Want to know the solution to virtually every summer fashion conundrum you’ve ever had? It’s simple: the sundress. Whether you’re going to the beach or a barbecue or just for a walk, a good sundress will boost your confidence every step of the way. Follow this tutorial for tips on how to flawlessly pull off a sundress.
Selecting Your Sundress
Make sure the weather is sundress-appropriate. A good general guideline is seventy degrees or above, but don’t be afraid to break that rule if you’ve got a heavy jacket or you don’t mind the cold.
Next think about the occasion for which you’re dressing. A party? A picnic? A trip to the mall? If you’re attending anything that could be considered a formal event, save the sundress for next time.
Decide whether you want to wear a long or a short sundress. If you don’t like your legs or you don’t want your dress blowing up Marilyn Monroe-style, a maxi dress is probably your best bet.
Pick out a color and pattern. Solid colors work best if you’re going for a simple look, although floral prints can also be very tasteful. Animal prints and sequins are best left for days when you’re feeling daring, so think about your usual style as you’re deciding whether or not to purchase a new, boldly patterned sundress.
Consider the neckline of your sundress. If you want to avoid tan lines, a strapless sundress may be the best choice for you. If you prefer not wearing a bra but still want support, try on a sundress with a halter top. You can also experiment with the various styles of shoulder straps that come on varieties of sundress models.
Throw a scarf over your shoulders for a fun addition to your outfit. For a scarf to work with a sundress, it should be made of a light fabric, like cotton or silk. (Do not, under any circumstances, pair a thick, woolen winter scarf with a sundress.)
If you think it might get chilly, put on a cardigan. Unless you live in Alaska or someplace else where it snows in the summer, try to avoid wearing a bulky jacket over your sundress.
Add some jewelry to embellish your ensemble. Long or short necklaces and bangle bracelets look great with sundresses, and chandelier or feather earrings plus a ballerina bun is an especially good combination.
Wear sunglasses. Obviously they won’t be of much assistance if it’s cloudy outside, but on sunny days they can be a real asset (fashionably and for the health of your eyes).
Paint your nails so that they complement your sundress. If you’ve got a multi-colored patterned sundress on, pick your favorite color out of the design and find a polish that matches. Brush on a couple of coats and you’re good to go!
Pick out shoes to go with your sundress. Flip-flops, flats, and even ankle boots will work, but never wear running shoes or Uggs; they’re just too clunky for the streamlined summer look you want to achieve.
Do your makeup with care. You don’t want to look unseasonably dark, but you could put on some mascara and foundation if your skin’s a little blotchy. Add eyeshadow and lip gloss too, but remember, nothing too dramatic.
Style your hair. Loose curls, pulled back, fishtail braid, whatever you’re in the mood for–it’ll make your full outfit look that much better.
Take along a purse or other bag, just in case. You might get tired of your scarf or sunglasses later in the day, and if it’s especially hot you’ll want to have sunscreen, chapstick, water, etc.
Pulling Off Your Look
Walk with confidence. At first you might feel self-conscious, especially if this is out of your usual range of style or if it’s the first time you’re wearing a sundress this year–but if you act like you’re the most beautiful person to ever put on a sundress, people will start to believe it!
Smile. Nothing looks stranger than someone wearing a nice floral sundress and a frown at the same time. The two just don’t go together, and besides, why wouldn’t you want to show off your pearly whites?
Toss your hair. Sundresses and hair-tossing is another good combination, and should also help with your confidence. (Don’t overdo it, though, or people will start to think you have a nervous tic.)
Enjoy your sundress! If you don’t feel super self-assured you can fake it till you make it, but otherwise you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting yourself to relax. Compliments from other people will make you feel awesome about your sundress, and if you’ve followed all the steps laid out here, you’ll have gotten plenty by the end of the day.