As temperatures soar, it can be hard to know what to wear to look chic and stay cool. Enter the sun dress. Having a rotation of lightweight dresses is a great way to look put together and prevent yourself from overheating in the height of summer. Here are a few key things to keep in mind when selecting your perfect summer dress. —Lyndi Barrett
check the fabric. Before you buy, check the fabric label. Look for natural fabrics like cotton, linen (how beautiful is this Belgium Linen Dress ($335) by Reformation?) or lyocell. These breathable textiles will help keep you cool. More coverage like a longer hem length or sleeve in the right fabric can also protect your skin from the sun without raising your body temperature. Case in point: COS’s Contrast-Panel Midi-Dress ($120 US).
opt for flowing silhouettes. Although we often equate less clothing to be better during the heat, it’s often more about the silhouette. You don’t want the garment to be clingy, as this will make you feel too warm! Look for flowing, light silhouettes, like Hill House’s Ellie Nap Dress ($150) that allow airflow to keep you cool.
pick a fun colour or print. This season is all about colour (cue dopamine dressing)! There are so many beautiful bright shades and prints available right now. Pick something fun that feels upbeat for the season. If your wardrobe is mostly neutral, this is the ideal time to try something different. Our top picks: Ba&sh’s tie-dye Cleo Dress ($385) and Elan’s Floral Boho Maxi Dress ($155 at Fine Finds).
dress it up or dress it down. Accessories can completely change the vibe of a summer dress. Wear a deceptively simply frock, like the Smash + Tess Sunrise Midi Dress ($155), with sandals, white sneakers or strappy heels. Add a sun hat and a cute bag, and you’re ready to go from the beach to a barbecue.
outfit repeat! Find a summer dress you love and wear it everywhere! Don’t be afraid to outfit repeat over the next few weeks. Summer is always fleeting, so get as much wear out of your garments while the sunshine is here. One we’ll be wearing over and over (and over) again? Gant’s gorgeous Dahlia Print Dress ($300).