Rails Dress: A Total Gem For Summer

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Shana has been bugging me to do a write-up on this total GEM of a dress from Rails. I’m wearing it on repeat for the second summer in a row, and she still compliments me every single time I have it on.

This dress is so good.

I love it.

Worth It Summer Cotton Dress

Where To Buy: Nordstrom | Saks | Rails
bag | birks | sunnies | earrings

I bought the black version at the beginning of last summer — a total winner and one of my most worn pieces of “Summer 2023” for SURE.

So when I saw the chic 100% cotton tan and black stripe version that came out for 2024, I knew it would totally be worth scooping up.

** Note: Scroll down for bra recommendations & sizing info (it’s a little funky). **

The Chic Summer Dress I Wear On Repeat

Where To Buy: Nordstrom | Saks | Rails
bag | birks | sunnies | earrings

I don’t really wear shorts…most ride up between my thighs, aren’t at ALL comfortable, and I’m never a fan of the way they look… cutting my legs off in weird proportions.

I therefore wear dresses all.summer.long, on the daily.

This specific dress deserves a special shout-out for its chic style and summer wearability. Just two of the reasons it gets worn on repeat.

Rails Summer Dress
Summer Worth It Dress

Where To Buy: Nordstrom | Saks | Rails
bag | birks | sunnies | earrings

My “Worth-It” Summer Dress Criteria

I have some pretty specific criteria for my wear-on-repeat daily summer dresses:

  • 100% cotton, linen, or Tencel blend for our hot and sticky Philly summers
  • midi or maxi length (I like this for the look & comfort)
  • not-too-tight in the hips (non-negotiable on this one)
  • black (or black print) dresses get worn the most
  • extra credit if it has a little something special (i.e. one shoulder design)

The Rails Selani One-Shoulder Midi dress checks all the boxes, plus earns some extra bonus points as well.

The black version below (the one I bought last summer) is a cotton/tencel blend and is incredibly versatile. The fabric has the tiniest bit of sheen, so throw on some heels (or your shiny Birks), grab a chic clutch, and you’ve got yourself a fancy-ish looking vibe. Or pair it with sneaks/ flip-flops and a casual tote for summer out-and-about.

Black Summer Rails Selani Dress

Where To Buy: Rails | Nordstrom | Bloomies | Revolve

I wore this black version SO much that I knew adding another colorway (that ALSO checks all the criteria boxes) would be worth it for this summer (and beyond).

Rails Selani Dress

Where To Buy: Nordstrom | Saks | Rails
bag | birks | sunnies | earrings

As you can see…bonus points for this dress being able to handle TONS of wind! It has a built in short “slip-liner” underneath.

And additional bonus points because Rails makes several colorways that are pretty fabulous in this exact style.

Sizing Info & What Bra Should I Wear?

Okay…you knew there had to be at least one caveat to all the fabulousness of this dress. The sizing was a little tricky for me, and you do have to wear a strapless bra or go braless with the one-shoulder design.

Bra Info

On me …the top part of the dress is blousy enough that I can definitely get away with no bra. And on REALLY hot days, that’s sometimes what I do. Most days, however, I wear my favorite comfortable strapless bra that gives my small chest some additional shaping. Been wearing this bra happily for years and own it in both black and champagne.

Sizing Info

In terms of sizing for the dress, it took me a bit to figure out. I’m 5’2, 140-ish lbs, small-chested (32B), and bigger-hipped for my frame (size 29 jeans). The size small on me (my typical size) did not fit. The top was too big and the waist band hit lower which made the hip area feel too snug. When I got the xs, though, it fit the top of my body better, the elastic hit higher, and therefore the wider part of the dress hit at the correct spot.

My recommendation is to go with the size that will fit the top half of your body the best, then you can scooch the elastic (blousing the top a bit if needed) so that the skirt sits comfortably on the bottom half of your body.

With free shipping and free returns at some of these retailers, I would recommend ordering multiple sizes if you can. Depending on your chest size, hip size, and where the elastic hits…you might be a different size than you expect.

I’m one happy lady, though, after finding my perfect fit!

Rails Selani Dress Worth It

Where To Buy: Nordstrom | Saks | Rails
bag | birks | sunnies | earrings

As always, thanks for reading and feel free to share any other worth-it summer dresses you’re loving in the comments below.

-Linzi