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How to Dress up a Sundress

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Dress up a sundress with style

Light and breezy sundresses are a wardrobe staple for spring and summer. Throwing one on for a walk on the beach or a date night in town is like a breath of fresh air after months of sweaters and pants. In one step, you will look incredible with a sundress. Two steps and that date won’t know what hit him.

It’s not hard to dress up a pretty summer sundress, and a little extra oomph goes a long way. Warm weather is a time to pare down accessories and layers. However, a few select pieces will transform a casual sundress into whatever you want it to be ? a flirty frock, sexy number, or work-appropriate outfit.

For a night out

Free Woman in Black Tank Top Sitting on Bed Stock Photo
Bold accessories will turn up the volume of your look in an instant. Wear multiple wide bangles and large hoop earrings to make a statement everyone will hear. Swap your flip-flops for strappy heels and you?re ready to anywhere. This boost of flash brings a bit of glamour to the simplest dresses.

Stay cool on a hot day

Free Gentle woman walking on path in field with blooming flowers Stock Photo
The hotter it gets, the more it pays to think through your outfit before walking out the door. Halter dresses are a classic summer style that accentuates your shoulders and frames the face in an elegant way. Mirrored shades sharpen the look and a wide-brimmed floppy sun hat protects your face from UV rays to keep you cool all day.

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Structure for arctic AC

Stepping from a scorching day into an office or restaurant blasting AC can feel like a trip to the Arctic. For work and other chilly destinations dress up a sundress without overdoing it. A killer blazer adds structural contrast while a cropped jacket offers professional sophistication to an otherwise casual dress. 


It takes a keen fashion sense to know when to let a dress speak for itself. This style is perfect for trying out bold patterns, but it calls for restraint with accessories and makeup. For example, a short dress with a simple cut needs no embellishments when it’s covered in bright, tropical flowers. 

When in doubt keep it simple with a solid handbag, sandals, and natural makeup. If you’re going out at night, wear a dress with a subtle structure around the waist and a graceful neckline.


The simplicity of this style means your accessorizing options are endless. The danger is in overdoing it with either too many pieces or too much quirkiness. When choosing accessories for spring and summer, it’s smart to go with most items you can mix and match with a number of outfits. 

However, when a unique piece jumps out at you with that have-to-have feeling, don?t be afraid to snag it. Unique jewelry complements most sundresses so long as it’s the only accessory you’re wearing and the colors work. For spring and summer, black or white dresses go well with metallic and natural materials and all colors, though pastels with whitewash each other out. 

Cool colors work best with Earth tones and natural materials. Warm colors complement nudes, gold and black. Yellow and gold dresses are a perfect choice for accessories in jewel tones, metals, lush blues, greens, purples, and pinks.

Subtle tweaks

You can completely change the silhouette of a flowy day dress by adding a stylish belt. First check that the buckle and embellishments (if there are any) won’t clash with the outfit. Going country dancing? A leather belt will complete the look.

From wide and thin belts to fabric-covered ones that go with almost any dress, to decorative ones with bohemian beadwork, the options are many. You’re bound to find a few belts that will tweak your favorite number for an exciting night out.

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Whichever way you go to dress up a sundress, be sure to do it in a way that suits your personal style.


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