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(Thinkstock/Stock photo)
(Thinkstock/Stock photo)

What’s the difference between ‘winter white’ and regular white? Add to ...

The question

What is the difference between “winter white” and the regular kind of white that you’re not supposed to wear after Labour Day?

The answer

The simplest answer: fabric. All those gauzy caftans, linen shirts and mesh dresses look out of sync after September. So-called “winter whites” often have warmer undertones: Think cashmere sweaters the colour of cappuccino foam or fleecy sheepskin lining. Less popular, but more nuanced, is a shade of white-grey that evokes an overcast day.

Pair any of these options with black and you’ve got a high-contrast, graphic look that’s both classic and right on trend. Charcoal, navy and camel are other compatible partners. Avoid red for obvious Santa associations. White jeans only work on a certain personality type – call it the high-style preppie – so proceed with caution. But white can be a beautiful point of differentiation in a holiday party sea of black – like a black sheep in reverse.

Amy Verner is The Globe and Mail’s Paris-based style reporter. Have a fashion question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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