The Perfect Summer Frock

I love flirty summer dresses.  Unfortunately, it is so hard to find cute dresses in a semi-affordable price range.  So imagine my shock when I spotted an adorable cotton dress by Nanette Lepore for $154?  (I didn’t know that Nanette was aware that there is a price point below $300.)

The reason it’s so inexpensive is that technically, it’s a swimsuit cover up.  As a result, the material in the skirt is a bit sheer, but for Nanette at under-$200, I can buy a slip.

Also, commenters on the original Anthropologie listing also malign the lack of bust support.  Based on the cut, this is a dress for a smaller chested woman, 34C is probably the upper limit.  Since it’s open back, a traditional bra isn’t really an option.  But there’s always NuBra for those of us who don’t have a lot to lift but also don’t want to be immodest.  

This retro throwback is perfect for summer barbecues and picnic lunches.  All I need to complete the look is a pair of cat’s eye sunnies and some red wedges.  Who’s ready for summer?


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  1. Ms. B says:

    Completely adorable and with lovely details. I might have to fight you for it. Or shall we do the southern “mother – daughter” thing for your birthday? Hummmmmmm?

    April 12, 2012/Reply
  2. m says:

    Uh, Belle? When I looked closely at the front, there's a spot below the bow where your skin would be exposed. I'm OK with the open back, but I'm not ok with showing my tummy anywhere but the beach.

    Cute, but not quite functional.

    April 12, 2012/Reply
  3. EK says:

    m – I saw that, but it looks so small it could probably be sewn shut easily or even fashion-taped. It's also probably high enough that it would show more ribcage than stomach, but I know what you mean. I'm hoping to try this on somewhere, since the online reviews have me a little concerned about the fabric, but otherwise I think it's lovely.

    April 12, 2012/Reply
  4. Helena says:

    That keyhole opening in the front is bigger than it looks here. The bow covers most of it. I think it would be difficult to sew or tape shut without bunching fabric.

    April 12, 2012/Reply
  5. EK says:

    Helena – you and m are totally right. Too big to sew and probably bigger than I'd prefer to wear. I didn't look closely enough at the bow. Hopefully Nanette keeps it up and does some more lower-priced pieces.

    April 12, 2012/Reply
  6. KMRH says:

    FYI – Club Monaco has dresses that are the same shape (with the open back), but they are not transparent + do not have an opening in the front. Very cute!

    April 15, 2012/Reply