kingston winter months. Instead try adopting chunky white knits or all white fits, paired with neon pieces. Alternatively, you can never go wrong with a monochromatic black and white look! Oversized trench coats, pops of colour, fun patterned houndstooth skirts and off-white pieces are all great options to pair with your crisp winter whites.
At the turn of the decade, MUSE has spoken out about our unconditional love for hat season, fun patterned tights and now, my dear reader, we’re here to encourage you to break out your summer clothing bin and mix some winter whites into your everyday wear. This act of defiance may seem small and simple. Yet, as Coco Chanel would say, “simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance”
All White Fit
Cozy n casual
survival of the chicest
Not your average suit
pops of colour
Photography: Roscoe Dillman, @peregrine_productions
Creative Direction: Donavan Williams
Models: Claudia Beattie, Madeleine Griffith, Victoria Pitoscia, Frannie Shen, Kaia Depelteau, Isobel Gibson