March 08, 1999 12:00 PM

Vanilla Nice

Winter white suits the coolest stars—and the occasional bear—just fine

Call it fear of clashing. Or monochrome madness. More and more, stylish celebs are making like Tom Wolfe and wearing white from head to toe in the snowy season. “There’s something so virginal about it,” coos The Practice’s Lara Flynn Boyle, who went all-white at last month’s Golden Globe Awards. “It’s so classic, and it looks great on the skin.”

Plus it’s simple, if you follow a few rules. “Avoid bright, stark whites in the middle of winter,” advises Hollywood fashion stylist Cary Fetman. “Go with outfits in the cream family—they’re warmer and softer.” Off-white wool, cashmere and angora getups can turn a dull gathering into a winter wonderland. “Wearing white lifts people’s spirits,” says actress Alfre Woodard, a fan of the look. “They see you and they say, ‘Wow!’ ”

But cold-weather wearers must avoid white’s natural enemy: slush puddles. “Getting the whites cleaned constantly is the price you pay,” shrugs Fetman. Perhaps the most important tip of all: eat before you get dressed, particularly if you’re like Gia actress Angelina Jolie. “I’m a klutz,” admits Jolie. “I end up spilling stuff all over the place. Wearing winter white can be pretty frightening.” Maybe that’s why you never see Tom Wolfe scarfing a taco.

Alex Tresniowski

Steven Cojocaru in Los Angeles

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