As temperatures soar, it becomes increasingly difficult to discern what to wear, especially since so many July events are held outdoors. From riverfront concerts at The Music City Fourth of July to the Human Landscape exhibit at Cheekwood to the Hot Chicken Festival in East Park, July is packed with festive happenings. To avoid unsightly amounts of sweating and chafing, it’s wise to choose a breezy dress and completely shirk the discomfort of denim and other confining fabrics.
We’ve put together a fantastic list of dresses from Gus Mayer, Calypso St. Barth and J. McLaughlin, with accessories from Anatra, Cindi Earl and AshBlue, that will quickly become your summer wardrobe staples. We’ve also included some handsome casual looks from The Oxford Shop for the fellas. Even if you aren’t vacationing at the beach this season, you can don a new frock for one of July’s festivities. These versatile looks can work for a handful of outdoor events:
Bright and festive, this strapless dress works on nearly every figure!
Norla dress, $195, and collar necklace, $185, at Calypso
This orange linen dress has a neckline that allows for a dynamic piece of jewelry, like a heavy gold collar or pendant.
Annalyn halter dress, $175, and rope statement necklace, $95, at Calypso
This gold chain and cuff from Anatra would pair perfectly with the orange dress pictured above. It also looks spectacular against bold blue and purple fabrics.
Gold plated oval chain, $1,679, and blue topaz cuff, $425, at Anatra Jewel
This cool tunic has a great bohemian vibe that would be so fitting for an outdoor concert or food festival, and the long pendant adds the perfect finishing touch.
Siham dress, $325, and African tassel necklace, $225, from Calypso
This turquoise statement dress has enough embellishment around the neckline that you don’t even need jewelry!
Maceo dress, $275, at Calypso
This neutral linen dress is the perfect blank canvas for colorful jewelry or wedges. Try a layered necklace with pops of turquoise or a chunky piece with orange beads, as seen below.
Vince linen dress in eggshell, $365, at Gus Mayer
These gorgeous orange and gold beads are a splurge, but they’ll go with so many summer ensembles. They can bring a basic white shirt or dress to a whole new level!
Dana Mackey necklace, $898, at AshBlue
This layered moonstone chain adds a subtle amount of color to your look and works great with neutral tones.
Moonstone chains, $150 to $350, from Cindi Earl
A colorful sheath is a mod approach to summer dressing. This adorable dress could easily be dressed down with sandals or dressed up with strappy heels.
Alice & Olivia color block dress, $288, at Gus Mayer
This glamorous maxi dress is certainly formal enough for a cocktail event, but it could also be worn to a concert or festival. The embellished collar serves as a piece of jewelry.
Tangerine Quinn Maxi dress, $345, at Gus Mayer
This basic linen dress might just become your new favorite summer piece. It’s so handy to have a sleeve when you might end up dining indoors. Because it doesn’t have a pattern, you can have fun with accessories here.
Rae dress in rose red, $188, at J. McLaughlin
This layered turquoise pendant would look great against the rose pink dress featured above.
Aqua and pyrite necklaces, $150 to $350, at Cindi Earl
Pale aqua is the perfect summer tone. This glamorous pendant can be worn as a long or layered chain, making it incredibly versatile!
Robin Haley druzy and apatite necklace, $375, at AshBlue
This panther print dress has a great vintage appeal, and the tie at the waist is incredibly figure-flattering!
Dolly sleeveless dress in panther print, $205, at J. McLaughlin
These delicate chains can be worn individually or together, and since they are elegant but casual, they work with lots of different summer dresses.
Debi Fisher chains, $89 and $362 (gold), at AshBlue
This colorful dress has a great coastal feel. It could be dressed up with neutral wedges or be worn with flats to casual outdoor venues. The cap sleeves provide nice coverage over your shoulders!
Emma cap sleeve flare dress in coral and aqua, $205, at J. McLaughlin
Classic and tailored, this look is perfect for an outdoor barbecue or a casual cocktail party.
Bobby Jones shirt, $185, Peter Millar red shorts, $98, Bills Khakis canvas belt, $95, at The Oxford Shop
This laid-back, West Coast look is so dashing. The pale yellow shorts are an unexpected addition to the patterned blue shirt.
Bobby Jones shirt, $105, and Bobby Jones yellow shorts, $105, at The Oxford Shop
You can’t go wrong with a basic white polo shirt. These plaid shorts add just the right amount of prep-school charm.
Bobby Jones shirt, $98.50, Bills Khakis plaid parker shorts, $98.50, Leyva braided belt, $155, at The Oxford Shop
To find more great boutiques near you, check out our SB Guide! And to see a list of more events this month, check out our Monthly Happenings!