Two Navy Dresses for Summer Events

I love a navy dress in the summertime; it’s not as harsh as black, but it still has that chic yet understated je ne sais quoi that I find so appealing. Today I’m styling two navy dresses for summer events you may have coming up.

This stripe midi dress is from LOFT, and I love the classic navy and white stripes for summer.

stripe midi dress: LOFT (S) // slide sandals: Nordstrom // woven tote: Dragon Diffusion // rattan earrings: Amazon Fashion // necklace: Madewell // bracelet: c/o Victoria Emerson

I don’t usually gravitate towards fit-and-flare styles, but this one has a hint of glam that I absolutely love. The tank style top is bra-friendly, and I like how the tie defines the waist.

I actually styled this dress two ways, although they aren’t all that different. I wanted to show you how it looks with brown or white shoes and bag.

I think I prefer the brown, as shown here. I like the warm contrast to the cool navy and white color palette.

These slide sandals with the interlocking pattern on the strap have a feminine appeal that pairs perfectly with dresses. This color is called Tan Coffee.

I carried my brown woven leather basket bag with this look for a summer farmer’s market vibe… Although honestly, I would never dress up this much to go to the farmer’s market!

But aren’t the different shades of brown in this woven tote so gorgeous!?! I just love it.

For another option, I styled this same dress with white sandals and a white tote.

This look is every bit as polished as the one above, but a little more classic and maybe slightly dressier, although a smaller bag would elevate it even more.

stripe midi dress: LOFT (S) // slide sandals: Nordstrom // leather tote: Coach // rattan earrings: Amazon Fashion // necklace: Madewell // bracelet: c/o Victoria Emerson // sunglasses: Fendi

This Coach polished pebble leather day tote is exactly what it says it is. The pebble leather is so luxe, and the clean lines and brown accents keep it polished and classy.

And I thought these oversize rattan earrings were the perfect way to keep the look light and summery.

Here’s a better look at the bag, as well as the gold stacking bracelets I wore, although I wish I’d thought to change my rings to one with some gold in it.

The stars and red stones in the bracelets are a nice complement to the blue and white stripes in the dress, especially for any 4th of July festivities you may have coming up.

And these sandals are the same style as the tan pair above. I ordered both colors intending to return one, but I ended up keeping both. They’re a great price point for leather, and both have been nice to have in my spring/summer wardrobe.

They may look like they’d be hard to walk in, but the stay on my low-profile feet easily. They’re true to size, or size up if in between; I have the 8.

This stripe midi dress is soft and stretchy and very comfortable, and it runs true to size. It’s also 40% off today!

Next up, this navy slub sheath dress from White House Black Market is perfect for dressier events or those times when you want a little more va-va-voom!

sleeveless draped slub sheath dress: WHBM (6) // gold sandals: Sam Edelman (8) // pearl necklace: Baublebar // chain link necklace: Baublebar // shoulder bag: Coach

My birthday and wedding anniversary are both in the summertime, so I’m always on the lookout this time of year for a date night dress that makes me feel extra feminine and pretty. This one definitely fits the bill.

The draped design with matching tie-belt gives a nice shape to through the waist, and the soft knit slub makes it so comfortable, unlike the typical sheath style dresses made of more structured fabric.

This dress runs true to size, or size down if in between; I’m wearing the 6. It also comes in petite sizes, but those sizes are very limited.

This time I carried a smaller Coach bag, made of the same gorgeous pebbled leather in the Chalk. This bag is a modern take on an archival 1970s Coach design, and it’s finished with their Signature hardware for an iconic touch.

It comes with two detachable straps – a shorter strap with 7″ drop that you can carry in your hand, over your arm, or over your shoulder. And then there’s a longer crossbody strap with 21″ drop, but I’ve never once used it. I much prefer the shorter strap, as I tend to carry this bag for dinners out or when I’m more dressed-up.

I love how the brushed gold hardware on the bag coordinates with my gold leather sandals; I almost always pair these shoes with this bag.

STYLE TIP: Have a few go-to shoe & bag combinations in your closet, it cuts down on the number of decisions you have to make when you’re putting outfits together.

