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Summer is the time of year when tops get smaller, toes get manicured, the days get longer and the beach dress makes its way back into our hearts. Whether you're a beach bum or just getting away for the weekend, a beach dress is a staple in any wardrobe. With so many options in stores, what makes a great beach dress?
Lightweight and Breathable
There's nothing like looking fabulous while feeling comfortable.To maximize your comfort, make sure your dress material is made out of a light, fluid, breathable fabric. Think lightweight organic cotton, linen, viscose or bamboo. As the day progresses and the sun gets warmer, you'll be glad you're not carrying around excess garment weight. A lightweight dress will also help keep you cool, which is a benefit for a hot day at the beach.
Be careful of falling in love with a dress that wasn't meant to be. Not all summer dresses are suitable for every body type. If you're busty, try to find a dress with support and preferably with straps. If you're plus size, find a dress that isn't too snug, shows off your curves and emphasizes your waist. If you're petite, go for a shorter hemline, which will add length to your frame. If you're tall, the world is your oyster; play with short and long hemlines, but make sure your dress doesn't hit you at an awkward length.
Low Maintenance and Easy to Wash
The beach is a relaxed and low-maintenance atmosphere, and your clothing should be easy to care for, too. Suntan lotion, hotdogs, greasy chips and ice cream are just a few potential stains resulting from a day at the beach. Make sure your dress is machine washable and can be easily laundered so it's ready for another day in the sand. Avoid silks, chiffon and satins, as they have a tendency to quickly absorb oils and often require dry-cleaning.
When you choose your new beach dress, make it multitask. As the days start to get cooler, could you throw a lightweight top over your dress and turn it into a beach skirt? Could you pair it with a cardigan and a belt for a beach-side dinner? What about a blazer and a pair of tights? Pick a dress style that lets you answer "yes" to all those questions.