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Pick the best summer dress for your body type

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Summer dress-buying tips

Summer is the perfect time to embrace your feminine side and don a dress. But with so many styles, figuring out what to shop for and wear can get frustrating. To help you find the perfect fashionable frock this summer, we put together a simple dress-buying guide.

chic A-line frock

A-line

A-line dresses, which come in at the waist and then flare slightly out from the waist to the hemline, are fun summer frocks that suit a variety of settings (from casual weddings to the office).

Best for: Anyone with a boyish figure or who wants to conceal the tummy area. The A-line dress creates shape for those who lack curves but also gives the illusion of a smaller waist.

Wear with: Flat, strappy sandals, cropped cardigan (for an air conditioned office or chilly night) and classic but understated accessories.

Our pick: Step out in style in a dress that truly screams summer. We love the pretty watercolor floral pattern on this chic A-line frock (modcloth.com, $75).

bold, blue silk shift dress

Shift

These often-sleeveless dresses are versatile and multi-seasonal. While they are untailored at the waist, the design is still streamlined enough to look polished.

Best for: Anyone who wants to camouflage hips or tummy.

Wear with: T-strap heels, chandelier earrings and envelope clutch.

Our pick: Put together an elegant summer look in this bold, blue silk shift dress (topshop.com, $130).

boho-chic silk maxi dress

Maxi

These summer-ready floor-skimming frocks come in a wide variety of patterns and colors, making them one of the easiest pieces to wear.

Best for: Almost anyone, but if you’re petite, they can make you look even smaller.

Wear with: Gladiator sandals, metallic cuff or armload of skinny silver bangles and oversize straw tote.

Our pick: Be a summer stunner in this boho-chic silk maxi dress in earthy purple and brown tie-dye pattern (shoptrendboutique.com, $259).

black cotton shirt dress

Shirt

These simple but stylish dresses offer a masculine twist on the eternally feminine dress. Kind of like an extra-long button down shirt, these dresses often have a belted waist and come in both short and long sleeves.

Best for: Anyone who wants a little extra coverage.

Wear with: Ballet or pointed toe flats and a small cross body bag.

Our pick: We love the effortless elegance of this black cotton shirt dress with short sleeves and a braided belted waist (revolveclothing.com, $144).

Sheath

Simple and easy to wear, the sheath dress fits close to the body and cinches slightly at the waist.

Best for: Pretty much anyone! The classic shape means this is a dress that never goes out of style and most people can wear.

Wear with: Wedge sandals, statement necklace and cropped denim jacket.

Our pick: Add this smart, sophisticated sheath dress to your summer wardrobe in versatile off-white (bananarepublic.com, $150).

sophisticated sheath dress

Watch: How to wear the print dress

A print dress is a new season wardrobe must-have! Just add a textured clutch and a metallic cuff for instant day-to-night glamour.

More summer style

Resort-chic: 3 Must-have outfits to pack
Sandal up: 5 Strappy sandals for summer
Splash into these sexy swimsuits for summer

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