The next few outfit formula posts will be for Team Dress. If you like wearing easy breezy dresses, like I do, you’ll try to wear them as often as you can in the late Spring and Summer when the weather is perfect for them. There are countless dress styles to choose from. Some silhouettes are more skimpy and others more covered, depending on whether you like to bare or cover skin in the sun and heat. Some are very casual and others a little dressier.
Here are some dresses to inspire you.
You can relax a dressier dress with a casual support act of fashion sneakers, flat mules, ballet flats, casual sandals, espadrilles, a crossbody, backpack, straw bag, straw hat, and casual jewellery. You can also add a denim jacket, linen or cotton scarf, or casual cardigan when it’s chillier during the day.
Over the next few Fridays, I’ll be sharing the types of pull-on-and-go dresses that are most popular with my clientele. Some enjoy waist definition, some don’t, and some mix it up. The most important factor is comfort, ease, and a certain amount of figure flattery, which means different silhouettes to different people.
1. Boxy Shirtdress
This is like wearing a big baggy shirt that can finish above, on, or below the knee. Boxy shirt dresses are great in woven solids and patterns, and extra fab in cotton and linen. Straighter figures tend to enjoy this type of straight dress, but some of my curvier clients like it too. Some versions have a subtle drawstring that adds a bit of waist definition. Some versions are sans buttons. Most of them have collars, but some are collarless. Scrunch or roll the sleeves if they’re long to showcase some forearm skin. Add a casual support act and you’re good to go. Here, the ornate thong sandals and straw bag add a playful touch.
2. Sleeveless Fit & Flare
Woven versions are aplenty, but generally this type of dress is easiest to wear in a knit for a more forgiving fit around the bust. The wrap-front versions might need a stitch or some fashion tape to prevent the neckline from falling open. Watch that the armholes aren’t too low, but sometimes that’s an easy alteration. Make sure that the waistband falls comfortably under the bust, and that the torso isn’t too long on petites. Having the straps taken up to shorten the torso and create narrower armholes is also an easy alteration. I love how the model added classic elegance with dainty jewellery, and spunk with the cream ankle boots. The swooshy skirt component is extra fabulous.
This type of dress can have a lot of attitude, and there are many, many versions of the look. To my eye, architectural dress draping is beyond body type with a version for everyone if you fancy the voluminous vibe. Keep the support act simple and let the boldness of the dress do the talking. This one is from Ruti, but brands like COS, Artful Home, Universal Standard, Eileen Fisher and Poetry have good versions too.
4. Column with Side Slits
A column dress is long, straight, roomy but not too voluminous, and has side slits for ease of movement. The neckline can be a V-neckline, scoop or shirt collar. The sleeves are elbow-length, short, cap or sleeveless. This type of silhouette can work on straighter and hourglass figures. I’ve seen some clients pop a belt around this type of dress too. A straw bag and casual sandals are an easy addition. Add jewellery, watch, hat and eyewear a desired.
I have a version of all these dresses, and wear them frequently in warm weather. I like to mix it up with volume and waist definition depending on my mood. Personally, I prefer my frocks at a midi length, or on the longer side of midi. They must also flow and be very unconstricting from the waist down so I stick to A-line, flared, or boxy cuts. Do you wear a version of these silhouettes?