Summer can be a challenging season to dress for many women. You reveal more about yourself and your body than in any other season and have fewer layering tricks at your disposal to either cover up certain parts or create a nice silhouette. It’s also harder to create a ‘new’ look every day, since you can’t really play too much with jackets, layers and scarves. Since I have been living in very hot weather year round for many years now, I have become very familiar with summer dressing, so here are some of my best tips & tricks for dressing for this season.
1. Use interesting design details
If you are only wearing one layer, make it as interesting as possible. I often choose tops that have an interesting design detail. Take for example this red silk top. It’s very airy and very interesting at the back. All you need is a good basic bottom like some nice white trousers or skirt and you will look, modern, polished yet remain cool.
2. Dress in very thin layers.
When I go to the beach I prefer to cover up rather than expose all my upper skin to the sun. This is easy to do when you have a few very thin blouses or tunics. It doesn’t matter if they are see-through because you will be wearing it with either your bikini or singlet underneath. you can combine with either shorts or a long skirt if you like to cover up your legs as well.
3. Hide those bra straps
I personally don’t like to see bra straps. If you are wearing a unique top, make sure that you have a bra that can be worn invisible underneath. You can either buy a bra that can be worn in several ways or buy a bra clip like this one. This can be used with almost every bra.
Of course panty lines should be avoided too. I’m loving these no vpl perfect low rise shorts from Marcs & Spencer
4. Invest in a few good dresses
Nothing is as easy and glamorous and cool as a good summer dress. Ideally you will have at least 4 dresses:
- A high summer beach dress. This dress can be shorter than your other dresses and is easy to wash, doesn’t wrinkle too easily and is not too precious. A good example is my white cotton dress although it could also be a simple dress with spaghetti straps. Perfect for the beach but can also be used as a tunic worn over pants for casual clothes.
- A summer day dress: this is the perfect dress for casual get-togethers during the day. This could be a nice wrap dress in cotton jersey or a casual shift dress. My butterfly dress has turned out to be a very popular day dress for myself.
- A work dress: a traditional shift dress that looks both professional and conservative and that can be easily combined with a jacket or cardigan.
- A dress for the evening. A dress that is a bit more special than your day and work dress. Silk is my preferred material for a special dress in summer and ideally it’s asymmetrical too! Since I believe in wearing your nice clothes as often as possible I often wear this purple silk dress during the day too!
5. Don’t be afraid of silk
I have mentioned silk a few times already. Together with good quality cotton it is my preferred material for summer. It’s cool, has a beautiful natural shine and it looks and feels sublime. If you can combine that with tip number 2, you have a true winner on your hands!
A common complaint is that silk is too precious for summer and that it requires too much care. However, I am able to wash all my silk clothes by hand. Yes, it’s more work, but not as expensive as dry cleaning. Although all silk items will always have the ‘dry cleaning’ advice for washing, I personally don’t believe it’s necessary so long as you purchase silk of good quality. Of course, you will have to do this at your own risk. I will not take any responsibility if this does not work for you! (just sharing how I personally manage my silk items).
It’s true of course that silk is more expensive. But I feel it’s worth investing is one special dress that will make you feel wonderful. When you look after your dress well, it can last for many years.
6. Cover up in smart ways
In summer you need to be even smarter with the types of clothes you choose when you want to cover up certain areas. I personally don’t believe in using shape wear too much as it’s far too hot and uncomfortable. Instead choose smart tops, skirts and dresses that drape in all the right areas to cover up any bulges. Asymmetric dresses and tops are usually very good at doing that.
Have a look at the following previously written articles:
7. Dress for your body type
In this season in particular, it’s very important to dress for your body type. Look at some of the guidelines in my articles on the pear, apple, inverted triagle, hourglass and rectangular shape. Apples for example look much better in tops that are fitted around the bust and wider around the tummy. The same counts for dresses. Here are also some tips on how to wear capris the right way.
8. Use accessories, shoes, color, pattern and graphics to make things more interesting
Accessoring and playing with colors and patterns is perfect for making your summer outfit more interesting.
- Play with color blocking
- Add a belt in a print
- Add interest with a brightly colored scarf (for lots of example see how to wear scarves)
- Use the scarf itself as a top
- Add color with a bag
- Use a statement necklace
- Get some colorful standout shoes
- When wearing flats make sure it’s a fun and arty one
9. Have fun with sunglasses
Sunglasses are the perfect way to cover up your wrinkles and dark circles around the eye for a young and hip look. Use them in abundance in summer, if only to protect your eyes of the sun and harmful rays aand have fun with colors and shapes. For more tips on wearing glasses read what glasses to buy after 40 and how to pick the right frames.
10. Wear white
White is your best friend in summer. It is the most versatile color to wear and whenever I don’t know what to wear I turn to this. Combine with almost every color and pattern in your closet for a clean, modern look! Or while all white. For more tips check out how to wear white and how to wear white pants.
For even more tips you can read a previous post where I discuss all the DO and DON’T of summer dressing. For more inspiration on summer dressing, you can also visit the What I Wore section of this site where I showcase many of my own outfits.
For some live interaction and even more summer style secrets, watch this video!
I mentioned Heather from The Style Confessions in the video who shows off her beach body with confidence. Read her interview here and see how she rocks a bikini!
What are your best tips for summer dressing?