It’s been hot this week. Like 100 degrees hot. I could write a post about how it’s crazy to me that people still don’t accept the reality of climate change after all the weather craziness these past few years…But, instead I’ll talk about summer dresses. Because when it’s this hot, you want to wear the least clothes possible. Light, flowy summer dresses are pretty much the closest thing to naked you can get without crossing the line into inappropriate.
Also, Andria wrote a great post a few weeks back about summer dresses. But Andria is tall, like 5’10” or something. I’m short – like 5’1″ on a tall day. A lot of dresses look ridiculous on me – they’re either too long and I need to spend more money to have them hemmed, they’re too boxy and make me look like I’m wearing a paper bag, or there’s just so much material it looks like I’m drowning in it.
That picture is blurry, yes, but look how happy and cool I am sitting on a strange pigeon chair in a cute, breezy dress on a 100 degree Vegas day! Why I went to Vegas in August is beyond me, but at least I had a couple cute dresses.
So, I’ve rounded up my favorite summer dresses that don’t need any altering. I own and wear (or will be, since I just ordered a couple of these online…) pretty much all of them. Also, the vast majority are cheap. Because when it’s hot you sweat. No need to have expensive dresses you have to worry about washing too much or ruining when a little ketchup drips off your hotdog onto your dress at one of the many summer BBQs you’ll be going to this summer. Take a look! A lot of these are on sale right now, so celebrate the end of a blisteringly hot week with a little retail therapy. Your thighs will thank you for giving them freedom, and fresh air.
J. Crew Factory
I used to hate J. Crew Factory because the prices still seemed high for an outlet store. But, recently I’ve found so many great deals at the J. Crew Mercantile (their brick and mortar store) at the mall by our house, it’s now my go to for well-priced, nicely made wardrobe staples. These days I actually like the Factory styles better than the actual J. Crew styles.
I have this cute cami dress in the pattern above and in coral. I just bought up the patterned one last week because my oldest son picked it out for me. I mean, how can you resist when a five year old says, “You would look beautiful in this, Mama”??? The cut is super flattering for a short girl, it gives you a waist, the straps are adjustable (SUPER important), and the hem hits in just the right place. Only drawback is this one is dry clean only. I’ve found it’s worth it though, obviously, since I now own two of them.
I also bought this little number the other day. Not a dress, but still gives your legs room to breathe and the pattern is really fun. Looks great with my standard grey v-neck t-shirt (I’m trying to add some more color to my wardrobe.) They carry this skirt in all different colors and prints. Best part? Elastic waist.
This afternoon dress has been a summer staple for a couple of years. The version I have is a bit different – mine has pockets and doesn’t have the front pleat. The red is perfect (and I’m a snob when it comes to red tones), the skirt length is great, and the body fits just right. This one is also dry clean only (wah, wah), but again, totally worth it because I’ve worn the snot out of this dress. One thing to note is that the fabric is pretty thick. This is fine for where I live, since (usually) it’s generally cool in the mornings and evenings. It might be a bit much for muggier climates. I did wear it all summer in Cincinnati, though…The navy stripe version is on sale right now for $24.99!! Why haven’t I bought that yet?
I don’t own this swing dress, but I’ve tried it on in store and vowed to buy it when it went on sale. Well, now it’s on sale. It’s pretty much like wearing pajamas, but cute. Again, the length is good, the arm holes are the right size, and somehow, the stretchy cotton material isn’t clingy.
Here’s another swing dress that feels like pajamas, but doesn’t look like them. I tried this in a couple other colors and they were more clingy than the black. The striped version is also cute. Bonus, it’s on sale for $12.
I purchased this open back dress in a royal blue/purple color earlier this year for a girls’ Vegas trip (see me and the pigeon chair at the top of the post.) I love the way this one fits – good length, the v-neck isn’t too deep, and the fabric doesn’t cling to your curves. It doesn’t have much of a shape to it, but it somehow still works. The open back detail is really cute, and cut in a way that you can just wear your normal bra with it. I liked it so much, I just bought it in black. Again, for $12.
I always want to look good in a maxi dress, but I never do. They’re generally too much for my short frame (in fact, maxi dresses are regularly longer than I am tall!)
When at Target by myself earlier today, this maxi wrap dress was calling to me and I figured it would be a disappointment. As usual. But I was wrong. The wrap dress style with the kimono-like sleeves is a winning combination for me, I guess. It looked awesome. And, the material is super light, so would be nice and cool on hot summer days. This is the perfect dress for a fancy date night, wedding, or cocktail hour on your yacht (a girl can dream, right?) I didn’t buy it, because they didn’t have my exact size. We also don’t have any fancy events come up to wear it to, but I’ll keep my eye on it for when it goes on sale online.
So there you go, short girls. Solidarity! Whether you’re short, tall, or in-between, where do you get lucky when looking for cute summer dresses?