Art of Style

Discover This Season’s Must-Have White Dress

Street-style stars, including editorial director Tahirah Hairston (center), work their white dresses with muted accessories

Effortlessly elegant, a fresh white dress has enduring appeal, says GEORGIE LUCAS. Discover the perfect pieces for SS23 and beyond

Go oversized with puff sleeves, or slink into a bare-arm, streamlined iteration: SS23 is all about keeping it bright and breezy

The sartorial equivalent of an ice-cold drink on a warm day, a crisp white dress is instantly refreshing. It feels put together without being overdone and delivers the sort of easy-breezy aesthetic we all seek when the mercury rises. And, like its classic counterpart, the LBD, it’s eminently versatile, with designs to suit every style – and every occasion. By day, Emilia Wickstead’s woven ‘Mona’ mini dress will look chic with minimal slides and a raffia tote, while Stella McCartney’s broderie anglaise midi dress is a delicate, pretty take on the trend. What’s more, both designs are included in our NET SUSTAIN edit of more consciously crafted pieces.

If you’re on the hunt for event-ready designs, look to Khaite’s ‘Lally’ gathered cotton-poplin maxi dress – paired with patent knee-high boots and a denim jacket, the style would work equally well for daytime, too. For head-turning style, Christopher Esber’s ‘Arced Palm’ strapless jersey maxi cleverly fuses minimal elegance with high-impact appeal – just add chunky silver jewelry for a statement look. Meanwhile, Bottega Veneta can always be relied on to deliver polished elegance, and the brand’s woven halterneck midi is a particularly chic event option.

A white dress lends itself beautifully to a whimsical, bohemian mood, too, and Isabel Marant’s pointelle-knit ‘Ava’ mini is a perfect example – layer it over a bikini or one-piece for instant vacation vibes. Elsewhere, Ulla Johnson’s ruffled crochet-trimmed midi dress is exclusive to NET-A-PORTER and provides a romantic warm-weather option. Alternatively, try LoveShackFancy’s intricately embroidered ‘Aneesha’ maxi – the style delivers ’70s appeal in spades, with billowing sleeves and crochet trims. Add polished gold jewelry for a summer event, or slides and a wide-brimmed hat for summer in the city. Ibizan label Charo Ruiz’s lace-trimmed ‘Vivida’ maxi can be dressed up or down, and features exaggerated ruffled shoulders that give the design an ethereal mood.

At the other end of the style spectrum are clean lines and pared-back silhouettes – Faithfull The Brand’s ‘Madella’ strapless cotton midi has an effortless pull-on, pull-off appeal that makes it a vacation favorite, while Vince’s rib-knit midi is a true closet staple – wear it with chunky slides and this season’s favorite oversized denim jacket.


The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown