A New Summer Dress

Finding the ideal garments for your shape and coloring means you will always look your best. For example, a dress can be a beautiful work of art, but if it isn’t suitable for your shape and coloring, it will not be a good choice. So when I saw this dress, I knew it was a winner, but you may ask how I knew without even trying it on. Since more than ninety percent of what is offered online and in stores would not flatter me, I’ll share how I skim through it to find what is suitable.

I needed a well-made higher-quality dress to wear to special summer events, so I looked for a versatile style that would be appropriate to wear with different accessories for many occasions.

I can wear the new dress out to Sunday brunch with friends.

V-necklines elongate a roundish fleshy face. Seams that stop at the shoulders and a smocked or fitted bodice minimize a large bust since they do not add extra fabric. Emphasizing the waistline or wearing an empire waistline avoids the tent effect that happens when the dress or top falls straight from the bust. Three-quarter puffed sleeves make the arms look more slender. Tiers that start at or below the knee do not add bulk around the hips. Clear, cool jewel-tone colors are always best with my cool coloring. Small prints that read as a solid from a distance do not overwhelm my frame. Cotton and other natural fabrics are always cooler than polyester.

The dress is lovely to wear to an outdoor summer wedding.
The dress is also perfect for summer vacations.

I hope that sharing what I’ve learned will help you have more success when shopping online. It is always challenging to imagine what the garments will look like when we look nothing like the model.

The beautiful young model is Milan. She is wearing a size XS – Height 5’9.5″, Waist 23″, Bust 32.5″, Hips 33.5.” I am wearing a size medium – Height 5’6″, Waist 31″, Bust 39″, Hips 37″.

The Mint Trellis Isabel dress is here, and the natural Mia mini clutch is here. A similar large straw tote is here. The rattan and shell earrings are here. (Use the code SAS10 for $10 off any one item at Beauty in Stone Jewelry.) I would not look as slim and fit without the Shapeez bra here.

Shopping links may allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

69 Comments
  1. Lovley dress, I also really like the tote. Thank you for the reminder that the garment won’t look the same on me as it does on the model. It definitely is a challenge to visualize how it will look on me. The dress looks great on both of you,

  2. I love that dress. It would also tick all my boxes except the length but with 2 tiers you can sacrifice one if shortening above the tiers would render them too high. Love the colour too.

  3. Very summery and lovely! You aren’t doing colored polished for your pedicure anymore? Interesting, because it still looks lovely!

  4. I have to respectfully disagree that the puffed sleeves make one’s arms looked smaller. I believe the puffed sleeves and the smocking in this dress add visual weight to the top half. Therefore, it would be a no for me.

    1. Dresses are indeed a real challenge for busty gals! It is no exaggeration to tell you that I looked at more than five hundred dresses to find the one I showed today.

  5. Love the dress. You look fantastic. That color is perfect on you and l especially like the turquoise tote. So summery.

  6. This post ranks as an all-time favorite post for me. Thank you for all the detail and especially the measurements which help me understand what works. It was from you that I learned about garments which hang from your shoulders not being the best for my body type.

  7. I certainly feel your pain! I have just given up on dresses, in spite of the heat. Learning to “glow” like a true Southern gal.

  8. Your “lessons” are most welcome! I love the dress but it probably would not look great on someone my height. You do wear the dress better than the model.

  9. The dress is gorgeous, although I’ve never liked ruffles and flounces on myself (prefer a more tailored look.) And it looks lovely on you. It’s obvious it makes you feel lovely.

  10. Just as they say when buying a house, “location, location, location” are the 3 most important things, I think in clothing it is “color, color, color”. So even though a garment might not be perfect in design for a certain figure, many of the negative features will be overshadowed by the right color. This dress is the perfect color on you!

  11. A classy dress for a classy lady.

    The information or explanation on why the dress works for you was very interesting reading. I can apply that to some items of clothing, now, knowing the reason it looks good and why.

