Okay, first things first, I can’t believe I’m titling a post, “How to Wear Sundresses After 30.” But, it’s seriously a thing! Back in college, I wore sundresses all spring and summer without a second thought. Then, somewhere around 27, I realized that those tiny sundresses felt a little silly. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my Lilly shift dresses, but a short strapless or spaghetti strap number just didn’t feel right anymore. I needed more length, more structure, and more intention behind the dress.
WHEN ARE SUNDRESSES AFTER 30 APPROPRIATE?
I’m sure some people might be thinking, when are sundresses even appropriate after 25? Um, anytime it’s 85 degrees or warmer, right?! If it’s hot as hades out, I’m looking to wear as little fabric as possible and messing with multiple layers of a shirt tucked into a skirt or, even worse, pants, is out of the question. So, a sundress it is.
The trick is, when a sundress is age appropriate, you can get away with one for most any situation besides work. Weekend brunch, Thursday night happy hour, a farmers market trip, an afternoon at a vineyard, Saturday morning errands – all sundress territory.
THINK ABOUT LENGTH, FABRIC, DETAILS
So, how do you make sure a sundress is age appropriate? You add length and structure. There are no flitty, mid-thigh numbers for me, I’m gravitating towards dresses that are at least to my knee, often leaning towards maxi. Nothing lingerie inspired, I want details that give the dress an air of maturity. A defined waistline, an interesting strap, or a well-placed tailored ruffle, it’s the details that make the difference between something you buy at Forever 21 and a dress that has staying power.
The other key to an age appropriate sundress? The fabric. Bypass a flimsy blend in favor of a crisp cotton, a summery linen, a neat pique, or a floaty silk. And make sure it’s lined. A lined dress will look far more sophisticated than one where you might be able to see your underwear if you really look.
A FEW OF MY CURRENT FAVORITES
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find a sundress that’s appropriate after age 30. Some of my favorites have come from J. Crew Factory and H & M. You just have to weed through a bit more to find the dresses with structure, intentional details, and classic fabrics – and, yes, put down the adorable seersucker number with the bow on the back that looks just a tad too darling for a woman.