Lately, I’ve been looking for simple cotton dresses that will be great for layering when the weather cools down. Why is it soooo hard to find cotton dresses that are inexpensive? Everywhere I went on Saturday either didn’t have any cotton dresses or they were in the $100 range. Sorry, but I didn’t realize “simple” came with a $100 price tag. Maybe it’s a fluke but based on where I live it seems impossible to find cotton items on the affordable side. Since when did cotton become so trendy that wearing it become a status thing over a comfort thing? Part of it has to do with countries using child labor and pesticides in their cotton production so now we have “fair trade” for cotton clothing which makes cotton production more expensive and companies more likely to use synthetic fabrics. This leads us to organic cotton clothing or “ethical fashion” which is now trendy and something I’m for, but it also means that apparently most cotton dresses carry the same price tag as a decent pair of shoes.
If you go to the homepage for Cotton: The Fabric of Our Lives you see Emmy Rossum’s closet and you’re given items from designers like Oscar de la Renta, Elie Tahari, and Monique Lhuillier. You have the option to shop different price ranges but the cheaper the item the more synthetic fabric. I mean come on, I’m about to have grad school debt up to my eyeballs and Cotton: The Fabric of Our Lives is mocking me with designer duds – (I know I post items with hefty price tags but that’s for the dream wardrobe you guys, you know, when I become all successful and shit). But I thought Cotton was on our side! Sure, synthetic fabrics are easier to produce and “more convenient” for the wearer but definitely not better for you. It’s woven plastic, so it doesn’t breathe the way natural fabric does and can irritate sensitive skin.
What I found was that Quiksilver, a brand known best for their surfwear, has a ton of cute, affordable, cotton options. Their brand is geared toward people with active lifestyles but their casual clothing does not exclude those who aren’t as active. In other words I won’t look like a poser in Quiksilver even though I don’t know how to surf (or snowboard, etc etc). They even have a Pinterest for their women’s clothing and I love their casual California style and light all-cotton options – I could have made an entire post of cotton Quiksilver dresses, though I did find some other cute dresses that I had to share.
Also check out my post Cotton Dresses for Warmer Weather
Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply Striped Cotton Tank Dress: You don’t know this because I haven’t expressed my personal love for preppy clothing but I really like Ralph Lauren. It makes me think of pony riding and sailing – neither of which I do but I like the style that comes with that lifestyle. So it’s no question that I’d love this striped cotton dress that’s a bit edgy nautical. Or this cotton sundress, that makes me want cowboy boots.
QSW Highway Stripe Dress: Layering, layering, layering. This is why I want simple – because I can just imagine tights and boots and sweaters with this dress, especially burgundy which is beautiful with light gray. But even on it’s own it would be great for a ridiculously hot day because of the lightweight fabric and cool color. The only thing it’s missing that would make it an instant buy are pockets! I love side pockets!
Quiksilver Marina Helms Dress: This dress looks very cozy, very relaxing and sweet. You can feel pretty and feminine even though the fabric and style are laidback and loose. The helm print is cute and unexpected as it doesn’t look like a nautical dress from afar. It’s an every day dress or one to wear to a hangover brunch with statement sunglasses and a sriracha Bloody Mary.
French Connection Lori Lace Short Dress: I love the crochet detail on the shoulders and the sweet keyhole opening in the back. It is casual enough for day but delicately pretty for a romantic outdoor dinner party. I suggest a full or half slip for this dress as it seems very sheer and if you’re modest you don’t want anyone seeing your knickers. This adorable peach dress also comes in yellow for you sunshiny types.
TLH by Hype Charlotte Dress: It’s really just a coincidence that there are so many striped dresses here. I should change the post title to “Simple Striped Cotton Dresses,” I didn’t mean to seek them out, there just happens to be a lot of cute striped dresses out there and thankfully many of them are on sale. But this has a carefree Parisian feeling to it that I couldn’t exclude. It needs to be worn on a stroll through a park or a coffee break sitting outside a cafe.
QSW Shadow Stripe Shirt Dress: Pockets, pockets, pockets! A modernized beachy version of a retro house dress like the ones Jessica Chastain wore in Tree of Life. A casual throw-on dress that is comfortable because it’s so lightweight. It’s definitely a day dress for a beach or lake with cute strappy sandals or an errand running dress when it’s just too hot out for pants.