Stand Apart from the Crowd with a Little White Dress

When most people think of white, they think of a few things: don't wear it after Labor Day, don't wear it unless you're a bride and don't spill anything on it. These all have powerful associations.

When you were young, your grandmother, and then your mother too, told you that it was a sartorial sin to wear white after Labor Day. No one ever really explained why, of course; It's just one of those things that was understood, like that when you hit your teenage years, you had to start shaving your legs and wearing mascara, and how suddenly it wasn't cool to wear velvet anymore.

Brides are expected to wear white, because white is pure – it's the color of virginity – and while many a non-virgin bride wears white, it's often thought of as a color that should be restricted to brides and brides only. These days, however, more and more women – even those that aren't brides, are wearing white – and they're daring to wear it after Labor Day! Without a fear of spilling on it!

In fact, a little white dress is a great way to stand out from the crowd, because everyone else will be wearing jewel tones or, even worse, black. Rarely do women think of white when it comes to buying their next sundress or that perfect cocktail dress, but white is practically universally flattering – it works with all skin tones! There's really no woman out there who can't rock white, so forge on, stylish ladies, and see how you can be the next one to wow the crowd in a little white dress.

Forget the little black dress. These days, it's all about the little white dress. Start a style revolution by donning a white dress and watch as the heads in the room swivel and look towards you. One of the most popular looks is a white paillette dress. This strapless style is great for a summer picnic – say, perhaps, the first time you're meeting his family?

It's white hot with the thinnest of spaghetti straps (these are detachable so you don't have to worry about tan lines), and is made of a silky white knit fabric that features paillette detailing along the hemline. There's also a satin sash with a tie back to help accentuate the empire waist look of the dress. Careful you don't get any ketchup on it while you eat that hot dog!

A ruffled one-shoulder dress is also a great look – this one is perfect for your first date with that new guy you met in line at Starbucks, or perhaps your birthday dinner out with your best friends. In crisp, clean white with just a hint of metallic, this ruffled one shouldered dress hits just above your knees. It's at once sophisticated and timeless and yet fashion forward. The waist features belted detail to create an hourglass silhouette (let's face it, you've got to fake it until you make it), while the metallic sheen of the dress gives you the look of luxury.

Marilyn Monroe popularized the white halter dress many years ago, and there's a reason that the look has stuck around – it's a classic. At once chic and modern and yet totally timeless, this stunning white dress hits just above the knee and is ever so slightly sheer, for a hint of sexiness. This is the kind of dress that will spin as you twirl around on the dance floor with the girls on a late night out, but it would also work well for a holiday dinner or even a birthday party. That's the great thing about white – it's extremely versatile!

There's also nothing more classic than a long, white silk gown. Simple, chic and oh-so stunning, this look is great for a formal event, like a black tie party or a gala of some sort. Pour yourself into this confection and you'll find yourself resembling the fabulous movie stars you see on television – your husband will wonder what you've gone and done with his wife! Don't pair any jewelry with a long ivory silk gown – let the slinky fabric and the classic color speak for itself. If you feel you have to add something, consider a large pair of stud earrings.

As you can see, there are tons of great white dresses out there to help you stand out from the crowd. Just like black, white is the perfect blank canvas. But unlike black, it's not a mellow, sorrowful color. Instead, it projects happiness, confidence and light – what's not to like? Next time you're gravitating towards a new colored dress, consider a white one instead, and let your accessories and your natural beauty do the talking! You'll be surprised at how great you feel, even without a colorful dress.

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