How to accessorize a white dress

Written by gigi starr
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How to accessorize a white dress
Designer dress by Chwynyn. From 2006 collection. (2006 chwynyn / Creative Commons)

Few garments are as simple and timeless as the basic white dress. Whether crafted from a simple, easy-care material, or created from creamy lace, white dresses convey innocence and style. The most important white dress, the wedding dress, has an accessory code all its own. Kick up that snowy frock with some pretty accessories and touches.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Silver jewellery
  • Brightly coloured bangles
  • One each of a vintage, new, borrowed and blue accessory
  • Black hat
  • Black wrist gloves
  • Flower hair clip
  • Silk scarf
  • Bold statement purse

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  1. 1

    Remember the rules of the most important white dress--something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Good ideas for these include vintage rhinestone earrings, hair pins, combs and necklaces. For a very marriage-minded and modern touch, get a tiny nose piercing with a blue, red or pink stone in the left nostril, which is an indicator of fertility and relationship luck in India and Africa.

  2. 2

    Pair a basic white tank dress with a fabulous black hat and short black leather gloves for retro appeal. A wide-brimmed, floppy black hat suits many women, and it makes a very strong statement for lunch and dinner engagements. The leather gloves are a sexy extra touch.

  3. 3

    Wear romantic-looking accessories with silhouettes that flow. A pink or blue flower hair clip adds a spot of colour while enhancing the wearer's sensuality. Alternately, try a feather hair clip.

  4. 4

    Trim white business dresses with a rich-looking silk scarf. If you're feeling bold and want to convey power, favour a bright-coloured square. For feminine appeal, use a softer shade like pink or violet. Tie it with a simple knot, or use a more complex method for a stronger look.

  5. 5

    Look at the undertones of the white dress before wearing gold or silver jewellery. Cool shades like winter white fare better with silver, while warmer colours like ecru look great with gold.

  6. 6

    Grab a bunch of brightly coloured bangle bracelets. A good mix of colours and textures will work with virtually any white dress.

  7. 7

    Carry a statement bag with your white dress. This can be an animal print clutch, snakeskin bag, or bright turquoise hobo. Shy away from black and brown bags when wearing white, since the "blank slate" nature of a white dress complements a bolder purse.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't go all white. This can look tacky and overly matched. Always break up the outfit among different colour groups for the best effect.

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