A Vacation Dress

When I go away for summer vacation, I will take this dress. It is perfect to wear over a swimsuit as I visit the pool. It will be cool and comfortable while exploring the quaint historic villages I enjoy visiting or while having brunch.

The dress came from Dillard’s about three years ago.

I can wear white jeans for almost any summer event here in East Tennessee, but a soft, lightweight dress is much cooler during ninety-degree days in Florida.

I opted for this style for several reasons. There is ample coverage so that I can wear a bra with it. The ruffles are not on the bust, but they conceal the bit at the underarm that I don’t want to show. The fitted bodice prevents the tent effect. It has a back zipper. The buttons down the front are ornamental only, so no gapping. The dress is super lightweight and very soft. It is also fully lined. The gray and white stripe pattern is subtle. Bright florals are not for me.

I can wear the dress with flat, block heel sandals, wedges, or espadrilles. Adding a jean jacket and sneakers could also work for an early morning coffee break at a café.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

  1. Barbados is my yearly retreat…followed closely by Aruba….Barbados gives me a beautiful feeling of Peace…and Aruba has some chefs, that are straight sent from Heaven!

  2. Wow – That looks great on you! I wish I had seen it for the cruise. Perfect.

    You are always beautiful in what ever you wear.


  3. My daughters surprised me with a trip to Asheville at the end of July. I have told them how much I love seeing your area and all the places you and Mr. Mickey have shared with your readers. We are staying at the Inn at Biltmore. I would love to have suggestions from you about what short day trips we could take and places you suggest that are a must. We are staying three nights. You have inspired me to visit your part of the country. Thank you so much for sharing your advice and travels with your readers.

    1. I hope you have a delightful visit. Drive for a bit on the Blue Ridge Parkway to visit Blowing Rock, Linville Falls, and Craggy Gardens. If you are a fan of hiking, there are some breathtaking trails around Grandfather Mountain. Mt Mitchell is close by if you can catch a clear day. Black Mountain and Montreat are delightful. The Biltmore Village offers a fun afternoon of shopping. Have lunch at The Corner Kitchen (Reservations 828 274 2439) In downtown Asheville there is an endless variety of things to do and see. If you love premium chocolates, visit The Cholocate Fetish. The best pimento cheese is at Carmel’s (Grove Arcade). The Grove Park Inn has stunning views and the best Sunday brunch ever. Chimney Rock is a few minutes away also.

  4. How long should a long dress be? I’m short so that doesn’t help matters. I always have to shorten them as they are way tooooooo long for me and I don’t always know the length they should be. I also don’t want to get a dirty hem. And there is that “tripping factor”……

  5. My favorite place is the place I haven’t visited yet. It’s the next adventure and the elrment of the unknown that excites me.

  6. Absolutely adorable! I love the fit. The fabric goes with so many colors too. I can see pops of color with this dress. It will be a fun summery addition to your closet.

  7. Lovely dress and it looks great on you! Care directions indicate **dry clean only.** Are you OK with that for a summer sundress?

  8. Susan, you do this dress some justice! Looks absolutely lovely, and perfect for this time of year.

  9. It’s official. I want to be you!! This is a fabulous look. I so look forward to all your posts. Thank you.

  10. It looks great but any suggestions as to where one can find a cotton one? This is poly and has to be dry cleaned. Neither of which I want in the hot summer months of TX. Thanks!

  11. Love the slimming vertical stripes, and the soft summery colour palette of your new dress. Your hat looks great with your outfit as well. As someone who is trying to downsize to a capsule wardrobe with wearable clothing that will last through several seasons, this dress is one that I would definitely consider including in my new wardrobe.

  12. Your dress is adorable. I love a good maxi. Looks put together and chic, covers the legs, and is cool and breezy.

  13. What kind of sweater do you wear with the dress when you go back inside to an air conditioned room?

  14. Susan Where in Florida do you go. We go to Naples in March and love it. Hope you enjoy your trip.The dress looks lovely on you. Very cool and comfortable too.

  15. Even though you are tall it looks like it could be hemmed up a few inches. I would be afraid I’d be tripping on it

  16. You really have a good eye for the dress’s potential. I say that because the way it looks on you and the way you have it styled is just adorable. It does not look nearly as good in the Dillard’s photo. Hat, sandals, sunglasses, bag, all perfection.

  17. Susan
    I do not often comment on what you
    Wear. You always look great, always
    look “perfectly put together”.

    Thanks for sharing

    Jean Holmes

  18. You look like a southern belle for sure in this outfit! I find dresses much cooler in the summer.

  19. Great look! Two summers ago, I purchased a black and white maxi dress and a navy polka dot one, both in soft jersey. Both have tops that are fitted and cover and allow me to wear my regular bra. I love them for hot summer days. I usually pair with a white denim jacket or short fitted sweater and flat sandals. This is one of fave summer travel looks. You look ready for Florida.

  20. Love your dress! You look so pretty, nice change from pants! I enjoy dresses and skirts in the summer.

  21. I am only 5 feet tall, but love long skirts and dresses for the summer . . . so much cooler than shorts. Mine are usually ankle length and carefully chosen to have a slim silhouette.

  22. I’ve been following your blog for several years. I just say that this is one of my favorite looks on you. I love the way you accessorized your outfit. I do agree with the poster who said it’s a tad long (could be an inch shorter). Do they carry it in a petite? I’m 5’4″ and if I were buying this, I’d trip over it for sure.

