Chelsea Flower Show proves all-white outfits are the look of the summer

a group of women in white
Why white is the statement colour this summerGetty / Good Housekeeping UK

Last season it was red that we saw draped over models on the catwalk, worn by celebs at the movie premieres and nestled in our autumn/winter wardrobes. This season, however, we have seen this pivot to a more minimal hue: white. And not just a touch of white, but all-white outfits, everywhere from Hollywood to Chelsea Flower Show.

Embracing the delicate colour palette in style, celebrities including Meryl Streep, Claudia Winkleman, Tess Daly and more have recently been captured embodying the all-white trend, and the high street is brimming with neutral choices as we head towards summer.

Far from being bland or reserved for brides, white is a shade which immediately feels elegant, uplifting and even powerful, especially when it's worn monochrome rather than mixed with different colours.

As Chelsea Flower Show kicked off on Monday 20 May, we saw celebs including Gaby Roslin and Jessica Ennis Hill embracing the trend. Gaby opted for co-ordinated tailoring at this year's event, while Jessica opted for subtle stripes and statement gold buttons on her own all-white look.

the rhs chelsea flower show press day
Jeff Spicer - Getty Images
launch of the stroke association's garden for recovery at rhs chelsea flower show 2024
Dave Benett - Getty Images

Earlier in the month, Meryl Streep was spotted in a fabulous all-white look on the red carpet for the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival.

white trend
Dominique Charriau

Opting for a graceful wrap-around gown, the Hollywood star's look felt romantic and feminine, and demonstrated that a white dress should not be reserved for wedding days alone.

However, if you're a fan of a two-piece suit, Meryl was also seen sporting chic white tailoring when attending her photo call during the same festival in Cannes.

white trend
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis

Another fan of a chic suit is Claudia Winkleman, who ditched her signature black outfits for an all-white fit at the BAFTA TV Awards this year.

white trend
Kate Green/BAFTA

Our fashion director Amanda Marcantonio reveals her take on the popular trend. She says: "Admittedly, it’s not the most practical of trends, but there’s nothing as fresh and chic as an all-white look. Ageless, seasonless and versatile enough to work for every occasion, never underestimate the quiet power of white. Worn top-to-toe, its simplicity and unfussy air makes a style statement without being too “showy” – pure perfection for the minimalists amongst us."

White is a perennial hue but it has a chic, contemporary twist for 2024. Wondering where to start on how to incorporate the white trend in your wardrobe? While white jeans are always a everyday staple and an essential in your holiday capsule wardrobe, look for co-ordinated tailoring, linen trousers and maxi dresses, too and don't be afraid to layer up the pieces for a one-colour look.

Amanda reveals her top tips too. She says: "There’s something eternally chic about a white shirt dress or broderie dress - a great way to ease yourself into the trend, as is a crisp white shirt and jeans – a combo you can always rely on. If you have a summer soiree coming up, give a tailored white suit a go – it feels formal, but relaxed, and makes for a versatile contemporary occasion outfit, just steer clear of red wine.

My top tip? Off-white looks more expensive than optic-white and think about your fabric choice. White lace, silks and satins may veer into bridal territory, whereas cottons and linens just scream, ‘summer’s here!”

Shop our favourite all-white looks here:

On trend and timeless, all at the same time.

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