Did someone mention smocked dresses in the 70s? Note what I wore in my kindergarten pic :). I do have a soft spot for smocking, but don't think I will wear again.

I love seeing everyone's summer dresses. I don't really wear dresses in the summer (I have a few shirtdresses, but they don't get much use), but when I see all of these I find myself *wanting* one!

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I’m hoping to be able to visit the thrift shops for a few summer dresses. They are closed due to this Covid business ATM. I’m down to two summer dresses! If lockdown continues, I might order the linen trapeze dress (photos) in chambray blue from Lands’ End.

The ‘asphergus grey paisley’ (yup! that was the product description ) one I like to wear late in the day after cleaning up from gardening. It’s soft and loose. I roll the sleeves up and use the self tie as a headband. The white denim shift is a little dressier, and I wear it for errands or day tripping with DH.

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Jonesy, you are soooo adorable in that picture! And the fantastic hair!!!

Can’t contribute much to the thread, I don’t wear dresses. But every year I look for one for summer Maybe this is the year I find one.

I just got this one from Old Navy

I ordered and returned this one:

The color wasn't that great, and it was clinging in the wrong places.

I got another one that is not on their website right now that is a terra cotta color with lace cap sleeves.

I also got this one from Target:

and I picked this one up at The Rack

I have been buying dresses at Seasalt Cornwall and have been SO pleased.

I am an hourglass, 160 lbs, 5’6”.

So far I have bought over the past year: the Belle, Pier View, Stepping Stone, Quiet Sea, Top Terrace and Line Stokes dresses. Phew, quite a number! I think in part, I went so overboard because they are so very very good and they seem such good value for the price. I have started bringing them out for warm days.

The quality is fabulous, they are well and thoughtfully cut, very comfortable, super flattering, lots of natural fabrics and they ship in paper, no plastic. I just wish they had a shop near me!

If you can find the Belle in your size, it is the prettiest dress. I get four or five compliments every time I wear it. I got the Vintage Floral pattern. I bought a size 14 (US 10) regular and and a 12 (US 12) petite. I suspect a 12 regular would have worked well, but the petite is truly designed for a shorter woman though it looked amazing on me.

Cons, I don’t always love their palette. Lots of teals, navy. Some of the patterns are clunky to my eye. Some dresses, like the Brenda dress, skew too retro for my taste. You have to pay for return shipping, that hasn’t exceeded $24 for me and that was returning a lot of dresses.

I have only tried their dresses and can’t speak to their other clothes. The thatsnotmyage blog had a post on them that first introduced me to them.

I love dresses. I have these kids n m collection. The Gap dress is on its way.
I both the popular Madewell dress last year but can’t find the fine.
Everyone has such great dresses!

I've got one silk dress from BR a few years ago, one floor length in rayon and a tee-shirt dress from Rack two-three years ago ( all printed with blue, black and white colors in them ). However I'm usually in separates - midi and over the knee skirts, some shorts, linen pants and cropped jeans.

@Hadilly *waves to fellow SeaSalt lover* Although I've never bought dresses from them specifically, their Vanessa cardigan & Easel tops are summertime staples for me!

As for summer dresses, I prefer to stay covered up so I go for cotton instead:
1 is the J Crew belted maxi dress in cotton - the yellow & ruffles are a bit much on me, but hey it's summer! I like the rounded collar with buttons & the tie belt for shape.
2 is the Zara long shirt dress in pink floral, with some blue in there - I'm thinking of maybe overdyeing it a warmer colour instead?
3 is similar but in a red & pink floral instead (more wearable) - the viscose is surprisingly breathable even in my subtropical humidity, & the print helps to hide sweatiness lol. Plus, pockets!
4 is yet again that infamous lightweight Zara viscose lol, but this time in a kelly green & white polka dot.
5 is my thrifted black & Orange kaftan maxi dress (I believe I've posted about it on the forum before). Loose & breezy, but the sleeve length adds structure.
6 is my orange B Young maxi dress (also posted about it on the forum before).

I'm still hunting for similar dresses in deep purple, teal, chocolate brown & creamy ecru - here's hoping I find them! I've stitched up the slit on some of these, but need to do the same for them all (& also my maxi skirts) before peak summertime hits.

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Wonderful choices, everyone! It's fun to see these. I'm glad that we now have puff sleeves and the spotty dress represented!

Debbie -- I particularly like the tie-dye: perfect for summer and spot-on for the trends.

Also: Jonesy, what a fab picture!!!

Team pants for many years and looking to incorporate dresses.

For the summer, just picked this up at REI. Its a casual little dress that I am looking forward to wearing on weekends here in NJ instead of shorts and it should be perfect on an upcoming trip to Florida. In the summer, when not at work, I wear cropped linen pants instead of shorts. I need to break out of that rut, still not a fan of shorts so dresses it is!


