It’s amazing how summer dresses can take on a completely different look just by adding or subtracting accessories. For example, a maxi dress can look simple and bohemian on a typical summer day, but it can also look elegant enough to wear to a summer wedding if you add some jewelry or a stylish clutch. Wondering what accessories are best with summer dresses?
Here are a handful of accessories you should have if you want to take your summer dress to a new level.
If there’s any accessory that doubles as an elegant, timeless wardrobe staple while also being good for your health, it’s the wide-brimmed hat. A hat with a loose, floppy wide brim—whether it’s made of straw or fabric—not only makes you look fancy and stylish but also protects your face and head from the sun. Some can look quite elegant, especially if they have a fabric or leather band around the hat base that adds a bit of contrast. Alternatively, you could take a straw hat and wrap a colorful fashion scarf around the base to really make it look summery, allowing the scarf to drape down the back of the hat toward your shoulders.
The contrast between a sturdy leather belt and a delicate summer dress makes it a great pairing. Whether it’s a cotton sundress that flares out a bit toward the knees or a long maxi dress that tickles your ankles, adding a belt around the waist can really elevate the look. Consider a chunky leather belt with a maxi dress, drawing attention to the waist area. Or, with a frilly sundress, consider sporting a thin leather belt that adds a touch of contrast to the look, like the yin and yang between sweet and rugged. Some cute cowboy boots can take this summer look to a whole new level.
While the cowboy boots can provide a rugged contrast to a sweet summer dress, any type of shoe can serve as an accessory that influences the look altogether. Some strappy sandals with heels will make a modest dress look good enough to wear to a special occasion. Alternatively, adding a pair of sneakers to it makes it casual enough to wear to a picnic or for running errands. Don’t forget about some comfy flip-flops too. After all, T-shirt dresses and flip-flops are the quintessential everyday summer wardrobe.
Depending on what your day entails, you’ll likely need something to hold—at a minimum—your phone, keys, face mask, and wallet. So why not make your bag or purse an accessory to your outfit?
For special occasion dresses, a cute clutch that either matches your dress or adds a pop of color is ideal. A crossbody bag with a thin strap works too. And if you’re going on a day trip or doing something during which you don’t want to have to worry about carrying a purse, remember that a super-cute backpack can put a fun spin on a summer dress. Whether it is a canvas backpack with a jersey T-shirt dress or a leather backpack with a long maxi dress, the options are endless.
Probably the most obvious thing women think of when it comes to accessories is jewelry. But if you really want it to transform or add to the look of a summer dress, don’t be shy about making a bold statement. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either; it can just be a cute piece that transforms a simple dress into an outfit that makes a statement. Have fun with bold, shiny enameled bangles or earrings. Or, if plastic isn’t your thing, layer a bunch of silver or gold bracelets together. Plastic jewelry will make your outfit look more casual and fun, while metallics can make it look a little more dressy. It all depends on your mood!
While they’re only really appropriate for outdoor events, sunglasses can play a big part in the look of a summer dress and the outfit altogether. Plus, they protect your eyes from those harmful UV rays. Oversized sunglasses can certainly make a statement, while aviators give a timeless look. If you go with oversized sunglasses, there may not even be a need to add much jewelry to complete the look.
One item we tend to forget about when planning accessories is a face mask. But the wrong color face mask can mess up the look of your outfit. For example, a very bold, red face mask could clash against a delicate pastel pink summer dress. One way to avoid this is by choosing a neutral-colored face mask, but there are a lot of cute summery women’s face masks you should consider having on hand and including in your wardrobe planning.
When you choose to buy any of these accessories, remember that quality is better than quantity. If you absolutely love an accessory, you’ll be more likely to wear it instead of letting it collect dust in your closet, and you can ensure you have a few great pieces to rely on when you want to effortlessly take your summer dress to another level.