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The Fun, Easy To Wear And BOLD Dresses I am Opting For This Summer

It seemed time to shop for fun summer clothes, and it wasn’t just me. Everyone in the office was shopping for, nay, craving bold summer dresses – think pool parties, outdoor brunches, date nights, and even some “resort looks”. Is the year of dressing boring coming to an end? Am I ready to wear fitted clothes? I DON’T KNOW, but the colorful dresses that I am showing here are very easy to wear, forgiving, low-maintenance, and FUN. I tried on way more that were either too “much” or too tight. These were just right and totally wearable. So if you are in the market for some cute, bold colorful summer dresses here are some I can recommend. And a huge thanks to my friends Annie And Derik who own the Reckless Unicorn for letting me shoot in their epic backyard.

ALEXIS Short Sleeve Shirtdress | Clogs (similar)

Target sent me this when they launched their collab with ALEXIS and while it’s more “office” than “resort” the color is SO GOOD, the little princess sleeves are adorable and the best part – pockets with a big hoop skirt that twirls fully horizontal.

The skirt is so full and fun. I could definitely wear this to business meetings this summer and feel like “me”, and like I “tried”.

Blue Palms Midi Dress | Hat (similar) | Sandals

When I first saw his I thought it was a lot, but when I put it on it was A. so lightweight and comfortable and B. so fun – like I really tried. So with just one piece of fabric I look like I spent time pulling together a lewk. It has huge sleeves and it is a LOT of fabric, but I loved it.

Swimsuit | Selamawit Wrap Skirt | Sandals

Yes, that is a swimsuit with ruffled sleeves. It’s a little over the top (and you can’t even put a coverup over it), but with the wrap skirt from Lem Lem It might be my new favorite pool party outfit this summer.

Amanda Stripes Mini Dress

This is DEFINITELY bold, but the cut is so cute and wearable. The ruffles are fun and play with proportions a lot, making it feel really flattering and fun.

And it has POCKETS! The shoes are vintage that I’ve had forever, and gave to Jess recently but borrowed back for this shoot. 🙂

Dress | Hat (similar) | Sandals

I know. I have this in blue, too. The Great sent me the blue one first, and I loved it SO MUCH that I knew I would get equal wear for years out of this one. Imagine at Christmas with cute boots?! This dress drapes so well, the broken stripe is so playful and fun, and sleeves are big and puffy and I frankly just always feel good in it.

And that is my favorite hat this summer – always a big fan of summer hats that don’t blow off in the wind.

Mixed Hudson Floral Maxi Skirt | Cuffed Sleeve Shirt | Sandals | Hat (similar)

Birdie LOVES this skirt and so do I! I put it on sometimes just to make dinner with a T-shirt because I get sick of wearing athleisure all day and this feels at least a little special even just for a family BBQ.

The shirt is from Madewell and those are my favorite summer sandals that have the perfect about of heel and are extremely comfortable.

The skirt also didn’t cut in (only a TINY bit) – I sized up as I usually do with skirts because no ONE makes them to actually fit your size without cutting in. I think this is a medium.

Bahiri Peasant Dress | Hat (similar)

Another big fun maxi that is so easy to wear, light-weight, has pockets, and is just a “hell yes” if you need it. It’s also by Lem Lem which is a black-owned female business and while a lot of my favorite pieces were sold out, they have more GREAT stuff. And this one felt super high quality.

One Piece Swim Suit | Mixed Prints Multi Layered Midi Skirt | Hat (similar)

Ok this one was where I got caught up a bit in being bold, but likely wouldn’t wear it unless I was going to a tropical island this summer (which we are not). So I returned it, but boy if you have a beach vacation in your future this is SO FUN.

This skirt was really tailored and fit nice (with a zipper). I think it might be best for body types where you are more petite on top, making this the star.

Open Back Dress | Sandals

Lastly, another short fun dress with some MORE ruffles. Now, this dress isn’t necessarily for my body type (I don’t really do backless) and it’s VERY plunge-y but for those with a straighter figure, this might be a fun way to add volume.

I had fun wearing the dress (because it was super voluminous), but ended up returning it because ultimately I loved some of the other looks so much more and I didn’t need them all.

There were SO MANY more that I wanted to try, but didn’t. So instead I rounded them up for you all.

1. Puff Short Sleeve Dress | 2. Puff Sleeve Tie Waist Volume Dress | 3. Wrap Neckline Dress | 4. Maxi Ruffles Dress | 5. Bright Forest Midi Dress | 6. Tie Front Full Skirted Maxi Dress | 7. Mazaa Cascade Dress | 8. Suelta Dress | 9. Painted Toucans Midi Dress | 10. Printed Cotton Dress | 11. Halima Flutter Sleeve Dress | 12. Vent Cotton Dress | 13. Wild Hearts Layered Midi Dress | 14. Sleeveless Ruffle Shift Dress | 15. Phoebe Flounced Maxi Dress | 16. Yellow Open Waist Midi Dress | 17. Crochet Midi Dress | 18. Frill Cotton Dress | 19. Bella Dress | 20. Puff Elbow Sleeve Open Back Dress | 21. Zebra Print V-Neck Short Sleeve Dress

So are you like us and are ready for some BOLDNESS? What is everyone wanting to wear this summer? xx

*Photos by Veronica Crawford

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DB
3 months ago

all the dresses are cute on you but I was very disappointed in the designer summer dresses that Target is featuring. I want simple, just above the knee, fit and flare style that are natural fibers.

