Summer Dresses Under $100

Everyone knows I love a good deal.  I’m talking any sort of discount whatsoever… $1 off, throw in a free gift, some sort of upgrade… it makes me giddy inside.  There’s a constant battle of splurging vs. saving in my head and I probably think about my purchases (both past and future) every 5 minutes.  I knew I had it bad when I once saw a sign while passing Old Navy at age 13 for .34 cent shirts.  I swear to you I remember nothing – like a total black out.  I came to, hours later, in my closet sifting through about 15 of the same exact shirt in every color they had.  I mean, I cleared out the racks.  Upside?  I still only spent about $6.  Low?  The shirt was horrible… like, really, really ugly.

There’s something about a deal that condones the purchase.  It’s a trap.  But, I’ve realized at the time it was so I’d have something to back up my argument when my Dad would get my Visa Buxx card statement (a pre-set limit debit card made for teenagers to teach them how to manage money which I BEGGED my parents for).  Being able to say, “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.  This was a once and a lifetime opportunity!  It would have been stupid NOT to have bought it!!” was just so much easier than flat out breaking the ‘no more clothes’ rule.  It got so bad that I used to buy things, hide the bags at my friends houses and then smuggle them into my house days later when my parents weren’t home… but that’s another story for another day.

In all reality, I’m still using the sale signs as a crutch for my chronic buyer’s remorse and the proof is that I wanted a really expensive pair of jeans last year so I flagged the website to let me know if any discounts/savings were happening.  A week later I got an email from them saying, “Free Shipping Until Midnight”.  Deal was done.  I saved $5.  Problem.

Summer Dresses Under $100 (Better Than The Alternative!):

           

Motel Rosie Dress $63

              

ASOS Midi Slip Dress in Floral Print $40.60

                         

Funktional Tunnel Midi Dress $98

                      

DV by Dolce Vita Cullen Shirt Dress $68

                        

Zara Linear Dress $79.90

                          

Joie A La Plage Mayan Printed Collie Dress $98

                          

Velvet Keenan Dress $68.60

                   

MM Couture by Miss Me Printed Strapless Dress with Tie Waist $94

          

Sam & Lavi Dextra Shift Dress $98

                  

MINKPINK Wishful Thinking Sundress $83

              

Zara Lace Print Dress $89.90

               

ASOS Skater Dress in Heart Print $24.86

              

Backstage Nikki Dress $70

           

Zara Silk Tunic with Lace at the Sides $89.90

            

River Island Chelsea Girl Spot Lace Dress $41.43

          

Indah Yang Cold Shoulder Tunic $54

       

Hive & Honey Floral Blousant Dress $39.99

            

C&C California Smock Tank Dress $98

          

ASOS Animal Print Swing Dress $46.40

       

Forever 21 Sheer Floral Dress $17.80

             

ASOS Bandeau Dress with Strawberry Print $40.60

                  

TopShop Fluro Dip Hem Dress $96

               

Michael Stars Belted V Neck Cami Dress $59.99

           

Forever 21 Vibrant Tribal Dress $19.80

                        

River Island Denim Shirt Dress $49.71

                 

Zara Printed Dress $79.90

                    

Asos Knitted Shift Dress $52.20

                         

TopShop Crochet Shirtdress $80

              

Forever 21 Dotted Peter Pan Dress $19.80

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Bathing Suits

Shopping for bathing suits can often times bring back an innate feeling of sheer terror coupled with an inexplicable reaction that sends me straight to bed and into the fetal position.  In those times, I’m reminded of my first sixth grade mixer (I went to an all girls school, so this was our first interaction with boys – well, at least a whole group of them).  I walked into the room, confident, in floral printed jeans and a tight white tube top, hair slicked back with a massive amount of gel (I was very self conscious of my frizz at this point and had not yet found my best friend, the straightener), feeling goooood.

The first thing I remember seeing was the wall.  On the other side of the room.  BECAUSE I WAS SEEING OVER EVERYONE’S HEAD.  Literally every single person in there (including most teacher’s) were inches shorter than me.  I spent the night hunched over, dancing in some sort of weird, distorted position that I’m pretty sure would later contribute to lower back problems… not to mention that experience scarred me so much that most of the pictures I have with a group of friends show me with a deep bend in my knees and head cocked in order to seem like “just one of the girls”.

Needless to say, I learned quick (well, more like after years and years of doing my best to conform) that to look your best, you have to dress, walk, live by YOUR body.  There is nothing worse than a person who tries to wear something “because it looked so good on that girl”… believe me, I’ve tried.

Flattering bathing suits are perhaps one of the trickiest to find because, let’s face it, they’re tight and little.  For me, I’ve found shopping for them are best with a spray tan and alone.  I love my girlfriends, but there’s nothing worse than bringing along a size 2 parading around in her brazilian cut bikini saying “but my thighs are just so out of proportion with my little body”.  Everyone has their issues, but don’t concern yourself with anyone’s but your own while standing in front of a mirror half naked.

Bathing suits I’m loving right now:

Victoria’s Secret Belle Bandeau Top $24 and Bottoms $18

*I have this and love it.  It comes with a strap for more support and you can mix and match prints/solids.

Tyler Rose Top $93 and Bottoms $89

Vix Logo Bikini Top $88 and Bottoms $88

Thayer Halter One Piece $209

French Connection Grecian Bikini Top $45.23 and Bottoms $45.23

Tori Praver Malis Bikini Top $99 and Bottoms $93

Mikoh Galapagos One Piece $194

Heidi Klein Bow Bikini Top $168 and Bottoms $136

Zinke Bustier Bikini Top $99 and Bottoms $66

Lisa Marie Fernandez The Farrah Maillot $395

Vitamin A’s Ballerina Sliding Triangle Top $80 and Bottoms $77

Seafolly Gingham Bow Bandeau Top $99.15 and Bottoms $69.58

Indah Crochet Bikini Top $102

OndadeMar Twist Bikini Top $100 and Bottoms $88

Victoria’s Secret Push-Up Bandeau Top $28 and Bottoms $18

Alloy Underwire Bandeau Top $15.90 and Bottoms $11.90

ONE by Down the Garden Path one Piece $165

L*Space Sliding Triangle Top $84 and Bottoms $84

6 Shore Road Dot Bikini Top $68 and Bottoms $64

Herve Leger Sporty Bikini $490

Kushcush Lauren One Piece $159

Alloy Goddess Bandeau $19.90 and Bottoms $19.90

Norma Kamali Halter Bikini Top $175

Tigerlily Shebari One Piece $154

L*Space Dolly Bandeau Bikini Top $73

TIPS FOR BUYING BATHING SUITS:

-when buying online, I like to purchase from websites that are returnable

-get to know the shapes and colors that flatter your body (color is an underrated important factor)

-try them on feeling good, whether that is with a fake tan, after you exercise or even after a cocktail (but not too many cocktails because that leads to tears – trust me)

-under no circumstances should you buy a bathing suit that will “look good on you after your boot camp classes”, buy suits that look good on you NOW

-purchase a great pair of black bottoms so you can mix and match tops… maximizes the money you spend so you get tops that actually fit