5 Affordable Go-Anywhere Dresses for Summer

With summer temperatures reaching the mid- to upper-nineties, it’s hard to bear wearing anything but lightweight summer dresses. Living in Pittsburgh, it’s not terribly common for us to see the thermometer reach triple digits–and frankly, I’m not sure that I could handle it! I always joke that my body requires a very specific environment, between 68-73 degrees, and anything outside of that is too extreme. :)

That being the case, putting jeans on in this weather sounds like a death sentence to me (I know, I’m dramatic), so I’ve been on the hunt for summery dresses that will keep me cool, look age-appropriate, and *fingers crossed* can make the transition from work to weekend.

Topshop Ruffle Minidress

Perfect For: Work, Weekends, Weddings/Nights Out

summer wrap mini dress

What I Love About It: A simple wrap-dress like this one is such a versatile choice for most any event. On top of that, wrap styles tend to flatter most body types, which makes them a great option for just about anyone. If you’re less comfortable in low-cut necklines, you could easily style a lacy camisole or bralette underneath this for added coverage.

How to Style It: 

  • To dress it down, try pairing this with a cute pair of flat strappy sandals, or even simple white sneakers, a preppy leather-band watch, and a denim jacket.
  • For work, all you need is a simple pair of pumps. For air conditioned office spaces, try it with a longer-length blazer; layer on some minimalistic jewelry for a touch of office-appropriate sparkle.
  • For nights out, a pair of sky-high black stiletto heels, a bold eye, and an animal print clutch add the perfect amount of drama.

LOFT Short Sleeved Shirt Dress

Perfect For: Work, Weekends

LOFT summer shirt dress wellesley and king pittsburgh fashion blog

What I Love About It: Midi lengths are totally on-trend, but also very age appropriate. I’ve always liked the elongating effect they have, especially on a straight-down style like this one. The tie at the waist is a nice feature for altering to fit your figure, cinching in your natural waistline. (Note: even on dresses with loops for belts, don’t be afraid to pull the belt out and tie it at your waistline, or even use a separate belt.)

How to Style It: 

  • Just like above, this is so cute with a pair of slip-on or Converse sneakers, or a pair of flat sandals. It’s truly a one-and-one style, so there’s not much else you need aside from a tote or backpack for any weekend essentials.
  • For work, this style is nice with a pair of low to mid height block heel sandals. I like to make it look a little more professional with a leather belt, instead of the tied on belt that comes with it. A pair of gold hoop earrings and a boyfriend style watch are all you need for accessories, especially in a color this bold.

LUSH Hailey Crepe Dress

Perfect for: Weekend, Nights Out

crepe mini dress wellesley and king pittsburgh fashion blogger

What I Love About It: I love the crepe fabric, first of all. It’s lightweight, and pretty wrinkle-free through wear. I like that this particular style could work as a a beach cover-up, a minimal look for running errands, or even a low-key date night option.

How to Style It: 

  • I’m a broken record: sneakers or flat sandals are perfect with this simple dress. Add a baseball cap or even a denim jacket if the nights chill off a bit. It comes in a wide array of colors, but of course, I like black best–it always looks chic.
  • The model above is wearing it with high, block-heel sandals, which I love. That would easily be my go-to choice. I could also see it paired with a simple belt, and a fun clutch for a night out.

ASOS Smock Dress

Perfect for: Weekend, Lounging

mini dress wellesley and king pittsburgh fashion blogger

What I Love About It: This is one of those dresses that I find myself throwing on time and time again, mainly because it’s just so comfortable. I could sleep in this, I could lounge around the apartment in it, I could run errands in it. It’s definitely not a piece that will transition over to workwear, but it’s affordable enough to pick up for casual days in.

How to Style It: 

  • You don’t need much with this, but it does work great with a denim jacket, or even layered over longer-sleeves, once the weather cools down. It’s cute with (of course) sneakers or flat sandals–go ahead and even throw on flip-flops with a look this casual. Heck, wear your bathing suit underneath and head to the pool.

J.Crew Factory Floral Wrap Dress

Perfect For: Work, Weekends, Weddings/Nights Out

jcrew wrap dress wellesley and king pittsburgh fashion blogger

What I Love About It: Like the first option, this simple wrap-dress can be worn from work to weekend, and maybe even a night out. The floral print  and the mini length on this one make it a little more casual than the first style, but equally versatile.

How to Style It: 

  • Try a pair of metallic sandals or pointed toe flats. Layer on a cropped cardigan or denim jacket for cooler days. Keep accessories simple with a pair of stud earrings or
  • For work, try a pair of pointed toe pumps and a longer length white blazer. With the long blazer, also try a long, rib-skimming necklace to elongate the look. This pairing would be great on shorter women, creating the illusion of longer legs.

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