The Best Little White Dress for Every Body Type
One for work, one for cocktail parties, one for Sunday afternoons: We all own at least a few LBDs. But as the days get longer and the temps rise, a more playful look is in order. The easiest way to nail the transition? Get your hands on a little white dress. As versatile as its moodier counterpart, the LWD transitions seamlessly from Monday mornings to summer Fridays, and with well-chosen accessories, can telegraph innocent charm or downtown cool. Here, the very best ones for any body type.
If You’re Pear-Shaped: Go Full in the Skirt
Two things you want to do here: highlight your best assets while still feeling breezy and carefree. But if you have wider hips, a lot of straight-cut summer dresses are likely your worst nightmare. Instead, opt for a dress with some structure—specifically a fitted bodice, a nipped waist and a pleated skirt. Then, twirl.
If You’re Pear-Shaped: Try a Plunging Neckline
There’s a time and a place for everything—including a time to turn some heads. That’s where a cleavage-skimming V-neck comes into play. (Hellooooo, bombshell.) Not only do you get to flaunt your elegant neckline, but the upside-down triangle also draws the eye upward to elongate your middle and draw attention away from your lower half.
If You’re Pear-Shaped: Strike a Balance
As long as the waist is defined, go breezy on the bottom and top.
If You’re Apple-Shaped: Choose an Empire Waist
The key here is to hit your waist at your smallest point: Right at the top of the ribcage. Off-the-shoulder sleeves and a midi length also help to distract from any trouble spots.
If You’re Apple-Shaped: Avoid the (Completely) Shapeless Sack
Well, isn’t this the summer dress of our dreams? Look for something that drapes your figure without hugging your midsection too closely, but don’t settle for just a tent dress. Try to find one with a slight trumpet hem to give the illusion of a smaller waist. Trust us: It works.
If You’re Apple-Shaped: Go for an Adjustable Drawstring
Another way to avoid the dreaded potato sack look? Empire waist toggle-secured drawstrings.
If you’re an Hourglass: Choose a Fit-And-Flare
This silhouette is perfect for showing off your curvy figure. It fits your smallest part and flares out with your curves. (And did we mention that it’s totally work-appropriate?)
If you’re an Hourglass: Go Full-Coverage
Ladies with this curvy body type may not want to always look so va-va-voom. Continue to show off your tiny middle with this waist-cinching belt, but keep your top half covered with a high-neckline.
If you’re an Hourglass: Just Add a Sash
An adjustable belt will highlight your slim waist even more.
If You’re Petite: Go Mini
Choose a dress with a shorter hemline that will give the illusion of longer legs. But since it’s short, be sure to steer clear of anything super tight, lest you look like you’re heading to the club circa 2002. A shift should do just fine.
If You’re Petite: Try A Halter
You’re one of the few body types who can pull this off without over-accentuating the shoulders.
If You’re Petite: Add Some Dimension
The trick is to add interest. Look for a top that has some kind of embellishment, like this eyelet-covered ruffle.
If You’re Tall: Go Midi
The more inches you have on you, the more fabric you can play with. But if suggesting a maxi is laughable because they’re never long enough, go with a midi that can hit anywhere from your knees to your calves and still look chic.
If You’re Tall: Create Curves
If you happen to be more straight up and down, opt for something that naturally defines your waist. It creates the illusion of an hourglass. Plus, you’ll love how cute the back is.
If You’re Tall: Use Color-Blocking to Your Advantage
This dress acts as a literal grid to divvy up your body proportions. A knee-length hem means even if you’re up there in inches, it won’t ever get too short, and the cute peter pan collar will have all eyes on your décolletage.