How to Style a Sundress | A Classic Summer Outfit Formula

Summer is my favorite time to dress because I get to show off the colorful and feminine side of my wardrobe. I live in floral sundresses that are easy to throw on and accessorize. Looking chic and put together is effortless when I use this simple and fool-proof outfit formula. It's so easy that I almost feel like I'm cheating whenever I get compliments. The best part is these casual summer outfits are always very comfortable.

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How to style a midi dress. French-inspired summer outfit guide.Pin
Pictured: Christy Dawn The Dawn Dress, Gentle Monster sunglasses, Etsy raffia bag, Castañer espadrilles

I definitely have timeless summer staples that I wear every year. Most days I throw on a midi sundress, slip on comfortable summer shoes, toss my stuff in a raffia bag, and I'm out the door.

Easy Summer Style Formula:

Sundress + Raffia Bag + Summer Shoes + Sunglasses

Vintage-Inspired Sundresses

Whether it's a mini, midi, or maxi sundress, choose a classic, vintage-inspired style that flatters the figure from sustainable brands or secondhand stores. I like my summer outfits to recall laid-back California, Italian summers, or resort vacations, even if I'm not in any of these places.


Check out my master list of 30 Ethical & Sustainable Summer Dress Brands

Straw or Raffia Bag

If I had to choose between a straw or a raffia bag, I'd go with raffia because I find it to be more durable. If you know how to crochet, you can even make your own raffia bags using this Etsy seller's crochet patterns on PDF.

Large straw totes might start breaking with constant use as mine did, so I recently invested in a woven leather tote, which seems strong enough to last a long time. I wouldn't bother buying straw bags from high-end designer brands because you're just paying crazy markups for logos.


Comfortable Summer Shoes

You can wear pretty much any shoe with sundresses: sandals, espadrilles, sneakers, loafers, mules, mary janes, ballet flats, even boots. If you want to wear sneakers, go with white or beige for a cleaner look. The shoes I avoid are Birkenstocks and Crocs. There are chic options that are just as comfortable, such as Dear Frances' Tye Slides. If you want to dress up your outfit, you can easily swap in shoes or boots with higher heels.



Choose a retro style so your sunglasses are classic enough to wear every summer.


Optional Accessories

I don't like to go heavy on the accessories during summer. Maybe some dainty gold jewelry, a cute hair clip, or a scrunchie to keep the hair up. The most useful accessory is SPF.


Check out my other timeless ethical outfit ideas.

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