  23. You look absolutely “gorgioso” in this dress! It really compliments your wonderful figure! I hope you will model more dresses in the future

  24. What a perfect summer dress. You look amazing in it. Bon voyage. By the way, thanks to you l am giving wide leg cropped pants a try.

  25. that dress is beautiful and the fact that it is lined is even better. I say anywhere i can see a palm tree is vacation for me but as i get older, getting sun is less appealing so just going new places to experience history and local flare is what i enjoy.

  26. Very sweet dress. Do like its styling and the fact it is lined. As for its cap sleeve (extended flutter/butterfly/ruffled variation) you wear it well, as such balances out the arms and shoulders however regarding its length I too personally feel it could be shorter. For a maxi length a guideline I use (as a hobby sewer) if wanting to wear it with a specific pair of heels (if not too high) and flats; it will usually work with both if the lower hemline hits about mid heel of the former. Last but least, where is my favourite place to vacation? Anywhere there is tropical breezes when our temperatures plummet well below zero during our (Canadian) winter season as I’m really not fussy … ☺. Enjoy Florida as it is one of my favourite places as well.

  27. I love the dress as a cover-up. I like your hat. I hope to find one with a chin strap for my favorite vacation spot, Hilton Head, this year at Kohl’s here in Ohio. Sometimes we don’t get as many cute hat options living in cloudy Ohio. (We do get sun here and/or travel to somewhere that does!). I got a beautiful broad-brimmed hat in Hawaii that is brown, but only works at the pool, not the beach, without the chin strap.

    I so enjoy your tips about dressing (our) inverted triangle figures.

  28. Absolutely lovely and totally you! I’ve followed you since the beginning of your blog and I love seeing you in this dress! You’ve been an inspiration for so long, especially since your look of jeans and moto jacket is also one of my favorites. But I live in Florida and want to wear dresses sometimes because of the heat. I’m so happy you are showing me how!!

  29. Hi Susan,
    What kind of under-clothing do you suggest for such a lightweight dress? I am tired of not having slips that are appropriate length, add extra bulk and are just a plain hot nuisance. Thanks for your advice. I’ve been wearing the longer style bra you’ve recommended and am very pleased with results and do not find myself getting hot in it. So what about the lower level? Thanks for your kind suggestions!

    1. I wear a black or beige Shapeez bra so as not to show through, or if one catches a glimpse of the strap, it will be about the same color. Warning, white underwear shows through everything, including white shirts and pants.

  30. We love the 30A Beaches along the gulf coast. We usually in the Seagrove Beach area.

  31. You look great in that dress. Please show more dresses, if you would. I wear a lot of dresses and would love your advice. Also how to wear shorts, since I live in Florida , and do wear them. I want to look tasteful in what I wear, and think a few hints from you would polish my look.

    Rainee from Florida

  32. You certainly know your body and how to “dress” it. You look wonderful in all that you model.
    I wish I had your arms so I could go sleeveless but I have the “flying squirrel” look with a somewhat flabby arm so do not wear this kind of dress. Looking up the dress online, I probably wouldn’t even give it a second look but when you are modeling it for your pictures, it is stunning and gives the dress a total different perspective for sure. If ladies have good shaped upper arms, I am sure they will certainly purchase this dress if available in their size and for their shape..
    Clara Bulens

  33. Susan,
    I applaud you on having established your own confident sense of style and sharing it on your high quality blog. You are usually very careful to stress that dressing the way you do is because you have found a style that works for you in terms of your personality, lifestyle and body confidence. So I was surprised to read your statement that the ruffles on this dress cover up a part of the arm “that no woman over thirty wants to show”. Given a wider audience I suspect that many women of all ages would find this arbitrary statement quite offensive. In my case, I am 61 years old and work hard to stay in shape, but regardless of age or physique, we should be careful not to make generalized statements or assumptions that can only serve to further undermine the fragile sense of body confidence that already plagues too many women today.

    1. While in my mid-forties, I ran five miles a day and went to the gym twice a day. I lived at the beach and was the most toned and tanned of any time in my life, but that underarm bit was still nothing to show. I will be more careful with my generalities in the future. I apologize to those who were offended.

    1. Within the text of each blog, words or phrases are highlighted. If you click on those links, you will be taken to the shopping site offering that or a similar item.

  34. Dear Susan,
    Your outfit is amazing! This dress looks on you as addition gorgeous detail. You look 20 years younger and gracious! Sending you my applause! Thank for showing so many of beautiful pictures of all your trips.
    I’m Tatyana, Russian pianist. I’ve got two nice scarfs once from you. I love them, but I gave the one to my daughter. She bought dark blue Ted Baker coat, and that scarf is looking so nice. Thank you, Susan! Looking forward to see you again. Best regards, Tatyana Trask.

    1. That is a picture from a previous summer. (This is as close as I could get to a picture of me in a swimsuit.) The dress was from Dillard’s about three years ago.

  35. Of all the things you refer to, nothing about where dress can be found. That dress is the highlight of the photo, besides you of course! Did I miss something while trying to find where dress can be purchased?

    1. I used a photo from a couple of years ago to capture the mood of the subject matter for the day. The dress came from Dillard’s about three years ago.

  36. Very nice! We enjoy Hawaii, Mexico or a Caribbean cruise, but haven’t felt like traveling since the coronavirus hit.

  37. Good Morning Susan.
    This article was great. I would like to tell you that you look 10 years younger in this beautiful dress.
    You are beautiful and this dress really works for you.
    Enjoy your day,
    Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey,

    Sandy N.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.