I also ordered this dress on a whim for my upcoming trip to Florida. Not sure it will work. I am a petite apple shape and hard to fit- and I am super picky about how things fit and feel, so we shall see. Loving the Boden dresses on offer. I am only familiar with them because of Angie and the You look fab blog-

I am a Social Worker and like the covered feeling of pants for work, plus in the summer, the office is freezing.... looking to come up with a casual dress capsule for weekends....So not used to dresses, I think it's going to feel weird and something I am going to have to get used to.....

New to posting but have been reading this blog for YEARS.
Not sure how to post photos? Any help/tips much appreciated.

Hi Rosie, welcome! I think you should be able to post photos after a few days/posts: https://youlookfab.com/backsta.....er-levels/. Meanwhile, I love both your new dresses: hope they work out!

I love smocked top dresses but have given over that spaghetti straps don’t work for me - my shoulders slope and they slide down.

I’m looking forward to wearing my gingham dresses, full-skirted 50s kinda things... but now that you mention it, they’re ancient. Maybe I should bestir myself to enter the new millennium in this regard... Probably won’t, lol!

As queen of the Long Hot Summer, I have way too many summer dresses. I do wear spaghetti strap dresses in summer and when out in the heat, throw on a linen shirt and tie it at the waist to provide sun coverage. I always wear a bra, so either strapless or regular, depending on the dress.

I also wear playsuits in the height of summer as they are very cool and easy to wear. My summers go for about 5 months and in Dec, Jan and Feb, it if often over 40C or 100F.

Omg Bijou,l think l just want to come and live in your wardrobe!

These are my new dresses this year. I had intended to seek sleeves, but somehow only sleeveless found me. The gap dress I originally got in black, but am duplicating in the stripe. It is not as low scooped on me as appears in the picture. For some reason, I couldn't add that stripe color so created a find for it.

These work for my casual needs and will be easy for my lifestyle. They are all super forgiving on fit, which may not be for everyone, but bet it's for some others too.

Rachy: definitely want to see your gingham dress!

Bijou: NO surprise you have a lovely a fab collection (and some gingham too)!

Delurked: I like your new dresses! Looks like the stripe is out of stock; it's a cute one.

As I started to peruse my wardrobe, I realize that I have far more summery skirts than dresses. How did that happen? I've added one new and several thrifted dresses to my collection this year.

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Wow, such a beautiful range of dresses!

These are my spring and summer dresses and jumpsuits. I don't own any spaghetti dresses as I find them difficult to style, or maybe I haven't found yet the right piece! I included my jumpsuit as I am constantly wearing them.

I ordered a linen dress, hopefully the weather will soon be hot enough!

This lot- ranging from festival to formal workwear. Most are in holding zone but should fit in the next couple weeks.
I don't buy spaghetti straps, since strapless bras are uncomfortable :/

Ooh, those Old Navy dresses you shared are calling my name! I love a smocked top and hate wearing a bra in the heat. I won’t wear anything that requires a slip, either, so the material can’t be sheer unless it’s lined.

I just realized recently that I’ve purged or worn out most of my casual summer dresses. I’ve got dresses for date nights and events, but not many for just lounging around the house. I’ve ordered a few from this weekend’s ThredUp sale, so fingers crossed that some of them work.

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GR, I love those classic shapes!

I feel a bit out on my own island The only summer dresses I own are shirt dress/sack styles that I wore for “ professional “ dressing . I have a lot of trouble finding that “ easy , breezy , cute” summer dress that style blogs talk about . I fall back into tough thought patterns of thinking if I were a lot thinner it would be so much easier to find dresses that were flattering , non bodycon and easy to wear .

Lisa, I understand. And I can’t even do sack dresses or anything above the knee — they just look all wrong on me. For me, the Sweaty Betty and Paige dresses hit the perfect sweet spot of enough flattery and a little bit of shape, with a simple, casual vibe. It’s really hard to find that balance, especially when you want to keep things on the more sophisticated side, which I believe both you and I really crave (I don’t really see either of us in smocking, puff sleeves or spaghetti straps, as cute as they are on others!). I don’t think it’s about being “thin enough” as much as finding the right balance for your individual shape and the look you want to achieve. At least that’s how I’m trying to think about it!

How did I miss this thread? I love summer dresses! I haven't bought a new one yet this year, but I think I'm due for something fresh. I retired a few last year.

Have loved seeing everyone's samples!

I don't wear spaghetti straps any more -- just too bare for me -- so some are ruled out. And I'm also not a fan of tiers or ruffles -- on others, I like them -- but they are not my thing, probably because of my childhood associations of having to sew such garments in Home Ec.

Below is my current crop, at varying levels of dressiness. The silk Club Monaco is quite dressy. The J. Crew is actually a top and skirt but if I wear them together, it is a 2 piece dress.

Love this thread and all the beautiful dresses and jumpsuits.
I won't say no to a spaghetti strap but they are missing from my dress wardrobe right now.
I probably have a sugar eye for blue flower dresses as there seems to be a few of them in my closet. I have this idea that I would like a more unstructured solid color dress but always end up with the flowery, ruffle, flounce option.
I guess it works for me if I am willing to embrace my hourglass shape and am in a more relaxed and informal setting.
Below are a few that I had in finds.