I am not a "buy now, wear now" kind of shopper. I tend to shop a season or two ahead: It's not unusual for me to wonder how I'll survive the July heat in March, or to want to stockpile sweaters in June. At the root of it is a vague, largely irrational fear that I'll wake up one morning with nothing comfortable to wear.
Somehow, I never got around to buying a lightweight dress for the heavy summer heat that's about to hit us in New York. (For those of you located in more fortunate climates, imagine 95-degree-plus days, 100 percent humidity and the cloying sizzle of street meat in a crowded crosswalk in Manhattan.) Most of the summer dresses I have were purchased in college and are, needless to say, quite worn at this point. At the same time, I have no desire to spend a lot of money on something I'm only going to wear two, maybe three months of the year. (It's for that same reason I've never purchased a pair of snow boots.)
I recently found what I was looking for in this easy shirt/trapeze dress hybrid from Madewell. I was first and foremost attracted to its sleeveless, A-line shape, which promises not to cling on the stickiest of days, as well as the black-and-white grid print, a classic that happens to be trendy at the moment. The shirting-style collar and placket also lend the dress a crisp seriousness generally lacking in trapeze dresses.
July, I'm ready for ya.
Sleeveless shirt dress in grid print, $110, available at Madewell.
Please note: Occasionally, we use affiliate links on our site. This in no way affects our editorial decision-making.