Romantic Snowy White Dresses: Find Your Best White Dress

"Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes; Snowflakes the stay on my nose and eyelashes..." These are definitely some of my favorite "white" things. White dresses - soft and romantic, dreamy, sexy, exotic, or devastatingly demure - the choice of twentieth century brides, almost the world over. What is it about a white dress that catches the imagination?

Though white has long been the Asian color for death and mourning, to North Americans and Europeans alike, white symbolizes youth, purity, innocence, and new beginnings. Picture, if you will, a young woman in a simple, cotton, summer dress running joyfully through a field of wild flowers. Graceful multi-hued bells interspersed in clouds of tiny white daisies nod gracefully in the gentle zephyr that kisses the girl's sun-warmed cheek, tossing her errant curls. The golden sun beams down from the brilliant azure sky dotted about with gossamer clouds...

Quick, now - what color is the girl's dress?

Mexican Wedding Dress from kaboodle.com
Mexican Wedding Dress from kaboodle.com
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Exotic gold embroidery from Anna White - photo credit: flickr.comBlack Halo empire tank mini-dress - photo credit: Review.comBroderie Anglaise on the sleeves from thefashionpolice.netShort, white dress from projectwedding.com
Exotic gold embroidery from Anna White - photo credit: flickr.com
Exotic gold embroidery from Anna White - photo credit: flickr.com
Black Halo empire tank mini-dress - photo credit: Review.com
Black Halo empire tank mini-dress - photo credit: Review.com
Broderie Anglaise on the sleeves from thefashionpolice.net
Broderie Anglaise on the sleeves from thefashionpolice.net
Short, white dress from projectwedding.com
Short, white dress from projectwedding.com
Exquisite embroidered border dress from the Erdem Spring Line - photo credit: allwomenstalk.com
Exquisite embroidered border dress from the Erdem Spring Line - photo credit: allwomenstalk.com

Yes, that was a bit of a set-up, but how perfect a picture if she is wearing a white dress...

My love affair with white dresses began the day a parcel arrived from my grandparents. It was soon to be my sister's Grade 12 Graduation, and Grampa had gone shopping for dresses.

Grampa was nothing if not a great shopper, and one with impeccable taste in ladies' wear.

He also sent a dress for my mother, and one for me so we wouldn't feel left out, but the belle of the ball was to be my sister.

Her dress was the most exquisite gown I had ever seen, and my sister was positively radiant.

Of purest white, the dress had tiny, double spaghetti straps, a wide cummerbund waist, and a softly pleated bodice of scalloped silk, with sheerest tulle vertically gathered over all.

The knee-length, silk under-skirt, pouffed out by several dainty net crinolines, was further swathed in a multi-layered, gathered tulle over-skirt. My sister was a vision in white.

My mother's dress had a full skirt, nipped in by a similarly draped, wide cummerbund waist, and featured a wide, scooped neck and three-quarter length, dolmen sleeves.

The soft, silky fabric was printed in dramatic, rich, muted jewel tones that melted one into the other in swirls darkest sapphire, amethyst and midnight green.

It looked quite lovely on her, but I knew her heart was already captivated by the third dress in the box.

Marilyn Monroe making a simple white sheath look fabulous, photographed by Phillip Halsman - photo credit: greatmodernpictures.com
Marilyn Monroe making a simple white sheath look fabulous, photographed by Phillip Halsman - photo credit: greatmodernpictures.com

The third dress - my dress - was a simple sheath in shantung silk with a scoop neck, fitted bodice and straight skirt that fell just below the knee. The pure rich sheen of the slub-weave, white silk was relieved only by a foot-deep band of metallic gold embroidery - a rich encrustation that girdled the skirt just above above the hem.

It was one of the most sophisticated dresses any of us had ever seen. I knew both my mother and sister lusted after it, though my sister affected not to be. After all, her dress fit her slim form perfectly, and at an inch or so taller than me, and two sizes smaller than either of us, she was in no jeopardy of having to share her white confection, or even to have to pass it down.

I, on the other hand, shared the same dress size as my mother, and at fourteen years of age, the sophistication of the white sheath was far beyond my grasp to carry off.

