9 Summer Dresses to Make You Look Modern

stripe and floral dressWho doesn’t love a cute summer dress?

After a winter of mostly pants,  I’m really excited to slip on a light, cheery dress and step out into the sunshine.

I’ve always thought that summer dresses for women over 40 are a great wardrobe staple because they’re easy, comfortable and practical for our casual midlife lifestyle.

I especially love taking them on vacation because they’re easy to pack and simple to dress up or down.

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 is right for you.

So here’s a little guide that highlights the latest trends and what might work best.



Digital Prints

Do you like a little drama? Then this purple Kate Spade New York Brent Dress  is a good choice because it is guaranteed to turn heads.

Graphic and Digital prints are a huge trend and have strong impact. This sheath dress has a nice classic line, but the purple zigzag gives it that wow factor.

Tip: If you are wearing a bold dress like this keep your shoes plain so they doesn’t ruin the effect of the dress.

 purple zizag 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 Calvin Klein Tie Waist Shirtdress in this gorgeous orange shade is that dress.

If you want to get double duty out of this shirtdress you can also wear it as a top. Just pair it with black legging capris and black flats, wedges or the new block heels and you will have a cute new outfit.

 orange shirtdress for women over 40
Floral Dresses

If you don’t already have a floral dress for spring, you need to go get one.

A floral frock with a big, bold print in contrasting colors is the “it” dress this spring. Hot pink summer dresses like this pink blossom floral sundress  are feminine and pretty, but not wimpy. A very ladylike choice.

The New Boho

If you are a creative type in search of long white summer dresses for women, then take a look at this hemline, new for spring.

This Haute Hippie High Low Dress is very simple, yet anything but boring. If you’ve  got great legs then this is a way to tastefully show them off and look sexy.

high low hem summer dress
Bold Stripes 

Cotton summer dresses for women over 40 have always been around but lately stretchy jerseys have been giving them a run for their money. Not only are summer jersey dresses comfy, but they show off your curves and give you a great shape.

Bold stripes like you see in this Ralph Lauren stripe jersey dress  are in vogue and are a natural choice if you want to look casual, sporty and fun.

The Little Blue Dress

Move over Little Black Dress. The new Little Blue Dress is here.

I adore this Tina Turk Gypsym Dress with its slightly ethnic feel and gorgeous blue hues.

It reminds me of the ocean and would be a fantastic dress to wear on a Mediterranean cruise or while sitting at a seaside café having a cocktail or bite to eat. Dreamy!

cute summer dresses for women
Lace or Crochet Dresses

Many cute summer white dresses for women that are showing up on the streets have a feminine almost artsy/crafty feel. For example, this Joie Elida Crochet Dress looks almost homespun.

Take a look at how they’ve styled this dress to make it look modern and not vintage. This light dainty dress has been paired with this faded rough jean jacket so as to create a contrast that makes it thoroughly modern.

The Maxi Dress

Don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen so many maxis since the early 70′s and boy is it exciting. These pretty and hot, casual summer dresses for women are perfect for our 40+ crowd for many reasons.

They’re easy to wear, make you feel relaxed ,and cover up pale legs or any lumps and bumps below the waist that you’d rather not anyone see.

This Milly Collection Banana Leaf Dress  is one of my favorites. Try something different. Every woman needs a goddess gown like this!

orange floral maxi dress for woman over 40
The Mod Dress

This psychedelic print dress has a 60′s hippie vibe that’s just plain old fun.

If you like to wear a lot of color like I do, then this floral print surplice sundress would be great. All the “flower power” to ya!

mod summer dress

Have you bought a summer dress yet? Send us a photo of you wearing it and I’ll post it. Send photo to [email protected].

More From Fabulous After 40

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Comments, Feedback, & Opinions:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I love this article, very modern mommy.