The Perfect Summer Dress?

For me, every summer is spent in dresses. Breezy one-piece dressing is my jam, I wear bike shorts underneath for modesty and to prevent chub rub, throw on some sandals, maybe a necklace if I’m feeling fancy, and head out to the farmer’s market, to run errands, a cookout or most anything on my schedule. For work, I’ll top with a cardigan to adhere to dress code and battle the arctic breeze from the A/C.

But it’s hard to find such dresses. They’re too short, the neckline plunges too much, and more often than not they can’t be worn with a standard bra. So when I find one that fits the bill I get excited… and I of COURSE have to share it with you!

Old Navy Cross Front Dress

Meet my new summer dress, the Old Navy Cross-Front Dress. What makes it great:

  • Solids and prints available, and they are wearable classic colors and prints!
  • Knee-length and maxi length versions available
  • Regular, petite, and tall lengths (I bought the exact dress pictured above in Large Petite)
  • Straps that cover a standard bra in front, and in back
  • Front not too low (I did pin it closed, some may prefer a camisole)
  • Plenty of room for my bust
  • Machine washable (I did gentle cycle in a lingerie bag and hung to dry)
  • Faux wrap waistband so it won’t loosen
  • Lots of coverage in the wrap for modesty even on a windy day
  • Less than $40.00
  • Makes my curvy figure look great!

Have you tried this dress? What do you think? Have you found any perfect summer dresses, if so share with us in the comments!

46 Comments

  1. crtfly
    June 27, 2014 / 4:14 pm

    Allie,

    I ordered and received the maxi version in blue. The blue is beautiful and the dress looked good on me. Unfortunately there is a defect in the fabric. Across the right breast area, there is a noticeable, unattractive stripe created by the fabric being thinner/different weave than the rest of the dress. The factory should have rejected the dress. I don’t know how it got out the door.

    I don’t want to exchange it and take a chance on having to do a second round of returns. I am really disappointed. It is a lovely dress and perfect except for the fabric glitch. I do hope that the other women who ordered it did not have quality control issues.

    Chris

    • June 27, 2014 / 4:16 pm

      Oh that SUCKS! I now also have the short one in the blue print and no issue, but I’ve had similar happen with Old Navy. Call up their customer service, they may be able to do something like send knowing the other is on the way back. Good luck!

  2. Carolyn Graf
    June 25, 2014 / 6:13 pm

    I know this is an older post- but do you think this would possibly work for a nursing mom?

    • June 26, 2014 / 9:16 am

      Totally, the top is a true wrap, there’s a good hem/binding on the edges so it won’t get all stretched out from being slid over, but still stretchy enough to do it easily.

      • Carolyn Graf
        June 26, 2014 / 8:05 pm

        Sweet!

  3. June 16, 2014 / 2:57 pm

    That looks great and I bet it looks better on you than on that skinny model. I’m very fond of dresses too – Marks and Spencer in England have really cottoned on to the sleeves, hemline, not super-clevage thing and are making some great dresses.

  4. Sandra
    June 16, 2014 / 11:36 am

    Woot woot! THANK YOU! I have been looking for a summer dress forever and haven’t found anything – I’ve just ordered this today and it’s even on sale! YEAY!

  5. crtfly
    June 15, 2014 / 2:23 pm

    Allie,
    Thanks for posting a picture of you wearing the dress on Instagram. You look every bit as wonderful in it as I had pictured. I have to order the blue maxi one!
    Chris

  6. Tara in Austin
    June 15, 2014 / 11:46 am

    Hey, I just wanted to say that you’re my inspiration this summer! I have a nasty bout of plantar’s fasciitis right now and *was* feeling sorry for myself (will I need inserts? Does this mean ugly shoes? How will I work out? etc, etc) and I thought, “For heaven’s sake, Alison went through a helluva spring and looked great doing it; so can I.” This may mean changes (eg, I may have to take up swimming..ugh, swim caps) and I may have to put long-term gain ahead of short term stuff (resting the leg means really resting the leg!) but I’m going to keep coming back here to remind myself that the only way is forward. Anyway, thanks for all you’re doing in the blogosphere.

    • June 16, 2014 / 9:18 am

      Aww my best to you Tara. It IS frustrating and at times depressing but hey it’s not the end of the world, it’s only clothes, and it’s a great way to reassess priorities AND the wardrobe! And DO rest, it’s so tempting to go go go but it’s the only way to truly heal and has such longterm benefits. <3

  7. Fawn Mulcahy
    June 15, 2014 / 11:11 am

    So great to have you back to blogging! I have missed your posts! Thanks so much for the tip, I have popped online and ordered one. Will report back.

  8. GeorgiainAR
    June 14, 2014 / 6:13 pm

    Welcome back! I am sorry about your ordeal – best wishes for speedy recovery! I grabbed that Old Navy dress, can’t wait for it to arrive!

  9. V.
    June 14, 2014 / 5:57 am

    Last year I bought a short crinkled linen dress from Azulsol on Etsy and unfortunately had no chance to wear it. Now, when superheat has come back to Italy, I am incredibly happy with the purchase 🙂 The dress is flattering, low maintenance, covers bra straps (I am not very busty, but still need a bra), allows body to breath… Jenny is very helpful and will accomodate any special requests. I asked for a slightly shorter dress and shorter straps – no problem, I got it. Now I am thinking to buy a white one in addition to my current natural sand color.

  10. CA_Powell
    June 13, 2014 / 9:28 pm

    I want to see you in it!

