Style

The Magic of Blue Dresses

Five Pretty Blue Dresses

What have you been wearing on rotation this summer? Lately, I’ve been wearing lots of blue — the color of the ocean and the sky and blueberries.

This dress in particular has become my official uniform. The draped overlay is super flattering, and I’ve happily worn it everywhere, from work to trips to playgrounds to dinners out. Here are five more lovely ones (starting at $13!): striped, indigo, wildflower, denim and silk.

Which would you wear? What’s your summer uniform? Anything you’d recommend right now?

P.S. Tiny earrings and things I’ve worn a million times.

(Photo of this dress.)

  1. This dress looks perfect for summer! It looks light weight and comfortable.

  2. Emma says...

    Re ‘the under-short’ (kind of love that term)–I liked ones I got at Target, the Target ‘sports’ brand. They have a slick finish so whatever you’re wearing on top doesn’t catch on the shorts. I tend to wear the long pant version in winter when riding my bike or working outdoors, and the shorts are helpful in summer (or just nice to wear around the house instead of ‘real clothes’).

    The only downside to jumpsuits is when you have to take off basically the whole thing to go to the bathroom… but this one from Old Navy (http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=614834032) worked great for a wedding I just got back from! I was a bit worried wearing an Old Navy dress to a wedding that probably cost at least $40k, but I got a ton of compliments on it–even from the bride! And now it appears to be on sale…

  3. Chelsea says...

    These Vince seam-front pants in coastal blue: https://www.vince.com/stitch-front-seam-legging-VR52921199.html. Sometimes you want pants but can’t be in jeans. They can be dressy or casual. They are super flattering and not heavy. They stretch but keep their shape. Best of all, they are machine washable! They are what I wear when I am running around after kids but want to look presentable.

  4. Janine says...

    I’ve been wearing this baby with white Stan Smith sneakers all summer:
    http://bit.ly/2tQBE3r
    Love it! Also, Joanna, I’m your neighbor! I never say “hi” when I see you on Court or Smith because I’m starstruck! : )

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, you are the sweetest! please say hi, i would love to meet you! xoxo

  5. Michelle says...

    @ LaurenB and Barbra Jane
    I found Jockey skimmies great under dresses for modesty and for those sticky days. They don’t seem to ride up at all.

  6. I just love a blue dress in the summer! And also, a light blue men’s dress shirt rolled at the cuffs and tucked into a skirt or denim shorts. It always looks amazing with a tan. My summer uniform this year has been the wrap dress…they’re just so effortless and easy and they always look elegant and pulled together, while also being so comfortable. I feel like I’m wearing a nightgown. I picked up two long ones from CottonOn that I’ve worn constantly. One of the interesting things I’ve noticed is that both men and women compliment the dresses equally (which is so rare in an item of clothing). My dates go absolutely crazy when I wear them, and my girlfriends have all been asking to where I bought them so they could get their own. I’m obsessed, to say the least. I love easy dresses like that because they’re so ladylike and sometimes I just feels good to feel like a lady!

  7. DResses are indeed the best uniform for summer! The wildflower is lovely!

  8. I rarely (pretty much never) wear dresses…but this post and the ES link makes it tempting to try again!

  9. michaela says...

    I just picked up this Madewell dress when it went on sale (limited sizes online, but I saw a ton in my local store) and I plan to wear it all summer — I actually originally tried it on while looking for something to wear to my 10-year high school reunion in August, which is taking place in my hometown that regularly sees triple-digit temps in the summer! It’s got a good weight to it but still feels very light and breezy. I love how it looks with sneakers but it would be easy to dress up, too. The color in person is much more light blue than it looks online.

    https://www.madewell.com/madewell_category/AllProducts/PRD~G5605/G5605.jsp?N=21+10003&Nbrd=M&Nloc=en_US&Nrpp=48&Npge=1&Nsrt=3&isSaleItem=false&color_name=DARK%20CHAMBRAY&isFromSale=true&isNewSearch=true&hash=row1

    • carmen says...

