How to Dress Up Casual Dresses This Summer

August 1. Sure, it feels like Fall, the weather has cooled around here, schools are starting (!) in the south and Nordstrom closes out it’s Anniversary Sale on Monday, which introduces must-haves for Autumn. But we still have 7 weeks of Summer and I am not letting anyone take this marvelous season away faster than necessary. Instead, let’s enjoy summer and search out a few more summer pieces to add to our collection.

Powerflow Dress from LLBean


I *never* shop LLBean for me. Each summer in Maine we make a big deal out of getting things for everyone but me, because they fit everyone but me. But this year I passed this dress in the store and did a doubletake. This dress was exactly what I was looking for. And so I bought it. And it fits me perfectly. It’s supposed to be a fitness dress, but I’ve dressed it up with casual jewelry and worn it to everything from a work event to a date night to running errands.

And, yes. I’m now ordering another dress from LLBean’s line of fitness dresses.

Wear it with the Bead and Chain Multiwrap as a necklace, the Dainty Leather + Faceted Bead bracelet stacked with a watch and the Organic Pave Disc Earrings for a finished, everyday casual look. If you prefer silver, go for the Modern Sculpted Bangle Set, the Minaret Three-Row Convertible Necklace, and Turquoise Stud earrings, or dress it up with a Multistrand Signature Torsade Necklace, the Classic Pearl Stretch Bracelet Set and Crystal Square Stud Earrings.

Shore Racerback Dress from Lilly Pulitzer

accessorize a summer racerback

Wearing this racerback dress is like wearing a thin, oversized t-shirt, and looking finished and presentable. The lightweight material is flows freely and doesn’t make you feel hot (as in heat or sun hot) and the unique Lilly Pulitzer pattern helps you to stand out brightly in the sun. I’ve worn this to happy hours, swim team banquets, and the cafe for lunch with friends.

Wear this with the Coral Branch Pendant Necklace, the Dainty Leather + Bead Bracelet stacked with the Knots + Bolts Wrap Bracelet and the Casablanca Multiwrap Bracelet, and  the Honeycomb Small Hoop Earrings for busy days.

Prima Agua Dress by Columbia

accessorize a fitness dress

This dress is currently on sale at Zappos, so grab it now so that you don’t miss it. This was the perfect dress to wear everywhere this summer–from playdates to swimmeets (where I’d volunteer as a timer and get splashed, often) to casual dinners. It’s super comfortable and stretchy without being clingy, light weight and easy to wear. It also has Omni-Shade® UPF 50 fabrication, so it’s protecting skin from the sun. It’s meant to be a hiking dress, but it’s just as perfect for the beach or a park. 

Pair this dress with the Marrakesh Long Statement Necklace, a Pave Paillette Cuff and the Pave Chandelier Earrings. Want to wear silver? Try the Marrakesh Long Statement Necklace,  the Crystal Studded Multiwrap Bracelet stacked with the Organic Link Toggle Bracelet and a pair of Crystal Square Stud Earrings.

mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel ( and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2014, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.

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