These are the dresses I seriously live in once it gets really hot out, because the fabric is typically so fabulously light, and they just sort of flow nicely in the summer breeze. This pretty perfect specimen from Emerson Fry is in my shopping cart even as I type.
A square neck dress usually strikes me as kind of frumpy somehow, but I do think this one is pretty lovely. And the shoulders are just ever-so-slightly puffy, for those of you who go in for that type of thing.
I included this dress because I think the V-neck is nicely unexpected and also because as you know, I dig yellow these days. But I also included it because it comes from this Etsy shop, where you can find a ton of block print dresses at very reasonable prices. I ordered two from them last summer, and must forewarn you that the fit is rather boxy, but is also nothing a trip to the tailor couldn’t solve.
There are few items as summery and easy as these: I like them when they’re reasonably clean-lined, with lively (but not overwhelming) prints. This sleeveless dress would also double nicely as a beach coverup.
Summer and hippie girl dresses go together like a cheeseburger and fries, but you want to be careful not to look too much like an extra from Hair, and that can be easily accomplished. Just look for dress shapes that are relatively clean-lined, and keep your accessories sharp. I like that this cute pink number is essentially a shirtdress, but with interesting—but not too interesting—sleeves.
This dress is from Matta, which is a good resource for chic hippie girl garb (and they’ve got a store near my apartment and also in Sag Harbor, so I find them very nearly unavoidable). It’s a more traditional hippie girl shape than most of what’s here, but the subtle color palette keeps it sophisticated.
This is longer than I typically go, but it looks so flowy and comfortable.
Likewise, this J Crew dress is pretty maxi, which I don’t always think is flattering, but the fact that it’s fitted up top makes it work.
Just a cute sundress with a touch of matchy-clashiness at the hem.
This is rather low-cut so probably not best for busty gals, but I think it is quite graceful.
The contrast of embroidery and a floral print on this Free People dress appeals.
I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.