      Your dresses are all gorgeous! The article did kind of make me want to go shopping (sorry!) because I’m questioning why I don’t wear/own dresses more often.

  10. Nina says...

    Oh boy, I wonder what it takes to produce a dress for $13…

    • E. says...

      It’s on clearance.

    • Eve says...

      Nina I agree with you but I also have to laugh at this comment because in the last CupofJo post on dresses there were like 25 comments saying how exorbitant the prices were and that a $300 dress is totally unreasonable. But then when Joanna features cheap clothes, she often gets comments criticizing cheap/fast fashion as unsustainable. Can’t win!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, we try to feature all types (ethical companies, low costs, etc.) so there’s a mix for whatever you’re looking for! xoxo

  11. Katrina says...

    Me too! We’ve had a bunch of weddings this summer and I keep buying blue dresses. I’ve been leaning towards cobalt.

  12. yael steren says...

    I love wearing dresses and rompers in the summer! It’s so easy to just throw on one piece and be ready to go! I do LOVE the shade of blue of the dress in your photo! xx yael

  13. Laura says...

    I just got this little number on sale from the Gap. It’s easy and breezy and looks/feels a little bit the like hospital gown but I wore it to work this morning and got lots of compliments so I’ll take it!

    http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?vid=1&pid=717687002

  14. Cee says...

    Hi Joanna,

    Would you please do a “Week of Outfits” featuring yourself?!!! You have such cool taste in clothing and I would love to see what you wear to work/play in a week!

    • Nina says...

      I second this!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you guys are so sweet! yes, i’d love to — maybe in the early fall! :)

  15. Maranda says...

    I totally tumbled down the shopping whole after seeing that dress from Gap. I’ve been in search of easy dresses for this overbearing heat we’re going through, and when I saw there was a sale on top I couldn’t resist!

  16. Lisa says...

    As I’m pregnant and london has had its own version of a heatwave (with no air conditioning, not in most buildings and DEFINITELY not on public transport), my summer uniform has been cotton dresses from cos, so much so I now have 4 like this https://www.cosstores.com/gb/Women/Dresses/Dress_with_draped_back/46881-70406527.1#c-24479 (which I’ve also worn back to front so the bow highlights the bump) and this https://www.cosstores.com/gb/Women/Dresses/Flared_shirt_dress/46881-64535606.1#c-24481
    They are SUPER comfortable and breezy, and with nice shoes / jewellery smart enough to wear in a corporate environment. I’m actually disappointed now that the weather has turned and its colder, but I’ve been layering them over silk shirts or with cardigans and it’s still going well.

    • shannon says...

      Oh I bet the back-to-front version of the second dress looks so sweet with a baby bump. Congrats on your baby :)

  17. Alexia says...

    Costco actually has really nice dresses RN. I have some expensive dresses from Anthropologie and the like but wear my Costco dresses rather frequently and always get compliments. They’re $20 so I never feel too “precious in them” and I, a DD, frequently wear them braless.
    Here’s a link: Matty M Womens Crossover V-Neck Pull Over Maxi Dress
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MD0U2PD/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_miKEzb787QP1V
    I also just bought this pretty thing from Anthro as a treat;)
    I feel like a Spanish dancer in it.
    https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/sunlit-floral-maxi-dress?color=079&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlt7mr5yq1QIVUFYNCh18-wkGEAQYASABEgL7T_D_BwE&size=M

  18. It’s been so hot this summer in Philly that I’m sticking to dresses and breathable fabrics. Lots of cute little sun dresses from Vineyards Vines and J. Crew.

  19. Lia says...

    I love the A. Wang dress! But – the arm holes looks particularly large based on how it fits the model. Otherwise it looks beautiful!

  20. Ellen says...

    Midi skirts with a solid, neutral colored (including navy) t-shirt or tank tucked in has been my summer go-to outfit! I have 3 different midi skirts that I can rotate out with any number of shirts and accessories. 1 is a big floral patterned skirt from Anthropologie years ago, 1 is a vertical stripe, breezy one from H&M, and another is full-bodied with a bow on the waist from Uniqlo (love them for all my closet basics).

