During the summer, I live in dresses! From knee length to maxi to midi, I love wearing beautiful prints, lightweight fabrics, and bold solid colored dresses throughout the warm months.
Each year, I add to my summer wardrobe by investing in several new staple dresses. As I have gotten older, I’ve realized the benefit of purchasing dresses that are true to my style and can be easily dressed up or down. So many times in the past, I would buy dresses in patterns or styles that weren’t totally flattering or easy to wear on multiple occasions, and within a season, I would end up consigning them (shout out to my favorite consignment shop, Covet!).
This summer, I’ve only purchased a few key pieces, each under $200, and have really tried to focus on maximizing their utility by changing up the accessories I pair with them; think fun statement earrings or eye-catching sandals.
If you’re on the hunt for new summer dresses to add to your own closet, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite picks!
The A-Lyst for Affordable Summer Dresses
Anyone who knows me is more than well aware that Julia Engel is my favorite style blogger. I adore her style and overall down-to-earth vibe, and was over the moon when she launched her own collection of classic, feminine dresses. As soon as I saw the Courtney dress in the look-book, I knew I had to have it! During the summer, blue and white striped clothing are my weakness and I couldn’t resist the approachable, yet chic essence of this midi dress. It’s been one of my favorite pieces to wear repeatedly this summer and I know I will wear it for many more summer seasons!
This budget-friendly floor length dress from my go-to Target line, Who What Wear, is so easy to throw on for day or night! For day, I pair it with my favorite pair of summer sandals and simple gold hoop earrings, but for evening, I love to add some wedges and beautiful long earrings. This dress always garners a ton of compliments, not only for its striking blue hue, but for its fun and flirty movement when you walk! At under $40, it was a no brainer! I also love this colorful pattern it comes in.
This beautiful silk double v-neck dress is on super sale right now and is such a gorgeous dress for summer! This dress is so versatile that it can literally be worn for a variety of occasions, from a wedding to a backyard picnic. For daytime affairs, I like to pair it with my favorite denim jacket, which instantly dresses it down for a BBQ or casual outing. For a more dressy occasion, I add a strappy heel or classic nude pump and swipe on my tried and true YSL coral lipstick.
Ruffles are a girl’s best friend, right? At first glance this $82 number from Lulus.com may be intimidating because of the amount of ruffles it features, but once it arrived and I tried it on, I was pleasantly surprised with both the fit and quality! While I’ve already sported this out in Boston on a weekend night, I can envision it being worn in Greece during our upcoming trip there. I’ve already planned a future outfit with this dress featuring these gorgeous teal earrings and my Valentino Rockstud Gladiator Sandals. White is so easy to pair with EVERYTHING and I can’t wait to wear this dress in countless ways!
I’ve always been a fan of Eliza J dresses; they’re well-made, on trend, and easy to wear, and this beautiful floral dress is no different. The smocked waist is both comfortable and flattering, as you can adjust where it sits on your waist to create the perfect accentuation above your hips. I love wearing this off-the-shoulder, as the design suggests, but also converting it to a one shoulder, by slipping one side of it under my arm. This is another example of a piece that can be dressed up or down; the silk fabric makes it feel more ‘special,’ yet the playful floral print can easily transition to daytime. I have enjoyed wearing it for dinners on these hot summer nights!
Lipstick: CHANEL Rouge Allure in Melodieuse