    Thank you for allowing us to see into your personal life with the small changes you are making. So far it has been small but tastefully done and probably okay with Mr. Mickey. I believe you take him into consideration in all of the changes you anticipate in doing at the house.

    Clara from Iowa

    1. I always put his feelings and taste at the forefront when making small changes. Yesterday he gave away the plaid club chairs, and he is thrilled with how the area in front of the fireplace now looks.

  12. You look gorgeous in that dress!! Great style, great color, great fit!! And I love that you showed various ways to wear it with styling for different events!

  13. Susan–As always, you inspired me and I went on line from your link. You look so lovely in those colors. I had not heard of Tuckernuck! The dress you are wearing is perfect for you, but a bit too much material and length for my petite, ample-busted frame, but I found the divine “Retro Reef Royal” dress in a similar color palette and ordered it. I could not agree more with the Shapeez recommendation, which I got from you and, like you, it is really hard to wear any other kind of bra. Stay cool, everyone!

  14. Hi Susan
    The dress looks beautiful on you.
    For the life of me though I can’t understand why current dresses have so many ruffles and flowers. They are everywhere.
    I just can’t bring myself to wear them. They remind me of my senior Homecoming dress.
    I love many Tuckernuck dresses but I’d feel more comfortable in the Polly or the Claiborne dress. I’m short and still have decent legs.
    I have not purchased them because in my opinion most of the items on the site are just too pricey. I will wait for a sale. You do look pretty in the dress:)

  15. You look beautiful in your new dress. I really like the dress. I am only 5’4″ so it would probably go to the floor for me.

  16. I ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️ this dress on you! So feminine and summery. Sometimes dresses like this can wear you, not the other way around. This is perfect.

  17. I just must say that side-by-side with that tall and skinny model, you hold your own beautifully! You are a true inspiration for us “real women” who search for attractive and flattering clothing.

    However, I agree with another post here about the flowery, poofy dresses we’re seeing everywhere, from Barney’s (usually $1,000 +) to Target ($29+). They are not for me, but if I were going to wear one, this would be it because it is the best of those elements, and the color is gorgeous.

  18. Thanks for the inspiration. I placed an order on a dress at a lower price point after studying silhouettes and styles. I, too, had to look at hundreds before deciding to try one. Your tips helped immensely.

  19. Hi Jo, have you looked at dresses in the Chadwick’s and Appleseed’s catalogs or on their websites?
    I was rather surprised by the offerings priced from $39.99 to $59.99. I ordered a linen dress from
    Chadwick’s a couple of years ago and it’s still in the current catalog. It’s very nice and you might
    find something to your liking. Wishing you luck, there’s something out there for all of us at any
    price point.

  20. Very nice dress for summer wedding or brunch indeed! Tote is pretty too. The color is lovely with your hair color. Mr. Mickey will want to take you on a date!

  21. Loving the new dress, such a beautiful color and I agree it will be perfect for many summer occasions. As always, you look gorgeous. Sincerely appreciate the knowledge you share. Thank you.

  22. You look lovely. Thanks for the breakdown of the dress and what looks best regarding the v-neck, three quarter length sleeves, ruffles, etc. I also appreciated the picture of you versus the model. As always, I learn alot from you.

  23. You look amazing! Beautiful dress! Do you mind giving the size you are wearing? Your measurements indicate you would wear Large in the dress. Is that correct or were you wearing Medium. I’m thinking of ordering and this info would be helpful in ordering correct size. Thank you so much for doing the hard work for us!

  24. That dress is really beautifull and has an exellent fitting. It can be hard to find nice dresses in these years where all dresses are wide without any shape. Have a nice Sunday.
    Many greetings from Astrid, Copenhagen

  25. I absolutely love this dress on you, and the price, in my opinion, isn’t bad, considering how much you’ll wear it. I don’t consider this dress a sundress at all. I’ve also been looking for a summer dress, and it’s difficult to find one that checks all the boxes for each person. You did it on this one for you. Gives me hope, so I’ll keep looking and will keep your tips in mind. Thank you.