    It’s the perfect mix-and-match summer uniform!

  21. jen says...

    Your Wang dress is really pretty. I just cant get used to ‘viscose’ as the fabric for a summer dress.

    • Trish O says...

      I am not a fan of viscose for me. I always find it clings in all the wrong places, and tends to stick in an unattractive way to my unfortunate c-section pudge

    • Louisa says...

      Same thought here! Doesn’t it get too hot and sweaty? Or sticky in humidity and staticky in dry climates?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i didn’t actually realize it was made of viscose! it feels so soft, like cotton. i wore it when we were in italy and it was 90+ degrees, and it felt really breezy, soft and good. hope that helps!

    • mia says...

      Viscose is a funny thing: it’s actually made from wood (tree) pulp (or sometimes other plants/grasses) that is then turned into a man made fibre. So it’s a bit of a Frankenstein. Best bet is to look for a blend of viscose/cotton if you’re finding it’s too hot/sticky though not all viscose is created equal, some of it can wear quite nicely in the heat.

  22. Kato says...

    Yesss I love how somehow blue is always appropriate and there’s a blue that looks good on every skintone! I currently love really deep navy, so chic and yet not as harsh as black can be. Or very light breezy blue or periwinkle (love that word, don’t you?) Eying this one (sorry link in Dutch) https://www.y-a-s.com/nl/nl/ys/dameskleding/jurken/geplooide-gestreepte-open-schouders-mini-jurk-26007092.html?cgid=ys-dresses&dwvar_colorPattern=26007092_StarWhite_565815

  23. Em says...

    This summer I’ve been wearing…SHORTS!! I am obese, and last summer was the first summer in years that I wore tank tops. This summer I decided I wasn’t going to suffer in jeans all summer like I usually do, and I bought some shorts. It’s probably been 15 years since I have worn shorts. It’s honestly been so freeing (and a heck of a lot cooler!).

    • brianna says...

      Good for you! I’m sure you look amazing.

    • Lily says...

      Good for you, em!

    • Summer says...

      LOVE this! I hear women all the time (including a post here recently) bemoan wearing shorts, and whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!? I mean, I am more of a dress person (for the airflow factor), but it’s way too hot to worry about how my legs look.

  24. Sarah Beth says...

    I was looking in my closet this morning, and realized that slowly but surely, I’ve converted all of my clothes to blue, white, black, and grey, with lots of stripes and very tiny florals. I wear lots of shirt dresses– totally my summer staple, and they can be found anywhere from old navy to madewell to I’m sure more expensive places that I’m avoiding these days! I’ve also been really into little bandanas this year, which feel easier than a necklace and make even really basic outfits like jeans and a striped tshirt feel more special. And they look great with a shirt dress!

    • KK says...

      So pretty!

  25. Rachel says...

    Just yesterday I was running errands and my local grumpy post office worker complimented me on my blue dress and said women look great in blue and processed to tell me about Denise, a woman who once wore a blue dress in his company and after he complimented her… every time he saw her she was wearing the same blue dress! You might be onto something, Joanna! Tom would agree with this post :)

    • Summer says...

      That’s adorable. :)

  26. Marni says...

    I like the floral dress. I have been wearing a lot of the dresses from Loft.com recently and they fit well and are often are 50% off.

    • Vicki says...

      Yes! Loft has great sales!

  27. txilibrin says...

    I have this dress for my pregnancy :) :) :)

    • Lily says...

      The dress in the top photo? It is pretty! And joanna your uniform dress is wonderful too!

  28. Barbara Jane says...

    I’m struggling with my summer uniform. Usually I’m all about the easy breezy dresses (is there any quicker way to look like a totally put-together babe?) but now I have an almost-toddler, and it’s just not practical.
    I’ve been looking for great rompers that aren’t too fussy, so that when I’m getting up and down and crouching to hold tiny hands, I don’t accidentally flash anyone! Any suggestions there? So many rompers I see are either too pajama-looking or need to be ironed (which I just don’t prioritize right now). I need the easy of a dress, but with my butt covered!