The Best Little White Dress for Every Body Type

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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.

The Most Flattering One-Piece Swimsuits for Every Body Type

eliza j white dress

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.

free people white dress

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.

lost ink pom pom dress

If You’re Pear-shaped: Strike A Balance

As long as the waist is defined, go breezy on the bottom and top.

torrid white empire dress

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.

kobi halperin mala crinkle shift

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.

caara drawstring midi

If You’re Apple-shaped: Go For An Adjustable Drawstring

Another way to avoid the dreaded potato sack look? Empire waist toggle-secured drawstrings.

1901 cotton eyelet short sleeve dress

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?)

gal meets glam midi waist tie dress

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.

j crew waist tie midi dress

If You’re An Hourglass: Just Add A Sash

An adjustable belt will highlight your slim waist even more.

untitled 1lilly pulitzer indira eyelet minidress1

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.

loft tiered eyelet dress1

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.

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trina turk white eyelet mini1

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.

bp ruffle trim midi

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.

free people endless summer midi

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.

torrid colorblock floral white dress

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.

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Katie Maguire

Blue jean baby, LA lady (NYC transplant)

An avid bargain hunter, SoulCycle-goer, and vacation-planner, Katie has somehow turned her online shopping addiction into a full-time job for PureWow.
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