You know the acronyms—there's the little green dress (LGD), the little red dress (LRD), the little black shorts (LBS)—but the two that remain the originals are, as you know, the little black dress (LBD) and the little white dress (LWD). As a mainstay in everyone's closet, the LBD is beloved for its unmatched sartorial power to transform itself and work for nearly every occasion imaginable, from a low-key brunch to a fancy affair (it's why this particular one is so magical). And while the LWD is almost just as wearable, what it lacks in versatility, it makes up for in an aesthetic so chic it's somewhat aspirational.
Slipping on a LWD says to the world that you're a responsible adult—you've got it figured out and you can waltz through life taunting fate with your carefree attitude toward possible spills or stains (even if you secretly have a Tide to Go pen stashed in your purse). And that message is exactly what celebrities are putting forth every time they step out in one of their pristine little white dresses. It's a look that's effortlessly polished, thrillingly chic (thrilling, in that chancing stains can be likened to living on the edge), and often a subject of envy. It's a look that's difficult, though not impossible, to achieve, and these stars are living proof of that.
Scroll through to see how Hollywood's elite have embraced white in all of its immaculate glory, break the antiquated "no white after Labor Day" rule (which will inevitably come up as it does every year), and channel your most responsible, chicest self in your little white dress from now until the summer ends—and beyond (we still highly recommend a Tide to Go pen though).
1. Sarah Jessica Parker
Copy the Queen of Accessories and heap on the extras—layered necklaces, arm party-ready stacks, and colorful satin ankle-tie sandals—to give your lacy tiered cold-shoulder dress an eclectic beohmian edge.
Anti-establishment, street-chic extras (a shearling patched denim jacket and blinged-out Manolo sandals) can turn a wholesome summery LWD into perfectly acceptable BadgalRiRi-approved clubwear.
3. Kerry Washington
Unsure of what to wear? Washington's got it handled, Olivia Pope-style. Add interest to a minimalist ivory dress with a moto jacket in a soft shade and fun beaded mules. See? Handled.
4. Kristen Stewart
Take the maximalist approach with a little white number with that "look at me" attitude (aka ruffled sleeves and all-over tonal embellishment) to achieve KStew's famous swagger. Peroxide-bleached strands and side-eye, optional.
5. Eva Herzigova
There's no one who epitomizes Old Hollywood glamour more than Marilyn Monroe. Look for a full fit-and-flared LWD and finish with her trademark wind-swept curls.
6. Anna Kendrick
The color white symbolizes purity. Change the narrative with a curve-hugging dress with sexy cut-outs and and a thigh-high slit.
7. Elle Fanning
...And on the opposite end of the spectrum—embrace the color's angelic qualities with a sweet, ethereal little dress that boasts delicate straps and a fluttery skirt.
8. Karlie Kloss
Cut-outs, ruffles, studs, and delicate straps are the updates you need to turn a classic LWD into a modern-day must-have.
9. Camila Alves
A structured sheath is always a solid option for your 9-to-5 job (though you might want to consider sipping your coffee with a straw). But save the flash for after-work drinks. Wear black pumps and swap into metallic sandals right before you skip out.
10. Kate Middleton
A long-sleeve white lace dress might seem like a special occasion-only option, especially when there's a fascinator involved, but temper the fanciness by foregoing the headpiece, throwing on a leather moto jacket, and stepping into ballet flats or fun menswear brogues. Or keep the whole look royally intact for a future walk down the aisle.
11. Sarah Hyland
No contest: A shirtdress is one of the essentials when it comes to workwear staples. Find one with a modern-day twist (in this case, literally) for a neat refresh.
12. Jennifer Hudson
How badass is this? If you happen to come across a white double-breased hooded dress, by all means, channel your inner rockstar like JHud.
13. Sienna Miller
As the darling of spring/summer 2016 ready-to-wear, the slip dress has been worn by everyone and every which way. Make the case for formalwear with a slinky white one accessorized with an embroidered satin clutch and T-strap heels, a la Miller, or ground it with a T-shirt layered underneath and white Stan Smiths.
14. Alicia Vikander
A minimalist LWD stripped free of frills doesn't mean boring. Find one equipped with a waist-cinching sash to create a flattering hourglass silhouette, and then drape a skinny scarf over your shoulders for added interest—it breaks up the dress in a non-distracting, streamlined way.
15. Grace Gummer
A little white dress is timeless, but it can also be trendy. Case in point: Gummer in an off-shoulder dress, one of the hottest silhouettes of the summer.
16. Jennifer Lopez
Tone down the sexiness of a sheer lace body-hugging dress with a chic tonal color palette (that includes your clutch, your choker, and your pumps). But then again, if you're J.Lo, you'll still be sexy.
17. Olivia Palermo
Treat your little white dress like a blank canvas, giving your accessories a place to shine. Palermo's ruffled peplum lace Self-Portrait number was just the backdrop to her cool sculptural single earring, a paisley-print skinny scarf, a gunmetal clutch, and textured sandals.