It’s a request we hear over and over at this time of the year – find me a casual summer dress I can throw on and feel comfortable in, looks stylish and will keep me cool, that I can dress up or down using accessories…
As a personal stylist, I can say that we love dresses; they’re easy. You don’t have to think about mixing and matching tops and bottoms. All you need to do is throw it on, add pair of shoes and possibly a jacket, cardie or great accessory and off you go.
That’s the easy part. Sometimes the hardest part is finding the perfect casual summer dress.
We understand that not every dress is going to suit everyone’s criteria- arms covered, lower legs covered, knees covered, no synthetics, midi, maxi- but here are our fashion stylists favourite summer dresses currently in store from size 6-20, why we love them and how they work for your shape.
And yes, we see a theme- stripes!
*Click on each image to visit the website to view or purchase
Saba Thalia denim dress Now $119.20 (was $149)
This is probably one of our faves as it’s so simple and classic and easy to style. The colour is universally flattering and being a chambray means you can add any colour shoe, jacket, hat or accessory to it.
Style tip: curvy figures can add a belt to accentuate the waist and to shorten the length (tan shoes and belt ideal)
Jigsaw stripe jersey dress $199
This dress is made from a light knit jersey meaning it won’t cling to lumps and bumps. With a small sleeve it’s perfect for those who prefer to cover their upper arms. The varying stripes means its also a very flattering style whether you’re curvy or straight up and down.
Style tip: Team with a pair of white canvas sneakers (even a pair of thongs) and a denim jacket for the perfect casual look.
**If you’re much wider in your hips than shoulders, this is NOT the preferred style for you.
Sussan navy cut out dress $119.95
This simple navy dress drapes the body beautifully and it’s low cut V-neck means its perfect for the bustier gals. We love navy as it’s a softer colour against the skin than black and again is nice and neutral so you can go crazy with adding your own pops of colour.
Style Tip: the drape of this dress means it can easily be dressed up with a summer wedge and chunky beads. You could even add a soft blazer or waterfall cardigan.
Sportsgirl STRIPE TIE WAIST DRESS $79.95
A fave from Sportsgirl, this is more casual in classic black and white. Throw it over bathers and thongs or as seen here with a pair of white sneakers for a picnic in the park. The self-tie at the waist is great for disguising a tummy by allowing the fabric to blouse over the stomach rather than cling.
Style tip: despite some beliefs, narrow horizontal stripes are actually VERY slimming!
Katies longline shirt dress $69.95
How can you go wrong with classic black and white? This lightweight dress from Katies ticks all the boxes for us- a busy print but flattering palm print, a self-belt to draw attention to the waist (and make your legs look longer) and button up front allowing you to not only wear as a dress but leave open over a cami and cropped pants = winner!
Style tip: this is the ultimate ‘cover up’ dress for ladies wanting a summer option without having to show too much skin.
Katies SILK HALTER NECK DRESS $129.95
If you’re after some fun and colour this silk summer frock from Katies is ideal for the party season but can also be thrown on with casual sandals for a day in the sun. The halter neck is perfect for creating the illusion of a broader shoulder to balance out a wider hip and the soft A-line skims hips and thighs.
Style tip: the asymmetric hemline is great for petites, drawing the eye up and down rather than horizontally across the knees
Trenery ENGINEERED STRIPE TUNIC DRESS $99.95
This is really the ultimate T-shirt dress from Trenery. Fine breton stripes and tonal colour blocking in white and pale blue marle makes for a casual throw on style. The blend of cotton and linen means this dress will breathe in hot temperatures. The cap sleeves are ideal for those wanting a little more cover up top.
Style tip: the t-shirt style is best kept casual; no heels.
bassike stripe v-neck pocket dress with tail $140
Fair to say bassike is Sally’s go-to for summer casual pieces. Made from 100% organic cotton superfine jersey this dress will give you lots of love, i.e. will wash up like a treat and requires NO ironing! This dress won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but if you’re looking for effortless chic, check out bassike (pronounced basic)
Style tip: bassike is oversized so if buying online, go a size down
Country Road HALTERNECK PLEAT DRESS $229
My pick for the summer has been this Country Road pleat halter neck dress. Its been so easy to dress up with heels, accessories or wear very casually on a hot day with summer flats, a fab straw hat or throw on a Just Jeans denim jacket if the weather is cool. It takes you from day to night and is a great piece to travel with.
Style Tip: The shape lends itself to a multitude of shapes, disguises any tummy, thighs or bum you may want to hide. The neckline is very feminine and perfect for high summer.
Sussan Soft Tie Waist Dress $129.95
This classic, comfortable style is a must have for Summer. Perfect paired with a sandal or wedge, it’s a fantastic day-to-night option. The tie-waist and flattering V-neckline means it suits a number of body types, and flatters a broader shoulder beautifully!
Style tip: add a sparkly statement necklace and a new season strappy heel and you have the perfect LBD for your summer festivities.