The Shift Dress: A Summer Must-Have

I love living in Richmond, Va., for many reasons, but the super hot, humid summers are not part of my shiny, happy feelings. It doesn’t matter if I’m headed to work, the farmers’ market or an outdoor party, about 4 seconds after I get outside my apartment, I start to sweat and my makeup and hair begin to melt. While I love clothing (duh), this is the one time of year when fashion needs to be minimal. Unfortunately for me, even if I go on the Devil Wears Prada-inspired, eat-ice-and-pretend-it’s-food diet, I’ll never have the figure to rock super short shorts and a tiny tank top. Enter the (infinitely more elegant, anyway) shift dress.

A comfortable shift dress is a must-have for hot, steamy summers.


The Style:
If sourced appropriately, a classic shift can go from casual Sunday to business-meeting Monday with a few mix-and-match accessories. Look for an option that’s close to knee length with a figure-skimming shape that’s loose enough to allow you to eat a burger without having to suck your stomach in, but fitted enough to show that you do have a shape and are not wearing a solid-colored muumuu. Add flip flops and shades for a casual afternoon, pumps and a chic scarf for work, or wedges and some bling for a summer party (as pictured with Valentino sunglasses, a Stella & Dot necklace, bracelets from Lily Rain, and Jack Rogers wedges).

My dress came from the Claville Fashion Truck and was less than $40. Even better! You can find the fashion truck’s schedule here.

What to look for: When you head to the store, look for light, easy fabrics and forgiving silhouettes. If you are curvier like me, you’ll want a more flared cut like the one I’m wearing. Gals with taller, straighter figures (I’m so jealous!), look for something more tapered.

Marco Style Picks:

Simple Style & Co. Shift Dress from Macy's is perfect for summer.Style & Co. Shift Dress from Macy’s

Classic black and on sale for $25. Need I say more? Buy this now.




Pleated BCBG shift dress is effortless and chic.BCBG Sleeveless Shift Dress with Back Pleats

This one is slightly more elegant with stylish back pleating. Bonus: it’s on sale for $81 at Lord & Taylor.




Shift dress in a cute pop of color from Dillard'sM.S.S.P. Yoke Detail Gauze Sleeveless Shift Dress from Dillard’s

Sure black and other neutral-toned shifts mean easy re-purposing, but the shape also lends itself to pops of color. This one has some cute detailing at the top to draw the eye up ($128).


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