12 Best Summer Dresses
12 Best Summer Dresses
Nothing says California cool like a flyaway chiffon gown in a haute hippie print. Nicole Richie (far left) went the full Stevie Nicks route in an sheer Zandra Rhodes design with a handkerchief hem. Not such a free spirit? Look for dresses with a full lining, like this one from Jill Stuart (left), that will keep you covered where it counts.
GET THE LOOK ONLINE NOW $458; at chickdowntown.com
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Puffs, ruffles and rosettes add a feminine flourish to otherwise understated designs. Reese Witherspoon (left) chose a figure-hugging Jasmine di Milo sheath with fashion-forward frilly sleeves; this Pringle 1815 dress (far left) has similar flair.
BUY ONLINE NOW $295; at net-a-porter.com
Have a Mary Tyler Moore moment in a structured '60s-inspired shift that's perfect for the office, like Kerry Washington's polished tweed dress (far left) from Chanel. For an after-dark take on the look, try a jacquard number in mint from Tibi (left).
BUY ONLINE NOW $376; at chickdowntown.com
For a breezy, easy evening look, nothing beats light layers. The tiers on this American Eagle dress (left) will float over anything you'd like to hide, leaving your body a blissfully Spanx-free zone. Vanessa Hudgens (far left) got the idea in a chiffon design from Gold Hawk.
BUY ONLINE NOW $40; at ae.com
It's all in the name-the standout shade equals instant sex appeal. Victoria Beckham (left) chose an eye-catching design from Antonio Berardi. Follow her lead and look for the hue in strong, simple shapes-like this strappy number from Sara Berman (far left)-that are anything but bubblegum.
BUY ONLINE NOW $276; at my-wardrobe.com
There's a reason this style has been around for centuries-a single-shoulder Grecian gown is universally flattering. Rosario Dawson (far left) showed just the right amount of skin in a Monique Lhuillier dress with an asymmetrical neckline and a knee-length skirt. Get a similar effect with this T-Bags design in slinky jersey (left).
BUY ONLINE NOW $210; at net-a-porter.com
A floor-sweeping gown is both a spotlight stealer and the ultimate in comfort (the long skirt means you can wear flats!). Joy Bryant (left) was the picture of easy glamour in an embellished design from Missoni-get the look in this multi-color chiffon dress from Milly (far left).
BUY ONLINE NOW $475; at net-a-porter.com
Figure-flattering, retro-inspired dresses are the surest way to put a wiggle in your walk. Beyonce was all woman in an Elie Saab dress with an all-important curve-creating waistband. Try out the Mad Men look with this formfitting Black Halo design (left).
BUY ONLINE NOW $385; at chickdowntown.com
A no-sweat silhouette like an athlete-inspired T-back will show off all the hard work you put in at the gym. Molly Sims (left) revealed her arms in a tank dress in a luscious fabric from Calvin Klein Collection; get a similar effect with a cashmere-blend number from Lounge Lover (far left).
BUY ONLINE NOW $125; at net-a-porter.com
Pass up the dramatic Dynasty dresses for an easy-to-wear T-shirt shape with strong shoulders. Emma Roberts (far left) did the decade proud in an Myne design; a silk tunic from Diane von Furstenberg (left) will be equally flattering.
BUY ONLINE NOW Silk charmeuse tunic, $265; at net-a-porter.com
Light-hearted and lightweight, a cocktail number with a balloon-skirt is the perfect summer alternative to a little black dress. Audrey Tautou’s Chanel design (left) shares the same pleasing shape as this embellished dress from Anna Sui (far left).
BUY ONLINE NOW Embellished bustier minidress, $445; at net-a-porter.com
A sheath with a built-in cincher will not only make the most of your hourglass, it'll leave you with one less add-on to worry about. Freida Pinto (far left) chose a waist-accenting design from Dries Van Noten in high-contrast red and black-get a similar effect in a more relaxed silhouette with an obi dress by McQ Alexander McQueen (left).
BUY ONLINE NOW $294; at chickdowntown.com
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