As a guy who covers fashion and style, I must admit that when the weather gets humid, muggy and unbearable during these “dog days of summer,” I’m more than a little bit jealous of women. Why? Because women have the option of slipping on a dress and running out the door. Depending on the dress, they’re ready to go anywhere and do anything. That’s why having a good selection of dress styles should be a priority for any gal!
Recently while in New York City on a fashion excursion with a pal, we ventured into the fashion area in Brooklyn known as DUMBO. It was a hot-and-sticky day as we walked from the subway toward the shops we wished to peruse. The sign on the adorable Mel en Stel boutique said “Dresses for Anytime.” I thought that was a brilliant way to get people into the store! It also made me think of just how important the “dress” is to fashion and comfort during this time of year. Here’s a few of my favorite dress styles, and some you should consider adding to your wardrobe.
The classic, sleeveless shirtwaist dress is somewhat fitted with a button down placket in the front. This one is cut with a full skirt and self belt. The fun pattern makes it perfect for late summer. The addition of the whimsical menswear tie is playful and fun. I could see some flats, or even lace-up deck shoes with this to keep it low key.
The halter and strapless are definitely summer staples, but these can be worn year-round when done in more formal fabrics like the ones shown in this photo. The bright red silk/satin halter is breezy without being too sexy. The ruffled detail makes it a little more demure, and the pockets are a nice detail. The strapless dress in a pleated plaid taffeta is another example of something that says evening, but not fancy. She’s dressed it up here with a simple pearl necklace and earrings, as well as some gold high- heeled sandals. Both styles are classic, yet perfectly appropriate with a change of accessories for later in the season.
The empire waist dress is characterized by being fitted at the bust, but flows away from the body in more of an a-line fashion from there. Here we see a classic black dress that could actually also work in any season. The added black tights make it more fall and winter appropriate, but imagine it with bare legs and sandals for a late summer evening out. The large statement necklace works perfectly on this simple and easy-to-wear classic dress. I’ve also included a photo of the “baby doll” empire waist dress in white. This is the perfect little dress for the end of summer when you want to look put together, but not restricted. The short length is really only for those who have great confidence in showing their legs like the model here!
Off the shoulder is the way to go for an interesting look anytime. This silk/cotton tie-dye print dress has been belted in to define the waist, but could also be worn without for a more flowing effect. The drama is built into the design of this dress with its asymmetry, but could also be just as effective if it was an off-the- shoulder peasant style.
The classic sheath dress is always in style. Here we have a sleeveless-faux suede with a wonderful ski- cap sleeve treatment and interesting neckline flounce. The beige tone lends itself to any time of year. Fit is key to wearing this type of dress, so choose wisely and make sure the waist-line fits you perfectly. A good fit should skim the curves, but not pull and pucker at the seams.
So now you see that a dress really is for anytime, and it can be changed and adapted in a flash to fit the occasion as well as the weather forecast. Stop in at your local Goodwill and see what kind of “anytime” dresses you may be able to find. Our prices allow you to experiment with your look and get some new ideas as we start to transition into late summer and early fall. Stay tuned each week for my column as I give you fashion food for thought that will satisfy your style cravings!