Summer dress A reader requests help in finding a warm-weather frock
I’m looking for the perfect summer dress to withstand the heat waves we all know I should be expecting. I need something that is cool and not too revealing, but also looks good on a normal-sized frame. Are there any suggestions? — Charlene, Pacifico, Calif.
Since Irwin Shaw’s bittersweet tale, “The Girls in Their Summer Dresses”, and Bruce Springsteen’s take on the idea in “Girls in Their Summer Clothes”, the idea of the perfect hot-weather garment has been lingering in our imaginations.
It was there, alongside the perfect white shirt, perfect white tee, and the perfect pair of jeans. It was everywhere we looked, and we were convinced that it would solve at least one of the dressing problems.
Unfortunately, the mythic garment is not real. Because clothes work or fail depending on their context, they can’t exist. All of this is subject to change.
This does not mean you should give up on your search. This does not mean you should give up on your search for the perfect dress. Look for the right dress for you, and for a few years, hopefully.
Although we often think that wearing less clothing means being cooler, it can actually be more protective and not raise the body temperature. As long as the clothes don’t stick too much, there is no reason to feel uncomfortable. Consider the garment as a sunshade that can be worn, and look for lightweight, natural fabrics such as linen, silk, and cotton.
We also associate “summer dresses” and “frilly clothes,” which are ruffles or puffed sleeves, probably because of deep roots in childhood. A slightly more sleek look can add sophistication to a look that Shaw might have liked. It’s a vibe that’s more for romping in strawberry fields than mint juleps.
Jennie Baek is a style advisor at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills. She said that the bag can be dressed up or down by changing your shoes and bag. This is important when packing.
This tea frock by Lisa Says Gah has flutter sleeves and provides both coverage and sea breeze sway. You can also choose from a crisp, white-colored shirtdress, a simple white poplin shirt, or a looser, more swingy version of the Kit.
Wrap dresses are a great solution to any problem. Tie one on.
All your Style Questions Answered
Open Thread’s Vanessa will answer fashion-related questions every week. You can reach her via Twitter or email anytime. All questions are edited and condensed.