Lisa this is a favourite hot summers day dress I own by Ulla Johnson bought 5 years ago. It was expensive but the quality of the cotton is fantastic, light and easy to wear but not sheer, so no slip required. it washes up perfectly each and every time. The self tie belt means I can belt it where I want and the tassel neckline gives options around whether to wear as a V neck or scoop. It has some slits at the side, making it cool and breezy and shows off the legs, but just in a very slight way. I don’t normally wear boho, but this is a polished boho dress that provide sun protection on hot summers days.

I think a dress like this would suit a variety of figures and is a relatively simple construction, so something that a good sewer could make themselves. No zips or button details, makes it a throw on and simple dress.

As I don't have much of a defined waist I prefer my dresses a bit more fluid over the tummy area and definitely no empire waists starting from under the boobs because then I veer into the area of looking like I could be in an early pregnancy stage. I also prefer my dresses not with too full-skirts as my legs are my best feature and then they are hidden away under too much skirt and as my waist is not too defined I start looking blobby. I don't have very big boobs so no tips there, although I have found higher round crew neck make my boobs look bigger and not in a flattering way. I am more classic/edgy with an occasional element of boho but even then don't overdue it with tiers or ruffles. I also find midi's are not my most flattering so I go for just above the knee or just below. One of my favourite dresses is a very straight and long midi bordering on maxi but not sheath or bodycon. I always prefer a straight cut anything. very blurry photos from laptop attached for an idea of my fave dress.

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The most casual summer dress I can think of is the style of a looong tank top. Choose one with a high percent natural fibres. If you want to, you can belt it. Anyway, try styling it with breezy long woven shirts, worn open.

Lisa, FWIW, if I had your legs, I’d show them off all the time! I’m remembering your black EF skirt.
That’s not to say that you can’t wear maxi and midi lengths (or anything you want) and look great, but I’m wondering if you want to look at just below the knee lengths, too, just to widen the options.
My own figure flattering priorities include covering my legs because I’m not overly fond of their shape, and highlighting my waist (though sometimes I do this by surrendering the waist). I also have a smaller bust for my size so v necks and scoop tops often don’t fit me very well.
I’m really interested to hear more about what necklines and waist styles you like best!

Flytigress, thank you for the second link! I ordered that linen cotton midi from the gap - on sale for $44 today! Looks lovely and I love that it’s a linen ave cotton mix. I ordered a petite to accommodate my short waist. Will report back.

Thank you very much, everyone , for contributing thoughts and suggestions here. Man I'm such a whiner. I've got two Gap dresses in a shopping cart for consideration - thanks (ah- they are on the first page and I'll lose my notes here if I flip back to see who suggested them - hang on ) . Going to see if the waist-definition /tie belt styling is the solution !

Flytigress ! Thank you Have these in a shopping cart now thanks to you !

I really like some of the other suggestions - linens, shark bite hems, the BR modal belted one, etc ) and will keep the design features of those in mind for any shopping that might happen. I prefer direct click-and-buy recommendations to trolling the internet for ideas.

Bijou - I love Ulla Johnson's designs, but they are SO pricey in Cdn $. Way out of my comfort zone. But I follow the brand on Instagram just to torture myself . That dress of yours is stunning.

Jenn . Angie, LaP - Garnet Hill, Artful Home , etc - great ideas , thank you. Not want I want to spend on a dress that will be washed and worn frequently. But thank you - these are lovely dresses.

@LisaP - I’m not a fan of maxi dresses. Actually, I have a bit of a ‘poison eye’ for them. However, if you are bound and determined to have one, and given your ‘brief’ for wear scenarios and body description, I would suggest a halter style dress with some draping or a subtle keyhole opening to manage the bust and accentuate good shoulders. To elongate your line, go for high/low hem vs a ground skimming. Look for a light cotton, linen, or synthetic that has a bit of structure and floats away from your body (vs hugging like a jersey). It will be cooler and skim the body vs cling.

You might find a solid, however my examples are patterned.

Edited to add solid (from Hudson’s Bay!)

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Yay, so pleased I could help! I hope they work out for you, LisaP.

Looking forward to hearing about the dresses you decide on! I will be wfh for the foreseeable future and share your interest in finding a couple of ultra casual wash and go everyday dresses. And then a comfy topper to go with it. Keep us posted

@Runcarla those dresses are stunning!

I know you want something longer but I think with your legs it’d be flattering to stay shorter - maybe this is too short. In its defence it’s not nearly so short on me, who is an inch shorter than you.

It’s expensive - but fits nicely. I’m much heavier than you (maybe two sizes bigger and have the large chest issue as well. I find the neck is just open enough without being sloppy and sleeves add interest (not bulk as it may look) to an otherwise plain black dress. It’s cotton poplin so couldn’t be cooler.

Hi Kerry - what a great piece - but far, far too short for me . I’d wear something like this over jeans !

Ah the quest for the elusive perfect something, when you have a vague idea of what you want, but a solid list of what you don’t...
I don’t know why, but for some reason this quest made me think of lands end, (cant use finds as iPad

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Actually, kkards, this is as close to perfect as I can imagine! I have no experience with Lands End but their fit charts look pretty comprehensive. I really like this dress ! Thank you

Peanut Gallery here: Ok... I was trying to find you something like what kkards posted... but I’m not so bright, I went to Lilly Pulitzer... I don’t know why I thought they’d have anything in black... lolol

I really like the woven Gap dress for you that Flyingtigress posted (first link.) I think the Lands End one looks really easy to wear too. I'm not a fan of maxis for summer either unless they are high low--the maxi length can get so hot. Gap had a raglan woven rayon dress similar to the one that Bijou posted. It was midi length--I think that style would look fab on you too! Looking forward to seeing what you choose!

I popping! I find dresses need a try on. Will they billow out or drape back? Do they hit at the right point on my legs? Are the armholes to big, or do the sleeves hit me at the worst point on my arms? Good luck!