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The Find: Dresses for Summer

This summer is a rebuilding season for me.  Rebuilding my career.  Rebuilding this blog and Thirtyish.  Rebuilding my fitness.  As a result, spending a lot of money on clothes that won’t fit next year (hopefully), isn’t in the cards (unless it’s something that can be tailored, like a business suit).  But I needed a few things to wear this summer that made me feel good.

And where did I find them?  Old Navy.

There are so many good dresses at Old Navy right now.  From flirty florals to simple tank dresses to great t-shirt dresses.  I am loving a lot of them.  And they’re all under-$50.

My one word of caution is that the styles are running a little large.  I’m back into smalls and extra smalls, when I should be a medium according to the size guide.  I bought one dress in xs that is still a bit too big in the chest (no surprise), so I’m spending $18 on adding two darts.  I like the dress enough to spend the money, and even with that spend, it was still under-$60.

Alright, enough shop talk.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Ponte-Knit Tie Belt Midi Sheath

This striped linen dress is not usually something that would be up my alley — it’s babydoll and fairly mini — but it is the world’s most adorable, lightest weight pool cover up.  Over a swimsuit, with a straw hat, and sandals, this thing is a breezy dream.

A reader who wears plus-sizes messaged me to say that she is wearing this smocked dress “too much.”  The print is a great, subtle floral.  And the shape is fitted on top, swingy on bottom.  Also, in misses, tall and petite.

This striped dobby dress is the one I’m going to have tailored.  It needs a few darts (and maybe a slightly shorter hem) to take it from Cape Cod meets Prairie Home Companion to total stunner.  I know tailoring isn’t something we’re all comfortable with, so if that’s not you, grab this striped shirtdress instead.

This sleeveless tank dress is my go-to work from home dress right now.  It’s comfortable and flattering, and if I need to run out for lunch or errands, it looks great with sandals or sneakers.

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    3 comments

  1. J says:

    So interesting about adding the darts to the dress. I have a small chest compared to my hips/butt, and I have a hard time with dresses being too big on top. I’ve never realized you could do this. Do you have a post about tips like this for alterations to help items fit better?

    June 4, 2021/Reply
    • Belle says:

      So I have a similar body type, smaller on top than on bottom. I buy things that fit my hips, then, I will often have them taken in at the waist and have darts added to the back or at the best. The alterations are usually $18-$30 per item.

      This tutorial gives you a feeling of how waist alterations were done https://www.wikihow.com/Take-in-a-Dress-at-the-Waist.

      June 4, 2021/Reply
  2. Laura says:

    I saw the blue and white striped dobby dress a few days ago when browsing through Old Navy’s site and actually thought to myself, “I wonder if Abra has seen this one yet” haha!

    June 4, 2021/Reply