An Ode To The Little White Dress

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

white-dress

Know what goes perfectly with an end-of-summer tan?  A little white dress.*

*Also, melanoma.  But I use this and this year round, so cut me some slack. (Yes, A, I’m talking to you.)

In any case, there’s just something….foolproof about a little white dress.  I’ve worn an old Milly number (bought almost a decade ago) on date nights and to fancy parties….but I’ve also worn it to watch 4th of July parades (think: curb sitting) and to the beach.

Frankly, I prefer my little white dresses a bit dressed down:  with flat sandals, sneakers and everyday bags.  Even Birkenstocks work! The casual vibes perfectly offset the naturally precious nature of the little white dress.  The resulting look?  Understated glam, a sort of…nonchalant cool.  A this-old-thing? kind of vibe.  And best of all?  It’s easy.

The key, I think, is to not be overly precious with the white dress.  It’s not the dress you select for Art Project Day at Home With The Kids (I mean, c’mon), but for museum trips and running errands and coffee dates with your girlfriends (not to mention the whole realm of real dates)….the little white dress is a solid choice.  (Side note:  I’m kind of a whiz at getting stains out of my little white dress.  The key?  Spot cleaning.  It’s amazingly effective, and works for all but the biggest stains.)

I was in the market for a new little white dress, so I thought I’d share the ones I tried, as well as a few additional ones that caught my eye.  No matter your style (romantic, classic, punk librarian, danish robot), there’s a little white dress for you.   I was trying to find one for our trip to Europe, and YES.  Success.  It’s one of the ones pictured below….although perhaps not the one you think.  Unfortunately, I completely forgot to pack nude underwear, but….somehow I’ll survive.  Shopping for underwear in France is no hardship, haha!

The Grecian Goddess Dress

white-sundress

 

In the photo above, I took the Lilly Pulitzer Sienna Swing dress out for a test drive.  This dress would be perfect for Barcelona – it’s light, airy, and I’m completely obsessed with the gold braided straps – gives it such a cool, Grecian-goddess vibe. Also?  It’s not sheer.   Lilly dresses are incredibly well made, and while the hallmark bright prints aren’t usually my style, this one so totally IS.

There are, however, two downsides:  One is that you can’t hem the dress.  The embroidery is gorg, but so close to the bottom that even a 1″ hem would look funny.  (I’m 5’2″ for reference.)

Secondly, when using my typical packing technique (roll ’em up), it gets wrinkled.  I *could* fix that problem by rolling it between two layers of tissue paper (works like a charm), but since we’re going to be packing and unpacking quite a bit in Europe, that might be more work than I’m willing to do…..

….in any case, this is a comfortable, stunning dress.

white-grecian-dress

white-lilly-pulitzer-dress

lilly-pulitzer-dress

white-sundress

Outfit Details

dress: Lilly Pulitzer Sienna Dress (size XS for reference)

shoes: Splendid Candee Wrap-Around sandals

bag: Rebecca Minkoff Medium Julian Backpack

bracelet: old Chan Luu, but I love this rose gold and gray leather wrap bracelet (and only $30!)

 

The Dress With Glam Crochet and Boho Vibes

boho-white-dress

Another Lilly!!  I KNOW.  So unlike me. But the boho vibes of this dress were too good to pass up.  The shorter length works, as does the gold crochet (and pom-poms!!).  However, I ordered an XS and it’s too tight at the top.  The crochet feels a bit scratchy, but I can’t tell if it’s actually scratchy, or just DIGGING IN.

boho-white-dress-lilly-4

boho-white-dress-lilly

Outfit Details

dress: Lilly Pulitzer Rachelle Macrama and Crepe Swing Dress (size XS for reference) – also in navy (but happily, the crochet is rope-colored, keeping the boho vibe, rather than white, which would’ve been too preppy.)

shoes: Splendid Candee Wrap-Around sandals

 

The Super Comfy One With Pockets

current-elliott-white-dress

 

I had really low expectations for this Current Elliott dress.  There was something….too conservative? about it.  But in reality, the dress is surprisingly flattering, super flowy and cool (in both senses of the word), and POCKETS.

