We have a post with a purpose today, it’s all about chic heatwave dresses because Meg wrote in to say
“I have a colleague who’s been looking effortless in the heat when we have our Zoom meetings. I’m still struggling to make the transition from office to home and I find I’m sweating in front of the camera wearing the structured ponte dresses I usually wear to work. Can you help me to find the kind of thing I’m looking for – plain and simple but not a sack. The kind of dress you see women wearing in Milan, accessorised with a fabulous bag and simple structured jewellery. I want it to skim but not cling so that I still have shape and it needs to multi-task this summer because I’ll definitely be wearing it when I walk out to our high street shops but I’m hoping I’ll be wearing it on holiday too. I know this dress exists, I see it on other people but I can never find it.”
Thank you Meg – I was short on time and inspiration for today’s post but I knew where to look. I think I’ve found some chic heatwave dresses for you and hopefully with express delivery you’ll have one in time for next week’s hot weather. I have to say I was surprised when I was browsing through my favourite online shops this week because new styles are still arriving. Usually at this time of year we’d have seen everything there is to see but of course so many deliveries have been delayed that they’re only just being listed.
Chic heatwave dresses
So, let’s crack on with the mission for plain, cool, body flattering chic. I’ll start with my favourite and yes I’ve ordered this – I’m blaming you Meg but it’s just such a great cut and colour. It’s the sort of dress that would work well whether you’re on a city street, a country picnic or a sandy beach. You could wear it with a low heel, an espadrille wedge or a flat – and the same goes for all of the dresses I’m featuring today. It’s cotton with a low cut arm which is important for hot days (dark armpit patches show up on bright colours)and it has a lovely knot detail at the back.
I love this one too and was tempted to order it but I think the pink is too cool for my colouring, it’s also available in black but that wouldn’t work for me either. It’s such a chic dress though made from gauzy linen with sexy back detail that shows a little but not too much.
As you’re probably gathering, the thing that makes these chic heatwave dresses more elegant than sack-like is that they have a feature that draws attention to a particular part of the body. The two above are focusing on the back and the next one is cut with slight asymmetry at the hem, highlighting the legs and yet breaking them up at the same time. It’s made from breathable viscose and it’s also available in navy or black.
This one appears to have waist definition but it’s just a detail at the front, you won’t find it uncomfortably restrictive. It’s a great dress because it covers the tops of the arms and drapes nicely over the bust if that’s an area that you prefer to disguise. From the reviews it sounds as though you’ll have to order more than one size to get it right but I suspect it’s worth make the effort because once you have the right fit it will be a sunny day no brainer.
Here’s an alternative in navy if you don’t want to have to play around with sizes, it’s made from lyocell which is a lovely fabric to wear and it will give it more structure. The asymmetric hem is slimming and again it flatters the legs – I wouldn’t have styled it with those shoes though but then I think we’ve all forgotten how to wear proper shoes.
Next is the simplest dress of all but it isn’t as basic as it first appears to be. It’s made from a luxe linen and cotton knit which gives it texture and it has slits up the side giving it that essential extra detail. You can find the same style in bright blue or black here, bear in mind that although they’re a linen/cotton blend, they don’t have the same knitted texture that I think elevates this khaki dress beyond a simple t-shirt style.
And here’s my last one because you’re right Meg, chic heatwave dresses are not easy to find and I know this has pattern but it’s subtle and I thought others might like it. It has a drawstring waist so you can adjust it to fit and again the asymmetry of the hem does the magic.
A word about shoes – good sale buys
As I’ve said, a loose dress tends to be more flattering if the looseness is balanced by an accentuation on other parts of the body. Shoes can really help here and in my opinion, when you look through all of the dresses above they look best when they’re shot with a simple, barely there sandal. Birkenstocks are great if you have long slim legs because they accentuate your ‘willowyness’ but if you’re blessed with shorter or more sturdy limbs, delicate straps and a low vamp that points away from the leg (thereby elongating it) will work wonders.
Because we’ve had such a warm summer in the UK, so far there aren’t as many summer bargains as I’d hoped. Obviously if you need formalwear you’re laughing and you’ll be able to snap up ‘day at the races outfits’ to last you for life. However there are good buys to be found at the holiday end of the scale because nobody’s sure if they’ll be going away. There are some big discounts on swimwear and one thing I’ve been experimenting with is Ancient Greek sandals because I wanted to know if their flattering effect was a myth. It isn’t, I’m converted and if you look hard enough you’ll be able to find them at half price. Here are some examples.
My personal favourite, they stay on your feet so they’re easy to walk in and I love the way the straps snake around your foot. I have them in silver, they’re true to size and 45% off in the sale.
I’ve just ordered these – and they’re the last thing I’m buying this season (half price in the sale)!
If you prefer something more supportive… (40% off)
A metallic mix of silver, gold and bronze here (50% off)
And these are very elegant too with their wraparound tie (40% off).
I would never pay full price for Ancient Greek sandals but with the discounts the way they are, it’s an opportunity to have something ‘designer’ in your wardrobe for Boden prices – and they’ll be part of your summer capsule for years to come. I’ve picked out the styles that have good size availability but you can browse through for yourself. To protect the brand the discounts are often hidden but you can find the best sites for Ancient Greek sale sandals here, here and here.
And that’s it today, we’re finally catching up with friends this weekend one at a time so it means we’re busy and I’m really looking forward to it – if I can remember how to hold a conversation! It’s quite telling isn’t it when you think about who you really want to see? Oh there’s one last thing though… a little tip on the q.t. The Boden sale starts on Sunday morning here and you’ll get an additional 10% off all sale prices for 48 hours with code 6T2C. Have a lovely weekend in the sunshine and I’ll be back on Tuesday.
Disclosure: ‘Chic heatwave dresses and good sale buys’ is not a sponsored post
Sales worth visiting
Arket sale here – extra 20% off trousers and shorts with code TROUSERS20