The Summer Dress Guide: How to find the perfect gown for you

Photo by Jenny Kane, The Patriot-News

Originally published in The Patriot-News on Aug. 4, 2011.

This summer it’s all about dresses. A great way to keep cool and look cute at the same time, the summer dress this year is bright, breathable and bold.

Taylor Eisenberger, fashionista and owner of Taylored for You Bridal Boutique in Mechanicsburg and Paula Trimpey, Associate Professor of Theater and Fashion at Albright College, weigh in on the trend and share what dress is best for you, based on your body’s shape, bust size and height.

If you still are unsure about which dress to buy, follow Eisenberger’s advice: “When in doubt go shopping with your best friend and get a second opinion. Go with your gut instinct, if you feel good in it you’re going to look good in it.”

The dress trends

  • Bold prints: Tribal, geometric or tropical prints and patterns are vogue. Go big, bold and just a touch funky.
  • Bright colors: Summer is the time to celebrate the sunshine, so embrace shades like fire-engine red, golden-yellow and cerulean blue.
  • Flowy fabric: There is no set fabric for the season, but the style is flowy and soft, rather than the stiff or rigid looks popular in the winter
  • Ruching: This sewing technique adds a bit of ruffle detail to any dress. It causes a draping effect which flatters most figures.
  • Maxi: These slimming dresses look good on just about anyone, as the eye automatically is drawn down the length of the body, adding more height.
  • Trench dress: These shorter dresses take the look of a trench coat and turn it into a fitted dress with an a-line skirt, complete with a belt around the middle.

The perfect dress for you

Pear shaped – For those that are smaller at the top and wider at the bottom be on the hunt for dresses with these looks:

  • Bodice: Go for a detailed neckline or more of a halter shaped look.
  • Skirt: Choose one that hits at the knee or longer which “will float around your figure, definite it and also create interest,” according to Trimpey.
  • Belted: Show off the smallest part of your figure with a belt around the waist.
  • Colors: Avoid solid white, “It just makes you look like a puffalump,” Trimpey said. Instead go for an interesting print in multiple colors.

To find the ideal gown for other body shapes and sizes, read the full story on

Published by juliahatmaker

Storyteller, journalist and explorer. On a mission to entertain and inform.

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