Available in all manner of silhouettes—think: fit and flare, curve-hugging sheaths, and beach-ready spaghetti strap styles—the white dress has become the obsession du jour of the fashionable set, including Kate Middleton, Olivia Palermo, and Taylor Swift. Now it’s your time to test-drive the look! To keep this wardrobe essential feeling fresh well through the summer months, take note of these nine foolproof outfit ideas.
If it’s a sweetly feminine look you’re after, consider an eyelet dress. As seen on Kate Middleton during her Australian tour (wearing a Zimmermann dress), the style is perfect for dressier daytime events, especially when paired with nude wedges, like her Stuart Weitzman Mix High Heels ($395).
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A little white dress, like King’s Tory Burch Kimberly Dress ($375), serves as the perfect canvas for statement accessories, so take cues from the Hart of Dixie actress, and throw on a pair of look-at-me-now sunnies.
A peek-a-boo moment by way of sheer panels leads to a subtly sexy, yet still elegant outcome. Take Palo Alto’s Emma Roberts, for example, who attended a PaleyFest event in Hollywood wearing a Finders Keepers dress paired with Jimmy Choo’s Trina Pointy-Toe Jewel Pumps ($3250).
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Let your white dress be a stylish backdrop for displaying interesting accessories. We love the way Palermo’s Louis Vuitton dress at the fashion house’s Frankfurt store opening allowed for her chain link necklace, Louis Vuitton clutch, and Aquazurra Positano Elaphe and PVC Pumps ($885) to take center stage.
When all else fails, red accents are the perfect accompaniment to a white dress. At PaleyFest two months ago, Masters of Sex star Lizzy Caplan opted for the bold hue (Kurt Geiger Britton Ultra Pumps ($400) and a red lip) to add a pop of chic color to her Wes Gordon lace dress.
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A simple way to ground a feminine white dress is to throw on a black motorcycle jacket. The Other Woman’s Leslie Mann did precisely that for an appearance on Good Morning America, wearing Oscar de la Renta’s Belted Eyelet-Hem Dress ($21,402), and the results were utterly cool.
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Your dress doesn’t have to be solid white. A small print, like Swift’s To Tommy From Zooey Polka-Dot Printed Shirtdress ($170), can add a playful touch to your look.