13 Jun 2018

Spend V Save: The White Dress

We don’t have to be altogether perfect to wear a white dress.

And nor do we need to be going bridal.

White is a fabulous dress colour when worn with the right accessories. Like the white jeans, it is all about how we work the piece. I would never wear anything too tight in white and nor would I wear a shapeless nightie style. I tried this a couple of summers ago, at great expense; it was the worst white dress I have ever bought and I looked terrible in it. Nothing could redeem the baggy shape and unflattering line – the moral of the story is to remember what suits you.

I lost sight of that for a moment and paid the price, literally.

Fashion is expensive most of the time so a disaster is not inconsequential. I learned from this and after a period of mourning I am happy to say white and I are back together and having a moment.

Which White Dress?

I like a white dress to have a little detail and texture in the fabric – an element to divert the eye and enhance the overall look.

The shape is best fitted, somewhere – it doesn’t have to be all over but a tighter bodice and fuller skirt can work very well in white.

White needs accessorising. Lots of bracelets, contrasting coloured shoes or a bright lipstick take the white dress to another level. What about these shoes? The nude suede would be beautiful with all white.

The white dresses below are some to save on and the first is definitely making its way into my wardrobe. xv

These White Dresses


**1901 cotton eyelet short sleeve  ||  **1901 cotton eyelet sleeveless  ||  free people midi


apiece apart linen-blend maxi  ||  mara hoffman cotton  ||  joseph satin-crepe

image, benny horne for net a porter 

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Mimi Gregor

Even I, with my renowned love of black, have a white dress — and I love it. I will not touch white jeans, but a dress is another matter entirely. Different colors on top and bottom can cut a short person in half. But the same color — even white — can be lengthening and slimming.

The important thing with any piece of clothing is to buy it in person — not online — and to try it on. Don’t settle for “Oh, I dunno…. Maybe I can make this work.” NO! You can’t. If you don’t look in the mirror and immediately LOVE the way you look, put it back. Otherwise it will just end up in your closet, mocking your lack of judgement every time you open the door. Ideally, you want clothes that make YOU look wonderful… not some idealized version of yourself that exists only in your mind.


I agree but …
These days I buy everything online and see for myself at home, in familiar surroundings… definitely it has to be an immediate YES, otherwise, it’s never right… and then send back those pieces that don’t work. It has revolutionised my wardrobe and shopping experience… Apart from my white dress disaster, I mentioned here… I am far more selective and cautious… :)


Yes, being selective about everything these days is my approach!


Anita, I have to love whatever it is and for “it” to be better or different than anything I already have…
This is my new mantra… :)


I agree, white only works on us if it is the PERFECT cut, style and fabric. And I have to love it. Personally, white pants and skirts are my go to, as dresses don’t work all that well on me unless they are absolutely top quality and cut. {which can mean over the top of my budget!} but like black, white done right always looks classic and elegant. Like you, Vicki, it has to be an immediate “j’adore!” otherwise back it goes.


I save my main shopping for our annual visits to Paris. I actually enjoy doing it in a shop far more than on line. Love to see the styles and colours all around and to touch the fabrics and feel the weight. A couple of days ago was besotted with the Dries van Noten racks of dresses in Le Bon Marche sale – heavenly colours – 40 % off. French and Japanese women were rushing them.
Your white sunglasses look fab on you. While waiting for our table at Ralph’s in St Germain I wandered into the store and was trying on sunglasses, thinking of buying white when one of the staff handed me a pair of silver framed mirror glasses. Like aviators a little but much bigger frames. They were fabulous and look great on a sunny day with white. Best wishes, Pamela


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