7 Summer Dresses To Make You Look Modern

Swing Dresses Rule!

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 we’re seeing many dresses with softer, looser shapes in bright, happy colors and vibrant pastels. There’s definitely a  feeling of optimism in fashion. –  a desire to look pretty after months of being cooped up. But we still want to feel comfy too. Here are some of this season’s best summer dresses for women who want an easy,  one-and-done way to look modern.



Love them or hate them, loose, flowy swing dresses (which are everywhere) are the ultimate in comfort! Slip one on, and you don’t have to worry about those extra few pounds you may have gained during Covid. I love the vibrant coral color of this flounce shift dress because it is cheery and energizing -just what we need to get us through this last stretch.


Always Lovely in Linen

When temperatures soar, you need something light and easy for the office. This pretty side tie-waist midi dress is relaxed and cool, with a hint of linen. This is a dress that proves less is more. It’s the perfect choice when you want to dress up or dress down. White accessories make this sky blue look dreamy.


That’s A Wrap!

Here’s a chic summer dress that is modern and minimalist.  I love the clean lines on the sleeveless mock neck wrap dress. The beautiful layered effect works wonders to conceal and flatter in all the right places. This butter yellow color is so fresh and summery too.


Beautiful Boho Maxi

Boho is always popular, especially in some, which is why a dress like this gets snapped up fast.  Some women past a certain age may prefer not to show a lot of legs, which is why maxis are one the most popular styles of summer dresses for women over 40… This sleeveless gauze-tiered maxi dress is made from a breathable cotton gauze fabric that’s lighter-than-air! Wear it to a concert or save it for a backyard barbecue or pool party.


Great Day Dress

Summer dresses are often either very casual or very dressy. This floral print pleated flare dress has a versatility that’s often hard to find in summer dresses, in that you can easily dress it up or down. Toss on heels, a wrap or a cardigan, and pearl earrings for a dressy look. Or a denim jacket, flip flops, and rattan drop earrings for a look that’s on the casual side.


One-Shoulder Beauty

Not only is this bow one-shoulder maxi dress beautiful, but it’s also surprisingly comfortable thanks to the soft and stretchy matte jersey fabric. A sleek one-shoulder and a pretty bow add a sexy touch and give this dress a modern vibe.


Feminine Florals

‘Tis the season to bloom! A floral print comes alive on this delightful square neck flare midi dress. A cotton-linen blend makes this dress ultra-comfy, and a ruffle trim makes it romantic for summer.

I’m dying to try that orange dress #1. How about you?

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27 thoughts on “7 Summer Dresses To Make You Look Modern

  1. I am going to go date myself here. I thought I felt as if I was paging through an old Vogue pattern catalog from the 1960s and 1970s. I liked the dress styles then and now. Dress up or down with accessories and footwear selections from day to night. Of course, these styles will travel well based on the fabric selection.

    Kudos, Deborah! Stay well.

    P. S. With some tweaking of the hairstyle and makeup, Deborah and you’d look smashing with gray hair. I’ve been embracing my salt n pepper for 15 years.

  2. Great dresses. I wish I could find a petite midi or maxi. I’m 5’2″ and a size 2. So hard!! Sometimes I can buy a midi, which will be a maxi for me!! Ha ha. Some have been altered, but I prefer not to do that.

  3. I like the floral Maxi and the pink floral. I must have a thing for flowers these days. Honestly, I’ve never thought about how my upper arms look, as most others have commented here. And living in Arizona, being sleeveless is necessary for survival during the summer with 118+ degree heat. I’m now wondering if I should be worried about my arms!!

  4. I’d love to see more knee-length dresses. I’m not particularly fond of my upper thigh area and, at 5’7″, find so many dresses too short for me to feel comfortable wearing. And though my arms are excellent, I’m thin, so I prefer a bit of a sleeve. Summer dresses that work for me and are flatter are tough to find!

    1. I have the opposite problem. I am short and hate my knee area, so with most dresses being short, most of them do not work for me. A perfect midi length that doesn’t look like something your grandmother would wear is what I want.

  5. I wish I felt comfortable wearing shorter dresses, but I would feel so exposed. I don’t want to wear leggings in the summer – too hot. What can I wear under these dresses to feel more confident?

  6. I just looked at your article “9 Summer Dresses to Make You Look Modern”, and wow – not one model anywhere near 40 and certainly not over. It 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.

  7. I am 71. I love some of the sleeveless styles. My upper arms are the same age. I have a lot of thin chiffon jackets in bright colors and prints and lose 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 knees; they still look pretty good.

  8. Hello,

    I enjoy reading this newsletter; I often have 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 need to look at 15 years old wearing them? (especially the one in the polka dot dress) I’ll admit that some models look a bit older (mid 20’s maybe?), but puh-lease, I think most of us would like to see clothes worn by women at least 40 and 50. Plenty of ladies in that age group are fit, do not look frumpy, and look good in almost anything. And yes, they are fashion models. I realize that you most likely get pictures from the designer’s website or other online sources, but why can’t we ask these designers/manufacturers to use healthy-looking 40s 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!

      1. I agree. Also, I live in the Caribbean and would like to find some calm and attractive clothing to wear here to help keep us comfortable.

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

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

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

  11. 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!

    1. 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.

  12. 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 & have fun changing your look by changing your sleeves.

  13. 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.

    1. I can relate, but I 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 the daytime. And for cooler evenings, they look great paired with a jean or a leather jacket.

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