A Guide to Warm Weather Dresses

If you like to wear casual dresses in warm weather, you’re not alone. Many women tend to find them cooler than tops and shorts, while others prefer the camouflage offered by the additional coverage.

If you’ve never given the matter much thought, try wearing some casual dresses this season. Not only will they allow you access to all sorts of places that shorts won’t, like nice restaurants, church services, museums, and the like, you can dress them up or down by changing a few accessories. Versatile AND comfortable – what could be better?

Here are some of the most comfortable styles:

Sheath

This simple, structured sleeveless dress hangs straight from the shoulder and looks best on women with wide shoulders and small hips or those with no discernible waist. Great arms are a plus.

Sheath
Chadwicks.com

Sundress

Fitted at the bodice and flared from the waist down, this style is popular for women with curves.

Sundress
Chadwicks.com

Empire Style

The empire style has gathers directly beneath the bust, with the balance of material falling softly to the hem. This style emphasizes the bustline, drawing attention away from the rest of the body. Great for camouflaging tummies and hips.

Empire Style
Macys.com

Shirt Dress

The shirtdress is a great summer business look.  They can be straight up and down, which work well with straighter bodies, or flared like this one, which accommodates most body shapes.

Shirtdress
Macys.com

Surplice or Wrap Dress

The surplice style wraps around the body and fastens at the waist, both visually slimming heavier bodies while adding substance to thinner bodies. It’s one of the few dress styles that looks good on everyone, which is why Diane Von Furstenberg sold so many of them in the 1970’s. This style works particularly well for women with hourglass shapes and for those with large busts.

Wrap Dress
Macys.com

While collars, sleeves, and hem lengths vary widely on these basic styles, the shapes should give you enough to get you pointed in the right direction.

Once you’ve found a dress that’s shaped the same way you are, you can focus on the details. If you have great arms, for example, try sleeveless dresses. If not, a short or 3/4 length sleeve might work better. Have great legs? Try a mini. If not, opt for knee length or longer.

The point is to DO give dresses a try for warm weather work and fun.  Not only will you be better dressed  than just about anyone around you, you’ll also be cooler – you just have to swish your skirt to generate cool air on you legs.

Try it for yourself and see!

Diana Pemberton-SikesDiana Pemberton-Sikes is an image consultant and author of Wardrobe Magic.  Ready to learn how to dress well without a lot of fuss?  Wardrobe Magic can help.

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