My mother immediately appropriated the sheath, as it was "much too old for a fourteen year old", and offered me another lovely dress to make up for it. What choice did I have? I could graciously accede, and make my mother happy, or pout, and lose the amazing, white silk sheath anyway.

I accepted the proffered substitute, but I must admit to a slight, secret yen for "my perfect white dress" ever since.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Two beauties from Dolce & Gabana- photo credit: onewed.comDresses by designer Hanna Touma - photo credit: kopiblog.comEight divine creations from manolobrides.com
Two beauties from Dolce & Gabana- photo credit: onewed.com
Two beauties from Dolce & Gabana- photo credit: onewed.com
Dresses by designer Hanna Touma - photo credit: kopiblog.com
Dresses by designer Hanna Touma - photo credit: kopiblog.com
Eight divine creations from manolobrides.com
Eight divine creations from manolobrides.com
Click thumbnail to view full-size
White prom dress - photo credit: prom-dresssquidoo.comFabulous white dress - photo credit: geniusbeauty.comWhite frock with pink florals - photo credit: geniusbeauty.comWhite frock with yellow florals - photo credit: geniusbeauty.com
White prom dress - photo credit: prom-dresssquidoo.com
White prom dress - photo credit: prom-dresssquidoo.com
Fabulous white dress - photo credit: geniusbeauty.com
Fabulous white dress - photo credit: geniusbeauty.com
White frock with pink florals - photo credit: geniusbeauty.com
White frock with pink florals - photo credit: geniusbeauty.com
White frock with yellow florals - photo credit: geniusbeauty.com
White frock with yellow florals - photo credit: geniusbeauty.com

I never did get to wear the white silk sheath. I continued to 'develop', and a scant two years later the dress' bodice was much too tight for comfort.

My mother's darkly dramatic dress, though, which had been a bit too big for her when Grampa sent it, had never been worn. Guess who now fit it perfectly?

I must admit, the dark, rich colors suited my blondness far better that had the white sheath. I look much better in off-white than white, to this day.

I think it pained my mother slightly to admit that her dress looked better on me, but I suppose it was a small price to pay in trade for that glorious, gold-embellished sheath.

For those who prefer some color, as well...

© Elle Fredine, 2010, All rights reserved

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50 comments

Meri Scarlet profile image

Meri Scarlet 6 years ago

Love your taste in clothes!! I love white dresses too. Always have, always will! Thanks for the great hub!


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California'

I too adore white cotton summer dresses...however...they don't really adore me :(

Oh well, I'll just have to be satisfied with colour :D


yenajeon profile image

yenajeon 6 years ago from California

Absolutely gorgeous! I love the Erdem and of course you can't go wrong with Dolce. Love this hub =)


revybaby profile image

revybaby 6 years ago from On the Road

I think my first white dress was my wedding dress. But, I do remember the dress that I wore to prom and wish that I even had a picture of it. Almost a "hippe dress", but much more romantic than that. And, it was the perfect pale blue...


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for a lovely hub and read.


Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

Elle...

Ladies in white dresses look so pure and immaculate. The color makes the statement! If I saw a lady wearing a red dress, I could not possibly think of purity or immaculateness. As black reflects elegance, charm, pizzazz, a white dress is the touch of an angel. You girls ALL look beautiful in white(and ain´t talking `bout weddings). Interesting hub!

Thumbs up!

warmest regards and blessings to you,

Al


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, Meri. I think there is nothing quite so fresh and summery!

Hey, Enelle - I'm with you. They don't look so hot on me either, darnit.

Thanks so much, yenajeon. I am a big fan of Sung, also.

Hey! revybaby! Your dress sounds lovely.

Hh - most welcome - so nice to see you!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, Mystique! It's always lovely to find an appreciator.


Anita Revel profile image

Anita Revel 6 years ago from Margaret River

At last! The little white dress has its day in the spotlight! Great work!


