All-white parties look great, but their problems are rather ...


All-white parties look great, but their problems are rather colourful

I mean, where are you going to find white pants that actually look ... OK?

Yolisa Mkele

For all intents and purposes summer is back and, for men with limited fashion IQs, this is a cause for concern.
The problem is this, with good weather come parties, and no summertime party is so potentially vexing as an all-white party.
Take last weekend’s Diner en Blanc at Constitutional Hill, Johannesburg, as an example.
For the uninitiated, Diner en Blanc is a high-end affair that takes place in major cities across the world.
If you are lucky enough to secure entry, attendees are required to deck themselves head to toe in white. Not eggshell, not cream and not ivory. White. The kind of white that requires you to enunciate the “h”.
Not only must one wear the colour of refined sugar, but the organisers also stress that your outfit must be “elegant”.
The idea behind it, as with all tout-blanc parties, is to create a gorgeous aesthetic to drown your Instagram followers in green envy, and it worked.
The whole thing looked like a flock of angels went on a tour of Constitutional Hill, got left behind by their tour group and decided to make a party of it.
Here is the problem though: finding white items to clothe you below the navel is the devil’s work.
Starting at the bottom, the idea of “elegant” (which I take to mean some variety of formal) white shoes borders on oxymoronic. Formal white shoes are reserved for the kind of magicians who still pull rabbits out of top hats and okes from Fourways who use the word “china” excessively.
Then there are the pants – where does one find elegant white pants? According to a friend of mine who aided in my search for a pair, Bedfordview is the place.
White pants, of almost every sort, are worn by rotund men on beach holidays, hypnotists at children’s parties and that one uncle of yours who won’t let go of the see-through linen pants that he once bought at Gant.
A themed party is pretty much the only place one can go to in white pants unless you are particularly fashion-savvy.
As a result stores tend not to stock them. Those that do stock them in sizes appropriate for the aforementioned uncle.
The less said about white belts/suspenders the better.
Having a wide-brimmed snow-coloured hat, however, is like having frosted tips and gel-spiked hair. The only white clothes you should be confident wearing in public without facing ridicule are shirts.
All–white parties are a lot of fun. They look great in pictures and make everyone in attendance feel pretty, but beware because once the party is over, you will be required to return to the real world and, in case you’re not in tune with the current zeitgeist, white ain’t right.
PS: This only applies to Western attire. Nine out of 10 traditional outfits look delicious in white.

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