How to Wear Summer White Like a Princess

Kate Middleton and Princess Charlene know their way around a white outfit.

Whether or not you abide by the antiquated rule of only wearing white after Memorial Day, the time to break out summer whites is upon us. And if there’s anyone who can pull off an all-white look in a tasteful manner, it’s today’s set of modern princesses. We’re not just talking about their museum-worthy wedding frocks; these five royals prove that white is appropriate for an international sporting event or a dressy gala.

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We get why it can be tricky to wear this color from May to August, because white is a total dirt magnet and requires strategic planning due to sheer fabrics. But when the sun is blazing and the temps are high, nothing keeps you cool quite like this subdued hue. So sit back and take notes. And while you’re at it, toss those black outfits to the wayside.

Princess Charlene of Monaco

Prince Albert II of Monaco (R) and his wife Princess Charlene share a laugh on the podium during the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monaco street circuit in Monte-Carlo on May 24, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BORIS HORVAT        (Photo credit should read BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Princess Charlene (Photo: Getty Images)

Princess Charlene showed off some movie star glamour at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco this weekend. While her dress has a classic cut, it’s offset by trendy details like sheer paneling and a slicked back hairdo, making this outfit anything but boring.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 18:  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge walks on the sand at a lifesaving event on Manley Beach on April 18, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, Prince George of Cambridge.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Photo: Getty Images)

For a beachside event, whether it’s a casual picnic or a more structured soiree, details are major. We loved the Zimmermann dress Kate Middleton wore in Australia last year, although we’d recommend pairing this fitted frock with a more colorful sandal—light blue or silver would’ve been much more exciting.

Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28:  Marie Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece, attends the book launch party for "India Hicks: Island Style" at Ralph Lauren Fulham Road on April 28, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece (Photo: Getty Images)

Princess Marie-Chantal’s long tunic and slim trousers are perfect for combatting overly air conditioned spaces. We love that she lets these separates take center stage by keeping her accessories to a minimum and adding just a touch of shine with a metallic clutch.

Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis

Germany's Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis poses during a photocall prior to the Christian Dior 2015 Spring/Summer ready-to-wear collection fashion show, on September 26, 2014 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis (Photo: Getty Images)

For a graphic look, mix black and white in tailored way, à la Princess Elisabeth. While the Vogue editor’s longsleeve turtleneck isn’t appropriate for scorching summer days, her sleeveless vest is breezy and will pair well with both white jeans and a little white dress. She also gets bonus points for pairing this outfit with a bold, white purse.

Princess Beatrice of York

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01:  Princess Beatrice attends the annual Serpentine Galley Summer Party at The Serpentine Gallery on July 1, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Princess Beatrice of York (Photo: Getty Images)

The combination of lavender suede sandals and a mint green clutch sounds like a nightmare, but when Princess Beatrice paired those accessories with a romantic frock from Nicholas Oakwell, the result was stunning. Factor in leather appliqué flowers, a sheer cap sleeve, and a red lip, and this princess was clearly the belle of the ball at last year’s Serpentine Gallery Summer Party.

How to Wear Summer White Like a Princess