I always get asked about a wrap when I share sleeveless dresses, and honestly, I don’t have anything I would put with either of these. Around here, I don’t usually need anything in the summertime, but I know a lot of ladies do. What would you all suggest?

A denim jacket wouldn’t do much for either one, and I can’t really see a cardigan or blazer with either of these dresses either. Maybe a short cardigan like this or this or this with the LOFT stripe midi, but I would leave the WHBM sheath alone and be willing to freeze, lol!

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photos: Alison Cornell

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26 Responses

  1. LOVE the WHBM dress. This style is so classic and the fabric does look so comfortable. I wish I had an occasion coming up to wear it. You look great in it. You sure are getting into dresses this year. 🙂 You are ready for any occasion that comes up. I never seem to be ready with the right sandals or handbag. I dress casual for church and if I don’t have a wedding to go too, I don’t really need dressier dresses, but I’m tempted to try this one. I’m shorter than you and I love midi’s on others, but never look too great in them.

    1. Yes this is not for petite ladies . It’s not just the length but the waist line hits in the wrong spot. It’s not enough coverage up top for air conditioning events. Also wearing something over it wouldn’t look right.

  2. As the Brits would say….”you look lovely darling” in your dresses and how you styled. I guess I’m dreaming/feeling ready for some travel. lol

  3. Beautiful dresses; however, for many of us approaching 60 and wanting to look our best, sleeveless dresses are not an option. I love midi dresses for the summer, casual and dressy. I find they are much more comfortable and cooler. Midi length, lightweight fabrics, embellished sleeves, Any particular suggestions Jo-Lynne?

      1. So glad I clicked this link! I loved this dress when you styled it before but couldn’t quite justify the price since I knew I’d only wear it occasionally. So excited to see it’s on sale and still in stock in all sizes!

  4. Jo-Lynne, You look so nice in both dresses! I wish that belted dresses worked for me because I would buy the striped one. Have a great day!

  5. Love the WHBM dress! The silhouette is so flattering and makes it look dressier, but the material look lightweight and comfy. I laughed but totally agree, I’m willing to be cold in a dress like that! I feel like I’m ruining it with a jacket or sweater, especially on date night. Btw your hair look cute curled in those pictures.

  6. You can’t go wrong with either of these dresses and the ways you have styled them. Love the Coach bags, have always wanted a white handbag and the smaller one is really calling me. Upon getting older, I have found that elbow length or 3/4 length sleeves are more flattering on me though and you’re right about the navy, much more flattering to me now than black.

  7. Love both dresses; you are just gorgeous! I have invested in two dresses this season, thanks to your encouragement. I have not worn a dress in 20 years and am enjoying the freedom and effortless look that dresses impart.

  8. From a petite, for what it’s worth. I purchased the WHBM dress in 8P yellow b4 Jo-Lynne featured it. I am 5’1-3/4″, 123#, 32g, small shoulders, hourglass. Very flattering, modest & as someone mentioned short waisted, but worked for me w tie belt. Had alterations to take up shoulders and taper side seams in under arms. Fabric is substantial w lining.

  9. Also, if I absolutely needed a topper for the WHBM dress, I would choose a wrap/scarf. The bodice has quite a bit of fabric, & I agree that a jacket or cardigan might not look right over it.

  10. My favorite is the solid navy one. I agree that some dresses just look best sleeveless. That’s why I don’t buy sleeveless dresses anymore. So hard for me to find dresses after I turned 65.

  11. The dresses look great on you! I think the stripe one would look good with a white denim jacket. I think a shawl or scarf with the WHBM navy one.

  12. Both dresses look great on you JoLynne. Does the navy dress cling to lumps and bumps as stated by a few reviews? It does say it’s fully lined so that may help how it skims the body?
    Is the striped dress lined or partially lined and if so, which part is lined?
    I would have liked to have seen the stripe dress with a a shorter chunky heeled sandal. I’m not sure if the flat sandals does it justice.

  13. I love the navy dress and the accessories you paired with it! I would pair it with a cashmere stole in gray or possibly a lighter summery shade of blue.

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