Dresses for Summer Vacation

I’ll be in Montana for the last two weeks of August, and I’m trying to decide what to pack for my trip.  I’ll be doing some hiking and exploring in the wilderness, so I’ll need room in my suitcase for those clothes.  But what do I want to wear when my friend TW and I are just milling around town and playing tourist?


Like there was ever any doubt.

Dresses don’t take up much space in the suitcase.  They can be dressed up for dinner or dressed down for daytime wear.  And if you choose wisely, you can wash them at a laundromat or in the hotel wash room, so you can pack less and wear more.  Here are a few that I’m thinking about adding to my closet:

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J.CrewRugby Dress ($69) // Circle Print Dress ($25) // Canyon Stripe Maxi ($79.50) // Printed Racerback Dress ($59.50)

T-shirt dresses are a summertime godsend.  This stripe from J.Crew is great, I also like this dress by Alexander Wang, and this loose-fitting Caslon tee.  I also like this maxi t-shirt dress.  Plus-size? Try this printed dress from Bloomingdales.  Petite? Check out this tie-dye dress.

Cotton sundresses are a classic choice for summer.  I love this circle dress (and the price) for its breezy quality, it also comes in black and white floral. JCPenney also makes a sleeveless option if straps aren’t your thing.

Maxi-dresses are a great choice for vacation because they easily double as a swimsuit cover-up.  This Splendid tank dress is an easy classic, and I love this striped Trina Turk maxi.  Plus-size? Try LAMade.  Petite?  Try LOFT.

A printed dress is a fun addition to your summer wardrobe.  I like this Gap dress a lot.  This mosaic-print dress is fun, and I like this split-neck tunic dress from Gap as well.  If you want to embrace the look of resort wear, try a printed caftan.

What do you like to wear when you go on vacation?  Do you have any pieces that you come back to time and again?



  1. Kate says:

    I have two dresses from Lands End that I lived in while visiting my parents on the Eastern Shore. One is a navy eyelet sleeveless shift dress and the other is a black terry maxi. Excellent purchases for the plus-size woman.

    July 18, 2013/Reply
  2. SQC says:

    Can you get away with wearing dresses in Montana? I felt overdressed my entire time in Alaska and I just wore jeans and a fleece. And I always feel out of place in the midwest when I wear a dress.

    July 18, 2013/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I just do. I sometimes feel out of place, but it’s not a big deal because it’s what I’m comfortable in.

      July 18, 2013/Reply
    • MissK says:

      I live in Montana, and my non-work wardrobe is almost entirely dresses. For where I live it’s normal and for the places that it seems overdressed, I have the same attitude as Belle – it’s what I’m comfortable in.

      July 18, 2013/Reply
  3. In defense of the Midwest. says:

    I don’t know why you would feel out of place wearing a dress in the Midwest, SQC. This Chicago native always wears dresses.

    July 18, 2013/Reply
    • SQC says:

      Chicago is quite stylish! I just know when I wear casual dresses elsewhere in the Midwest people are always asking me why I’m so dressed up. I do it anyway though. People in jeans don’t know what they’re missing.

      July 18, 2013/Reply
  4. Katie says:

    I just got the JCrew Rugby dress and it is fantastic (even on someone who is short and curvy like me)! Highly recommended, especially if you have a coupon code!

    July 18, 2013/Reply
    • Giggling Gourmand says:

      I bought it a month ago and haven’t yet managed to wear it. Not sure why. I would say though, that unlike every other thing at J Crew it doesn’t run big. I am usually an xs in their dresses and tops but this one looked awkwardly clingy and lumpy in my usual size so I had to go one up.

      July 18, 2013/Reply
      • Katie says:

        I had the opposite experience. I usually wear a large and had to size down to a medium. I think it’s more the way the fabric drapes and the shape of the dress than the sizing though.

        July 18, 2013/Reply
        • Giggling Gourmand says:

          So funny how that works. I agree it’s the drape. I have skinnier limbs but carry my weight in my midsection so I think I had to size up to get that lose a-line fit.

          July 19, 2013/Reply
    • JMW says:

      I also love this dress! I find myself gravitating to it everytime I need something casual yet stylish. I just add a long gold necklace and gold sandals or wedges…and voila, ready.

      July 18, 2013/Reply
    • SLG says:

      I wanted to love the JCrew Rugby dress so bad. Unfortunately it’s not proportioned for a tall lady like myself. It was so short on me that when I raised my arms, you could see my butt. Good fabric, though, so worth trying on. I wish they made tall sizes.

      Anyone know of other quality t-shirt dresses that aren’t too short? I’ve been looking all spring and summer and haven’t found a thing.

      July 18, 2013/Reply
  5. Zoe says:

    I bought the J.Crew rugby dress while I was in Birmingham and I absolutely love it!

    July 18, 2013/Reply