Discover more from 5 Things You Should Buy
Dresses for Extreme Heat
Dresses for when you don't want anything to touch you.
What to wear on a scorching day when the beach is far from an option. When you dart from shaded corner to shaded corner walking down the street. Those moments in the sun can be unbearable. So today we are going to talk about dressing for the beating sun, and specifically sun-ish dresses.
I find daytime dresses to be a category that doesn’t usually speak to me. 1) Because I use layering to create personal style, and dresses don’t leave much room for that. As one client said to me recently, “I don’t want to walk down the street and see myself.” And 2) So much has to be perfect for a dress to work - fit in shoulders, hips, waist, etc. There is less room for error or adjustment.
Sometimes though, a dress is essential due to the basic humidity index. God forbid something touch your waist as the sweat gathers in your belly button! And sometimes, when you find just the right dress, walking down the street can feel like magic. You can feel lighter, cooler, fresher. Chin higher, hair flowing back, and you think, “I don’t hate summer after all!”
So today, 10 (ten!!!) dresses to throw on when it is too hot to hear yourself think.
For when you have to actually be somewhere and you know you will be drenched in sweat
How great is this dress? I know, I know, Proenza has been getting a lot of love lately (i.e. last week’s shorts.) But they’ve really been on a roll! A few things to note about this dress. It’s a lightweight poplin. A print and black so will hide all signs of sweat. And it has a vent in the middle back. Now some of you may be saying, but I don’t want to show my midriff. The waistband of this can be moved up and down to hide the waistline or show it. Since that is usually a pretty flattering spot on the rib cage, this dress is a good one to experiment with the whole skin thing.
A crisp white poplin dress with zero frill
I first saw a sliver of this dress peeking out from a rack on the Instagram account of a teensy little summer store in Michigan that I have never been to but enjoy following. I am dedicated to the hunt, what can I say. It’s from a small brand based in Chicago. I like the simple shape. It doesn't quite look like a nightgown but is still nightgown adjacent. It has ties that cinch on the side to make it as roomy or fitted as you’d like. And the neckline can be worn open or closed. When it came, it was too crisp for my taste so I washed and dried it in the machine and then let it absorb all those wrinkles. Now it feels right. I’m wearing size 0.
A forgiving mini dress
This mini by Australian label Posse is giving us that A-line shape that am so often on the hunt for, especially for my more petite clients. I love this forgiving summer shape that doesn’t touch your body and doesn’t force a waistline where there might not be one. The print is shockingly sophisticated for the price point. I can already imagine her with tan legs and brown Greek sandals come August. Now I just need the dress, the tan and the Greek sandals!
A t-shirt dress with room for your hips
T-shirt dresses usually suck no? They cling to your hips or are so oversized (in not a good way) that you look like your luggage was lost…or you forgot your pants. This guy has an interesting “pre-rolled” sleeve detail, is long enough that it looks like an actual dress and has a draping detail that keeps it narrow to the body without being tight. It’s totally sold out on Dries’ website. However I’ve scouted out a smattering of sizing across the internet.
What I imagine a dancer would throw on, and therefore I want to throw on
This dress is flimsy. It will show it all. But for those of us who don’t even care once it hits 95…I’m into this. It’s like, the leotard of dresses. I imagine wearing this with a cotton bralette underneath or for those so inclined, an actual leo! I’m feeling the tomato red which unfortunately seems to be sold out but the black looks like a no-brainer.
For when you don’t want to show any skin
On the opposite end of the spectrum, this oversized shirtdress by Danish brand Skall Studio. I hinted at this white shirtdress in the fisherman sandal newsletter. The reason I love it for this round up is because of the broderie anglaise panels. The hint of skin on the arms, back and legs feels lighter than a plain white shirtdress, and definitely more airy. Also, its on super-sale (yay!). I’m wearing a size 34. This brand runs roomy. I wouldn’t size up in this one.
For baby stepping into the whole tube top trend
This dress looks easy to wear, relative to an actual tube top. Looks like a forgiving shape to go bra-less and appears like it can be hiked up far enough on the chest to hide a bandeau bra if one wanted to. There is a hint of sheerness at the bottom. The print reeks of summer but still feels elegant. Almost like a Matisse painting for those very into capsule wardrobes…or keeping their Instagram grid a consistent flow of black, white and sepia.
For when you are late to camp drop off and you must throw something on immediately
No one will notice the black underwear or teal bralette under this right? This housedress inspired frock feels dressed with personality! Yet really, it is SO easy. I’ve been keeping it on the back of my bedroom chair all week and literally throwing it on while walking out the door. Its made from a super gauze-y cotton that feels lightweight and all the proportions are spot on.
For when WFH has been rescinded
I say this because it will look great with these closed toe flats which I have instructed multiple clients to get. They are perfecto. (Spotted LSD in them at couture last week too so…you’re welcome.) But I digress. Back to the dress. It can be as conservative or unbuttoned (literally) as you want it to be, and is a nod to tailoring without getting into suit territory. It’s khaki, has a nice collar and a tab in the back that adjusts the waist line. *Editors note: It is linen, so it will wrinkle. I think you are all just going to have to get comfortable with that look, because I’m ready for the comments. :) It’s sprezzatura! And most importantly, it will look great with a cardigan layered over it at your desk right under the a/c vent which is blasting at 62.
For when it’s Saturday night but it stays light til 10pm and also sundown didn’t lower the temp even one degree
If I had a weekend babysitter lined up I would 100% buy this. Any leads there welcome. In the meantime, you can all snag her on sale. How fun would this dress be to stroll down the street wearing on a steamy night? Very Sex and the City…the early years.
There you have it folks. Stay cool out there.
5 Things You Should Buy is a reader-supported publication. If you enjoyed scrolling through and are still reading this, consider upgrading to paid to support the time, research and love that goes into each issue.
NOTE: I use affiliate links when applicable which means I may get a small commission from things you buy (no cost to you!) Thank you for supporting my work and trusting me with your shopping!