Outfits of the Season: Surviving summer work

Ginger in Circus Print
Pinup Couture Ginger dress in Circus print.

Since I live and work in a region where temperatures shoot well above 100 degrees Farenheit, it’s always difficult for me to balance summer comfort with professional elegance. Some days it just isn’t possible to trudge across scorching hot parking lots and up four flights of stairs in uncomfortable heels and sweltering Spanx, so I try to mix things up with lightweight fabric swing sundresses, white summer cardigans for coverage and for their reflective and sunscreening properties, flats, and “flatform” shoes.

Kork-Ease Ava
Kork-Ease Ava platforms.

Flatforms, if you haven’t heard, are apparently this season’s “it” shoe, combining the extra lift and leg-lengthening properties of a platform without adding the steep pitch of a regular high wedge shoe. Kork-Ease has manufactured their original “Ava” platform since 1953, a shoe that adds 3″ of height with a mere 1.5″ of pitch. With its smooth leather upper and suede platform, this one’s cute and contemporary enough for the trend-riders, vintagey enough for ’50s dolls in search of sensible summer shoes, and flashy enough for ’70s throwbacks wanting to look a little disco. According to their website, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute chose the original Kork-Ease platform sandal for its Landmark Shoe Collection, citing the shoe’s influential role in the 1970s platform craze.

Chelsea in Cora Print
Bernie Dexter Chelsea sundress in “Cora” print and Kork-Ease “Ava” platforms.

Anyway, I’ve practically lived in these shoes since I bought them (Ava in black) in early April; I can’t recommend them enough! If you crave a shorter platform or a higher pitched platform with a similar look, try the Myrna or Bette styles, respectively.

Two midcentury summer dresses that work fabulously with my Kork-Ease Avas are Bernie Dexter’s Chelsea sundress in Cora print and Fifi dress in Cherry Blossom print. Lightweight and comfortable, these dresses are also unspeakably beautiful.

Designer and pinup queen Bernie Dexter utilizes unique prints and authentic lines to create convincing midcentury impressions. The “Cora” print features a beautiful coral-backed chinoiserie pattern, while “Cherry Blossom” is a full springtime scene printed on an adorable dress.

Bernie Dexter Fifi dress in Cherry Blossom
Bernie Dexter Fifi dress in Cherry Blossom and Kork-Ease Ava platforms.

When topped with a white cardigan (I like Talbots’ offerings in this department), these dresses make a nifty retro statement!

Pinup Couture’s Ginger is a halter-style sundress with a comfortable swing skirt. I have both the ocean blue and new circus print versions of this dress, both of which look and fit wonderfully. The fabric is sturdy without adding to the discomfort of hot days, while the lace trim and bow detail add a bit of formality to an otherwise very casual style. The circus print is a warm pink, accented with cream, black, and a darker pink.

While I’m normally a Made-in-USA kind of girl when it comes to my dresses, I did cave and purchase the Talbot’s cotton voile Yacht-Stripe dress in navy blue and white:

Talbots Yacht-Stripe Dress
Talbots Yacht-Stripe dress in navy and white.
Talbots Yacht-Stripe Dress
Talbots Yacht-Stripe dress in navy and white.

The sleeveless, boat-necked bodice fits comfortably while the fluffy skirt falls perfectly – without a petticoat!

Accessorized with Pinup Couture/Deadly Dames vinyl belts, the dress lookis very vintage and definitely work-friendly!

7 Replies to “Outfits of the Season: Surviving summer work”

  1. You look fabulous! I’m especially fond of the Bernie Dexter Fifi dress in Cherry Blossom (what a mouthful)!

    It is stunning and superbly flattering.

  2. I never would have looked at the Yacht Stripe dress twice based off the photos on the website! You convinced me to go check it out, and now I have one! Awesome rec πŸ™‚

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