9 Summer Dresses To Make You Look Modern

A new color, a fresh style. It doesn’t take much to update your look. A cute summer dress is all you need.

This year’s crop of casual summer dresses for women come in so many styles, colors, shapes and price points; it’s hard to know which one to choose. So here’s a little guide that highlights the latest trends and what might work best for you.

Graphic Prints

Casual summer dresses for women

The wrap is one of the most flattering casual summer dresses for women.

Do you like a little drama? Then this print jersey faux wrap dress will turn heads.  It has a nice classic line, but the purple design set against crisp white gives it that wow factor.

Tip: If you are wearing a busy dress like this keep your shoes sleek and in a solid color, so they don’t compete with the striking pattern.

Eyelet Dresses

Here’s a cute twist on traditional eyelet. This pretty eyelet lace sheath dress with its oversized cutouts looks almost good enough to eat in this stunning salmon color.

 coral eyelet dress
Indigo Wash

Floral dresses are always popular in summer, but this floral print fit and flare dress is new and modern because of the artistic color wash print.

 floral print fit and flare
Dreamy Dots

Do you see spots? Dots, bigger than you could ever imagine, are front and center this summer. This cute polka dot jersey faux wrap dress is a nice twist on a classic look and is sure to make your figure look wow.

polka dot jersey faux wrap dress

Polka dot jersey faux wrap dress

Summer Shirt Dress

Doesn’t this dress look comfy? Sometimes you just need a simple little dress that you can throw on at a  moment’s notice and run out the door. This button front Shirtdress with its push up sleeves is casual and fresh. Wear it as a dress in summer or with leggings in fall. It’s an excellent transition piece.

gray shirtdress
Botanical Prints

Leafy prints like you see here in this navy, and pink  botanical print dress  are a huge trend. This is a great summer work dress because it is conservative but still very feminine.

botanical print dress

Botanical print dress

Bold Stripes

I recently wrote about black and white stripes and the interesting ways they are being worn. Here’s a darling fit and flare stripe dress that not only looks chic, but elongates and slims too.

black and white stripes

Black and white stripes

The Maxi Dress

This floral print maxi dress is just what you want patio or poolside. Every woman needs a goddess gown like this.

long floral maxi dress
Global Prints

When the temperature is soaring you need something easy and breezy, and a pretty print shift dress like this is classic and relaxed.The global print is right on trend making this the perfect vacation dress.

Print shift dress

Print shift dress

Which of these women’s casual summer dresses do you like best? Have you bought a summer dress yet? Send in a photo of yourself wearing it and I’ll post it. Send photo to myphoto@fabulousafter40.com.


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  1. Wanda Jollymore says:

    All of these are very wearable dresses. Thank you for helping keep me looking good at 63.

  2. Sandra Obie says:

    Just looked at your article “9 Summer Dresses to Make You Look Modern”, and wow – not one model any where near 40 and certainly not over. Could be time to start hitting the retailers to add a couple of older models just because there are so MANY of us over 40 buyers.

  3. theresa larkins says:

    I am 71. I love some of the sleeveless styles. My upper arms are the same age. I have alot of thin chiffon jackets in bright colors and prints, and loose crochet shrugs. these are very attractive and I love the flow-ey movement they bring to the outfit. to those that don’t like my bare arms I say ” well then, look at my knee’s, they still look pretty good.

  4. Suzanne Latulippe says:


    I enjoy reading this newsletter, I often good tips which I can apply to my wardrobe. That said, this newsletter about the dresses is a little disappointing. Although the dresses are pretty, do we really need to look at 15 years old wearing them?(especially the one in the polka dot dress) I’ll admit that some models do look a bit older (mid 20’s maybe?) but puh-lease, I do think most of us would like to see clothes that are worn by women who are at least 40 and 50. There’s plenty of ladies out there in that age group who are fit, do not look frumpy and look good in almost anything. And yes, they are fashion models. I realise that you most likely get pictures from the designer’s website or other online sources, but why can’t we ask these designer/manufacturers to use healthy looking 40’s and 50’s gals instead of too skinny teenagers? After all, we do have more buying power than these kids! Being over 40 is not an illness, but one would think that the fashion industry thinks that way!

  5. Donna Marie says:

    Any photos to share of your readers wearing their summer dresses? It would be nice to see them.

  6. Wow! Those dresses you suggested for are so cool! I’ve always been worried that because of my age(I am a mom wih two kids) I can’t get in to the new fashion trends like most teens. I’m so glad I had crossed with this one. I personally like the floral dress and the little blue dress. They’re just too cute and will make you look younger! Those tropic dress are awesome and exotic too! I’ll definitely buy them and wear them esp on summer!

  7. I think it’s very interesting that the models in the photos are all obviously YOUNGER than 40 years old.

    • Hi Robin, Yes this has always been our challenge, finding retailers who use models over 30! Please let us know if you find any stores who use mature models and we will feature them.

  8. Suzanne Warn says:

    Love the summer dresses but like your other readers, I will never wear sleveless. And it’s too warm for a denim jacket. How can us older women wear cute summer dresses? Help!

    • Hi Suzanne, It’s a problem isn’t it? When will dress designers wake up? I have a lightweight wrap I take everywhere with me when I have on a summer dress because I always get cool in the evenings. I’ve also seen these crocheted shrugs that are kind of neat. You just throw one on and it becomes sleeves for a dress. My girlfriend had one. Stay tuned I will get her to send in a photo.

  9. I have the perfect wardrobe solution for sleeveless dresses. For those of us who are looking for a refuge to cover your arms, try pairing up sleeves 2 go to your favorite sundress and you won’t have to worry about finding the right shrug or jacket to cover “flabby arms”. They’re light weight, chiffon detachable sleeves that snap on easily to your bra strap. Visit http://www.sleeves2go.com & have fun changing your look by changing your sleeves.

  10. I’d love to see more casual summer dresses for those of us who HATE wearing sleeveless! These are cute, but I honestly will never wear sleeveless.

    Thanks for a fun post.

    • Pat. E. says:

      I can relate but don’t want to miss out on this chic and comfy trend so I throw a lightweight/sheer short cardigan in a coordinating color over them for daytime. And for cooler evenings they look great paired with a jean or leather jacket.

  11. I love this article, very modern mommy.