So, Who Exactly Thinks White Coats Are A Good Idea?



white-coat-1Bottega Veneta White Coat; Photo: Courtesy of Net-A-Porter.
The white coat is one of the season's biggest trends, with both designer and high-street shops presenting hundreds of options to fulfill your ice-princess fantasies. But, is a white coat just that — a fantasy? Two Refinery29 staffers weigh the pros and cons of white coats, the inevitability of grime, and what it means to own "grown-up" clothes.

Connie Wang: White Coats Aren't Made For Real People.
"Now, don't get me wrong — it's not like I walk around all day like a Magneto for stains. I can finish a burger without it ending up in a lap, and I've learned how to not lean on poles that have 'Wet Paint' signs. I don't have feet for hands, though my handwriting might suggest otherwise. But, just living in a place that's even a little less sanitary than the inside of an operating room will wreck a coat like this. A smudge from a dirty cab seat, a sprinkling of stray pollen and brick dust, unavoidable drips from overhead AC fluid…even if I'm so, so careful, white can start to look off-white real fast, even if you're good about dry cleaning.

The other part about this has to do with cost. Coats are expensive and not something that most people can afford to have many of. When it comes to choosing a new one, I need to know that I'll be able to get the most bang out of my buck. Inexpensive materials really stick out with white fabrics, so if I'm going to spend a considerable amount of money on one, I shouldn't be paranoid about the inevitable grime that's going to ruin it."


Gina Marinelli: Put Your Big-Girl Pants On And Buy That White Coat.
"The specifics are fuzzy, but there are quite a few white jackets that I have loved and lost out on. And, it's not because I spilled a coffee all over myself or because the white simply turned a brownish-eggshell color — it's simply because the style no longer suits me. But, I'm excited to revisit them once the trends cycle back around. My obsession with a crisp, white coat stems from my youth. I can remember countless times my mother made me pick a winter jacket in another color because 'You never buy a white coat. It'll never stay white.' From a very young age, I begged to differ. After all, it's hard to resist the pristine, classic appeal of a soft, white color that stands out in the sea of black and navy coveralls that winter is often known for. And, I'm not saying you should stock up entirely on white clothes and never take a little bit of extra precaution, but I'm of the 'If you love it, buy it' mentality. A white topper may require a bit more attention when it comes to balancing a latte on the way to work, but I think it's worth the effort if it's truly a piece that makes you feel good. Look up a few cleaning and maintenance tips, and put your big-girl pants on. You can do it."