Amy Austin
3 months ago

Love all of your clothing reviews! Who makes the swimsuit with the ruffled sleeves? Love it!

Vera
3 months ago

These dresses are all fun and pretty! You couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate shooting location. Can we PLEASE have a full tour of this magical tropical paradise backyard?! I am enamoured with it!

Renee
3 months ago
Reply to  Vera

I’m chiming in to say the same! All of those outfits are terrific and the model is adorbs, but I would love a seperate feature on that yard!!! Ha!

Dena
3 months ago

The pool! The slide! The flowers and whole back yard! What is the small rattanish structure? A chicken coop or butterfly house? I want to see more of this Oasis!
The dresses look beautiful on you! I couldn’t pull any of these off as I am 5 ft tall and weigh maybe 100 pounds, they would wear me! But I love the boldness.

Karen
3 months ago

I bet this shoot had some great outtakes! So fun! Your legs look great btw

Lori
3 months ago

In the time between clicking the Alexis shirtdress link and deciding to buy it (20 minutes max), it completely sold out! Dang!!!! I forget sometimes what a huge readership this blog has!

Annie K.
3 months ago

I was so excited to find an EHD approved wide-brimmed hat, but see that the one linked looks not so wide-brimmed. Anyone have a linkable wide-brimmed hat that’s flattering and not too “mommy” that they could share?!

SarahT
3 months ago
Reply to  Annie K.

I have a previous version of this cotton Madewell wide-brim hat and love it (doesn’t feel too mom-ish). Looks like lots of straw styles available now, too: https://www.madewell.com/cotton-linen-packable-sunhat-MD500.html?dwvar_MD500_color=NA6817&cgid=accessories-hats#start=10 🙂

Robin
3 months ago
Reply to  SarahT

Thanks for the hat link! The Amazon hat they linked doesn’t even look cute and has only 2 reviews. 🙄

Sheila
3 months ago
Reply to  Annie K.

Yes, it’s pretty hilarious how “unsimilar” that linked hat is to the one in the photos!

Suzanne
3 months ago

Love the ALEXIS for Target dress. Too bad I missed it. I love that blue! I love a little bold, but usually solid bright colors. And I need waist definition for my dresses, usually fit and flare is best. That dress by The Great is also fantastic, but I’m afraid it would look wrong on me without a little more definition at the waist.

Terra
3 months ago

Any roundup of bold summer dresses is remiss without a mention of Osei-Duro! Incredible quality, hella transparent practices, gorgeous designs. Cannot recommend them enough! https://oseiduro.com/

andrea
3 months ago

yikes! the only dress that doesn’t swallow you up and make you totally disappear is the pale striped Bahiri peasant dress!

RB
3 months ago

So bummed that 90% of the dresses Emily is wearing are so expensive. Who affords this stuff??

Jennipher
3 months ago
Reply to  RB

I didn’t think any of these were “expensive” so, uh, I guess me? But seriously, people have different budgets and $150ish for a dress seems reasonable to me.

Tera
3 months ago
Reply to  Jennipher

All of the dresses besides the Mango one with ruffles were over $200. Most of the ones Emily was actually wearing were $300-500. I have never spent more than 200 on an item of clothing besides my wedding dress.

Erin
3 months ago
Reply to  RB

Oh, please. The team here bends over backwards to be accommodating, there is a range of prices, and you are welcome to be inspired by the post and simply find your own clothes in your price range by surfing the internet. If you’d like a personal shopper, hire one.

kim
3 months ago
Reply to  Erin

are you hangry???

Cheryl
3 months ago
Reply to  RB

I think we all know where to go for dresses under $100. A post about Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and H&M would be a snooze, unless someone can recommend a brand we don’t know about?

Sarah
3 months ago

You are selling me on those farm rio dresses! They look so good!!!

Alma
3 months ago

Great job, team. once again you have proved how detached you are from reality, by posting another great post for the your LA bubble. Great pictures, and Emily is cute as usual, but most American women don’t wear $400 dresses and $300 sandals for a fun afternoon by the pool. I know you put more affordable options at the end (i.e, Target), but it doesn’t help much when they are sold out and will never be available again.

Robin
3 months ago

I agree wish there were more affordable dresses, and hats that are more “similar” to hers! The swimsuit post had several affordable options but as I mom I will never spend more than $150 on a dress my kids may ruin!

Caroline
3 months ago

I loved the blue and red-white dress on you. I just don’t like these short babydoll style dresses on adult women even those who have a perfect figure like you…

Joyce
3 months ago

way too pricey for me.. and lets not shame this who wouldn’t spend that much ok?

Jill
3 months ago

I’ve always enjoyed your quirky style since the days of Design Star. You have definitely had a look that was you. Theses new outfits just don’t look like you. They just don’t seem to reflect your style and sense of quirk!!

Abbie
3 months ago

Thank you for introducing me to Farm Rio! I LOVE all of their stuff…too bad they are way out of my price range. If I could afford it, I’d want all of those! They probably wouldn’t work for me (I’m 4’11”!) but I love all those summery colors & flattering fits. They’d be perfect for my trip to visit family in Hawaii next month.

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