Four Ways to Style Your Summer Dress

Our wardrobe philosophy is to buy timeless pieces you love and can wear and wear again! There is no better fashion essential than a beautiful summer dress that is anything but black and boring.

Choose a signature dress that will be the star of your closet — one that you can style around to create an outfit for any summer occasion. We show you how…



Our pick is the Gabriela Hearst’s Martha summer dress. Colour? Check. Skin? Check. The open-back adds a fresh and sexy spin to the classic full-skirt silhouette. Crafted in Italy, the dress features an all-over broderie-anglaise embroidered herringbone pattern.  

Whether you’re going out-of-town or you’re out-and-about-town, here are four ways to style the Martha. 


For a Trip to the Beach…

Pair your summer dress with strappy sandals and layer over a simple bikini for a beach appropriate outfit that is bound to turn heads. A delicate gold necklace adds a little seaside shimmer, while an oversized tote completes the look.

Summer forecast: Don’t forget your sunhat and SPF too!

Panama Hat – Navy Silk Scarf

Club Sunglasses – Beach

Luca Jouel – Little Luca
Ebon Bloem Necklace

Ultra Light Daily UV Defence
Mineral Sunscreen

Gabriela Hearst
Martha Dress

Crossover Bikini Top – Atlantic Blue

Florence – Green & Grey

Gabriela Hearst
Lana Sandal – Python

Mini Bikini Bottom – Costa Rica


For a Picnic in the Park…

We love nothing better than a relaxing picnic in the park on the weekends. Be inspired by Mother Nature and pair your dress with flora-and-fauna-inspired accessories.  Choose light, contrasting colours for your shoes and handbag that help you tap into that tranquil vibe.

Summer forecast: When it gets a little chilly, throw on a light denim jacket. Update the dress’s feminine silhouette with a jacket that is just a bit boxy and tomboyish.  

Mandala Collection Bracelet – White

Natural Indigo Pinstripe Boxy Jacket

Citrus 24h Roll-On Deodorant

House of Garrard
Enchanted Palace Jewelled Bug Ring

Gabriela Hearst
Martha Dress

Mayshad Paris
Large Timeless Bag – Henna Green

Seascape Island Apothecary
Refresh Hand & Nail Cream

Espadrille Nappa Pink

Calla Charm – White/Gold/Green


For a Rooftop Party…

The right accessories and makeup can help you take that dress from day to night. Dramatic drop earrings with colourful gems help draw attention to that sweetheart neckline, while strappy sandals do wonders to elongate legs. Stand out in the summer night with a brightly-coloured clutch.  

Summer forecast: Keep your lips moisturised all night with a tinted lip glaze, and turn heads when you walk by with a summery spritz on your skin.  

Lisa Franklin
Pro Effect Luminescent Base

Stephen Webster
Magnipheasant Feathers Long Earrings

Nourish-mint Rehydrating
Lip Glaze – Pearl Rose

Stephen Webster
Thorn Stem Crossover Cuff – Rose Gold

Gabriela Hearst
Martha Dress

Aitch Aitch
Ella Clutch – Teal

Aura-Soma Pegasus Parfum
Parfum 56

Nicholas Kirkwood
Penelope Pearl Sandals

Cornerstones Plain Cocktail Ring


When Summer is Over… 

We know you don’t want to put that dress back into the closet just yet. To wear your summer dress well into fall, turn that summer dress into a pinafore. Style it with a cotton blouse layered underneath, preferably one with textures, ruffles, and interesting sleeves. Finish the outfit with bold jewellery and more heavyweight accessories that show how bold and confident you are going into fall.

Post-summer forecast: Forget the pedicure. Toughen up the look with an edgy ankle boot that’s perfect for the chillier weather.

Forevermark Setting Circlet Stud Earrings

Berry Red Tinted Lip Balm

Betty Spectacles – Bark

Jem x India Mahdavi 
Voids Ring

Gabriela Hearst
Martha Dress

Beulah London
Jasmine Organic Cotton Ruffle Blouse

Small Yemaja – Blue Zebra Blesbok

Camilla Elphick
Electric Dream Boots

IWC Schaffhausen
Da Vinci Automatic 36


If you enjoyed this, you might like to read How to Build a Lean Wardrobe with Lee Vosburgh of Style Bee or Wedding Guest Style Guide: Making The Most of Your Outfit Post-Wedding

Sophie Corfan