I need to start keeping a list of Stupid Summer Purchases. I have a ton. They are stupid not because they don’t fit, or because I tried to venture out of my style comfort zone, or anything I can even put my finger on….they are stupid purchases only because come summer, the sum total of what I wear is this: cut-offs, white tee, flat sandals…or a summer dress.
Of all of these, I often fail with summer dress purchases. I buy beautiful silky maxis (NOPE), eyelet mini dresses (NOPE), strapless anything (NOPENOPENOPE). GAH! I mean OK – they get worn, sometimes, but not nearly as much as my old soft jersey swing dress, which is nothing more than a glorified t-shirt/tank dress. And??? It’s at least eight years old. EIGHT.
The good news is that there are a ton of soft jersey dresses out there….with a twist. Some have interesting necklines (thankfully not strapless which Pax cannot resist pulling down)…some have cool cut-outs, or fancy details or strategic ruching which makes the dress both insanely sexy and easy to wear at the same time.
I’ve rounded up my favorites, sorted by body types. All of these dresses are soft and comfortable – anything from scratchy polyester didn’t make the cut (no matter how pretty). And nursing mamas? There are dresses for you sprinkled throughout. Look for this nursing symbol:
Lastly, some of the dresses below are from Piperlime, and are 25% off until 2/18 with code HAPPY.
Pregnant, Post-Partum and Otherwise Poochy
1. Glamorous Knit Shift Dress, $59
Swingy enough for a very poochy stomach, would also be adorbs on a pregnant mama.
2. Michael Kors Romper, $128
So perfect for the playground, and 100% cotton. Wear over a bright bra, and let the straps peek out.
3. Monrow Sleeveless Shirred Dress, $115
This is probably the closest I could get to the bodycon trend. The goal here is to get the ruching/blousing to hide the stomach pooch. (Perfect for first-trimester mamas!)
4. LA MADE St. Tropaz Dress, $99
I didn’t put the nursing symbol on this dress because the chest hits too high on the model, but if I were having a baby this spring/summer…I’d try this dress. Amazing pooch-hiding, and I’ll bet you could pull down the front of the dress to nurse (maybe try buying a size up?).
A gorgeous low back takes this unassuming dress in a sexy direction. Wear a pretty bra.
6. Ella Moss Sam Stripe Maxi, $198
Too many maxis rely on empire-waists, which put a post-partum pooch on full display. I like how this dress uses extra fabric and clever contrast stripes to camouflage.
7. Colette Scoop Neck Maxi, $89
A slight trapeze shape will hide a small pooch. Head-to-toe navy is surprisingly glamorous, even in a ho-hum shape.
8. Riller and Fount Caftan Maxi Dress, $198
This is such a great update for a new mama, or (like me) just a poochy one. So sophisticated and cool! Yet forgiving.
9. Lanston Racerback Maxi, $139
Ok – this made the cut because tall reviewers were happy with the fit. Why do we care? Because there should be enough fabric above the waistband to hide a poochy stomach. (This dress obviously won’t work for the very pregnant.)
Ah, the ruched banded waist – so kind on a pooch. And I love this mushroom color. Picture it with flat gold sandals and gold cuff bracelet.
Calling All Curvy Mamas
This fabric is not to be believed – it’s light, comfy, and feels expensive. I didn’t have enough hips to keep this dress (the ruched part hit well below my stomach pooch) but on someone with curves? Oh, Mama.
12. Tibi Spring Tweed Dress, $298
I know – it’s so expensive. But fabulous, nonetheless, and could be a go-to for years to come.
13. Old Navy Fit and Flare Jersey Dress, $30
Fit-and-Flare dresses are so cute on curvy mamas.
14. Skies are Blue Stripe Ponte Dress, $64
It looks exactly like the Old Navy dress, but this is ponte, which will be much thicker. Ponte helps to keep everything held in….while still allowing for movement. One of my favorite fabrics.
15. Splendid T-Shirt Maxi Dress With Slit, $128
Soooooooo sexy. SOOOOOOOOO SEXY. Especially on a mama with some curves.
16. Monrow Shirred Tee Dress, $117
And there we have the hottest t-shirt dress ever made. Yowza.
17. Hive and Honey Mixed Stripe Dress, $69
I like how the top of this fun, bright dress would balance out a small waist and curvy hips.
18. Bailey 44 Marilyn Dress, $168
A bombshell shape in an everyday fabric. LOVE.
And the Rest….
These banded-waist dresses are so hit-or-miss. Some can work for post-partum styling, but….it depends. Some can work for curves, but….yup – it depends. Here are four that may be worth a try.
19. Sabine Knotted Grecian Knit Maxi, $69
I love the greek goddess vibe here.
20. ASOS Bodycon T-Shirt Dress, $55
So freaking cool.
21. Colette One-Shoulder Maxi, $89
I love a black-tie-inspired dress rendered in such a casual fabric.
22. Free People Andrina Dress, $98
I suspect this is for the tall and skinny, but oh how I love this dress.