Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shopping Mission: Find The Hottest Summer Dress

The balmy weather seems to bring forth invitations that require a dress code that's a step above a breezy sundress. Cocktail parties al fresco, charity events, and hello, wedding season. Ladies, we will not make it through the summer without the perfect cocktail dress.

Originally, I wanted to share my top shops in Toronto for finding great summer party fare but something happened along the way. I spent a very hot day traversing to Forest Hill to snap photos at one of my fave dress shops only to find out it had closed a few months back.

Then it dawned on me... Sometimes shopping isn't all that fun in the summer. Hot and sticky plus long stints in the change room sound a bit like torture, actually.

With that in mind I share my top online shops to score a summer dress. Drink iced lemonade, blast the A/C or work on your tan while you surf for summer style.
Pick #1: Rent frock Repeat
Okay, listen up hugs. There is wonderful place online that allows you to shop for dresses by body type and makes it simple to choose flattering cuts. You can order two sizes for the price of one to ensure you get the right fit, and to rock designer dresses like the $350 tomato hued David Dixon frock pictured above, all at a fraction of the full retail price.

As the name implies, shopping means you can't keep the dress forever, but you can wear a pricey label for a steal and avoid buyers remorse forever. Rental prices start at $50 and top out at $525 to wear a dress that's over $5000. Plus, you don't have to worry about the dry cleaning bill.

Pick # 2: ASOS
Ever since The Royal Wedding, we've all been a tad attached to London town style. Have you seen how they stalk Pippa? With or without the fascinator, I highly recommend This UK based online store boasts 50,000 mostly British and European brands, free international shipping and insane sale pricing from time to time. Keep in mind that your order is flying across the pond and customs can put a damper on the promise of a quick shipment. I've noticed a few twitter rants on said subject so just don't order last minute. 
Pick #3: Henkaa Convertible Dresses 
turquoise teal dress
If you're uneasy about buying a dress that looks great without trying it on, go with something that really does look fabulous on everyone. You may have seen convertible dresses around, but offers theirs in 18 shades and two lengths. The quality is also amazing. One size fits 0 - 14 and you can twist, tie and wrap to emphasize your best assets.

Do some research if you plan to sport yours to a wedding because the versatility does make them a favourite of bridesmaids. That being said, a quick trip to the bathroom can change the look of yours dramatically before you're shoved down the aisle.

p.s. If it's really about the thrill of the hunt head to: 
I absolutely know how it is. 
Image credits:,,

-- Tamika Auwai is a fashion junkie, splurge-a-holic, and founder of Shop Socials.


  1. I'm also a huge fan of Doll Factory by Damzels (1122 Queen Street East) especially since they've launched their Dress Club card. The staff are delightful and their dresses fit beautifully.

    Discovering ASOS might not be a good thing for me!!

  2. Ash, asos is totally deadly! Especially when they put stuff on sale. Enjoy!

    p.s. one of my fave cocktail dresses is from Damzels! Great tip.