Build Your Summer Wardrobe: Part III

oldnavyNothing says "summer" more than mosquitoes maxi dresses!  Here Comes Gina is a huge fan of the floor-length dress and, if you're smart, you are too.  We love nothing more than throwing on a maxi dress and flips, grabbing our latest issue of Us Weekly and saysashing to our local nail place for a pedicure where we'll tweet "Us Weekly + pedicure = Best.Saturday.Ever."  My heart smiles just thinking of that scenario. The reasons to love the maxi dress are endless.  Besides the sheer simplicity of slipping into one piece of fabric, the comfort of a maxi dress is rivaled only by Splendid sweatpants.  We wear maxi dresses everywhere in the summer - shopping, running errands, to the movies, out to dinner, to parties, walking our sister's poodles.  Summer dressing simply does not get any easier than this one simple piece.

Because we can already hear the shorties who read HCG grumbling about how they "can't wear" maxi dresses, we will address your concerns now: you will most likely have to get every maxi dress you buy hemmed (we're sure most of you already know this).  Yes, shorties do look great in long dresses (HCG thinks they make you look taller).  Remember, you're not an LP, you're just short (even if you are an LP, you can still wear long dresses).   A small investment at your tailor or, if you're crafty like my friend KB, a few minutes at your sewing machine, will bring you a summer full of joy.  My girl T-Fuzz is T-I-N-Y, and she rocks maxi dresses all the time.

We did the dirty work and scouted a few maxi dresses to get the party started.  First up, two options from HCG's primary destination for maxi dresses: Old Navy.  Above, the braided strap floral print dress ($34.50 at ON stores) can easily work for a summer evening; we'd wear it with a loose side braid and a stack of fun bracelets.  Below, this floral print maxi tube dress ($34.50 at Old Navy - why the need to call this a "tube" dress, Old Navy?  Is "strapless" really that played out?) would look right at home riding The Duck around Philadelphia with your nieces on a Sunday afternoon.  It even looks loose enough to give you some room for the ice cream from Franklin Fountain you'll definitely want to get after.


Some ladies prefer dresses with more stability up top, and this surplice drawstring maxi dress ($29.50 at Old Navy; also available in black) offers wider straps and a super flattering neckline.  AND it comes in both petite and tall sizes!

blueIf you don't own a maxi dress, HCG recommends picking up a black version.  My workhorse black maxi dress is from Old Navy, and it's one of my most worn summer pieces.  This empire tank dress ($49.00 at Gap) is almost identical to my ON version: gap

And because it wouldn't be HCG without an exorbitantly expensive option completely out of everyone's price range, feel free to lust after this amazing Matthew Williamson silk printed maxi dress ($1,695 at Net-a-Porter).  Don't worry, I'm sure the quality is only slightly better than the Old Navy wares. mwOne more for good luck (Missoni woven maxi dress, $985 at Net-a-Porter): missoni

Other favorites: Staring at Stars knit open back dress, $68.00 at Urban Outfitters Pins and Needles chiffon maxi dress, $78.00 at Urban Outfitters Alternative Apparel diagonal print dress, $58.00 at Urban Outfitters Pocket Front Maxi Dress, $24.80 at F21 Jersey Tube Sundown Gown (tube gown?  C'mon, ON), $29.50 at Old Navy Shirred Racerback gown ($62.40 at J.Crew)