Funky flirty summer dresses

 When it starts to heat up in Cayman during the summer months, it’s time to ditch the jeans and turn to flirty, cute summer dresses that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. What goes down the catwalks early in the year usually ends up in some kind of pared down versions  in off the peg and looking around you can see some of the main trends from the designers that have been adopted.

There was a blossoming of floral trends.  Some designers’ creations featured soft colours and delicate bloom patterns, while others showcased strong hues and bold floral imagery. Some even applied flower appliqués.

A couple of styles at Funky Monkey feature the flower trend. One dress made by Green Dragon has a sweet folksy look to it, with delicate flowers in earthy greens and browns  against a white background and  contrasting side panels with little pockets.

Another one that mixes the floral trend with a more boho look is one by PJ Salvage. There are colour choices of green, pink or black with twining embroidered white flowers and a white crocheted bra top.

Jodi Hunter, owner of Funky Monkey, says “the boho look is still with us and definitely the baby doll style probably because it is flattering on top but skims and is looser on the bottom.

When she is buying in dresses for summer she says she likes to look for breathable light fabrics that are comfortable and move with you.

She also says “tie dye is still going strong”

An example of tie dye working well is a dress by Ocean Drive which is in pink tie dye and has lovely detail at the bust line

Jodie says a lot of her dresses come from California as over the years they seem to have perfected that casual, well made but pretty summer look that can be dressed up or down.

Another big trend is tribal and geometric patterns. Designs from Gucci and Alexander McQueen uses dark tribal patterns that seem to echo the lifestyle trend of eco warrior and ethnicity. The tribal look is the big sister of boho or the folksier pretty look. You can go over the top and deck yourself out in colourful geometric prints and wooded jewellery or you can just embrace a small part of it.

Funky Monkey has T shirt dresses in one size made of an unusual knitted fabric that sport a tribal print on the front. These can be dressed up for an evening out or worn to the beach.

Flounces and ruffles were featured in Ralph Lauren and Oscar la Renata collections. In light fabrics, sometimes layered, they give a soft feminine outline while the tops have an off-the-shoulder gypsy look to them.

A dress that echoes that trend at funky Monkey is what Ms Hunter calls the “the flamenco dress”. It features ruffles around the neckline and, worn off the shoulders, is flattering to those with less-than-perfect upper arms. The flamenco theme is echoed in the hemline which dips and curves at the back. Ms Hunter says, “This particular dress has been flying off the shelves; ladies love it as they feel they can dress it up for a dinner date or just casual for day wear.”

Maxi dresses have continued to be a trend for the last few years, and they look like they are here to stay as they do cover a multitude of sins. Diane Von Furstenberg added a bohemian spin to the tribal trend by creating flowing maxi dresses and multi-bangle accessories.

Watch, though, that you do not get swamped by a maxi dress, as it can make you look larger and untidy. Maxi dresses should skim curves rather than cling. Worn with flat gladiator sandals, they give a casual bohemian air.

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