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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.
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).
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 Shift Dress Picks:
Feminine Swing Dress
How adorable are the tassels on this Lilly Pulitzer Roxi Dress ($168 from Lilly Pulitzer)? If you order, read the reviews. Some suggest sizing down.
Lace Top Shift Dress
This Vanberfia Sleeveless Lace Chiffon Dress is only $22, it comes in eleven different shades as well as in sizes Small to XX-Large. If you look at the reviews and pictures, the quality actually looks nice. Add some dangly earrings, a sparkly bracelet and a pair a metallic flip flops and your outfit for a night out is complete.
Special Occasion Shift Dress
The fresh purple shade and clean lines on this LOFT Ruffle Back Swing Dress ($47.70 from LOFT, use code SUMMER17) are simple yet special. Plus, the back holds an elegant surprise.
Wear It Two Ways Swing Dress
Okay, this is another one I bought.
Score Shift Dresses on the Cheap
Shift Dress for the Beach
I love this pattern on this RVCA Pipe Dream Swing Dress ($33 from Lulus.com). I may need to order this now. Note the reviews say it’s short, so it might not be for you if you have super long legs.
T-Shirt Swing Dress
The VIISHOW Women’s Short Sleeve Casual Loose T-Shirt Dress (from Amazon) is the perfect relaxed silhouette and ranges in price from $8 to $19 based on the size and color you choose. Can’t beat that price!