Anybody can wear white, but there are some tricks to help make sure that you pull off the look well. If the colour leaves your skin dull and pale, it may simply be a matter of adjusting the tone. However, to really look amazing in a white dress, it is not enough to simply choose the right shade – you also need to think about the other items used to compose the overall look, from head to toe.
Choosing the Dress
Each shade of white serves a different skin type. If you have a cooler skin tone, use bright whites; but if your skin is warmer, a duller white colour will work better. Olive tones, even with a warmer undertone, work very well with bright white tones.
Match the fabric with the occasion. There are white dresses made from all kinds of fabric: from light cotton or linen to heavier fabrics, such as wool or crepe. If, on the one hand, the long flowing white dress is more suited to the beach or for a picnic, it is probably not suitable for the office. In this case, a dress made of wool or crepe is the most professional option.
Wear underwear that matches your skin tone. Choose a bra and basic underwear without lace, jewels or other embellishments. Match the colour of these pieces to your skin tone as much as possible. Avoid wearing coloured underwear, including white, as any colour, pattern or texture will be clearly visible under a white dress.
Buy an underskirt if necessary. Put your hand under your dress: if you can see it, you definitely need a white underskirt. Choose a basic undergarment a few inches shorter than the dress. Even if you wear skin coloured underwear underneath, an ethereal dress shows more than it should.
Finding the Right Shoes
This dress is like a blank canvas: a great opportunity to add accessories in any colour you want. Try adding a pop of colour with red high-heeled shoes form a classic combination that can be complemented with a red belt, red lipstick or a red bag. If you really don’t like red, try emerald green instead. Another fantastic option is cool blue, but avoid blue and white striped items unless your goal is to assemble a nautical, sailor inspired look.
Try metallic tones for a touch of brilliance. Silver or gold heels are a great option to go with a white dress. For an evening look, choose a sandal with thin straps. During the daytime, try something bold, like a flat shoe, chunky heel or pumps. You can also use shades of copper, bronze or any other metallic shade, such as pearl.
Wear elegant sandals and high heels. They look great with both long dresses and shorter styles. For an evening look, try the silver or gold option. You can also combine a boho look with a gladiator leather sandal which goes perfectly with wider tunic-style dresses.
Opt for a more neutral look with vegan leather or suede sandals. These natural materials look great with white pieces. Combined with a flowing, feminine dress, it makes for a casual, boho style, perfect for summer. If you want something more formal, try beige suede pumps.
Finish the look with a thick belt, lipstick or bag in a bold pop or colour or in a neutral tone.
What about a white dress and black shoes? You can wear black shoes with a white dress but consider what look you’re trying to achieve. Are you going for a classic appearance or a formal look? White dresses worn with black shoes are best kept for evening wear and more formal events. A wearable casual option with a black shoe is an ankle boot – which looks great with a summer dress. Balance the look with a black bag, watch or belt.
Avoid wearing white shoes unless you are a bride. If you really want to wear light shoes, choose a silver or pearl option instead.
Add Accessories and Jewellery
Show off your favourite shiny necklace. There’s nothing like a plain white dress to accentuate the necklace you love. However, try to take into account the necklace when choosing the style of the dress. A long, loose, flowing dress is perfect with a leather belt, glass beads and boho feathers. A white satin dress goes best with a silver and diamond necklace.
Try using other types of jewellery. If you are not so passionate about large, statement jewellery, there are many other options. A necklace with a long chain is very interesting, as are earrings or bracelets. You can even use several bracelet styles at once, creating an exclusive look!
Use metal accessories. Just like shoes, you can’t go wrong when wearing a silver belt or a gold bag. If you’re already wearing a metallic shoe, combine the colours with the accessories. For example, if you wear gold sandals, complement them with a gold belt.
Add a touch of boho with belts, bags and leather jackets. These pieces look great, especially with long dresses.
Be brave, wear thick belts and big bags. It is impossible to make mistakes with the help of a wide red, blue or pink belt. Finish the look with a bag of the same colour, helping to break the monotony of white with a burst of colour. This tactic is great for those who want to be subtle without looking too gloomy or ordinary.
Combine the dress with other clothes. A white dress may look quite simple, but you can emphasise it with an overlapping garment. You can use solid colours or a print, but the layering piece should match the style of the dress. Some ideas are:
- If you prefer a more casual look, combine the white dress with a leather jacket and sneakers.
- Wear a sleeveless dress over a shirt with a collar for a vintage look.
- Wear a scarf or hat. If you have already coordinated your shoes, belt and bag, but still think that something is missing, try to complement it with a hat or silk scarf.
Extra Styling Tips
- Apply your perfume before putting on the dress to avoid stains.
- Apply makeup after getting dressed. If you do your make-up before, you risk smearing the fabric.
- Always carry a handkerchief with a stain remover in your bag. That way, if an accident happens, you can fix it immediately!
How to Avoid a Wardrobe Malfunction
- White fabric tends to become transparent when wet. When wearing a white dress, protect yourself from rain and other sources of water.
- Never go to a wedding in a white dress, because only the bride should be in white and it’s not good to steal her attention, is it?
AD – this post is part of a paid partnership with Femme Luxe but all opinions are our own.