A Boho Summer Dress: A Classic That Will Never Date

Catherine Summers AKA Not Dressed As Lamb wearing boho coral maxi summer dress, slingback bow-front mules, brown plaited belt, cream Panama hat and pink and orange 1970s-style oversized sunglasses

On the day I wore this dress (to the garden centre), a lady complimented me on my “lovely outfit”.

Being complimented on my outfit in public by a stranger has happened to me a handful of times, and it’s quite the nicest thing. I think it goes to show that we don’t compliment strangers often enough, and we should do it more.

I don’t just mean telling them “I love what you’re wearing” or “I like your hair“, but just saying something nice to someone. It’s bound to improve their day. Like I mentioned in my random life hacks post, even just saying hello or waving to people that pass you in a car when you’re walking on a quiet road is a nice thing to do. I once smiled and said good morning to a lady just outside my house as I came out the driveway, and she literally stopped and said thank you, saying that no one says good morning anymore.

 

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Catherine Summers AKA Not Dressed As Lamb wearing boho coral maxi summer dress, slingback bow-front mules, brown plaited belt, cream Panama hat and pink and orange 1970s-style oversized sunglasses

You might just cheer up someone up who needs cheering up by saying something nice, and it’s so easy to do.

I certainly could have done with it last weekend after being screamed at (no exaggeration) by a particularly unpleasant local woman when she didn’t like where I parked. I’m leaving out about 90% of the back story here, but I was parked perfectly legally and not blocking/obstructing anyone or anything. It was a residential road with no parking restrictions, I live round the corner on another road and had a too-complicated-to-explain reason for parking there briefly that one time. Whatever my reasons she wouldn’t have cared, the fact that I didn’t live on that street got her back up.

At about 10,000 decibels she called me a f***ing c*** and a selfish b***h about 10 times for parking “in front of someone’s house” and told me she hoped I’d have a really shitty day.

(You can tell how bad her language was because I’m leaving in the word shitty without any asterisks.)

Catherine Summers AKA Not Dressed As Lamb wearing boho coral maxi summer dress, slingback bow-front mules, brown plaited belt, cream Panama hat and pink and orange 1970s-style oversized sunglasses

I was actually in a big rush so NORMALLY I would have calmly gone over to her, and in my quiet headmistress-type voice (another one of my life hacks) told her to call the police if I was doing something wrong, and I’d wait. In my rush, I could only shake my head and laugh and do that “waving a hand down” thing (you know, like when you say “Oh, you!” and do a limp-wristed gesture at someone) as I dashed off and told her I didn’t have time for this, while she continued to scream the same gloriously colourful names at me.

So NOT what I’d intended to talk about in this post… you come here for outfits, I give you Screaming Locals.

And in case you’re wondering, no I did not have a shitty day. I read a great thing recently that said there is some shit you can’t control, but you can always control how you react to it. And I did that, and my day was perfectly fine.

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I doubt hers was though… I fear she may have had an aneurysm. Poor woman.

Catherine Summers AKA Not Dressed As Lamb wearing boho coral maxi summer dress, slingback bow-front mules, brown plaited belt, cream Panama hat and pink and orange 1970s-style oversized sunglasses

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Let’s change the subject: yes how classic is a pretty boho dress for the summer? [Insert screeching of brakes]

One to which you can add a few simple accessories (bag/similar, belt/similar, hat/similar, shoes, jewellery) and dress it up slightly differently each time. In fact with reference to the hat, I’ll be publishing a 10 Outfits to Wear with a Panama Hat… post this week as I think it’s THE best summer hat anyone can have. So there ; -)

I got this dress a couple of years ago from Cotton Traders (you can see it in its winter configuration here) and still love the coral colour and loose fit. I was wearing this outfit a little while ago when it was summer in Britain (it’s winter now, in the space of five days it went from heatwave to November-like conditions with storms and cold rain), so I’m looking longingly at the sunshine in these photos and wondering how long till it’ll be summer again.

Now see THIS is why I love summer and autumn can go stick it. Summer is never around long enough for us to form any sort of long-lasting relationship, so it’s always fresh and new. No getting sick of each other, no arguing; it’s always out the door before you can say Alexa, play Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

Raise a hand if you’re a boho dress fan – oh and let’s share stories of compliments from strangers, not being called a c*** by some hideous piece of human garbage…!

 

Stay safe, XOXO

Catherine signature

 

P.S. I do actually live in a nice town with (mostly) nice people. I think this one was playing truant from The School of Manners and Etiquette that day. She KEEPS skipping classes apparently, but who knew…?