The sizing, per usual, is weird.  I’m wearing a 1 (which typically fits sizes 2-4).  One might argue that I should be in a Current Elliott 0, but I liked the billowy shape and the low neckline.

current-elliott-white-dress-2

current-elliott-white-dress-3

current-elliott-white-dress-4

 

Outfit Details

dress: Current/Elliot Sleeveless Tuck Dress (size 1 for reference) – and oooo…it also comes in chambray.

shoes: Splendid Candee Wrap-Around sandals

 

The Surprisingly Sweet and Sexy Dress

paige-denim-dress-3

 

Now this dress, by Paige Denim, is made from completely soft cotton and has a slightly victorian, vintage vibe, with a distinctly fun, modern appeal.  And I should’ve shot these pics with my Stan Smiths, because this dress can rock the heck out of a sneaker.  In any case, this is one great dress.

The only downside is that this dress is more cream-colored, not bright white, so bleach wouldn’t work.  (But I almost never use bleach – Fels Naptha gets everything out.)

paige-denim-dress-5

paige-denim-dress-4

paige-denim-dress

 

Outfit Details

dress: Paige July Raw Edge Cotton Dress (size S for reference)

shoes: Splendid Candee Wrap-Around sandals

 

So the dresses above were the ones I tried on for our Europe trip.  Can you guess which one made it into my suitcase?  I’ll throw the winner up on Instagram (@shanachristine)….um….once I go underwear shopping.

In the meantime (I know inventory has been in/out of stock), here are a few more little white dresses that caught my eye….

Shop My Fav Little White Dresses

 

xo,

S

A big, huge thank-you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!  Your selection of little white dresses is insane, and I’m always happy to ponder questions like, Which White Dress Best Represents The Style of  A Danish Robot?  As always, all product choices, thoughts, and opinions are my own.  And thank you, readers, for your continued support of The Mom Edit.  It doesn’t go unnoticed, and is so very much appreciated.

 

Share.

About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name’s Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and denim-underwear, always.

FAQ

Shop Shana’s Closet

Instagram

10 Comments

  1. I love me a white dress… a flowy white dress even… but the Current/Elliott number is not a dress. It is a nightshirt. Or maybe it just needs to be midi/maxi length to offset the volume. The rest are gorgeous, per usual. xo

  2. Help! I am going to Europe too. I need plane outfit ideas and what kind of pants are you bringing? I am super casual, usually silk tanks and harem pants, but not sure if that will fly in Europe.
    Thanks!!

  3. You know how I love white . . . and these white dresses are fabulous on you, honey. And I especially like the message I can see on your arm. Tis true!

  4. I AM SO, SO, SO PROUD of you MOMMA!!! You and your sun protected white dress wearing world traveling summer self. Wear pink underwear. You are in Spain for goodness sake. Vive el momento!!! Always. Just with sunscreen. And a bracelet. Preferably near me. Love-A

  5. I would look like a truck in any of the dresses you’re wearing. Perhaps an old school refrigerator. But you? You look like a beautiful pixie. Can we get a white dress post for girls with massive ta-tas? Because trapeze styles generally tend to make us look much larger than we are, and I’m so tired of trying to picture what the dresses on the willowy, waify models would actually look like on ME. Have fun in Europe–I am totes jelly!

    • Hi Maria. I hear ya on the ta-tas–I’m a 36D or 34DD. If you head over to the link I’ll post at the end, you’ll find my suggestions: cinch in the waist. Us heavy chested girls need to accentuate that waist of ours even if it’s a size L! (I’m a 10-12. On joyous days I’m an 8…;)

      Hope this helps! http://www.krembdelakremb.com/?s=White+dress

      Love, Ann from Kremb de la Kremb

      PS I hope you don’t mind me weighing in here Shana. A x

  6. My guess is the Current Elliot because POCKETS! You’re traveling and you’re going to need ’em.

    Standing by to see if I’m right. Wink wink.

    Enjoy!!

    Love, Ann from Kremb de la Kremb

Leave a Reply