My weekend in the white pants brigade

heather flett and casey mullins wear white

To promote the launch of a new detergent, Tide challenged me to wear white for the duration of the EVO 12 conference this year.

Challenge accepted.
Because I say “yes” to everything, I agreed before realizing I don’t own any white. Not even my former wardrobe staple of a white button-down shirt. And certainly not white pants or a skirt. My inner voice said, “I have children, I ride public transportation. Why would I own those things?” I purchased a pair of white jeans and a sundress on sale and I was ready to hit the conference.

white pants

With my challenge in mind, I enjoyed packing most of all. Newsflash to me: white goes with everything. A dress, one pair of pants and a few coordinating tops. Done and done.

At the conference, I noticed others in white clothing and felt like part of a secret club: the White Pants Brigade, made up of people who fearlessly wear white in public. Aside from my special outfit, I acted like I usually do: eating and spilling on myself; ziplining and riding a mountain coaster; and taking lots of pictures of myself.

But making it through one weekend in white clothes is not real life. At some point, I’ll need to wash this stuff and wear it at home. So I asked the experts for advice.

Stupid laundry questions
Though I’ve been washing my own clothes since the eighties, I have never had the whitest whites (to the extent that I outlawed white socks for kids and stopped buying white clothes for myself). When I got access to the laundry experts at Tide, I unleashed years worth of ignorance and white-clothes envy* all over them:

  1. Does bleach erase the pattern on clothes? If you’re asking about chlorine bleach, if the pattern is made from dyes then chlorine bleach can fade it. (However, Tide VIVID uses a bleach alternative, not chlorine bleach).
  2. When do I need to wash in hot water? Some consumers use hot water for sanitization if there is a very sick or elderly person in home. For typical families, hot water is not necessary.
  3. If I use bleach and/or hot water and the clothes do not get clean, can I try again next time? If a stain does not come out, do not dry item. Drying will set stain into fabric and harder or unable to remove later. Try using Tide VIVID to help remove and add Tide Boost for more whitening and stain removal.
  4. Can my kids set-in forever-dirty clothes get white again? Some stains may not come out if they have been dried. Tide VIVID and Boost VIVID can help remove dinginess and whiten clothes.
  5. Do I need to separate whites from brights with Tide VIVID? If a garment is new or has a dark color, I would recommend separating so you do not have any dyes transferring between garments.
  6. Basically, how “on top of things” do I have to be? For consistent and worry-free results, use Tide VIVID and Boost VIVID to take care of your cleaning needs.

Back in the real world
Now that my weekend experiment is over, I eye my white clothes with caution. As I type this post, I am wearing blue jeans and a blue t-shirt. My shirt is smeared with the snotty snail-trail of a first morning hug from my baby. My inner voice laughs at me, “I might as well be wearing white after all.”

+++
Tide Vivid (a new detergent to wash whites and brights) sponsored this challenge + supplied me with a bottle of laundry detergent to help me erase my stains.

Shout out to my friends, Rachel Z and Sarah M, who have the whitest whites I’ve ever seen, even on their kids!

[Photo: top photo of me and Casey by Tim Williams]

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RookieMoms co-founder & mom to 3 boys in Berkeley, CA. Bossy big sister and project manager turned blogger helping moms enjoy their first years of motherhood. Find me on my other site on 510families.com or hiding in my minivan eating dark chocolate.