August 1, 2007 at 4:36AM
by Starre Vartan
It's the beginning of August, and the stores are starting to fill with autumnal fashions, reminding us that cool evenings, colorful swirling leaves and shorter days are coming. But not that soon! There's still at least six weeks or more of summer weather to go, and one Spring/Summer trend that's not going away anytime soon are pretty-girl dresses.
Pair the trend with some fantastic summer sales, and that means that you can find some great deals on dresses you can wear now, with sandals and dangly earrings, or later, with tights, wedges or stacked heels, a jacket or sweater, and the ubiquitous-for-fall extra-wide or super-skinny belt.
This pretty pink bamboo dress from Ecoganik would look great with knee-high slouchy boots and a structured jacket a few months from now. Braided straps and a mellow flower print means this one is dressy enough to get you from day to dinner date. Bamboo is a sustainable crop that grows quickly and doesn't need pesticides (and becomes a super-soft fabric when woven). On sale for $91.20.
Talla's eponymous label has been getting lots of press lately -- not only for her eminently wearable styles and trendy wood-block prints, but also because all her fabrics are handmade by a woman's cooperative in India, using eco-friendly dyes (conventional clothing dyes are toxic, and often dumped into water supplies in third-world countries where they're processed). This dove-gray dress from Talla features birds gracefully ambling about on a cotton/bamboo fabric. On sale for $90, and shipping is free from Beklina.
Passenger Pigeon's urban style tube-dress. Made from organic cotton with a bit of spandex for stretch, this dress would look fab as is now, and when cooler temps prevail, pair it with leggings, add a slouchy grandpa sweater with big buttons, and cinch the whole shebang with a skinny belt. On sale for $71.
polo-shirt style dress in a hemp/cotton blend (hemp is another fast-growing plant that needs no polluting pesticides or fertilizers to grow) is ideal for the hottest days yet to come in August. But once the weather chills out it would look great with a pair of hot brightly-colored skinny jeans (a must-have for fall, in bold colors like saffron, ruby red and dark purple), and a tiny black jacket and matching pumps. At The Hempest for $68.
Park Vogel with tiny white polka dots can be very Jackie O. on Martha's Vineyard if accessorized with large white-frame sunglasses and demure pumps. Once the seasons turn, dress it up with long gold necklaces, a tartan cardigan, a black patent-leather belt, black tights and spectator pumps for Autumn awesomeness. Made of swingy viscose, this dress is actually biodegradable, since the fabric is composed from cellulose (otherwise known as wood pulp). On sale at Coco's Shoppe for $136.
Park Vogel >