Summer Staple: Neutral Dress + 4 Ways to Accessorize

4 ways to style a neutral summer dress

My daily outfit choices these days are driven by practicality, so I especially appreciate pieces that work as well with sneakers and flats as they do with heels! And for additional points on the practicality scale, being compatible with a regular bra, machine washable, and stretchy + nursing friendly is always a bonus for me.

Cybex Gazelle S stroller with Nuna pipa car seat

Vero Moda dress xs, Quay sunglasses, Veja sneakers 35, baseball cap from this post, Polene bag (similar)
Cybex single-to-double stroller (on sale; see my review) c/o + Nuna Pipa infant carseat

I’m partnering with Nordstrom to share this little cotton dress that checks all the boxes, and a few ways I’d change up the accessories for a different look! Since I’m working with all neutrals here, these combos can be applied to pretty much any similar dress in your closet.

Brixton straw sun hat bucket bag polene dupe
affordable camel bucket bag

The dress is a great petite-friendly basic with a little feminine flair, thanks to the lightly puffed sleeves, squared neckline, and gently swinging A line skirt. It’s TTS and light in weight but not too thin, made of 100% organic cotton with a slight slub textured print on the fabric. The elastic sleeves and smocking have plenty of stretch to it, making this nursing friendly and also early bump friendly (note: the dress length might become too short for late pregnancy).

For fellow bucket bag lovers, I also wanted to mention this purse above as a similar option to one in my collection. The pebbled faux leather is nice quality in person, it comes with an adjustable shoulder strap, and also has a removable canvas liner bag!

Look 1

Try a chunkier slide sandal like these fun white Birkenstocks and a netted tote bag for an on-trend outfit that works for a trip to the beach or farmer’s market! This pairing is actually my favorite here since the shoes are a little different than my usual.

smocked dress white birkenstocks

Look 2

Dress it up with a ladylike mini bag and low heeled sandals for brunch or a dinner date.

summer straw bags tan slide sandals

Look 3

Tie an extra layer around your waist, and throw on chic sneakers and a neutral baseball cap for a casual, laid back look. This has been my go-to for trips to the playground (add a pair of bike shorts underneath if blending over a lot) or longer walks around the city!

veja esplar sneakers 47 carhartt hat womens

Vero Moda dress xs,Veja sneakers 35, baseball hat from this post, Polene bag (similar)

Look 4

For a lunch meeting or a more casual work setting, add a knit blazer and mules (swap in closed-back flats or shoes for business casual offices).

business casual Gucci loafer outfit

Gibson blazer xxs petite (similar), Gucci mules 35.5 (my review)

casual neutral summer dress

Thank you to Nordstrom for partnering on this post. Which of these pairings is your favorite?

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Leave a Comment

19 Comments

  1. Annie wrote:

    Love these outfit ideas Jean!! Where is that super cute bag from in Look #2?!?

    Posted 7.3.21 Reply
  2. Tiffany wrote:

    Love your netted tote bag! Where did you get it?

    Posted 7.3.21 Reply
  3. Iona wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    Is the dress in regular or petite sizing?

    Love how versatile it is!

    Posted 7.3.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Iona, it’s regular sizing but is very petite friendly!

      Posted 7.4.21 Reply
      • Iona wrote:

        Thank you! Just checking I was about to order the right one 😊

        Posted 7.4.21 Reply
  4. Fiona wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    I love your POLENE bag. Is yours the regular size or mini size ? Is it practical? can you fit a lot in it ? It look so great with your outfit.

    Thank you

    Posted 7.2.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thanks Fiona! I have the mini size and it fits all of my essentials (phone, keys, wallet)

      Posted 7.2.21 Reply
  5. shay wrote:

    Hi Jeanne, where are the sunglasses you are wearing (with the outfit in a blazer) from? thanks!

    Posted 7.1.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Shay, those are from Amazon!

      Posted 7.2.21 Reply
  6. AM wrote:

    For anyone else with small feet, just want to share that I recently got kids Birkenstocks and they are perfect! Exact same style as adult, and half the price. I have the size 34.

    Posted 6.30.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      So smart, thanks for sharing!

      Posted 7.2.21 Reply
  7. Sarah wrote:

    The last one with the ball cap and sneakers was really cute and looked comfy.

    Posted 6.30.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      and perfect for chasing a toddler around!

      Posted 6.30.21 Reply
  8. Ellie wrote:

    Cute dress! Do you wear nursing bra in this? All nursing bras I find have thick straps and hard to hide it.

    Posted 6.29.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you! I wear the Neiwai thin strap with this dress which is easy to nurse in (can pull it down from the top of the bra or pull up the bottom bra band)

      But any thin strap Bravado nursing bra will work!

      Posted 6.30.21 Reply
  9. Shanti wrote:

    Here for the slip-on sandals! Such a breezy look for these sweltering summer days.

    Posted 6.29.21 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Yes! Such a great option for this heat wave

      Posted 6.30.21 Reply

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