How To Say Yes (And No) To The Midi Sundress

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner! It’s time to plan your summer wardrobe and we (women over 40) should get excited about the midi sundress trend this season. They should become your best friend because they are fantastic! These dresses are long, loose and flowy and they will cover up our knees (unlike shorts). That’s great! So you can pop on any of them, right? Wrong! I took a look and some of the midi sundress styles this season are just not appropriate for women over 40, and I’ll show you what to avoid. But the good news is many of them are perfect so I’ll show you what to buy.

midi sundress BP., Silvia Tcherassi, Nightcap

Midi Sundresse Styles To Avoid

Lets get the “No’s” out of the way. Most if this is common sense and if you are a woman over 40, you know your body type and what you can and cannot wear. Yet sometimes, even though your body may still look young, you really should not wear it.


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1. Avoid cutouts and backless styles. Strapless, however, is your call and can work if you have a smooth neckline and shoulders. If you can wear a strapless bra with the sun dress than go for it!

2. Avoid skinny straps, and skinny strap halter styles. This is tricky because you may think you CAN wear them but they really look too youthful. I ran into this issue because I was still in great shape in my 40s but my face did not “go” with the look. Check yourself in the full-length dressing mirror and you’ll know what I mean and understand that you need to say NO! If you are questioning if yu can get away with it, you already know the answer. Listen to your gut.

3. Avoid the Junior’s department. Here is where you will find flimsy and sheer fabrics, smocking, super low V-necks, backless, sideless, midriff cutouts, crochet, and all sort of crazy design ideas and embellishments. They are fun for women under 30, but not appropriate if you are over 40.

4. Avoid girly ruffles, eyelet fabrics and tiny prints. Ruffles are everywhere this season, but too many ruffles, especially over the shoulders, along with tiny floral prints will remind you if an old peasant dress (and a bad fashion era gone by).

Midi Sundresse Styles To Buy

1. Bare your shoulders in thicker straps, higher necklines or thick strap halter styles. A good general rule of thumb is if you can wear a bra with it, than it will probably work for you if you are over 40.

2. Keep the lines clean and simple. Too many ruffle embellishments will look too youthful and like you grabbed your 16 year old daughter’s dress out of her closet.

3. Look for solid colors, stripe and patterns that flatter your figure. It is a sun dress after all, so don’t be afraid to go bold, bright or wear a wild pattern you love. Find sundresses fabrics that are crisp, and not clingy or sheer. This way you will stay cute and will not miss those shorts you really can’t wear any longer.

The Midi Sundress: What to Avoid and What to Buy!

midi sundress black and white gingham no and yes

The straps are a bit skinny and there are way too many ruffles on this J. Crew Dabble tiered gingham dress, yet the same fabric this Rejina Pyo Lily dress works for women over 40 because of its sleeker asymmetric gathered skirt and thicker straps, even with the bows!

midi sundress red floral no and yes

The straps are too skinny, the fabric is thin, the cut is too low and the tight bodice make this Free People Beau Print Slipdress too youthful for women over 40. Instead, try this loser fitting Rag & Bone Zoe Floral Dress with thicker straps and wear a strapless bra.

midi sundress stripes no and yes

The smocked bodice and knee-revealing high slit legs on this Rip Curl Soulmate off the shoulder sun dress look way too Junior for women over 40. However this halter style Nordstrom 1901 V-Neck stripe dress has a flattering top and more structured styling in a crisper fabric to keep you equally cool if you are over 40.

Here’s one last little tip you may like. If you are wearing a sun dress to the beach or pool over a swim suit, you can throw most of my “what to avoid rules” out the window! Sheer, skinny straps, backless and more will work as long as you’re at the beach or a pool and wearing it as a cover up. It’s alright if some of your swimsuit or straps show, just make sure the dress and colors blend or work well with the lines of your swimsuit. But you still may want to avoid any Pollyanna ruffles.

You may also like To Wear Or Not To Wear Distressed Denim Jeans and The Off-The-Shoulder Top...THAT Is The Question!

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