An Ode To The Little 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



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.





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


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.



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



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.





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



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.)





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




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.