That’s not to say it cures me of my fear. I stage-whisper to my desk neighbor, our social media director, Gena Kaufman, that I’m still terrified I’m going to accidentally pour my lunch all down my front. After all, last week I dropped mustard on my lap—twice. I basically eat like that Breakfast Machine. “I know,” she says. “When some of your white clothes were at your desk last week I was so worried I was going to spill something on them.” Excellent: My white clothes are even holding my colleagues hostage.
Day 5: A sad subway disaster
For the week, I’ve decided not to work out, since my dirty yoga mat is definitely going to pose problems for my pristine white wear. (Also, I am very lazy.) As for other regular activities, getting to work is a different question. There’s no other way for non-millionaire me to travel, aside from the rat-infested NYC subway.
Well, there’s nothing for it. Not wanting to let public transport defeat me, I hold myself in a kind of armadillo-esque ball, touching as few surfaces as possible. I’ve fallen in love with the fluffy white Ugg slippers I’m wearing—they’re Fran Fine meets the shower slide—but now I realize that they are certainly sweeping up dead skin cells and protozoa from the ground. Panicked, I pick my feet up off the grimy bottom of the carriage. As my abs contract in protest, I bang my shins underneath the seat in front of me, and, sad bingo: mystery black smudges bloom on my jeans. GREAT.
Day 6: Is this experiment expanding my horizons?
Instead of worrying, I’m thinking more about the clothing styles I’ve considered while selecting white garments. Unexpectedly, the color has forced me to look outside of my usual silhouettes. Of course, all the staples I usually rely on, like skinny jeans and button-downs, come in white; they’re as comfy and easy to wear as usual. But flouncy, feminine styles proliferate at this time of year and in this hue. I find myself struggling with the delicate lace and ruffles that often go hand in hand with white clothes.
Still, I’m a trouper, so I pick out something I wouldn’t usually wear: a pretty eyelet cotton top and skirt combo from J.Crew. My boyfriend, who has looked upon this whole experiment with alarm (if you want to know who spilled the tea on my dress, it was him), says, “That looks amazing!” I scowl at him, but looking back in the mirror, I notice it does have a Picnic at Hanging Rock vibe. I can live with that.
Day 7: Am I…doing this?
On the final day of my little experiment I find myself both relieved and a little sad. At the office, our associate editor, Kristina Rodulfo, has been saying that she looks forward to seeing what I’ll wear every day, and I have to admit I feel a similar way about the new looks.
Around 5 P.M., there’s a happy hour, and in the middle of my second glass of red wine I start telling a story, flinging my arms violently around like the conductor of an orchestra to illustrate my points. “Estelle, look at you, all in white, with red wine in your hand!” Gena says. She’s right: It’s like I took on the Big Boss of wearing white, without even thinking about it. And I don’t spill a drop. I am the queen of the world, or at least of DGAF City.
Plot twist: Once I’m at home, I notice a giant mystery stain on the hem of my dress. But you know what? I don’t care at all.
Photography: Kathryn Wirsing
Styling: Justine Carreon