I Can't Walk On the Upper East Side Without Seeing This Elegant Staple

Without fail, there’s always a point in late spring when it becomes easy to spot the same few staples on the streets of every major metropolitan city in the late spring. Sandals? They’re a given. Sunglasses? An obvious choice. But I’d argue that the most universally worn items aren’t necessarily those seasonal accessories we’ve come to associate with warm weather but a simple staple: the white dress. Maybe it’s just me, but this single item has become the staple that embodies spring and summertime. Whether you are meandering through the Upper East Side in Manhattan or strolling by the Seine in Paris, you’re bound to spot someone wearing a white dress outfit. But what exactly makes this type of dress so alluring? In short, it’s an effortless way to look elegant because it’s not another fleeting trend; it’s timeless.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re wearing a dress from an affordable fashion brand or luxury house because it’s the one dress you can wear to instantly look like you own a penthouse overlooking Central Park (even if you don’t). On top of that, it’s arguably one of the most versatile items you can add to your wardrobe, as it can be styled with just about anything for any occasion. However, if you’re dubious that one “basic” dress can do all of that, you’ll want to keep reading. Ahead, you’ll find 16 white dress outfits from women in New York, Paris, Copenhagen, and other cities that prove that point. Plus, I’ve included styling tips and shopping recommendations so that you can make this staple feel all the more stylish this season. Consider this your masterclass on how to wear a white dress like a wealthy Upper East Sider (or any other cosmopolite, for that matter).

a photo of a woman's white dress outfit styled with white slingbacks, a white handbag, and gold earrings

What you’ll need: white mini dress + White Slingbacks + Gold Earrings + White Handbag