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Your choices are stunning and yes, really romantic, especially the Dolce & Gabana numbers. Oh that I could afford them!...but then again, I'd need to first get invited to the ball :)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, Anita. I think they're every bit as nice as "the little black dress", too ;)

Thanks, GL. It was fun to research this one. I wouldn't mind adding one or two to my closet either ;)


kissesNpen profile image

kissesNpen 6 years ago from everywhere

White, no matter what, is fierce! Thanks for the fabulous hub :)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Nice to meet you, kissesNpen. Yes, it's one of those absolutes, like black. White just IS.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Terrific! I LOVE clothes!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Me, too, Paradise7 - so many pretty things, so little closet space :)


ThePartyAnimal profile image

ThePartyAnimal 6 years ago

What beautiful dresses although I am more of a Black Dress type - who am I kidding - I have not worn a dress since my wedding day. If I could pull one of these off I would definitely do so - Great Hub.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Party! Thanks so much! Me, too, actually - I rarely wear a dress these days ;)


nadp profile image

nadp 6 years ago from WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

What fun! You're absolutely right - lover of black that I am, I have to say that there is nothing else like white. I find it so soothing and freeing when I wear a lovely white dress. Thanks for reminding me of all my white dresses past. Great hub!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

I'm so glad, nadp. Thanks so much for commenting!


electricsky profile image

electricsky 6 years ago from North Georgia

white linen or white georgette are both favorites of mine.

daytime for white, nighttime wear black.

makes me think of warmer weather.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Yes, electricsky, they always remind me of summer.


GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

GojiJuiceGoodness 6 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

Personally this is not my style wedding dress. I like the long, flowy, lacy ones. Although I can admire some of the bodices on these dresses.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Yes, some of them are quite lovely, Goji! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Rismayanti profile image

Rismayanti 6 years ago from Tropical Island

woow.. like it..


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks os much, and nice to meet you, Rismayanti.


Fashiongirl43 profile image

Fashiongirl43 6 years ago from los angeles

im obsessed with the idea of wearing white this entire summer. i love it!!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, Fashiongirl43! You'll be doing a lot of laundry ;D


RachaelLefler profile image

RachaelLefler 6 years ago from Illinois

Pretty! I'm too much of a tomboy though. That white would be covered in grease and grass stains and ketchup and dirt by the end of the day, especially in summer... :)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Hey, Rachael! One girl's white dress is another girl's jeans and Tee-shirt.


libby101 profile image

libby101 6 years ago

yah me too!!!...lol


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

There you go! Hi, libby101, nice to meet you.


erinnauk 6 years ago

This article is great!Beautiful dresses.


brandyBachmann profile image

brandyBachmann 6 years ago

lovely dresses! i lurve it =) nice hub


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Hi, erinauk - nice to meet you! Welcome to Hub Pages.

Glad you liked it brandy! Thanks so much for the comment.


Van Woods profile image

Van Woods 6 years ago from California, CA

pretty awesome collection there. These collections really shown elegance and are very graceful. Thanks for sharing

regards,


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Nice to meet you, Van Woods! Most welcome!


Pierre 6 years ago

It is so beautiful I love it!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Glad you enjoyed it, Pierre!


Judy 6 years ago

This dress can not be bought - why show it


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Judy - sorry to disappoint you ;) Not everything pictured in every article is for sale.


mysisters profile image

mysisters 5 years ago

Great Hub. These are all very beautiful!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, mysisters. I love the embroidered ones best of all, I think.


fabgirl21 5 years ago

I just love white dresses! All the top designers like Chanel, Givenchy, and Jovani are all designing white dresses for the Spring and Summer seasons. White is so fresh and clean, I just love the idea of wearing white all the time.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, fabgirl21. I love wearing white, too, but there are so many other lovely colors :D


fabgirl21 5 years ago

Nice hub! Thanks for sharing. I just bought my self a beautiful white fitted one shoulder gown from Jovani about a month ago and it has given me many complements already.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

How nice for you, fabgirl21!


mojefballa profile image

mojefballa 5 years ago from Nigeria

Beautiful hub,i love this.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much for stopping by to comment, mojefballa. Glad you enjoyed the hub.


Londonlady profile image

Londonlady 5 years ago

Haha, I love the quote in the beginning! That was one of my favorite movies, I STILL have random moments when I'll start singing songs from it. Great hub, I love white dresses, I have 2 in my closet already :)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

I have one at the moment, but it is a favorite, LondonLady!

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