Ah, The Wonder of White in the Summer

Ah, The Wonder of White in the Summer

By Carleton Varney- Special to the Palm Beach Daily News

Well, we’ve nearly made it through what would have been the merry month of May (in non-pandemic years) — and June is just round the corner.

June always gets me thinking about brides and white gowns — along with bridesmaids in dresses, perhaps, of lavender with dashes of mint green. Alas, there likely won’t be many weddings in rose gardens packed with family and friends next month, but we can still dream and plan for the future.

There will be better summers to come, and with them weddings with the brides in white, croquet games with the players in white and yacht parties with the guests in white.

In some ways, I’m a stickler for tradition, so I’ve never really appreciated the trend toward professional tennis players dressing in whatever colors they like such as hot pinks, greens and blacks. But my preference for classic tennis whites goes beyond just tradition, though. When players dress solely in white, I pay more attention to the game, focusing on that fluorescent-green tennis ball.

I’ve heard recently that all those logo shirts, skirts, shorts, warm-up suits and accessories may be on their way out. Now that is only what I gleaned from a friend, but if it’s true, I would welcome that development.

Warm weather is so suited to white, isn’t it? That’s partly because it helps reflect the sunlight to keep us a little cooler. This time of year, I think about women in white cocktail dresses and men in white suits — and all in white shoes. My mother used to pack up all our whites in September after Labor Day and keep them stored in the closet until June.

I think with what we’ve been over the past couple of month, it’s certainly time for a fresh look in our homes. It’s time to bring out the white sheets and bedcovers and the white slipcovers for the family sofas. Such rooms look bright and breezy, especially when the sheers at the windows are crisp-white and clean. I love billowy white sheers at the windows in the sunshine, perhaps looking onto a porch or loggias with white-wicker furnishings.

For the bathroom, there is nothing I like better than spotless white towel wrap-arounds. But — and I do say “but” — don’t forget towels with dashes of color, perhaps stripes of white and blue, white and yellow, or white and green. They always add just the right touch when summer comes.

Did you ever wonder why the racing stands at England’s Ascot always had awnings of deep green and white? Or did you ever notice that most beach and yacht clubs display summer awning of blue and white? Those are classic color combinations, and the classics endure.

So this summer, think about placing some colorful touches on white-wicker porch and lawn furniture.

And for your summer table, an arrangement of bridal-white flowers mixed with soft lavender and pink sweet peas would be such a nice touch. So would frosted crystal frosted glasses filled with colorful fruit drinks.

Oh, I do hope we’ll soon be able to invite friends over for dinner without any worries and to raise as toast to the end of the pandemic with this blessing: “Bless the food before us, the family and friends beside us, and the love between us.”


  • Christine pellerito on

    Mr Varney thanks for the summer memories. I recall Mackinaw Island with its charm black & white striped awnings or green & white stripe. Enjoy the summer & be safe. Sincerely Christine

  • Theresa on

    Have always enjoyed the beautiful and pure color of white.
    Love white walls and adding color with art, accessories and some pop of color in upholstery and area rugs.
    More than ever in these trying times we need to find comfort in our homes.
    Also give acts of kindness to those who have suffered through this virus . And also to the unrest going on in our country.

  • Louise Sperling Ragone on

    Good positive article! Very well written and cheerful. Gives a fresh perspective after watching the depressing newscasts. I love white….it is fresh and clean and goes well with every other color. Looks elegant on everyone and in the home. Like a new, uncluttered and better day!

Leave a comment