Summers used to mean months of endless rest and relaxation. Extended travel, time spent with friends and family, summer reading (more on that later), and generally speaking – no responsibilities to the point that days and hours lost all sense of meaning.
Unfortunately, with adulthood, Summer has become a time that I simply associate with sweltering temps, and its only true benefit being that traffic during my daily commute is lighter.
Still, there are some things that to me are quintessentially summer, that make the heat a little bit easier to handle.
I’ve always gravitated towards white dresses (ivory too, but white seems to be more flattering towards my skin tone). This likely has roots circa 10 years ago when I desperately attempted to channel Miu Miu’s 2008 Runway show (aka, I bought and loved the ASOS knockoff of the babydoll Dirndl dress).
But of course, over time, my taste has become more romantic – embroidery, lace, eyelet. Bonus points if the dress is made of a breathable, soft material. The dress I’m wearing above is kind of the ultimate – it is 2 years old, by dRA Los Angeles. It is apron style (très français) and made of the softest, lightest cotton gauze, with delicate eyelet details. Unfortunately the dRA dress is no longer available, but there are some other truly beautiful white dresses available this year.
- Vintage Amanda Dress by French Connection – This probably reminds me the most of the dRA dress, but appears to be more of a poplin. At $118, it’s also priced really well.
- La Cimon Lace Mini Dress by Place Nationale – This is made in India, and it really shows. The embroidery and crochet detail are stunning, and I love the subtle fringe edges. I had a dress with similar details, but much much more mini, and I fear I’ve aged out of it. This would be a lovely, more age appropriate version. Retails for $334.
- Leaf Broderie Anglaise Mini Dress by Self Portrait – Pending your height, this may not be exactly mini. At my height, this would be lovely to wear to work. If layered appropriately with a cardigan, those sleeves could still be shown off. Retails for $400
- Leonie Cotton-Poplin Dress by Ulla Johnson – A personal favorite, though it runs big. This dress features the same delicate eyelet details as the dRA dress along the edges of the ruffle, and the gorgeous neck. I recommend sizing down. I took this in a 2, and I’m currently hovering between a 6 and 8 in most tops. The Nora Dress by Ulla Johnson is also a gorgeous option. But it retails for $625, while the Leonie retails for $345.
Well, and gold jewelry. I remember my aunt gifted me a (different) gold necklaces when I was about 14, and I had strong opinions at the time. I thought gold jewelry looked cheap. How my opinions have changed (gold was one of my wedding colors)! Dragonflies have a special meaning to me. I don’t know why, but I became enamored with their form one summer when I was in college. Coincidentally, one of my dearest friends has a special association with butterflies – so we feel kindred in that way. The necklace I’m wearing was a birthday gift from my mother and it was from Tory Burch’s 2013 collection when she came out with spectacular dragonfly and scarab inspired pieces.
I don’t think that those shoes ever made it past the runway, but I managed to snag a pair of the scarab loafers, as well as 2 dragonfly necklaces (including the one I’m wearing with my white dress above). The necklace is obviously no longer available, but you can find a similar version here. Or if you feel inspired to combine the scarab coloring with the dragonfly, this Italian Blue Enamel Dragonfly necklace is also available for purchase for $281.
A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff
I don’t usually re-read books, but I’ve read this one a few times, and am currently in the process of devouring the audiobook (it is well done). I remembered that when reading this, the imagery of the clothes was always vividly described, but I’m appreciating it mores in audio form. In particular, the description of the “Cupcake Dresses” has struck me the most.
*Insert emoji with it’s jaw dropped here.* Unfortunately, this “hydrangea” (another Summer love of mine) version sold years ago, but its memory lives on on Pinterest. Find your own “Cupcake Dress” on etsy. This one, this one, this one, and this one are literal dreams.
En français – Hortensia. These live in the Friendship Garden in Balboa Park, San Diego. But they are some of my favorite flowers – ranging from white, to pinks, violets, even blues and greens.
I have always been more of a toile de jouy kind of girl (how dreamy is this Chloe dress?), but the lovely tablecloth and napkins were a wedding gift from my aunt and uncle. They live in France (as does most of my extended family), and knew i was channeling Provence for our wedding, and brought us this incredibly thoughtful gift. They are perfect for al fresco dining (if only Summer in Texas wasn’t akin to a volcano). You can buy it (and other linens from Provence) from Souleiado.
What makes summer enjoyable for you?