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Rachel Zoe takes on white as year-round wardrobe staple

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By Leanne Italie
Sunday, May 25, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

It may require a tad more attention to detail, but, with care, just about anybody can wear white at just about any time of the day or year.

We asked celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe to weigh in on white, with an eye toward women not convinced it can be a wardrobe staple.

Question: We all have a Little Black Dress, but can the Little White Dress or outfit be just as versatile?

Answer: Absolutely! I treat white the same way I treat black, unless I'm with my children. I would so much rather see a pop of white. It's so much happier. I love it all year-round.

Q: Are some women afraid of wearing white? Should they be? Is it perceived as too bridal for every day?

A: I wouldn't recommend necessarily wearing a long white flowy dress to a wedding. But on a daily basis, a white sundress, or white denim. I love white denim. I love a crisp pair of high-waisted white trousers with a T-shirt or just a button up. It's so chic. I love a white suit. By day, it's not bridal at all.

Q: Is it just as easy to go from day to evening in white as it is in black?

A: Yes, absolutely. I think it's as easy wearing a white dress in the evening. It's amazing. I love it with a messy topknot and a bright lip. It's great.

Q: Can all body types and ages wear white?

A: It certainly goes across all age groups, so the answer is definitely yes for that. For body types, there's no doubt that black is more slimming than white, but I don't think you should shy away from white because of your body type. There's ways to wear it. There's a lot of variables. There's different silhouettes.

Q: How do you figure out which shade of white works best?

A: You choose your white based on skin tone. Optic white is much brighter, and it sometimes has, like, a pink undertone or a blue undertone or a gray undertone. But then there's also creamy white and eggshell and winter white. Those whites tend to be a bit warmer. I think we don't get sick of white. It's not a trendy color.

Q: Where do you stand on wearing white after Labor Day? It seems many women still adhere to that taboo.

A: I go the other way. I wear white all year. I wear it in the dead of winter, all shades of white.

Q: What is your best advice for wearing white, for women who might be intimidated by the color?

A: You have to try. You have to experiment and see what works best for you. It's always about what's your favorite part of your body and always accentuate that part. Obviously, white is much less forgiving, and, typically, white shows more. People are scared their skin is too pale, you know, white is not good on their skin, but there is a white for everybody.

Leanne Italie is a staff writer for the Associated Press.

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