  26. Beautiful dress! And you wear it well. Thank you for explaining why it works on your body. It helps me understand why so many dresses stay on the rack rather than in my shopping bag.

  27. Susan,
    The dress is very nice. The definition on top and the sleeves make it clear that you’re wearing a dress, not loungewear. That’s my concern with what’s being shown this summer. Shapeless shifts do not look good on me unless it’s at the beach as a cover-up. The price reflects that with better-fitted looks and is worth it to me.

    Thanks for the post!

    1. I failed to mention that the dress has a lightweight slip liner under the skirt, so no slip is needed. The quality of the fabric and the detailed finishes make this an impressive dress.

  28. Your analysis of how you shop, what to look for is excellent. So helpful to those of us who madly try everything on! The summer style seems to be large print, flouncy dresses that can easily overwhelm a short frame.

    Your posts inspire me (at 83) to put the effort into adding touches, make up, when I go out in the world. If it puts some smiles on faces; hooray! Our world needs smiles.

  29. Susan you look absolutely beautiful and elegant in the dress. I love the cool color and all the accessories you have paired with the dress. I so appreciate your tips in trying to find an appropriate dress online for our body shapes. I have just about given up. The additional problem I have is finding dresses in a petite size. Thank you for your help.

  30. Susan – I really love you in this dress! Feminine without being too flouncey! The light turquoise also looks great with your coloring! What a great choice! I’ve decided I’m going to take the plunge and start shopping for a summer dress! I’m glad I have your guidelines to help me! Thanks again Susan ❤️
    Jodi

  31. Hi Susan
    I love the dress but I’m 5’2 height. I wish it came in petite. Anything similar you could suggest?
    Thank you!
    Colleen

  32. Susan,
    This dress is fantastic on you. I sympathize with the search process. It can be dreary, trying to find what suits your body. but you have nailed it with this choice. Now don’t you wish you could get it with minor changes, and in several different colors for the seasons?
    I truly appreciate the side by side photos. I would NEVER consider this dress seeing it on the model, but on you, it is youthful and looks great on your curves. Honestly, it looks better on curves.
    Thanks also for the comparison in statistics. That is a tremendous help when catalog shopping.
    Loving your posts
    Kathleen

  33. This dress is so gorgeous on you. Color is perfect, as well as fit. Thanks for the tips for large busted women!

  34. Really pretty dress! Looks so good on you! Thank you for always sharing your thought process in making purchases. Gratitude to you and Mr. Mickey for keeping us in the loop. It is so helpful and fun for me to see. I save your posts for a peaceful moment to myself. Thank you both. Hleem

  35. I love this dress!!! You look gorgeous in this color and the way you show it with different accessories is brilliant! I must order this dress! Thank you!

  36. Loved the dress – had it in my shopping cart but decided not to hit GO. I am 5′ tall – just did not want to spend more money to have the dress hemmed. Looks lovely on you! 🙂

  37. You’ve just explained why I avoid v-necks. I have an oblong face shape and a long neck, so v-neck tops drag me down. They make my face and neck appear even longer. Crew necklines work beautifully for me. The v-neckline is not universally flattering.

  38. I also had a major clear out of chunky jewellery which I no longer wear. I donated to the drama department of the high school I taught at. The bigger pieces are much better on stage where the dainty pieces would be lost in the costumes and lights.
    Like you I believe that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure so I make sure I have all the tests available, including teeth and eyes. Your post is a good reminder to all of us.

  39. Hi Susan, I am fairly new to your blog and I’ve enjoyed it. At 72 I still try to look good and yes, our bodies change shape and our choices in attire change. I just ordered a Shapeez, which I had never heard of, but you’ve praised them in several blogs. I hate bra shopping and hope this turns out perfect. Please continue your sharing.

  40. I do love the dress! My problem is my height 5foot! That dress would overwhelm me I also quit smoking and gained 20 lbs. On me every lb shows! I envy your 66 inches!

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

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