Versatile Summer Dress
Goes from Summer Casual to Dressy
Whew! We’ve been having some hot days around Northern Cal. Yesterday it was 95 degrees (F) at 4:00 in the afternoon. That’s not our typical summer day. When the temps climb that high, simple dressing is the best formula. A lightweight dress, bare toes, and simple jewelry is my uniform.
This dress isn’t a typical sun or summer dress. It’s even better! Because it’s so versatile it goes from dressy to summer causal without effort.
I purchased this dress last year from one of my favorite local boutiques (Shunzi in Petaluma). I was immediately intrigued by the unusual shape of the hemline. I love unusual shapes in clothing because they stand out and are different. I don’t feel like I’m wearing a cookie cutter style. This dress is by Porto. You can see some of the unique lines and architectural angles in their designs here.
This dress wasn’t a budget item, so I loved the simplicity of the bodice design, the super comfortable and movable fabric, and the easy care. All of these features added up to a versatile dress that could go from wedding (which was the reason I was dress shopping) to a casual summer day. That meant more opportunities to wear it and a much lower cost per wear (CPW). (Want to know more about CPW? Check out the formula in this post.)
On this sizzling day, I found a bit of shade at the pond on the campus of Sonoma State University, near my home.
I hadn’t been here for a while. But I know it well. The memories it brought back during my little visit were sweet. We used to ride our bikes around the campus and end up at the pond when our children were young. We’d come equipped with snacks for the resident ducks, take a rest, feed the ducks, and be on our way. Sometimes we took a snack for ourselves. I attended a wedding with the pond as a serene background. We did a family portrait photo shoot here long ago.
But my favorite memory is this. Years ago my husband rescued a turtle from the middle of a busy wine country road and brought it home. Not knowing quite what to do with this turtle, we placed it in a box in our backyard for the night. The next day, I brought the turtle to our local pet store and asked them for help in identifying what kind of turtle it was. “It’s a pond turtle,” they replied. Oh no! This poor turtle must have been parched after a dry night.
We knew exactly what to do. This was a job for the entire family. My husband, me, and our four kids, piled into the car and headed to the SSU pond, where we’d seen pond turtles relaxing on the rocks at the pond’s edge and diving into the water (I’m not sure they were exactly diving, but for sure they were sliding in and submerging). We parked the car, walked the boxed turtle toward the pond, stopped about six feet from the pond’s edge, took the turtle from the box, and placed it on the ground. Gone! In the blink of an eye. Literally. Who knew a turtle could move that fast?! That turtle was so happy to be back in the water!
Dressing Down a Dress
I’ve created this super casual summer look by going bare legged and pairing it with simple Tkees flip flops (check out the Tkees end of summer sale – very limited time). I added the pink flip flops for a fun color contrast, especially because the dress is such a deep shade of green and doesn’t scream “summer.” I also kept my jewelry simple and lightweight. An added summer hat is another way to “summer-ize” a look. Of course, adding an iced beverage always says summer!
What’s the Takeaway?
Keep in mind how versatile an item of clothing is when you are shopping. There are lots of ways to dress up and dress down a dress, a pair of pants, a top. Try not to pigeonhole your clothes. It’s much more fun to actually wear what you love and likely many ways to incorporate your pieces for a variety of looks.