fashion

8 Summer Dresses You Can Wear Dressy or Casual–With Accessory Inspiration

fashion

It’s almost summer. That means, it’s time to put away your winter clothes and start wearing more breathable, airy clothing that won’t make you feel like you’re in a sauna. When it comes to figuring out what to buy–and keep–in your wardrobe, I always opt for pieces that can be worn dressed up or down (because it’s cheaper and easier to have less that you can do more with). And for those ethical readers, we included quite a few fair trade options.

Here are some of my favorite picks that your body will feel amazing in–and you’ll actually love:

1. This organic, fair trade black dress for $34 from Wear Pact

dress

The thing I love about black cocktail-length dresses is that they are the ultimate blank slate–and you can choose a colorful accessory to put against the black. To dress up, you can pair with a pearl necklace or earrings and flat or heels, versus to dress down, put on come fun Converse sneakers. My personal pick? These parrot studs by Betsey Johnson.

http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/jewelry--accessories/tropical-punch-pave-parrot-stud-earrings

2. If you want something longer, you can opt to for black maxi dress (also organic or fair trade) for $40 at Wear Pact

black dress

Like the short dress, this can also be worn for a cocktail party or more formal occasion, or just while grocery shopping. You can dress it up with a big statement necklace and/or belt–or dress it down with a messy bun and sandals. My choice? This colorful bow-tie necklace by Betsey Johnson.

http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/jewelry--accessories/rainbow-connection-rainbow-bow-necklace

3. Organic, fair trade A-line dress at Kow Tow for $99, black or striped

dress

dress

What I love most about this dress is the fact that it’s all about comfort. Loose clothing is so great for summer, because it’ll allow your skin and body to breathe and not overheat, and it’s flattering on every body. You can pair this dress with a scarf, belt, lots of bangles, long necklaces–really anything you can. The striped version is cute too, because it has a nautical summer vibe to it. Pair it with red lipstick and you’re good to go.

The black dress would look especially cute with a playful neck scarf, like this:

http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/diamond-dozen-neck-silk-scarf

4. Waisted maxi dress at Mod Cloth for $65 in blue or black

https://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/first-classic-maxi-dress/10092858.html?cgid=dresses_107&dwvar_10092858_color=BLK

This dress has a Grecian goddess feel to it–and comes in an array of sizes, from small to 3X. It’s can be paired with some strappy sandals and low key accessories, like gold leaf earrings.

earrings

5. Playful cat dress at Mod Cloth for $60

https://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/cats-me-if-you-can-shift-dress/10090641.html?cgid=dresses_107&dwvar_10090641_color=BLK

This dress is at once adorable, comfortable, and potentially dressy at the same time. It can be paired with oxfords, to make a fun day outfit–or with dressier kitten heels for an evening look. My pick? These handmade Mary Janes:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/399583323/jane-womens-mary-janes-leather-mary?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=shoes&ref=sr_gallery_7

6. Floral shirt dress at ModCloth for $70

https://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/gracious-guest-shirt-dress/10088919.html?cgid=dresses_107&dwvar_10088919_color=083

This is a great dress to wear for a special occasion or for work–where you may want to be a little less casual, but not over the top. It could be fun to pair with wedges.

http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/naris-slingback-wedge-sandals

7. Chiffon dress at Amazon for $18, comes in 9 colors

http://amzn.to/2rm7vai

This is a cute summer dress that has an a-line cut, so it’s versatile and comfortable to wear. It’s also under $20, making it guiltless. Because of the lace top, it’s best to pair down with fewer accessories, like earrings.

8. Shoulderless dress from Amazon for $17, comes in 13 colors

http://amzn.to/2qC0G3G

Similar to the previous dress, it’s versatile, comfortable, and inexpensive. Because of the neckline, it’s best to pair with a long necklace to create balance.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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