The Range: My Best Buys of Summer

Jun 25, 2024

When you write a fashion blog, it’s easy to fall face first into overspending. This year, I’ve worked hard to shop consciously instead of haphazardly. So while I haven’t purchased very many pieces for summer, I feel like nearly everything I have purchased has been a winner. Here are the best things that I’ve purchased this summer.

This Spanx dress is a classic piece that I wear every time I need something easy and stylish in a hurry.   The material is a good weight, much thicker than most t-shirt dresses.  The side vents keep it breezy.  And the quality is quite good.  It’s a smidge on the pricey side, but the cost-per-wear value for me is high.  Also in solid black.

For two years, I’ve been looking for a real leather crossbody bag that wouldn’t break the bank.  This AllSaints Captain bag is it.  The leather is gorgeous and feels very expensive.  The shape is simple and chic.  The exterior pocket is great for essentials, like your phone.  And the price cannot be beat at $129. 

Full disclosure, I did not buy this dress.  I joined a panel discussion at the MM LaFleur store in Georgetown last week, and they offered to dress me for the event.  Since I’ve been wearing MM for over a decade, I happily accepted.  This Ciela dress is the one I chose, and I loved it enough that not only would I buy it, I did buy it in a different color.

The material is thick and stretchy.  The dress is impossibly comfortable.  The color selection is fabulous.  And the side ruching is great for the days when you don’t feel your best about your body.  

One of the reasons that I’ve been shopping more thoughtfully is that I subscribed to Rent the Runway.  For just over $100 per month, I receive multiple items to wear for weekend date night, special events, work trips, and every day life.  I ordered these linen BlankNYC shorts on a lark, and they are incredibly.  I loved them so much, I paid to buy them.  

And, yes, it’s true that I usually don’t wear linen because it wrinkles, but this material is thicker and darker, so I barely notice the wrinkling.

Have you bought anything phenomenal this summer?  Leave it in the comments.

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  1. KateL says:

    MMLF customer for years (thanks Abra!). I was in the showroom when Ciela dress was launched at a customer event. It’s the sisterhood of traveling dress. Looks great on different body types. Wore for Hill engagements this spring

  2. Sarah C Bruns says:

    Has your experience with RTW improved?

    • Belle says:

      My big complaint the first time was that shipping was often delayed and I never got clothes on the schedule so I couldn’t plan to wear them to events. This time is better, I’ll do a re-review. But some of the same struggles persist, like figuring out sizes.

  3. EB says:

    I bought the spanx dress on your suggestion earlier this spring and LOVE it. Works great even with a baby bump. My husband wants me to get it tailored to change the neckline into more of a v neck – but I like that it’s a conservative crew neck. Perfect for running around after my toddler.

  4. ek says:

    Boden’s playsuit (https://www.bodenusa.com/en-us/smocked-jersey-playsuit/sty-d0991) is amazing! Comfortable, flattering, and stylish.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I bought the Spanx dress in burgundy and love everything about it . . . Except for the fact that it is pilling after only 10-12 washes. It is too expensive for that. Any suggestions?

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