We talked about easy breezy dress outfit formulas last week, and here’s the next round. These dresses are popular with my clientele and friends in warm and hot weather. Some silhouettes are more skimpy, and others more covered, depending on whether you like to bare or cover skin in the sun and heat. Dress them up or down. Add jewellery, headgear, watch, and eyewear as desired.

1. Kaftan

Kaftans have a fun ‘70s vibe and come in all sorts of patterns and colours. You can wear them long or short, dress them up and down, pop them over a bathing suit, or sport them as loungewear. They are breezy, boxy, and very comfortable. This one has been dressed up with heeled slides, dangly earrings, and a structured straw bag. Or you can add casual flat sandals, and casual crossbody or tote to dress things down.

Frances Valentine Joy Caftan

2. Tiered Dress

Tiered dresses were an acquired taste on our forum a while back, yet some of my clients adore them and so do I. Their boho-lite vibe is great for Summer, and super breezy too. I enjoy the way they move and stand away from the body when they are voluminous, and allow you to stride comfortably when fitted at the waist. The gathered tiers look like ruffles which are pretty and playful to my eye. I dress mine up with ballet flats, refined loafers, or a pair of simple fashion sneakers. But mules, slides, Birkenstocks, and sandals are popular too.

Banjanan Iris Dress
View Info
Top Pick
Banjanan Hanna Dress
View Info
Top Pick
Seea Majorca Dress
View Info
Top Pick

3. Relaxed Sheath

Sheath dresses can be very structured and corporate, but the casual versions are less structured and look sufficiently casual in fabrics like linen, rayon, tencel, cotton, technical fabric, or blends of these fibres. Most are above or on the knee. The linen version shown here is A-line and just structured enough to glide over the contour of the body without clinging. There are fitted casual versions too. The shell necklace and flat slides are an effective casual support act. The cardigan in the same colour for a twinset effect is fab when the breeze or chill sets in.

J.Jill Linen A-Line Split Neck Dress

4. Casual Waist Definition

Some of my clients prefer dresses with waist definition because it makes them feel streamlined, attractive and polished. Fit-and-flare silhouettes made of casual fabrics and worn with a casual support act are one way to go. There are straighter versions like this one that are less flowing than a fit-and-flare, but not as structured as a corporate dress. Add casual footwear and bag, and you’re good to go.

Eloquii Cross Front Flutter Sleeve Dress

5. Jersey Dress

The plethora of casual knitted jersey dresses available at retail every season go down well because they are easy to launder and very comfortable. Most of my clientele have a few versions of them, although we watch out for the styles that cling in a way that makes them feel self-conscious, or like they’re wearing a nightie. The loose T-shirt dress is popular, as are straight column dresses, asymmetrical cuts, fit-and-flares, all sorts of maxi styles, and silhouettes with ruching. Personally, I’ve found that jersey dresses work best when they are fluid, ruched, fitted-and-flared, and/or when the fabric is more substantial.

I love Summer dresses, and have versions of the tiered frock, several fit-and-flares, and some jersey dresses that I sport every season. Do you wear a version of these silhouettes, and if so, which are your favourites?