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  • Writer's picturekathrinkim

Spring/Summer Must-Have: Sundress

Years ago, as Summer approached I realized I was dreading it. I began to dissect my feelings, to figure out why. I love to sit in the sun. I love being outdoors. I love barbequing and gardening and going to the pool. When I dug deep, I found that my negative feelings were caused by the dread I felt about my Summer clothes. I didn't have these feelings in the Fall and Winter. I loved my Fall/Winter wardrobe but, I did not love my Spring/Summer wardrobe; it was frumpy.

Once I realized what was causing my negative attitude, I chose to take control and change it. I searched for Summer items that were better than functional. I looked for items I LOVED to wear; from shorts to dresses to sandals and swimsuits. I couldn't afford to do it all at once so, got a little here and a little there, turning my Summer wardrobe around.

This is the beginning of a twelve week blog series of "must-have" wardrobe items with links to items you may want to consider. But, even if you aren't interested in these items, this will be a great way to look at what you have in your Spring/Summer wardrobe to see if it's complete. You may have a good handle on your Spring/Summer wardrobe but, maybe there's a hole or items that are getting tired and needing refreshed.

The Sundress

When I think of sundresses, I think of spaghetti straps and dresses I wore as a child. When I googled the definition of sundress, google defined them as, " light, loose, sleeveless dresses, typically having a wide neckline and thin shoulder straps." Okay, this description is less intimidating to me.

Let's be honest; there is no one style that fits all. Women have unique shapes, unique styles and taste and their own individual lifestyles with its demands. So, for me to post my favorite dresses doesn't do it for everyone. So, here are some options for different body shapes.

There are five basic women's body types; Hourglass, Inverted Triangle, Pear, Rectangle and Apple. Most women are a bit of a combo.

So, let's break this down by body type.

Hourglass = full bust, defined narrow waist, rounded bottom, shoulder and hips in proportion to each other. body ratio of 4-2-4

Inverted Triangle = shoulders and bust are wider than waist and hips. body ratio of 4-2-2

Rectangle = shoulder and hips are about the same in width with little distinction of a waist. bust and butt are small. body ratio of 2-2-2

Apple = bust is large and hips are narrow with fuller torso. body ratio of 3-4-2

Pear = narrow shoulders with smaller bust and a well defined waist, fuller hips and thighs. body ratio of 2-2-4

So, with our body shapes in mind, let's think about summer dresses.


Store: Nordstrom

Price: $79.00

This Smocked Tiered dress, to me, is what comes to mind when I hear the word sundress. The thought of putting this dress on my Apple shape gives me instant grief. This dress is not for me. But, it'll be lovely on an Inverted Triangle, Rectangle, or Pear shape.

If short in height, the length of this dress will over-power you; avoid it and look for something in a knee length option instead.

Store: Target

Price: $32.99

The picture to the right (rectangle) and the picture below (hourglass) are good examples of how one dress can be flattering on two completely different body types. I think this would be lovely on an Inverted Triangle shape, too. This Twisted cutout V neck dress is perfect for those hot days of summer but, how cute would this be paired with a pair of navy Converse sneakers and a white Kut from the Kloth denim jacket for Spring?

Brand: O'NEILL

Store: Nordstrom

Price: $55.00

This is stretching the definition of a sundress but, this pale pink O'Neill Lori print dress is a versatile piece. An Inverted Triangle shape should avoid it and look for a sleeveless or halter top option. But, this easy-breezy Summer shirtdress works for those of the Apple, Pear, Hourglass and Rectangle shape. Wear as is or add a summer belt. The only draw back to this dress is that this color could be too pale for some. But, if it works for you, it's a Must-Have!


Store: Nordstrom

Price: $59.95

This Wrap & Roll tropical green BILLABONG dress is perfect for that graduation party, a day at the pier or a neighborhood barbeque. This is a find for Apple, Hourglass, Pear and Rectangle shapes. An inverted triangle should avoid it due to the embellishments on the sleeves that would accent their shoulders.

Store: Nordstrom

Price: $69.00

I think Summer White is rich in the heat of July. Although, not practical for mothers of toddlers, once past that stage, this is a simple and beautiful shift dress. Shift dresses are an Apple shapes friend. But, here's one (below) for the Inverted Triangle and Rectangle shapes.

Store: Nordstrom

Price: $148.00

Love this crossover halter neck for an Inverted Triangle or Rectangle shape.

Store: Maurices

Price: $39.90

Another adorable Summer dress with a halter style neck. This dress is one that is quite welcoming for the Inverted Triangle, Rectangle, Pear and the Apple shape (because it has an empire waist). It may work for hourglass figures too but, it's definitely a try-on and see.

Brand: BP.

Store: Nordstrom

Price: $29.50

This little floral smocked waist dress with puff sleeves is lovely for a pear shape or hourglass. So cute! And at this price, it's almost disposable.

Brand: O'NEILL

Store: Nordstrom

Price: $55.00

This powder blue is another dress that is complimentary to several different body shapes. The Pear, Hourglass, Apple, Inverted Triangle and the Rectangle should all be able to wear this dress. It's sleeveless so, that's good for the broad shouldered gals. It's got fullness at the chest, making room for the bustlines of the Apple and Hourglass girls. It's got a waistline for those that have a waist and will give the illusion of one for those that don't. And the fullness of the skirt is not too full for Pears and will give balance to the other shapes.

Of course, there are always exceptions, because we are not all built alike but, don't get caught dreading Summer because your wardrobe is feeling frumpy. Start by making sure you have one or two summer sundresses to wear.

Looking forward to Spring and Summer!

Twin Cities Personal Stylist - Kathy Banta

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