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TODAY contributor
updated 8/25/2008 5:06:57 PM ET 2008-08-25T21:06:57

For a recent outdoor party, I dressed in white from head to toe — white T-shirt, white pants and white shoes. I felt bright and summery, but quickly found that such a clean, simple palette did not come without sacrifice.

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After dropping a blob of olive dip on my lap, I partook of no red wine; skipped the chocolate dessert and chose to stand rather than subject my snowy white pants to a grass stains or a suspiciously grimy seat. As I rocked from foot to foot (all that standing had my arches aching) sipping my chardonnay or spooning up the vanilla ice cream that was supposed to top that chocolate cake, I reminded myself that my white days were numbered.

According to the fashion calendar, there are only a few days left of accepted white-wearing. Labor Day, though usually celebrated with hot-weather activities like barbecues and swimming, has been designated the unofficial start of fall fashion. This means that some unwritten fashionista code of conduct states that once early September hits we’re supposed to equip our closets with a heavier color scheme based on shades like pumpkin, burgundy, brown and the cold-weather whites: bone, cream and ivory.

To those preparing to hide away their lightest clothing until next year, I say: White is all right! If brides can do it all year long, the average person should also be able to slip on their favorite white duds any time of the year. Why should an entire color (or noncolor, if you want to get specific), be relegated to the few short weeks of summer?

In honor of all things unpigmented I have hand-picked a few of my favorite eco-friendly white things — clothing and beyond. Use them now or use them in November. I won’t tell a soul.

Dress the part
Whether it’s a T-shit or a tunic, white clothes often get that way from being bleached. But clothing line Sharkah Chakra has taken the toxins out of the lightening process by baking their white jeans in the Indian sun. These may be the first sunbaked pairs of jeans ever created and hopefully they won’t be the last, as sunbaking obviously isn’t cheap. Meanwhile, you can prepare for Indian summer with Levi’s Laurel Bermuda shorts, which are made from 98 percent organic cotton — a more affordable white option. 

Image: American Apparel Organics
Retailer American Apparel has added an organic line of clothing to its offerings.

As an American Apparel addict, I rejoiced when the rapidly growing company added an organic line (AmericanApparelOrganics.com) to its collection of cotton clothing. I’m partial to the fine jersey T-shirt made from supersoft organic cotton, though you may dig the tank top, men’s V-neck or the toddler jersey.

Eat your whites
When it comes to white food, yogurt is king — hearty and full of healthy, unpronounceable probiotics like acidophilus, it’s always in my fridge. Accordingly, I’ve been following the yogurt scene for years — from Stonyfield’s organic revolution to Fage’s thick Greek concoction. And currently there’s a new player on the market that has won my die-hard affection. Skyr is a supremely dense (think spackle) Icelandic yogurt product that makes the Greek variety look wimpy. Siggi (Skyr.com), a tiny manufacturer, is slowly introducing the U.S. to the wonders of Skyr with sophisticated flavors like Pear and Mint, Orange Ginger and Pomegranate Passion — all sweetened with nothing but a bit of organic agave nectar. Siggi’s Skyr is made from nonfat milk from cows that have not been treated with antibiotics or hormones, and the container’s simple labels are easily removed for quick and simple recycling.

Sleep tight
When I’m not thinking about my next white outfit, I’m busy dreaming about the ultimate set of white sheets. Cool, crisp and organic when possible, these sheets will take away all my troubles as soon as I slide between them. Lately I’ve found myself online searching for these mythical sheets when I should be sending baby pictures to the grandparents or working on my next GreenDAY column. But Under the Canopy will hopefully set me straight. Their sets are 100 percent organic cotton sateen, clock in at a 250-thread count and will fit your bed whether you tuck into a twin, a California king or anything between the two.

Please note: Neither Marisa Belger nor TODAYshow.com has been compensated by the manufacturers or their representatives for her comments or selection of products reviewed in this column.

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