Catherine Summers AKA Not Dressed As Lamb wearing boho coral maxi summer dress, slingback bow-front mules, brown plaited belt, cream Panama hat and pink and orange 1970s-style oversized sunglasses

Catherine Summers AKA Not Dressed As Lamb wearing boho coral maxi summer dress, slingback bow-front mules, brown plaited belt, cream Panama hat and pink and orange 1970s-style oversized sunglasses
Catherine Summers AKA Not Dressed As Lamb wearing boho coral maxi summer dress, slingback bow-front mules, brown plaited belt, cream Panama hat and pink and orange 1970s-style oversized sunglasses

Dress: Cotton Traders (similar)
Shoes: Asos
Hat: Haps & Caps (similar)
Bag: Mango (similar)
Sunglasses: Asos (similar if sold out)
Belt: Old (I like this one)
Earrings: Orelia (these are similar star hoops)
Necklace: & Other Stories

 

Other boho-style summer dresses you might like:

 

Linking up to… Monday: Stylish Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Ageless Style Linkup (first Monday of the month), My Glittery Heart, On Mondays We Link Up || Tuesday: Style With a Smile, Trend Spin/Walking in Memphis in High Heels, Turning Heads Tuesday, Spread the Kindness, Confident Twosday, Happy Now Blog Link Up || Wednesday: Style Me Wednesday, WowOnWednesday || Thursday: Chic & Stylish || Friday: Neverending Style, Fancy Friday, On the Edge, Fabulous Friday, Fabulous Friday’s Link Up

Catherine Summers AKA Not Dressed As Lamb wearing boho coral maxi summer dress, slingback bow-front mules, brown plaited belt, cream Panama hat and pink and orange 1970s-style oversized sunglasses
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20 Comments

  1. 8 August 2021 / 1:32 pm

    Oh my goodness, I love this pretty boho dress on you! All perfectly accessorized as well. Those shoes are so darling, too! And what a story about that angry woman. I have definitely been on the receiving end of that kind of screaming over the silliest things. I also just walk away and laugh at the poor person who struggles so much with so many negative feelings. Poor souls need some cleansing and a bit of perspective! Thanks for linking with me, my friend!

    Shelbee

    • Catherine
      Author
      9 August 2021 / 7:04 pm

      Thanks Shelbee… I think walking away is the best thing to do, tbh?!

  2. Beth
    5 August 2021 / 9:15 pm

    I just found your blog Catherine and I know I’m going to really enjoy reading your earlier posts! To your point – a nice older lady (older than me anyway, a 50-something who feels like a 30-something!) stopped me at the post office and told me that the shade of pink I was wearing was perfect for my skin tone and that I looked so fresh and summery. Well! Did that just make my day!

    • Catherine
      Author
      9 August 2021 / 7:13 pm

      Beth hello! And wow how nice was that – such an easy thing to do [to compliment someone], but look how it can make someone’s day! Thank you so much my lovely, hope to see you back again x

  3. 4 August 2021 / 3:13 am

    What a story! It’s amazing what some people choose to get upset at, isn’t it?! I don’t have the energy for that nonsense! You look absolutely stunning in this! I am in love with your beautiful shoes!

    • Catherine
      Author
      4 August 2021 / 9:12 pm

      Thanks Laura! And yes, she really looked/sounded like she was going to burst a blood vessel with her screeching…!!

  4. Pilar
    3 August 2021 / 5:27 pm

    Love the ‘fit!!!
    I’ve never thought of wearing a summer dress with pumps!!! I always wear sandals!!! Flat, wedge, heeled, but always sandals. It might have something to do with the fact that I live in hell (aka Arizona).

    Regarding your *ahem* “neighbor” glad you didn’t pay much attention, probably that’s what she wanted.

    • 3 August 2021 / 5:36 pm

      Aren’t people weird about parking? I once had to park round the corner, and my windscreen winders were torn off!
      I love a Boho dress but not on me, I’ve realised they don’t suit me. I wish they did. And fully agree with your view on summer. No, we don’t get enough time with summer to get bored! And 50% less time this year, with all the stops and starts!

      • Catherine
        Author
        4 August 2021 / 9:15 pm

        Oh god about your wipers, Gail – that’s awful!! We’ve had our wing mirror kicked off before when parking round the corner, but that was in our old house/previous town, and to be fair where we parked (where we HAD to park because we lived in the town centre), it wasn’t actually all that surprising…!

        And YES to summer, I think the majority of Brits would agree with us, hehe 😉

    • Catherine
      Author
      4 August 2021 / 9:13 pm

      I think because they’re slingbacks they seem a bit more “sandal-y”, Pilar – less like a traditional heel! Thank you 😀

      And yes, I think I made her 10 times more angry by laughing and walking away… she WANTED the argument, and I didn’t give her one!!

  5. Caroline Roberts
    3 August 2021 / 4:11 pm

    Poor you having to experience this. But I love the dress. A lovely outfit – spectacular, in fact. And you look lovely – and are lovely inside and out. So awestruck at your composure in the face of potty mouth. I do get upset when these things happen to me (usually the c word from male drivers wanting me to kill myself in a crazy manoeuvre so they can get ahead on the road!).

    • