The sky is blue, the sidewalk is sizzling, and the parks is full of live music, outdoor festivities and fun to be had. That’s right ladies, it’s summer! Time to bust out your beautiful bright sundresses!

This June, sundress season has been given an official title by sportscaster and Twitter friend Bomani Jones. He explains the concept in this blog post, and it’s further explained here. The hashtag #SundressMonth on Twitter reveals that yes indeed, people are thoroughly enjoying it thus far.

Now here’s my thing about Sundress Month. I love the theory of it, but I don’t love the official website that’s been created to celebrate it. I had hoped for something more along the lines of The Sartorialist, but what we’ve got here has become quite pin-up inspired and I’m not really down with posting my photos to be rated with a 5 star system by anonymous oglers. But I am down with the sundress as a general rule. Here’s why.

Sundresses are light. Airy. They make me feel carefree and feminine. They remind me of growing up in Trinidad, and living in Miami. Sundresses make me feel sexy. When I wear a sundress, it isn’t even ABOUT the male gaze. It’s about feeling free, lighthearted, and summertime chic. And busting out the bangin’ accessories.

What IS a sundress? It can be short, it can be long. It should be made from a light, breathable fabric. To me, preferably, it’s breezy in style and/or colorful. The determining factor for me is: would I wear this dress to an outdoor street festival?

If the answer is YES, then it’s a sundress.

So having said that, here are some of my favorite sundresses on the store racks right now. Plus sizes only (because that’s my particular field of expertise!)

First stop – ye olde LB. Up above you see Lane Bryant’s tie front knit sundress, which is swingy, cute, and made of a super soft and lovely fabric. I just wish it came in more colors than just Juniper and ugh – Andorra. Might I suggest a bright sunshiny yellow or sunset-inspired orange, friends at LB?

I LOVE me some stripes, especially if they’ve got a crisp and slightly nautical flair. There’s something very 80’s yet modern about Faith 21’s Fresh Striped Dress. I love the shape, and I’d probably rock this with a cropped denim jacket. Too cute!

While we’re on the topic of stripes, can we talk about Ashley Stewart’s adorable striped dress ? Love the scoop neck and smocked waistband. This would be equally cute with flats, gladiator sandals, or heels if you wore it somewhere fancy.

I love a long maxi length solid print dress, and this Old Navy embroidered tiered sundown gown doesn’t disappoint! It’s the kind of dress you can take from day to night with a change of accessories, and it’d be a great timeless basic addition to your closet. But again – Juniper. WHY is this the only color choice available? Step it up, y’all!

I’m feeling the florals, and the B and Lu Rambling Rose dress is adorable. Love the ruffles on the bodice, and the timeless pattern. Follow B and Lu on Facebook for discounts and the scoop on new items!

There’s something very early 90’s chic about this floral maxi length ASOS dress. If you ever want to go wander through an orchard, this is the garment you should be wearing when you do it!

Talk to me, bellas – will you celebrate Sundress Month? See anything you love up above? Found THE ideal sundress for the season? Share with me!

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Irie Diva says:
June 4, 2010, 2:10 pm
HEY! I just blogged about summer dresses yesterday too! LOL see: I dunno what its like in Chicago but this heat in Jamaica? I am TOO THRU cant even get to enjoy my new found lengths (hair)
[fung'ke][blak][chik] says:
June 4, 2010, 2:15 pm
you are so lucky to have a forever21 w/faith21 so close to u! before i left chicago, i paid another visit!
beautifulcurare says:
June 4, 2010, 2:27 pm
I am looking forward to rocking a sundress or ten this summer. I've never worn one before (well, maybe as a kid, but not since then). I've always thought that I didn't have the body, or height to wear one. However, this year is all about me doing different things and the sundress is on my to-do list! I was checking out Old Navy online and saw several that I will be purchasing. I also need to check out B & Lu (thanks for the heads up about their FB page)! -bc
Kimmoy says:
June 4, 2010, 2:32 pm
I really like the striped dress, nice selection. I've been thinking about doing a 30 day challenge where I wear a dress every day to celebrate summer and my girly side.
bella says:
June 4, 2010, 2:49 pm
fungkeblakchik - confession - I have yet to go to Forever 21 much less Faith 21!! Was thinking of stopping by today actually. Is there a big selection on Michigan Ave?
lola gets says:
June 4, 2010, 2:50 pm
I like some of the dresses youve featured here...looks like Imma have to do some shopping! Well, not exactly "some" shopping, as Ive already purchased several sun/summer dresses already. But, one could always use more! L
DNLee says:
June 4, 2010, 3:02 pm
I don't normally like horizontal stripes (or any stripes for that matter) - because I'm busty, but that Ashley Stewart dresses is TOO Cute! I might have to try that on and see how I look in it. Thanks AfroBella!
Niki says:
June 4, 2010, 3:35 pm
I love sundresses! Like you said, there are quite a few that can take you from day to evening with a change of accessories. And talk about ease of dressing--just slip it on, put on some shoes, grab your purse and go! That B and Lu dress is adorable. I will have to try out the Ashley Stewart dress too, since I have the same problem (?) as the commenter above about being busty.
Shelley says:
June 4, 2010, 4:31 pm
Moni says:
June 5, 2010, 1:18 am
I love sundresses! I've been wearing nothing but sundresses or skirts and tops for the past two weeks, ever since the weather got really nice. This will be my summer uniform, since I'm studying for the bar and don't have to worry about meeting any sort of dress code.
warrior11209 says:
June 5, 2010, 12:27 pm
I love sundresses and have already worn a few during the hot and humid days of May! I always feel so sexy and feminine when I wear one. And you're right , it's not about "men lookin' at me" sexy- it just feels good to have the sun on my shoulders and arms
designdiva says:
June 6, 2010, 9:44 am
I love these dresses. I normally don't wear dresses but these make me want to give it a shot.
Reader says:
June 7, 2010, 6:45 am
I'd never wear a sundress to celebrate some Madison Avenue-made holiday, but of course I like to wear light dresses in the summer. One of the most beautiful titles in all of literature is: "The Girls in their Summer Dresses." A forecasting company probably said juniper was the color of Summer 2010 six months ago. I like the ASOS dress best.
Candy says:
June 7, 2010, 3:04 pm
I am so jealous of women in sundresses. I never look good in dresses. I'm either spilling out of or swimming in any dresses I wear. It's skirts and tops for me.
Nicole says:
June 11, 2010, 4:27 am
Hmmm. You have inspired me. I find myself in jeans most days, but I do love the feel of a sundress. Time to do some shopping... :-)
Melissa says:
June 25, 2010, 9:21 am
Ladies, do not sleep on dress barn...I know it sounds like an old lady store but I usually buy my dresses there. They usually have a sale where if you buy two, you get $5 taken off each dress. Average prices is $30-$40. Even if you are busty, like me, you can find a nice dress there. That is the reason why I shop at dress barn. I believe all women can wear a nice dress regardless of shape and size. You can also try Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Max.
Flygurl74 says:
July 16, 2010, 10:17 am
I'm the sundress diva!!!All summer long, that's all I sport, and it feels good!!!
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