Jun 14, 2012

Posted by in Dress for Success

Summer Dress Trends! Inspired by Nicole Richie, Khloe Kardashian, Eva Mendes and More!

Sliding on a summer dress is like shedding a full layer of skin! I was walking down the street today and felt so bizarre with my legs exposed. I saw a few guys glancing at my pegs but I couldn’t walk fast enough to dodge out of sight. Then I thought, what the heck, it’s summer – bring it ON!

It feels good to FINALLY trade in those fuzzy layers of cold weather apparel for a long awaited kiss from the sun. You should be glowing!

But if you haven’t worked up the nerve to slither in a summer dress you will be ready when we’re done with this conversation.

Whether you like boho chic styles like Nicole Richie or foxy and fitted like me, this season has a full range of styles to help you show off your toasty tan.

But before I go into details, right off the top let me tell you: the must have summer dress trend right now are hi low dresses. The hemline is short in the front and long in the back. Fabrics are light and airy to dramatize the asymmetrical silhouette. Hi low dresses can vary in length, by either falling above or below the knee. And although they complement all body-types, women who are shorter should avoid hi low dresses that fall below the knee. Longer hemlines can make you appear shorter by visually chopping the length of your legs.

Necklines of hi low dresses vary from halter to crew and also V-neck. Stick to a neckline that usually complements your bust-line for flattering fit.

Overall, there are a plethora of dress styles for every personality, body-type and occasion this summer. Let’s have some fun and take a look at my top picks worn by Hollywood starlets just for you. Plus I’ve added tips on which styles to choose for your body-type.

Summer Dress Trend 1: Hi Low Dresses

Khloe Kardashian looks smashing in this multi-tone tribal print hi low dress and gold waist belt. Swapping a muted nude pump for strappy tangerine soles is a great way to play up a focal hue of the dress.

Blake Lively’s angelic hi low dress features a halter neckline, whimsical print and voluminous tiering, which are a trustworthy way to add curves. Skip the necklace when wearing a halter neckline; it’s strong enough by itself.

This easy, breezy hi low has a neutral palette that is easy to ornate with your newest accessories, like her orange Wayfarers, suede boots and studded waist belt.

You’ll always find something oversized on Nicole Richie, but this time it’s not the dress. Her hi low is one of my favorites yet! The vivid blue and lustrous fabric shouts contemporary goddess. Dark touches add a hint of cool.

Summer Dress Trend 2: Eye-Catching Cutouts

The Bachelorette star Ali Fedotowsky shines in an abstract print maxi dress with peek-a-boo cutouts. I’ve seen attention grabbing cut outs everyday for two weeks. They’re sexy without being flashy.

Krysten Ritter of ABC’s Breaking Bad captivates the paparazzi in this black midriff baring cut out dress and similar themed heels by ASOS.

Summer Dress Trend 3: Bold Maxi Dresses

Kourtney Kardashian wears the most diverse silhouettes of the sister trio. She’s wearing a one shoulder geometric print maxi dress and an equally striking necklace. Geometric prints are popping up everywhere.

This yellow and black tipped maxi dress has a jewel embellished neckline and figure flattering gathering around the waist. Denise Richards looks stunning!

Jessica Alba is wearing a blue AG Adriano Goldschmied maxi dress and yellow Theonne cardigan with an intricately designed cross body bag to add texture. Her yellow cardigan, strappy platform heels and fedora hat sharpen the look.

I am impressed how Kylie Minogue’s balances her ruffle tiered maxi dress and accessories. The dress, waist belt, purse and heels each have bulk, but the volume is swallowed by the waist belt and delicate neckline, which highlights her trim upper body. You can do this too! Smart styling!

If You’re Curvy:

This show stopping dress is smartly crafted. See the lines down the middle and sides of the dress; they’re an instant slimmer. The vertical line draws the eye up and down your body rather than across. This creates a long, lean visual impact. Look for these powerful design details when you want to appear more trim. It’s worth mentioning that the small waves add extra interest without creating mass.

Elizabeth Banks takes advantage of the same fashion trick with this gorgeous pocketed sheath. The orange, black and green vertical lines elongate her frame, and the black skinnies underneath extend the line. A thin waist belt keeps the look slender and perfectly prim.

Choose a monochromatic sheath like Eva Mendes that is semi-fitted to gently skim your curves and define your waist for an attractive fit you can rely on.

If You Have An Athletic Build:

Amber Heard knows what she’s doing. The flowy nature of the fabric as well as the strategic gathering at the neckline and waist add shape to her toned physique. Now you can make her secret work for you!

Katrina Bowden uses an all over floral pattern and an A-line skirt to contour her statuesque figure.

Stacy Keibler uses the same angle with this pedal printed dress. In addition, her flutter sleeve lends an even softer touch to her athletic build.

If You’re Pear Shaped:

Before the Christian Dior show in Paris, Jessica Alba smiles for the cameras in this pink and white strapless dress. If your hips are larger in comparison to your upper half wear fuller skirts to balance out your frame. Keep in mind strapless styles will pull the eye up toward your collarbone and away from your hips.

Eva Mendes’s peach pleated dress is another elegant example of how to conceal fuller hips. The shifty skirt and chiffon overlay temper full hips. A decorative neckline puts the focus where you want it to be.

If You’re Short:

If you are short keep dresses at or below the knee. Mailn Akerman’s Lacoste dress is a mod example of how to do it right. A boat neck balances out the shortness of the dress and the geometric print gives it a mature finish. I give it an A+

When you need an alternative to minis resort to a classic knee length sheath in a solid tone to create an uninterrupted line that elongates your body.

If You Have a Full Bust:

Choose semi-fitted styles with open necklines and nipped in waists like Christie Brinkley to add balance to your voluptuous assets.

Plunging necklines like Cat Deeley’s lengthen your upper body, which calms the bust-line.

If You Have a Small Bust

Strapless dresses, particularly with sweetheart necklines like Ali Larter’s, add definition to your bust-line, and ruching over the bust adds fullness. Adorable!

Hayden Panettiere uses a gathered layer over her bust-line to add fullness up top. You can do this too!

Photo Credits: People Style Watch, New York Post

Apply these tips to feel confident and on trend this season! Feel free to come back and refresh your memory on pointers you love the most. Spread the style inspiration!

Thank you for sharing the inspiration with friends!  Let’s stay connected.


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