  11. crtfly
    June 13, 2014 / 4:48 pm

    Allie,

    First of all, I am so thrilled you are back! I have been following you on Instagram, but it’s not enough Allie. Honestly, I didn’t expect you to be back at work and back blogging so soon. I think it’s an indication of how well you are doing medically.

    I love the dress. The black one you pictured above looks so Allie. Went to check Instagram to see if you are modeling it. Sadly, no. Please post a picture of you wearing it – soon. it might just be the perfect summer dress. Oh, and you didn’t mention that it is rayon. That’s a big plus in my book. I am always comfortable in rayon in super hot weather. For me, at least, rayon is a fabric that drapes beautifully on me.
    I want the maxi version in the blue. I’m almost ready to purchase.

    Thanks Allie. Allie is back so there is no longer a disturbance in the force.

    Chris

    • June 13, 2014 / 2:48 pm

      I remember that post (I’m a lurker!) and it looked FANTASTIC on you, I didn’t even realize it was the same dress. Thank you for linking, great feedback on the length of the maxi! 🙂

      • crtfly
        June 13, 2014 / 5:07 pm

        Does she look incredible in the dress?! Another thing I like about the dress is that it is a simple and classic design that looks good on a variety of people – even plus size folks like me.

  12. bubu
    June 13, 2014 / 2:37 pm

    So glad you’re back! I’m with you 100% on the summer dress – they are perfect. I also want to thank you, because you convinced me that short women really can also wear maxi dresses (i always thought I would drown in them) so I finally tried one on and loved it — from Lands End: http://www.landsend.com/products/womens-stripe-fit-and-flare-maxi-dress/id_267268_48. Even more shocked is that it somehow makes me look a bit taller rather than stumpier! It’s not on sale right now but they always have various discounts running and it is the most comfy summer dress i’ve found – and machine washable, can wear a regular bra, all that good stuff to.
    You rock – welcome back, so glad you are better! And congrats on that well-deserved profile on YouLookFab- psyched to see you there and then also find out you were back to blogging!

  13. Thea
    June 13, 2014 / 2:14 pm

    Bike shorts!? Any leads on these for us plus size gals? I’d so love to wear more skirts and dresses but that chub rub…..ugh!

  14. nannersp
    June 13, 2014 / 1:26 pm

    I have this in black and pink! Had to take them both to a tailor for this Shorty McShorterson, but I love them!

    • nannersp
      June 13, 2014 / 1:27 pm

      Oh, wait. I just realized this was the short version, which I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THEY HAD! I have the two maxis. I might need to get the short ones.

  15. Galena
    June 13, 2014 / 10:51 am

    These dresses are so comfortable, it’s like wearing pajamas! I have one of the ones with the lower back/thin straps, and some bra styles might show in the back (fair warning) — there are version of this dress though that have a full coverage back! I am a busty lady, and the front of the dress I have is very boob-city. Again, this is one of the dresses with the thinner straps/more open cut; the more “modest” versions won’t be so cleavage-happy. A cami underneath on that particular style WILL show through in the back so you’d need to pin the front if you’re trying to control what gets shown to the world. Or you could get a coordinating full-coverage tank to wear underneath, where it would be obvious that it’s supposed to show.

  16. Kaitlin
    June 13, 2014 / 10:22 am

    Plus it looks like it would be nursing friendly!

    • June 13, 2014 / 10:29 am

      It IS! Reviews on it say that nursing mothers love it and it is a true wrap top making it perfect!

  17. Anna
    June 13, 2014 / 9:57 am

    I am SO happy you are back!

  18. lexalemmy
    June 13, 2014 / 9:28 am

    Just a little tip I love: when things are too low cut, I like to wear a bandeau. Now, I am too busty a lady for a bandeau to EVER offer support or be a bra (HAHAHA) but the bandeau is better than a pin (which you can often see) or a tank (which will often leave a visible line around the waist and roll up). They are especially perfect for cross front dresses like this; just a band of fabric for modesty.

    • June 13, 2014 / 9:31 am

      BRILLIANT!!!!! I never thought of that, but it is perfect. I have a half cami from Second Base ( http://www.shopsecondbase.com/ ) that is great because it ends right at the bottom of the bra, but no straps would be fantastic. Totally getting one Lexa!

  19. kpwathen
    June 13, 2014 / 9:26 am

    I want the maxi length one! I tried to find it in store last weekend and they were sold out. Going to have to buy it online! Nothing beats a wrap style, especially when it gives a modesty fit. Super cute! Now I DEFINITELY have to get it! It’s a sign!

    • June 13, 2014 / 9:29 am

      LOL I’m tempted to now get it in another color AND the maxi! Hope you find your size online!

  20. Grace Mitchell
    June 13, 2014 / 9:21 am

    That exact ON dress has been in my shopping cart for several days. I’m going to take your word for it and press buy today!

    • June 13, 2014 / 9:29 am

      Some of the reviews on the ON site scared me but I figured if it sucks, I have a shop near home to return. Worked out great, hope you like it too!

  21. June 13, 2014 / 9:09 am

    I love dresses from REI because they’re so easy to wear. I got this one – okay, it’s not under $40 but I used my member rebate and a coupon and spent very little – in red and I’m really happy with it. You can’t tell from the website but it’s a really nice shade, the neckline is flattering but doesn’t gape even if I bend over, and the skirt is the perfect length and flares just the way I like it. http://www.rei.com/product/827557/horny-toad-oolong-sleeveless-dress

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