Currently, this summer dresses blog is a case of wishful thinking as the weather isn’t really playing ball and there’s no Mediterranean holiday on the horizon for me to look forward to this year. But I’m hopeful the UK weather will pick up, and some of you may have a beach holiday abroad booked. Word on the street (rumour from a friend) is that there’s a heatwave on the way for the last two weeks in July… If nothing else, I do like to buy a new summer dress around this time of year, so let’s go with blind optimism.
I do have a couple of new dresses already this year but I haven’t had much opportunity to wear them yet. Several of these photos are old but they feature my best-loved dresses, even if some of them are from a few years ago. If they are not available anymore, I have tried to find similar styles for you to have a look at.
THE SUMMER BUFFET DRESS
First up, can we acknowledge that I swear I invented the term ‘buffet dress’ back in 2016 after an all-inclusive holiday in Maspalomas? But memories are sometimes distorted, so I may have nicked it from someone else. I also swore it was me who saw Frank Sinatra come out of the lift at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas back in 1989. Sporting a terrible syrup and a satin bomber jacket with ‘Frank’ emblazoned on the back. Turns out I didn’t see him at all, it was my mum, it’s just that over the years I’ve convinced myself that it was my story to tell.
Whether or not I coined the ‘buffet dress’ term, it’s now widely used, even on The Great British Sewing Bee this series! I still love them for the summer, despite no buffets on the horizon. My current favourite is this one from Ophelia & Indigo.
THE MONSOON DOLLY DRESS
If you favour something a little more fitted, then may I be so bold as to recommend the Monsoon ‘Dolly’ dress. I bought mine a few years ago, so I can’t be 100% sure the fit is exactly the same, but the general style has remained similar. I would take your regular size (they go up to a 22, I believe). The higher waistband gives the ‘illusion’ of actually having a waist, as the dress skims over the widest part of my body. I think it would also be a good option for those of you with bigger jugs as the V‑neck style and underboob pleats should hold them in place.
THE FLORAL DRESS
I do find that floral summer dresses past a certain age can sometimes feel a little ‘Hyacinth Bucket’. I would say that you need to avoid anything that hits the knee or just below. I just think that’s the length that’s the least flattering. I always try and go for a dress that falls mid to low calf. The maxi annoys me as I can’t be doing with my hem dragging around the floor. There’s too much chance of an accident and we can’t be doing with having a nasty fall at this time of life. That’s also why I steer clear of flip-flops; the chance of them getting caught on an escalator is too much to bear. I’m wearing the Kemi Telford ‘Kate’ dress above. I have this Joanie floral dress too. I’d say true to size, good pockets and nice and stretchy across the bust.
WHITE SUMMER DRESSES
When I was looking through my photos to find a picture of me in a white summer dress, they were all from summer holidays abroad. Italy, New York and this one was taken in Jamaica. God, I loved that holiday. The most relaxing one I think we’ve ever had. Bucks Fizz for breakfast, a ‘Bob Marley’ rum slushy at the swim-up bar for elevenses, two naps a day, jerk pork for lunch, plus I got to use that joke over and over… ‘I took the wife to the Caribbean’, ‘Jamaica?’, ‘No, she came of her own accord’… One day we shall return.
BLACK /ONE COLOUR SUMMER DRESSES
I do love a black dress in the summer, especially when in the city. White is great for the beach, but not so good for days out on the town when food is involved, although I seem to be able to throw stuff down myself no matter what I’m wearing. At least it’s easier to run black under the tap in the toilets to get the pasta sauce out than it is white.
I mentioned the other week how I don’t do sleeveless due to some questionable 90s tribal tattoos. Well, I’m finally doing something about that and am embarking on a laser removal course with West London Aesthetics at West London Ink. I had a test patch done and my first session this week. I’m not going to lie, it does hurt, but the sessions are really quick so it’s not too bad. I will keep you posted as I go along, as it could take 6–7 sessions to remove. Maybe next summer I can go for a strappy black dress after all.
THE GINGHAM / CHECK DRESS
I don’t know what it is about check summer dresses, but I’ve always been strangely drawn to them. See also khaki trousers, button-front jeans, navy jumpers etc. This one from new brand Albaray is my current favourite. The fit is great, pockets (always) and even though there is a low back it’s been designed so you can still wear your regular bra and it won’t show. Those are the kind of details we need, ladies. You can tell this brand is run by women. Side note, these Adidas Ozweego trainers are back in stock. They are the MOST comfortable trainers ever.
Next week I think I might do packing for a UK holiday. Purely for my own benefit as I’ll be needing to do that soon. Fingers crossed for that heatwave.