A couple weeks ago, we had our own Jen on the Edge version of a fashion reality show, in which y’all gave a friend of mine some really excellent advice about how to accessorize a dress she’s wearing to a wedding next month. If she shares photos with me afterward, I promise to follow up here to show you who she listened to and who she ignored.
Anyway, another friend of mine has asked me to help her find cute casual summer dresses. She wants dresses that are figure flattering and comfortable for a busy day, but nothing too tight, too short*, or too revealing. She’d like pretty colors and/or patterns. And preferably something that costs no more than $50-60.
*Speaking of modesty under dresses, I sometimes wear tight running shorts under mine so that I don’t accidentally flash anyone.
Okay, I’m up for the challenge, so I spent some time online over the weekend and came up with lots of possibilities. I will tell you now that I am going to be window shopping at stores that might include sweatshop labor, so if that’s a priority to any of you, caveat emptor.
I started off at Target, because most Americans have access to a Target and, if you don’t, then you can order these online.
Let’s start this off with this sweet dress:
How cute is this?! If I were getting it, I’d probably go for the deep Viking Purple or the navy, but that’s just me. It looks like it would drape nicely and not be too loose or too tight. It’s hard to tell if the neckline would expose things that you’d rather not expose, but I think it might be okay.
Here’s another cutie:
On the computer screen, this dress looks like it would be flattering to a lot of figures. If you’re not crazy about the lack of sleeves, you could put a short-sleeve cardi or shrug over it.
Other options at Le Tarzhay:
- A faux wrap knit dress that comes in an assortment of colors. $19.99.
- Another faux wrap dress, but this one is sleeveless. $19.99.
- Similar to the first dress shown, but not quite so low-cut. $27.99.
- This dress appears to be of woven fabric, not knit. $27.99.
On a whim, I checked out Lands’ End. I’ve been shopping there for almost 25 years, so that would be one of my first places to look for myself. Their prices have been creeping up in the past few years, so I wasn’t sure I’d find anything in the designated price range. Luckily, I was wrong.
- Ponte knit shift dress. Personally, I’d get in it the red. On sale for $34.99.
- Sleeveless pima polo dress. Would look tres kewt with flats, sandals, flip flops, or even Chucks. $45.00.
- Short sleeve solid polo dress. Lots of color options. I’d be all over the Cosmic Blue or Asparagus. $45.
- Sleeveless solid sundress. Lots of color options. VERY cute. J’adore almost every color. $55.
Now we’re going to move on to a dress I found at Walmart. Don’t be surprised. While I don’t normally shop there, I did see a great blouse and scarf on a blog last year that were from Walmart and they were so cute that I had to have them. My total outlay was less than $20 for the two and I wear them all the time.
Anyway, there are loads of knit dresses at Walmart, many of which are very similar to the ones linked from Target. But I hadn’t found many prints yet, so was happy to find this one in several different patterns and colors. I’m totally digging the blue paisley and at $14, you could buy several versions of the same dress.
After Walmart, I went to Old Navy. What do you think of this Hawaiian inspired sundress:
Or how about this dress in 2012′s hot color:
From Old Navy, it was a simple single click to check out the Gap’s offerings. (They’re owned by the same company, so their websites are joined.)
Okay, yes this is above the set price point, but I had to include it. It’s just too darn cute to ignore. Thinking about my own closet, I have several pairs of shoes and loads of accessories that would look great with this. Really, the question is: What wouldn’t go with this dress?
Other Gap offerings:
- A cute faux-wrap striped dress. $64.95.
- An adorable striped t-shirt dress. Yes, it has horizontal stripes, but I think it’s worth considering nonetheless because I do not buy the argument that women should stay away from horizontal stripes unless they (the women) are a size 0-6. $54.95.
I clicked over to Sears to see what they have going on over there. I ignored everything in the Kardashian Kollection because I refuse to konsider klothing spelled with kute konsonants. I also filtered out all the maxi dresses, which seems to be a Sears specialty this season, as well as the utterly hiddy dresses, of which there were far too many. I did, however, find a handful for you to consider:
- A blue and white cotton sundress. $47.99.
- A pink and purple floral sundress. $41.99.
- A purple stretch cotton shirt dress. $35.99.
- A dark pink and white floral sundress. $35.99.
After that, I went over to JCPenney and looked around and was reminded why I don’t shop there, due to their over-reliance on large-scale florals that I don’t particularly care for. Also, they seem to really like hot pink. Like, they’re all still heavily into their Barbie phase over there. And I personally don’t care for hot pink, as I am not an anatomically incorrect plastic doll with a eunuch for a boyfriend. That said, I did find two possibilities:
So those are the options I put together for my friend for this summer. Hopefully, there’s something here she’ll like. If any of you have any ideas, please share them with us.
P.S. Some of y’all have asked me to post photos of my own outfits. I am feeling ambivalent about this, but will at least entertain the idea if there’s actual interest in the concept. If I did, what would you want to see? Would you just want to see the photos or know where I bought things?
P.P.S No need to worry that I’m becoming a style blogger. Not. Gonna. Happen. But it’s possible this will become an occasional series of posts as topics come up.