Summer "white parties" have been a mainstay of the Hamptons social calendar long before P. Diddy made headlines with his annual celebrity-studded extravaganzas. But while the dress code appears simple—white—there's a certain sense of style you need to keep in mind.
Browse through copies of summer fashion issues of leading women's and men's fashion magazines such as "Vogue" and "GQ" to familiarize yourself with the latest summer fashions. Hampton white parties tend to be upper-crust social affairs, and the last thing you want to do is look like John Travolta out of Saturday Night Fever when the cameras click. Tear out pages you like, or write down the information so you can use it later.
Armed with your clips and notes, hit the mall and start assembling your wardrobe. Try outlet shops first, and try to shop at the end of summer or fall for the best bargains, before the new lines come in during the winter and spring.
For men, consider a white linen suit or sport coat with matching slacks. You want something light, breezy and casual. Avoid dense (and out-of-date) polyester.
Similarly, avoid a stiff white dress shirt. Go with something that will complement the linen look, like a madras shirt or a cotton shirt with embroidered trim.
Complete your men's outfit with shoes—white designer sneakers or boat shoes, to top off the summer casual look of the rest of your outfit.
For ladies, a white summer dress, sleeveless if you've got the skin and body for it, is a good, safe bet. As an alternative, you may wear a smart white blouse with skirt and matching blazer for a more businesslike look.
Stay away from pumps or anything with high heels. Stick with simple white sandals.
To add a touch of class, consider a light, breezy summer hat—white, of course.
Check with the host ahead of time. Some white parties let you stretch the bounds a little and incorporate pastel colors into the overall white theme of what you're wearing.