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Louise O'Reilly

Guest Blogger

:KM Muse

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The Five Dresses StyleMeCurvy is Wearing this Summer

Shopping for summer can be overwhelming for many, but particularly when it comes to finding that perfect dress. Add curvy frames or fuller busts into the equation, and the desire to find the perfect fit can feel altogether quite frustrating.

Over the years I’ve become I’m a self-confessed dress lover (90% of my wardrobe is probably made up of dresses at this stage). I’ve worked in the fashion industry these past 14 years as a curve model and as a content creator, meaning I’ve had the opportunity to try on and test out more dress styles than I thought could ever exist. There were certainly plenty of moments of trial and error and fashion fails, but gradually, my love for dresses turned into a slight obsession.

So, I wanted to curate a list of dresses which I have personally tried and love, in the hope that it will make summer dress shopping slightly easier. These are dresses that you know will work in your wardrobe time and time again, with the most important part being to find a style and fit that you truly feel great and confident in every time. I’ve picked five different styles below to cover various events and occasions; all of which goes up to size 24 in Karen Millen Curve.

The Summer Little Black Dress

Stylemecurvy Karen Millen black dress

Channeling your inner Devil Wear Prada aesthetic, the Little Black Dress is a key starting point in any wardrobe, however finding the right style for the summer months can be tricky. I chose this specific LBD as the chiffon sleeves immediately caught my attention. Chiffon sleeves in the summer are often underrated in terms of their practicality. It’s a lightweight and breathable fabric that’s ideal for those who prefer more arm coverage without overheating – and the subtle clash of materials adds instant drama to an outfit while looking effortlessly put together.

As this particular style resembles more of a tuxedo dress, it’s a style that would cover various occasions. And by simply changing the belt to a simple black leather style and adding court shoes, you will instantly give your look a more formal workwear appeal instead.

The Perfect Occasionwear Find

StyleMeCurvy red waterfall dress

Whether you are currently on a mission to find that perfect wedding guest dress, or perhaps you want to be organised for something later on in the year, this style is both attention grabbing and a beautiful fit. By opting for a beautiful bold shade of red likes this, it makes it a perfect transitional colour that will take you from now through to the December months. By simply alternating your accessories it will turn this summer wedding guest dress into winter wedding guest with ease. High to low dress cuts I find to be incredibly practical and the real beauty of this dress is that you have both a wrap front and full skirt effect meaning it will hide any lower tummy issues whilst giving a beautiful dramatic effect as you walk.

The neckline is well thought out as it gives a modern twist to practicality with thanks to the thick straps. This gives you more options to wear any bra of your choice and the added tie waist detail will help to define your waistline, making it ideal for a broad range of body shapes. It comes in various colours on the Karen Millen website too if red isn’t your preferred colour choice.

Complete the Look

The Summer Wrap Dress

StyleMeCurvy Wrap Dress

I wanted to ensure that I found that perfect “summer reliable” dress for this post. The kind that works for that last minute summer invite, or possibly where the dress code may not be overly clear - this floral find will be the perfect safety net dress. Wrap dresses are famously known for their appeal in suiting all body types and frames, and for this reason it will be a great staple addition to anyone's wardrobe.

This piece is well thought out - a classic wrap effect with beautiful sleeves and the belt which you can tie in various ways. For the more minimalist lovers wanting to try something new, this is a great way to add print into your wardrobe as this is a large print against a neutral white base. The various colours give you plenty of options to accessorise as you please, making it quite a fuss free find. Similarly, for those planning a vacation, this style of dress looks effortlessly beautiful with flat sandals too. You also can restyle this worn open as a more kaftan effect with shorts or skinny jeans and a simple top.

Complete the Look

The Trend Find

StyleMeCurvy Karen Millen Colour Block Dress

For the trend led fashionistas we are definitely seeing a revival of late 80’s and early 90’s fashion this season including a bold injection of colour. Bright neons have had a huge moment on the catwalks this spring/summer, embracing energetic colours. Think bold fuchsia pinks, neon greens, bright yellows, for an instant injection of colour into your wardrobe. This particular dress is a bandage style teamed with this season's most sought after colours which has then been cleverly broken up by colourblocks of black to give an illusion effect and flattering silhouette. It’s a one shoulder effect which both hugs and moves with your body beautifully, yet with still a perfect amount of stretch in the material for overall comfort without losing its shape.

Complete the look

Summer Stripes

StyleMeCurvy Stripe Dress

I wouldn’t be able write a post on summer dresses without a mention to classic stripes. It’s your annual summer staple that is guaranteed to stay in fashion for years to come. There is of course the “fashion myth” that comes with it for stripes vs. curves. And it is just that, a myth. So, if you want to slowly introduce yourself into world of stripes, this particular style of dress is a great place to start. It has thick horizonal lines which creates an instant optical illusion effect. It gives the impression of a more balance silhouette and proportions as well as giving the impression of a longer, elongated torso. It's subtly interrupted by the tie waist detail for added waist definitely and the cut of the overall dress as a has a delicate a line shape to it sitting just above the knee.

For those of us that live in countries of unpredictable summers, the long sleeves are a welcomed addition to this dress. And while you can see that I’ve styled this look as a more casual summer in the city style with trainers, this can easily be restyled with heels for a more dressed up feel to it.

Complete the Look

I hope this article inspires those who might be stuck in a fashion rut or perhaps might just be looking for different dress options in their life, from practical everyday pieces to adding brighter and more uplifting colours into their wardrobe.