Things wind down a little for me at the end of July, which means that I can dress more casually. We’ve been having delightful warm weather in Seattle, so I’ve been able to thoroughly enjoy breezy Summer clothes and soak up the heat. This means lots of walking sans layers, and I love it. 

To change things up, I bought two unstructured casual dresses this year, which are polar opposites to the structured dressy Kamaliculture dresses I bought last year. As it turns out, both new dresses are dark blue, although one is denim and the other silk. Banana Republic’s chambray shirtdress is one of the new frocks, and I’m thrilled that it has sufficient length. It’s seen quite a lot of action this last month now that the weather is cooperating. This might not seem like a breezy dress to you, but it’s a great weight for a milder Seattle. 

Denim Dress

The dress was styled with rolled tab sleeves and a self-fabric belt, which did not tickle my fancy. So I altered the silhouette to create a more modern and on trend vibe. First, I did away with the belt and cut off the belt loops thereby creating angular drape, straight lines, and a loose fit. This also lengthened the dress even further. I ignored the tab sleeves feature and simply scrunched the long sleeves in the same way I do all my shirts — after all, it’s a shirtdress.

Denim Dress Side

Denim Dress Closer

Denim Dress Front

The just-above-the-knee length of the dress and its curved hem provide just enough structure. The slimmer fit of the sleeves plus forearm skin provides a little more structure, as does the square fit on the shoulder line. I LOVE leaving off my topper because dresses often look best that way. That’s why I usually only wear dresses in hot weather. 

Denim Dress - Marina

I mentioned in an earlier post on casual ensembles that I was planning to wear an unstructured shirtdress with big white sneakers as a nod to the Sporty Luxe trend. That’s what I’m doing here. I know it’s an acquired taste, but it doesn’t get much easier and more comfortable than wearing a breezy dress with an uber comfortable pair of shoes. Oh, how I love dressing for warm Summer days. 

Denim Dress - Backpack

Denim Dress - Backpack

I chose Propet’s Washable Walkers as my white sneaker because they’re extremely lightweight, extra cushioning, and were available in a narrow size to fit my low volume feet. To my eye, this sneaker look is nostalgic and a retro nod to the ‘80s, a decade I loved. Tucking away the laces of the sneakers creates a more streamlined and fashionable effect, as does leaving off the socks. 

Denim Dress - Close

My white backpack enhances the Sporty integrity of the outfit. Matching the sneakers and the backpack with a dress creates the Luxe aspect of the look. Silver watch and wedding ring match the hardware of the bag. I chose my only pair of prescription sunglasses instead of my apple green specs so that I wouldn’t squint while taking these photos at the crack of dawn. We were shooting at 5.45 am to capture the lovely light that you see in these photos. Good thing I’m a morning person.

Denim Dress - Silhouette

Denim Dress - Sunrise

I also wear this exact outfit with my white loafers from Munro, which are almost as comfortable as my sneakers. They create a slightly dressier and more classic effect that I enjoy sporting just as much. If white Chuck Taylor Converse and slip-on sneakers were an option, I’d be wearing those here too, but sadly they no longer work for my growing fussier feet

This outfit keeps me adequately ventilated and covered with very happy feet. I can walk for miles in the city in hot weather and feel comfortable, pulled together and fashionable. It’s a blessing that we can manipulate the current trends so that we don’t have to sacrifice practicality for style. Yet another reason to love 2014 fashion.