Summer sun dresses flirt with you from the racks, a flower garden of bright colors and pastels. Styles and prices vary greatly.
Some are skin-baring and some are sedate. What's appropriate for you depends less on your age than what shape you are in and where you will be wearing the frock.
Ideal features in summer fashion are:
Cotton and bamboo are naturally wicking fibers that allow sweat to dry quickly to avoid a clammy feeling and odor.
Cotton seersucker, with its natural wrinkles, is another good choice.
Engineered microfiber fabrics are wicking, lightweight, and wrinkle-free. These are ideal for travel packing. You may read about these and more fabrics and textiles here,
Loose-fitting longer sleeves in a sheer fabric such as cotton gauze add glamour, yet stay cool. Desert peoples keep themselves covered. Why? The sun is dangerous, and it can be cooler inside that flowing jellabah or caftan.
Vee and plunging necklines are a popular summer look. Slather up with suntan oil.
Remember that freckles and wrinkles may result from over exposure to the sun's burning rays. Even worse, of course, is the risk for skin cancer.
Don't foget a sunhat with a tight weave to protect your face and back of your neck.
White and summer colors – from pastels and sherbert tones to bright tropical print fabrics -- put you in the mood for sunshine and easy living.
White is the most reflective color and one of my personal faves as a longtime Floridian. If white makes you look pale, add a scarf or bright necklace.
Choose loosely floweing summer sun dresses that flatters your figure without looking baggy and shapeless.
Think twice about the muumuu and many traditional house dress styles. A sheath dress that skims your figure is comfortable; knits are especially easy-going for golf and around town.A caftan has become an almost universal symbol of summer glamor.
Summer sun dresses and patio gowns are appropriate for the beach, eating at resort-area restaurants, or entertaining on your home patio.
They are not appropriate for women of any age to wear to work or for errands, other than in a resort town.
This means strapless, spaghetti strap, and halter top dresses are not for the mall, buying groceries, scrounging around city flea and farmers’ markets.
Do not visit your own or anyone else's place of business wearing your sun dress.
The older you are, the more harshly you will be judged for dressing inappropriately – no matter how good you look. People rightly infer that women of a certain age are old enough to know better and to be role models for the younger generations.
Fashion After 50 celebrates your audacity and rejects putting any woman in a category you do not want to occupy.
Glamour queen Mae West appeared in form-fitting gowns into her 70s – but not to do her grocery shopping. Only you can decide how outlandish, quirky, or eccentric you want to be.
Let's isolate legs, upper arms, cleavage, and midriff as factors to consider when you may your choice.
Summer sun dresses come in long and short lengths.
Long lengths are often enjoyed for beach wear. They eliminate the need for stockings and hide winter white skin.
Long cotton skirts also feel cooler and feminine.
Shorter lengths can show off your great legs. Make sure yours are smooth and satiny. Spray-on tans can be a safe alternative to tanning beds, if you need a quick fix.
A pretty shade of nail polish looks fabulous on toes peeking out of sandals.
Avoid an ultra mini that can making you appear as if you are trying too hard to be youthful.
Bare sandals create more elongated and flattering to your leg. Mary Jane type styles with a high strap visually cuts off your leg at the ankle.
With a long gown it does not matter much. And you must always choose shoes for comfort and health, not to be a slave to style.
A good moisturizer, a non-sticky sun-tan oil, or spray-on tanning are just-right finishing touches.
If your upper arms jiggle and shake when raised, strapless dresses and halter top sun dresses do you no favors.
If you absolutely love such a dress and the colors and fit are right for you, buy a loosely crocheted shrug to wear with it. Your beautiful dress will show through, and you will remain cool while covered.
The exception is beach dresses, so long as you wear them at the beach or poolside during the day. Grab a cover-up when you head to a café.
We've got you covered with what you need to know about skimpy-top dresses.
We older women need proper support. No matter how small your breasts, by age 50 gravity has taken its toll. They sag.
Strapless and halter top styles create special challenges for providing that support.
Never show your bra straps. Never. It is not okay to have them popping out of the top any summer fashion.
In sum, summer sun dresses are one of the joys of warm weather. Light fabrics and beautiful colors are conspire to make you feel free, sexy, and flirty.
From a stylish long white dress for party or everyday wear to a lighthearted tropical print, choose a dress that you will enjoy wearing for several years for the best use of your wardrobe dollars.