How to Layer Summer Dresses


how to layer summer dresses

Spring in Melbourne is a period of unstable weather.  30C /86F one day, then 17C/62F the next.  This makes dressing a little trickier, plus you get those cooler mornings with warmer days.

This week for my Frocktober post I’m sharing how to layer summer dresses for spring and autumn, those often more temperamental seasons that can be hot and cold all at once.

What’s Frocktober?  It’s the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation’s fundraising drive to raise money to find a early detection test for ovarian cancer (there is currently no test) so that fewer women die from this silent killer.  Please make a small donation here as this could save lives.

White on White

How to Layer Summer Dresses


This shirt dress is a little too see-through for my liking, which means it needs a slip layer underneath and then I layered a short cardigan over the top.

By belting (also in white) with a wider belt and tucking the cardigan into the belt, it creates nice volume which gives me the illusion of slightly more of a waist (not something that I have naturally as an H shape), as shirt dresses have to be belted, otherwise they look like a sack.  Because of its volume, I can blouse and I when I was playing around with the cardigan and I tried belting it too, I decided that it gave a better shape than leaving it out and just belting the dress.

How to Layer Summer Dresses

This dress (from Sussan a couple of years ago I think) came with a fabric tie belt, that I quickly ditched (see why I won’t wear the fabric tie belts here) as they make me look wider through the waist.  The white belt doesn’t make the horizontal of it appear too obvious which is why I chose this instead of an alternate colour.

The for a pop of colour I’ve added a blue lace necklace that I got from this Esty store and my silver Scarlettos ballet flats.

Blue and White


Here’s sheer chiffon dress that I layer over a white slip dress and I’ve added leggings and a shrug as it’s sleeveless and just a bit too “summer” for this current “spring”.  I made this dress one year when I found the fabric (love this kind of blue and white willow pattern style of print) in a local fabric store.

The shrug comes from Amazon and the wedges are from Scarlettos.  You can also see that again I’m wearing the blue lace necklace from Etsy.


Black and Red

This black and red shift is one I bought years ago from Promod on a trip to Malaysia when I was speaking at an AICI conference in Kuala Lumpur, and it’s been a favourite over the years.  It’s summer weight but easy to dress up with layers underneath and over the top for cooler weather.  Adding a long legging and ankle boots, as well as a shrug, provide the layers I need at this time of year for our temperamental weather.

5 Ways to Rock Your Frocks

Four Easy Ways to Style a Black and White Dress

How to Style One Patterned Dress Five Ways


Frocktober 2017

Linking Up to High Latitude Style,  Currently Wearing,  Not Dressed as LambStyle NudgeStyle with a Smile


I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

More from Imogen Lamport

How to Look Smart but Not Overdressed

I like to dress with a level 1 combined with level 2...
Read More


  • Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. White or light colors in general look so great on blondes. It washes me out, but I love how it looks on my blonde sis.

  • Here in Phoenix, it’s just barely starting to cool down. Thanks to you, I am now convinced that white is my best neutral. That being said, I am struggling as to whether to put away a white denim jacket and a white denim skirt, since it’s now November. They are the same weight of denim I’d wear year round, if blue, but something about the white jacket and skirt says “summer” to me. Any thoughts?

    • In Phoenix where it never gets cold why would you put away your whites because of some ancient “rule” that says no white after labour day that makes you think white is just too summer (conditioning!). You may not want to do head to toe white, why not mix your white denim skirt with some beige boots for the cooler months. You’ll see on the blog I wear plenty of white through winter and in a non-snowy environment I think it has a nice freshness! By the way – thanks so much Katie for your lovely letter that reached me yesterday! It was so delightful to receive. xx

      • You are welcome re: the letter!

        I think that there’s an even stronger level of conditioning here — because the seasons hardly change, people exaggerate differences among them, including clothes worn, just to have the semblance of there being four separate times of year. The main reason I’d thought of putting them away was to then have something different to wear when it’s “summer” again. But you are right — there should be no cutoff for things that contribute to beauty and joy — thank you!

        • If it makes you feel like you’re wearing different clothes, then pop away your whites for winter, I was thinking about this last night and I wore white jeans in winter, but not my white skirt. Maybe I did it unconsciously!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *