Okay, I love blue…this should not come as a surprise to ANYONE. After my summer basics post, though, even I was a bit bored with my chambray-and-white-all-day-every-day fashion. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of those pieces and likely will continue to wear those nearly exclusively this summer, but it made me want to add in more color, pattern and FUN. So while I feel really comfortable in (and love) things like this blue dress I’m wearing in the above photo (that unfortunately is no longer available for me to share with you), I forced my own hand to think outside the “blue fangirl” box and started shopping for dresses online that break my usual mold. While I don’t need all of these (and thus am only going to buy a couple), I figured I’d show you what I want in the “summer dress and shoes” category.
First up, flirty and flattering:
Fair warning, I haven’t tried on any of these yet, but based on how I like to dress my body, I think they would be flattering and these are perfect for a wedding, showers, or date night.
1. Katalina Midi Dress. I have a few navy dresses and that color is obviously not a stretch for me, but having it in a lace feels more dressy and special. This is perfect for an evening summer wedding. I’m going to order this one and if it’s flattering, I think it’ll be a good timeless staple.
2. Longwood Floral Jumpsuit. That jumper is a no-brainer for me. While I will likely wear my coveted Spanx undies underneath it, I know that the sleeves and neckline will flatter my figure (puffy sleeves make your waist look smaller, btw).
3. Green Wrap Midi Dress. Wrap dresses are flattering for everyone, full stop. You can control the fit, which means it can be looser on some days and tighter on others. This color is SO wonderful and definitely shakes up my normal blue routine (see #1). And again, I like a V-neck due to my larger bust situation.
4. Golden Textured Dress. I’m not sure I’ve ever worn yellow. Some blondes look AMAZING in yellow, but I haven’t previously found a dress that has motivated me to take the risk. I think if I have a good spray tan, this yellow could work on me. Plus, I love the tie, ruffle sleeves and neckline.
Next, these red beauties:
Red is a color I’m very comfortable wearing despite how bright and bold it is. While I’m unsure if blondes look good in yellow, it’s been scientifically proven that blonde hair pairs well with a red dress.
5. Midi Tie Neck Dress. This dress looks easy to throw on and wear. It seems breathable, casual but easy to dress up, too. But it’s not boring. I’m curious about the drape and going to try it on this weekend.
6. Poppy Wrap Maxi Dress. I LOVE this dress and am going to try to order it and see how it fits. It feels effortlessly glamorous and is a statement without being too fussy. It’s perfect for a summer date night at a nice restaurant because it feels sexy and classy. Do not wear it with those black heels, though—it’s too much. I’d likely wear it with nude sandals (SHOCKING, I KNOW).
7. Daisy Fields Maxi Dress. I’m not super boho but in the summer, especially on the weekends, I like a dress like this that can be thrown on for day or night and feels like I’ve tried a little bit but is super loose and comfortable. This looks like it drapes and falls really well, and while it’s probably not the most flattering silhouette, the neckline gives a peek of cleavage which is where your eye goes.
8. Midi Wrap Dress. Here’s another wrap dress in a bold color, which makes it super wearable yet also a statement. I love the big hem on the sleeve and the length feels appropriate for all sorts of occasions…brunch, dinner, showers and the like.
Time to talk blush:
FINE. I love a blush dress. These are safer, I’ll admit but I still want to buy them.
9. Powder Hug Dress. UGH. I LOVE this dress. It’s a fortune so I would need to have a special occasion in which to splurge, but that collar and detailing on the neckline and sleeves are special and so pretty. Now that I’m looking at it, it looks VERY short with those side slits, so maybe it’s not even a dress. This is a FANTASTIC maternity shirt/dress is you are pregnant and in the market for something special for special summer occasions.
10. Great Escape Shirt Dress. I love a shirt dress with a tie, but it’s all about the drape. A stiff shirt dress can definitely be unflattering but this silkier style falls easily and can be great for work or a wedding.
11. Charlotte Dress. The sleeves and ruffle on this dress excite me so. Now I’m curious how flattering it would be on me because my bust size would definitely change the silhouette. Also, hot tip: Doen runs really big so if you are normally a small, get an extra small, if you’re a medium, go small, etc. Size down. All there stuff is really casual and easy to wear.
12. Oversized Shirt Dress. If you have a small frame (especially up top), these kinds of dresses can be super flattering and sexy. I have a very colorful version of this which is more forgiving. Take note: That drop sleeve is awesome.
Time to dive into florals:
13. Need You Now Mini Dress. Admittedly, there is something very ’80s prom about this dress and it’s not really my style but I can proclaim with 100% certainty that it will be flattering. The puffy sleeves make the waist look small, the ruching is super forgiving, the V-neck flatters the chest, and the pattern is busy enough to show off the figure while hiding bra lines and other bits and baubles. I’m going to give it a whirl because I think that Brian will like it and wearing clothes that you know your partner likes is a win for the relationship (as long as you’re comfortable in it).
14. Oleander Dress. Another Doen dress that is so romantic and pretty. This is likely a dress that Brian will not like; it definitely goes “sister wife” but I love a good sister wife look (probably due to my LDS upbringing). Listen, I love a modest dress, so sue me.
15. Danika Dress. Okay, I have never owned a Natalie Martin dress but rumor has it that they are EXTREMELY flattering and easy to wear. They sell out super fast, so I’ve yet to buy the one that I actually want but I’m going to give this one a try and see if it’s worth the hype (and the price).
16. La Fleur Maxi Dress. YES, I LOVE THIS DRESS. There are a ton of super ruffly, super bright and super floral dresses out there right now with so much volume and frankly so much going on, so I can’t justify the splurge because they feel super specific to certain occasions (wedding or baby shower?). This one is certainly a bold floral but in a super easy drape. I mean, look at her—she is sexy but she doesn’t care. Also, that neckline is so pretty.
Now for something truly groundbreaking for me…stripes:
I love a busy stripe because I feel like it’s slimming and distracts from the areas that might be a problem.
17. Stripe Shirt Dress. I love this dress. It has a silk-pajama vibe that I’m into and I can easily wear it with flip flops or heels. I like the idea of dressing it down more than dressing it up because it feels like a lot of dress.
18. Women’s Sleeveless Ruffle Midi Wrap Dress. Look closely, this dress has a tiny stripe that is so sweet (I almost thought it was a solid until Jess pointed it out to me…and then I got REALLY excited about it). This dress is perfect for a wedding or fancier brunch. I’m pretty sensitive about my arms so I will likely not buy this, but I just thought it was so cute for the price…so someone please buy it, force a friend to take a photo of you in it and tag me on Instagram so I can see.
19. Striped Drawstring Kaftan. A bright kaftan with a casual tie is super easy to throw on for summer. In a solid color, it can look boring and like you’re wearing a muumuu, but in this flashier stripe, it feels special and bold enough for work (add a blazer and a mule and you are set or flip flops for the weekend).
20. EZ Days Satin Wrap Maxi Dress. Another wrap dress, this time in a vertical stripe that is sure to be flattering. It has delicate fluttery sleeves and as long as it drapes nicely, I’m super into it.
And because I need something on my feet with those dresses on my body:
I wear mostly neutral-colored shoes (a nude shoe, FYI, extends the line of the leg and makes your gams look longer and leaner). By the nature of them being neutral, they go with EVERYTHING, and I love myself a multi-purpose fashion piece. But, I find that I actually don’t have many shoes I could wear to dress up some of these dresses (or any of the dresses I already own). All of these seem comfortable enough, and are bold in a way that isn’t too specific, i.e. I could still wear them with a ton of outfits.
21. Ruffled Platform Heels. I couldn’t resist the slate-y blue of these. The ankle strap and the fun little ruffle detail feel flirty, and the chunky block heel would give me height but hopefully not kill my feet before even walking out the front door.
22. Square Buckle Heeled Sandals. A stacked wood heel can take ripped jeans up a level, but also pair nicely with a fun and flowy dress that I want to jazz up a bit.
23. Women’s Happy Espadrille Wedge. These just FEEL like summer in a shoe. They come in this fun, punchy red as well as a beige-y nude.
24. Suede Platform Clogs. Sure, these are black and maybe don’t feel super bold, but the silhouette on these are so special and funky, and I might just need to buy them ASAP.
25. Gianna Colorblocked Heels. I love a good colorblock palette. These puppies would be great to amp up one of those blushy dresses above.
26. Heel Strap Leather Sandals. Okay, okay, this sandal is pretty safe, but it’s also just pretty and for real, I would wear these into the ground (as long as they are comfortable).
Okay, so which ones do you think I should scoop up ASAP? Call out those numbers…
Other posts with more of my favorites:
- My Summer Basics
- The Best Swimsuits for Every Body Type
- Introducing the Weekend Newsletter (+ My Favorites Right Now)