We’re looking forward to summer - ice cream on the beach, long, balmy nights with ice cold cocktails… what’s not to love? But the best part of the season is finally peeling off layers of tights and over-sized sweaters in favourite of some cute summer outfits. This year, the catwalk has been absolutely overflowing with gorgeous, casual summer dresses. So, today, we’re going to show you four of our favourite styles that belong in every fashionista’s summer wardrobe.
1. Floral Casual Summer Dresses
When we think casual summer dresses, flirty florals instantly spring to mind. Floral dresses are still trending like mad from spring 2014, so there’s no time like present to celebrate the new season in a trendy flower-inspired number.
Everyone needs a white sun dress in their wardrobe. The crisp, fresh colour lends any outfit a light, airy feel that’s just made for summer. If you really want to bloom this season, choose a white or cream dress with a vibrant pop of colour or bold print, like the Vince Camuto Floral Halter Dress (Macy’s - $174). This gorgeous fit-and-flare frock sports a teasing shoulder-baring halter combined with an elegant pleated skirt. The floral pattern explodes over the material in an unapologetic display of seasonal beauty. Hitting just above the knees, it’s the ideal length for a casual summer dress – flirty enough for the day but sophisticated enough for the evening.
Looking for something a little sweeter? Check out the LC Lauren Conrad Floral Dress (Kohl’s - $43.99). Rendered in a gorgeous turquoise shade, this exceedingly girly dress is smattered with a whimsical white and purple floral print. The a-line silhouette will flatter most body types, with the skinny belt helping to emphasize your waist. A pyramid shaped cut out on the back helps to separate this feminine dress from the pack.
Floral prints look fab in maxi dresses, too. Maxi dresses are particularly striking on taller women or ladies with a rectangular body shape, so if this sounds like you, be sure to check out the AXParis Tropical Summer Dress (Amazon - $30). The sweetheart neckline, sans straps, will enhance your bust and draw attention to your beautiful décolletage. The dress tapers in at the waist then flows gently outwards at the hips to flatter the wearer and keep you completely cool in summer. The pattern? Unusual, exotic and very retro chic. Love it!
2. Striped Casual Summer Dresses
Not feeling florals? Striped casual summer dresses are another hot choice this season. In fact, these trendy little pieces have been a summer staple since the seventies!
If you’re sick to death of pastels, you’ll be pleased to hear that summer 2014 has totally embraced the monochrome look. Black and white might not sound like a very casual combo, but just take a look at the Apt.9 Striped Maxi Dress (Kohl’s - $30). Worn with a pair of cute sandals, this v-neck maxi dress and its unusual mitered stripes are perfectly suited to a walk on the beach or a low-key brunch.
Love the look but want a hint of colour? No problem. The Yacun Women’s Striped Flare Dress (Amazon - $54.99) offers a great alternative. Traditional black and white stripes are broken up by a lovely lemon yellow streak across the hem. The fit-and-flare style lends the dress a timeless, vintage feel while the sleeveless design adds a touch of contemporary charm. Dress it down with a pair of sandals or up with some classy white pumps and a cute cardigan.
Don’t believe that fuller figured ladies can’t pull of stripes. The Torrid Striped Skater Dress (Torrid - $43.48) is ideal for plus sized girls wanting to embrace this trend. The modern, soft knit skater dress cuts in at the waist for added definition before giving way to a sexy circle skirt. The overall effect is a very sexy silhouette, especially when worn with wedges to elongate the legs. The hem hits around mid-knee, which is a great cut for casual summer dresses.
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3. Little White Dresses
Little Black Dresses are our go-to for formal evening events, so it’s only fitting that we’d bring out our favourite Little White Dresses for casual, elegant afternoon affairs. Luckily, this season, there’s a little white dress out there to suit every taste, from fitted to frilly.
The Kenzie Lace Dress (Macy’s - $134.60) is a perfect example of a classic, girly little white dress. The traditional sweetheart neckline is as flattering as it is feminine and leads into an equally slimming fitted bodice. Keeping up with spring’s hottest fashion trends, the dress sports all-over lace fabric that contributes to the sweet, girl-next-door look. However, that thigh skimming skirt that lends the Kenzie Lace Dress a decidedly sexy edge!
If you like your casual summer dresses to have a more bohemian look, try something like the BCX Ruffled Belted High-Low Dress (Macy’s - $41.20). The strapless style, bandeau neckline and cute ruffled bodice give the dress an effortless summer style, while the classic a-line silhouette ensures a truly spectacular fit. For a waist to die for and a drizzle of colour, it also comes with a stylish detachable belt.
Let’s finish with something you can easily take from day to night, like the Chaps Lace Sheath Dress (Kohl’s - $75). We’re still loving the lace trend and the Chaps Lace Sheath Dress reminds us why! Unlike most of these flowing summer dresses, this sophisticated little number clings in all the right places to discreetly showcase your assets while the lace adds a touch of class to the ensemble. Just add pantyhose, a few silver accessories and a pair of feminine white or silver pumps to dress it up for an evening soiree.
4. Bold Print Casual Summer Dresses
Last but not least, we’ve got some bold casual summer dresses that are perfect for ladies with larger than life personalities. Any true fashionista knows that part of keeping up with the trends know when to break away from them. So, this summer, why not try something a little less predictable than pastels?
If you’re stepping out of your fashion comfort zone for the first time, make yourself noticed for all the right reasons with a cute summer dress with a bold pattern. The Style&Co Printed Handkerchief Dress (Macy’s - $42.60) is a great option. The chaotic splashes of blue, red and white will catch the eye and the form-hugging empire waistline will make them linger. The unusual handkerchief-hem lends the dress a subtle fashion-forward flair.
If you’re not afraid to be different, we’ve got a very unique seasonal dress for you. The Mermaid & Skull Print Swing Dress (Torrid - $68.50) offers a highly stylish but decidedly macabre take on summer fashion. This sexy retro swing dress sports a sweetheart neckline and a fitted bodice to give you that much desired hourglass figure. However, it’s the mermaid, flower and skull print pattern that’ll really draw people’s attention. Be unapologetically different!
Finally, try to incorporate a shirtdress into your summer wardrobe. They’re the ultimate in casual boyfriend dress and usually made of airy, light-weight material that’ll you’ll be oh-so grateful for when the mercury soars. The Free People Pleated Shirtdress (Macy’s - $137.30) is a cool and contemporary option complete with a bold print and a lovely earthy colour scheme. The crisp floral and paisley design works wonderfully with the dress’s feminine silhouette to create a chic, unique look. Complete the ensemble with a skinny belt and a pair of brown suede boots.
With summer just around the corner, it’s time to update your closet with some cute and casual summer dresses. Armed with our fave picks for the season, all you’ve got to do is decide which of these gorgeous dresses and trendy styles are calling your name. Happy shopping!