Five Great Summer Dresses


From Left, Boyfriend Striped Dress ($170) // Simon Rocha Dot Dress ($1,070) // DvF Hailey Silk Printed Maxi ($465) // Emmaleigh Suiting Dress ($188 + 25% with code SPRINGBEST) // DvF Valencia Wrap Dress ($375)

Striped Dress.  I have a two summers ago Banana Republic striped dress that I wear constantly.  It’s great for casual work days or weekends.  I think the navy and white classic is the most versatile choice.

This Edith Miller dress is a bit slouchy and oversized.  If you want something fitted, try this 3/4 sleeve dress or this sleeveless one, both from Gap. I also like this Dorothy Perkins one.

If you wear plus sizes, I like this breezy dress.  If you wear petites, Old Navy is a good place to start.

Eyelet Dress.  I am loving all of the crisp white eyelet available this season.  This dress is glorious, but priced like a plane ticket to London.  Heck, you can go to London for less.  It makes this Burberry seem reasonably priced, and this $88 dress a steal.

Plus size? This JCPenney dress is adorable and inexpensive.  Petite?  I love the different textures on this shift.

Printed Maxi.  A printed maxi dress in a quality fabric can be worn casually or semi-formally depending on the shoes and accessories.  I have one in my closet, and it is my go-to brunch, cocktail party and outdoor wedding dress.  I like this flame orange dress and this chevron printed frock.  I also like this mint-colored plus size dress.

Colored Sheath.  I like to indulge in color during the warm weather months.  I like hot pinks, bright greens, cool cobalts and any other shade that catches my eye.  I wear black all winter, so I need a break to let my inner Crayola-kid loose.

I addition to this simple sheath, I loved this sherbert-colored peplum.   This green is nice, as is this pink dress.  Plus size women should check out this cobalt dress, and petites may like this yellow one (also in misses sizes).

Wrap Dress.  This dress was the item I bought from the Saks Friends and Family Sale.  I love it.  The mix of orange, mint, navy and white really works.  And there’s enough fabric that I can wear it without flashing anyone.  It does run a bit small though (I bought the six and it just fits, so go one size up).

If you’re looking for something cheaper, BCBG offers some great printed wraps.  I like this one and this one.  Petites might like this short-sleeved ikat dress, and plus size ladies should check out this pretty lavender, navy and teal print (also in petite plus sizes).

These are the five styles that will be carrying me through the summer months.  Any on your must have list that I missed?



  1. sahra says:

    gorgeous picks!

    XO Sahra

    May 1, 2013/Reply
  2. Christine says:

    Belle, I really appreciate the effort you spend to include some plus size alternatives. I love the site, and really love the shopping tips that I can use.

    May 1, 2013/Reply
  3. Cynthia W says:

    Ooh… I’ve been looking for an effortless striped dress for summer since I can’t wear my winter Tommy Hilfiger anymore, so that Gap recommendation was perfect – plus, it was on sale and Gap was doing an extra 35% of with the code GAP35…

    May 1, 2013/Reply
  4. SLG says:

    Has anyone worn the J. Crew Emmaleigh dress in the summer? It’s wool, but lightweight. Do you sweat through it if you end up on a Metro car without AC?

    May 1, 2013/Reply
  5. Lar says:

    Belle, what’s your opinion on sleeveless dresses/blouses in the office in the summer? I notice you post a lot of them. Do you wear a cardigan or a blazer with them always? Is unprofessional to show bare arms?

    May 2, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I wear a cardigan or a jacket most of the time, but not always. I don’t think sleeveless is unprofessional in most offices, but for meetings or more conservative environs it’s good to keep a neutral-colored one at your desk, I have a gray one.

      May 2, 2013/Reply
  6. m says:

    Belle, that lovely Burberry eyelet dress is now marked down by 33% at Nordstrom…. which still makes it a bit much for my government salary. But a girl can dream, can’t she?

    June 5, 2013/Reply