My Take on Long Sleeve Dresses for Warm Weather

As you may have noticed from my outfits in this blog, dressing for sun-protection calls for a very specific type of maxi dress: the ones with long sleeves. I own a lot of these dresses because they’re the only ones that offer maximum coverage, but not everyone can appreciate the fashion proportions at first.

I understand this whole issue with fashion proportions. For those who aren’t aware, there’s a theory that goes, if you’re wearing a long-sleeved top, keep your bottoms short. Similarly, if you’re wearing a top that bares more skin, like sleeveless tops, then longer bottoms work better.

This is obviously not an option with me, but I’d love to dispel the whole theory that being effectively stylish lies in proportions—not always! Being stylish also lies in beautiful prints, silhouettes, and fabrics. So when I dress for maximum coverage, I like to keep these other aspects of clothing in mind. The more tasteful the rendering of these other details of clothing are, the more stylish and sophisticated the overall outfit is.

Case in point is this Emilio Pucci long-sleeved, printed silk maxi dress. I love how soft and cool the silk is against the skin—this fabric is moderately effective in protecting the skin from UV rays, and when it’s paired with a layer of sun screen underneath, it becomes excellent for sun protection. Silk also lends flow and lightness to the dress, so it holds some shape but also billows slightly around the body—it’s the dreamiest kind of dress for summertime.

A silky belt is tied around the waist to cinch it and keep it in shape. There’s also a slit on the front part of the dress, which provides good ventilation and shows off a bit of leg. The flowy silhouette and the print makes the dress festive enough for a daytime event, like an outdoor lunch.

I paired this dress with Jimmy Choo Viola suede tassel heels, which are undoubtedly glamorous. The taupe color makes it muted enough to go with the funky print of the dress, but the tassel embellishment makes the heels stunning enough on their own. These babies can transition from an outdoor lunch to a black-tie event!

Caftan Dress is a Must Have for Summer

I like to think that modern feminine dressing is not limited to the idea of flaunting your figure; I think that it embraces a lot more silhouettes and styles than the body-hugging ones. By all means, a woman who wears a slinky dress, or shows off her skin in a swimsuit, is every bit a woman. But so is a woman in a sweater and skinny jeans, or a caftan dress like this.

You know that I go for clothes that offer full coverage, but there are times when the maxi dresses I wear has this much fabric, and this overwhelming a silhouette. If anything, caftan dresses are among the most luxurious pieces I have in my wardrobe—it’s a must-have for every woman for so many reasons.

To start with, it’s no ordinary maxi dress. This one that I’m wearing is made by one of my favorite designers, Yuliya Magdych, and is a summertime favorite of mine. The designer hails from Ukraine, and exemplifies Ukraine embroidery in her collections—Yuliya upholds the belief that the graphic designs are symbolical of the person’s fate. My dress features a lovely, white embroidery that blossoms across the balloon sleeves, neck and placket.

While the dress looks heavy because of the flow of fabric, it is lightweight in real life because of its pure, linen material. The style is a cross of European and Eastern designs that exudes charm, and I love how Yuliya designed it with choice, sexy parts of women to highlight. The sleeves sharply outline the shoulders before flaring out and down the arms in a blouson style; a tonal self-tie sash cinches the waist and creates a snug, wraparound look, and the hem of the dress is asymmetrical to show off an underrated, but undoubtedly sexy body part: the ankles.

I accessorized this caftan dress with a fun straw hat and edgy mirrored sunglasses. I could gush all day about how comfortable the dress was, and how elegant it made me feel. I adore caftan dresses for this reason, and I absolutely think they are as feminine as slinky summer dresses. Because if there’s anything that feminine dressing is about, it’s about women being empowered by whatever they choose to wear.

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Tasseled Maxi Dress for Sun Sensible Lifestyle

I underwent a little bit of a heartbreak when I realized that committing to a sun sensible lifestyle meant that my wardrobe will be limited to full-length pieces. That means that none of those cute camisoles, sophisticated culottes, or short playsuits will make it into my day closet; I would have to start dressing for maximum coverage. What I discovered for my kind of lifestyle, though, is that the fashion industry has endless, stylish options for any dressing needs I had—I just really had to be open to the challenge and learn the rules of the style game.

One trick I learned? If you’re stocking up on full-length pieces, vamp it up with prints, patterns, trimmings, and inventive silhouettes. That way, you keep things playful and interesting.

One case in point I’ve had is this Dodo Bar Or tasseled maxi dress. It’s a breezy maxi dress made from black and white cotton-gauze, with a geometric op-art print that is no short of enchanting. It’s incredibly detailed, and I love every bit of it, from the silhouette-defining tassel trimmings to the gathered skirt. Needless to say, this dress has officially become my favorite for the summer, and I can’t rave enough about it!

The dress is already a showstopper, but I wanted to maximize it by pairing it with dark Celine sunglasses and a skull-embellished, black cowboy Bullhide hat. I wore it to lunch on the beach, and then a local town center for a casual shopping session with some of my friends.

I always get so ecstatic when I find something this intensely stylish for my sun sensible wardrobe. It doesn’t hurt that it’s versatile, too; I can definitely see myself wearing a lot more frequently and styling it in new ways in the future.

Sun Sensible Style Dodo Bar Or


Photographed by Max VanderNoot