I Hardly Ever Wear White Dresses, But These 9 Brands Are Making Me Want To


(Image credit: @chrissyford)

As ethereal and beautiful as white dresses are, they never really interested me. I suppose I've always been wary of them being see-through and that I would inevitably spill something on them. And while both may still be true, I've finally decided that the pros outweigh the cons thanks to the brands listed below.

So what makes a good white dress in 2020? Given the current dress trends, it may have smocking, tiers, puffed sleeves, eyelet, embroidery, tulle, or any combination of these features. Gone are the days of body-con white dresses (which are quite tricky to wear), and here are the days of breezy oversize silhouettes. Many of the white dresses by the brands I'm highlighting below also have a lining or are made of opaque fabrics. (Or you could just wear a slip or nude undergarments—it's worth it.) And as far as stains go, you might want to carry these wipes around. 

Keep scrolling to shop my favorite dresses by the nine brands that actually converted me to being a white-dress fan.

1. Madewell

Between Madewell's affordable prices and inclusive sizing, there's a lot to love. And every summer, you can count on it to deliver a plethora of easy, casual white dresses that will instantly put you in that vacation mentality.

2. Staud

Staud is one of my go-tos for white dresses that are both beautiful and quirky. Expect to find both casual and dressy options that are sure to make you stand out.

3. Ulla Johnson

Ulla Johnson's white dresses are practically works of art. They're perfect for special occasions, and they're beautifully made and highly coveted, so consider it a worthy investment to make.

4. Reformation

Whenever I want a white dress, one of the first places I check is Reformation. With breezy linen midi dress, silk minidresses, and even wedding dresses (and everything in between), you'll probably find exactly what you're looking for.

5. Cecilie Bahnsen

While they're certainly a splurge, Cecilie Bahnsen dresses are the holy grail of white dresses in 2020. You've probably seen them on your Instagram feed, as every fashion girl is obsessed with them. And you can thank her for the return of the baby doll dress.

6. Free People

If you love a carefree, comfortable, throwback vibe (for lack of a better word) when it comes to white dresses, Free People is your mecca. You're clearly not alone, as its white dresses always fly out of stock.

7. Cult Gaia

Even if you aren't able to take an Italian vacation this summer, it'll at least look like you're on one in a Cult Gaia dress. Not only are they gorgeous, but they're also so comfortable I'd be happy to just wear one around the house for now.

8. H&M

This time of year, it seems like H&M gets new white dresses in stock every day. And they always reflect the current trends and are crazy affordable, in true H&M fashion. Just be sure to act fast because they always sell out.

9. Matteau

Matteau's minimalist aesthetic translates so well to its white dresses. Made of beautiful, breathable fabrics cut into timeless silhouettes, they're the epitome of simple summer dressing.

Next up, 18 summer dresses you can wear anywhere.

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.