You need these 14 white dresses in your summer outfit rotation

Nothing says summer like a LWD

Fisayo Longe in white maxi dress and sunglasses
(Image credit: @lisonseb, @fisayolonge, @nlmarilyn)

It's hard to imagine a more perfect summer staple than the little white dress. Well, perhaps a good linen piece, but a great white dress definitely comes in at a close second. Basically the summer version of its little black dress counterpart, the LWD has become the go-to option for many once the sun starts shining. Perfect for throwing on whether you're going to work, jetting off on holiday (oh, to dream) or simply hosting a BBQ in your back garden, the little white dress is a hardworking addition to any summer wardrobe.

If you're looking to invest in a little white dress this season, you're most likely wondering which styles are trending right now. Well, on the spring/summer 2024 catwalks, designers embraced the staple summer piece, with Acne Studios, Alberta Ferretti and Chloe all sending an array of dreamy gowns down the catwalk in every tone from ice white to ivory. Proving you can re-invent the fashion wheel, they were anything but basic, with cut-outs, sheer fabrications and embellishment elevating the classic piece to new levels.

For the minimalists however, more paired back white dresses were also in attendance. At Gabriella Hearst, models took to the catwalk in simple maxi length styles while Gucci re-imagined the satin mini in a fresh white tone proving just how versatile a great white dress can be.

Wondering which style of white dress is best for you? Well, we've got you covered. Keep scrolling to find out...

White summer dresses

Lisonseb in white strapless dress

(Image credit: @lisonseb)

There's something about slipping on a fresh white dress when the sun is shining that just feels right, so it's no surprise that some of the best summer dresses stick to the minimalist tone. This season, cottagecore styles are still reigning supreme, with puff sleeves, pretty embroidery and ethereal floaty fabrics still on trend.

For those who prefer something more simple, subtly embrace the look with ruching, full skirts and light cotton fabrics.

White party dresses

Fisayo Longe in white maxi dress

(Image credit: @fisayolonge)

Party-perfect white dresses are on the rise, especially for brides looking to carry on with the bridal theme for events surrounding their wedding. Here again, there are styles to suit all tastes, from sequins, balloon sleeves and embellishments for the maximalists, to slinky satin and perfect tailoring for the minimalists.

Elegant white dresses

nlmarilyn in white maxi shirt dress

(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

For daytime dressing that is entirely office-appropriate, do consider the humble white shirt dress. Yes, it's not the most exciting option, but a clever pairing of statement accessories, like this season's must-have mesh ballet flat, can really add a modern spin on this tailored style. Do also look at white linen dresses especially in maxi lengths if you're looking for something more modest and elegant. They're great worn on holiday with flat sandals or wedges as well as around the city.

Now you know everything these is to know about the best white dresses, it's time to get shopping. Check out our edit of the best white dress styles below.

Shop the best white dresses

Picture this worn with tan sandals and your best basket bag for all your summer events - perfection!

Simple yet sophisticated, the visible seam detail takes this classic white dress to somewhere unexpected and interesting.

Ideal as both a beach cover up and a holiday evening dress, this white crochet midi deserves pride of place in your suitcase.

Wrap dresses are a style that never goes out of fashion and by investing in a classic white tone, you know you'll love it for years to come.

Whether you're a bride-to-be or just looking for a dress for your next big event, this embellished midi is sure to wow.

Made from white denim, Khaite's oversized take on the shirt dress offers easy summer dressing. Just add contrasting black sandals and you're set for the day.

With the option to wear both with or without the matching belt, French Connections balloon sleeve white mini dress offers two styles in one.

Made from 100% silk, Rixo's backless waistcoat style slip dress is the ultimate in luxury.

Combining delicate tie straps and a ruched empire neckline, Reformation's Catarina dress is made for soft girl summer.

In our opinon, Tove make some of the best summer dresses if you want to look chic without compromising on comfort. This strapless style is no different, made from 97& cotton, it's light, airy and looks great too.

Sequins, diamantes and cut-out detailing, it doesn't get more dazzling than this Self-Portrait white mini dress.

While Farm Rio may be known for creating amazing printed pieces, this classic white dress proves they really can do it all. Featuring pretty lace detailing and a corset style top, it shows a classic white dress needn't be simple.

White cotton dresses are trending right now and it's no wonder why when you look at how chic they look with minimal effort.

If Barbie wore a white dress we're pretty sure it would be this one. Featuring an a-line skirt, scoop neckline and straight hem, it looks straight out of a dolls house in the best way possible.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.

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