Summer is the time for dresses. The heat, the bright sun, the call of the ocean, and the wind from the waves all combine to create the perfect season to show off your most fabulous dresses. Many of us have at least one summery kind of dress, but what are the options? Here are five must-have dresses if you want to expand your assortment of dress choices this summer.
Some dresses are not ideal summer dresses. For example, the sweater dress is clearly made to be worn in cooler weather. For summer dresses, lighter and thinner fabrics rule, with cotton being a stand-out material. When your cotton dress is soft and light enough that you can barely feel it, it gives a feeling of freedom, which matches the seasonal mood.
There are so many cuts and kinds of dresses to choose from, but the ones that fit the summer season particularly well are loose enough to allow some airflow. Flowy skirts with enough material to billow in the wind coming off the ocean are classically summer. Shorter sleeves, sleeveless, or spaghetti straps on top also work well with the increasing heat of the summer sun. Remember to pay attention to your body type when choosing your sleeves and neckline.
1) Floral Print Dress
The spring buds have exploded into summer flowers! Let your dress choice reflect that by highlighting floral patterns. An abundance of small flowers in colors that contrast (but don't clash) with your dress's background color makes you look like you are wearing a summer bouquet. Larger flowers spaced well give the impression that you are blooming at all your angles.
If you are worried about being overwhelmed by the flowers on your dress, a more simple floral pattern is the kind that has a white or lighter colored base with the "earth" on the bottom and flowers growing and vining up the skirt. Visually, this looks like you are constantly walking through a field of flowers. Gorgeous and a little easier on the eyes.
2) Striped Dress
Stripes have nautical associations and are especially apt for the summer season when beach-going is at an all-time high. Whether on vacations to idyllic islands or even visits to local pool parties, stripes can fit in perfectly for by-the-water wear. White stripes combined with lighter colors, particularly blues and greens, can accentuate this water connection.
Most striped dresses will have the stripes going vertically. This draws the eye up and down, lengthening your figure. Stripes work on short dresses but show their visual prowess in the floor-length maxi dresses. When you have long, uninterrupted stripes to the floor, that optical view can be stunning.
3) Single Color Dress
Sometimes patterns get too busy, and you can stand out by simplifying. A fit-and-flare white dress with spaghetti straps shows up nicely against tan skin. Peachy pinks and light blues are nice for lighter colors, while navy works if you are looking for something a little darker.
Summer is also the sunny season, so it's a perfect time to break out your yellows and oranges. Fuchsias recall vibrant hibiscuses in lush climates while deep turquoises make one think of cool tropical water. Pick whatever works with your skin tone and makes you feel like you are truly welcoming the season.
4) Beach Coverup
This dress is made for the true beach experience. Meant to be worn over a bathing suit on the way to and from your shoreside adventure or when you are taking a break from playing in the water, the beach coverup can get wet, and you can be a little harder on it than some of your other dresses.
While not all beach coverups are dresses, the ones that are look super cute. Plus, you can rely on your coverup instead of the thicker, more unwieldy towels for some modesty while reclining on the sand or walking along the water's edge.
5) Off-the-Shoulder Dress
If it isn't warm enough, it's easy to feel chilled in this type of dress. Luckily, summer is when the off-the-shoulder cut has a chance to shine. Having that line across your shoulders can help balance out larger hips, or if you already have small hips, go with a no-sleeve tube top to get the eye off your shoulders and down a little further. On a side note, this dress can also be quite useful in working on those bathing suit tan lines on your arms, shoulders, and chest.
Summer wear, including dresses, keeps you cool and comfortable in the heat and gives you feelings of relaxation and freedom. Whichever dress you choose, if it gives you that "summer feeling," go for it!