6 Aug 2020

The “Not At-Home” Diary: When White Is Right

The Not "At-Home" Diary: When White is Right on vickiarcher.com

White can feel so right.
What I really felt was a gamut of emotions as I flew to Portugal last week.

I felt spoilt and privileged to leave in what was really a very safe and easy transit. The airport was quiet and well managed, masks at all times during the transit and Lisbon took the whole routine very seriously.

For once the small irritations of travelling became joys; what I once would complain about I almost welcomed. Fellow passengers must have felt the same – smiles were many and patience bountiful. There was no scrambling and pushing for overhead baggage or arm wrestling for personal space; flying was an entirely civilised and ‘new’ experience. How long will it last in Europe? Nobody has the answer but I wanted to take advantage while we could. Winter may bring another round and we will be isolating and home-alone again.

Lisbon; It is safe to say I fell in love.

There is a lightness to Lisbon with the creamy pastels and whitewashed walls. Azure Blue, egg custard yellow and Calamine pink contrast against the multitude of whites running up and down the hills. Walking is one way to experience the patina of the buildings and certainly one way to get fit.

Taking for granted so much of how and where we live seems never more clear to me after months of lockdown and final escape. Our eyes become immune to the nature of where we live and I want to change that. Do we pretend to be tourists in our own city? Perhaps time to reflect this year will enable us all brighter eyes? In Lisbon my eyes were never busier, darting here and there to take in a zillion small details; it’s what I do, observe.

And from my observations, I make decisions.

Like more pastels and now the creamy shades and whites. Wearing black seemed all wrong in Portugal and now with the rising temperatures and ever-present sunshine in London, why not wear more white? At least pretty blouses to offset our darker pieces.

Slowly I am re-defining a summer wardrobe.

It is a result of reflection, of lockdown and of observation. A wardrobe to include lighter shades and more feminine styles and it’s not to say life won’t dictate tailoring as we progress to winter but my prediction is we will want to dress in a more relaxed manner, even then.

After the shirt dress, the next piece I am incorporating into my wardrobe is the soft white blouse. I see myself wearing it with the slip skirt we talked about and the cargo pants. The idea of the feminine smock or floaty with the utility of my cargo pants really appeals. Plus a cute jacket and without much effort we have re-invented another look.

There is a style I have been searching for. Let’s call it elegant bohemian.

It’s not a man-style or evening type of blouse but one we would define as more relaxed, casual but not too twee or childish. Frills, smocking and fancy can go against us if we don’t interpret them in a sophisticated way.

This is what I’m thinking. xv


Falling In Love With White

**la femme  ||  **thierry colson  valeska  ||  **sea geneva smocked  ||  **matin lace trim  ||  lug von siga ruffle  ||  **maje broderie anglaise

anthropologie moza lace  ||  anthropologie luciella smock   ||  anthropologie raffia plisse

wear with

these pants in flax  ||  this jacket is a steal in khaki  ||  and these shoes you know I love them

this feature contains affiliate links

VA In Your Inbox

subscribe for updates from vickiarcher.com

In This Post:




A post on what to see, where to eat, and where to stay in Portugal would make an excellent article, Yvonne. I won’t be traveling for some time, as Covid is still too prevalent and air travel is especially dangerous (being in such close proximity and breathing in recirculated air) but am excited to resume next year.


Hi Vicki….not only do you write wonderful stories and posts but have added photography to the list:-) Such beautiful patina and pastels on buildings! When I am looking through the lens of a camera as I travel, I see differently and thoughts of the people as well as color and oldness (is that a word?) and so much more goes through my mind. So, thank you for sharing your trip…loved reading about Lisbon.


I do love taking photos and having the luxury of time and place to do so is a real treat :)

Michelle à Détroit

I’m a bit frustrated as so many light and airy pieces such as these are currently at our house in Florida, sitting in a dark closet. I am absolutely in the mood for light, feminine clothes. Ah, well, The next time I see them, they’ll seem like long lost friends!

Linda B

The Geneva blouse is exquisite. And your term—elegant bohemian—describes what I have often aspired to. Seems potentially like an oxymoron by it works.


Good morning Vicki! I love this blouse you propose here! This is what I needed a few days ago as I went out and needed to be a bit dressed…no tshirt! However, I had nothing that suited me for my outing and I wore an old but nice short-sleeved turtleneck since the weather was cool, like fall!

This looks light, comfortable yet fashionable to walk the course in such a beautiful setting. I never considered Portugal in my travels; I’ll be lucky if we can make it to the UK and back to France when this is all over.


As you know I love a blouse and am always looking for a new style to wear with my basics. I like mixing feminine and slightly bohemian with a tailored pant or skirt. It’s another summer go-to. You will definitely make-it and once you are here I will help plan your itinerary :) :)


I’m so surprised to hear about the smooth flight procedure which encouraged me to hop on a plain. Colourful dresses…..when I moved from EU to the tropics I also learned that I have to change my dresses in style and colour but I really like a black linen in summer now as before. Wearing a white blouse and cargo pants is so casual at any age.
Unfortunatelly I am not conform with the bohemian style even you are young. Happy to hear that you enjoyed yr trip to Portugal and it was a pleasure to see your beautiful photos which revived all my memories to this country some years ago.

Dawn Solich

I am thinking the same and have adopted elegant bohemian with feminine summer dresses. I pair them with chunky, tire-tread sandals, or strappy, natural-leather sandals. I never choose Birkenstocks with them–too hippie, themey. Do you wear Birks?


Catching up here. I love the term elegant bohemian. I feel the same. This pandemic has completely changed the way I feel and dress. I wonder will it continue after it is all over? I can’t wear anything with ruffles. For some reason I just look silly in them, but I love tucking and pleating of any sort.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

powered by chloédigital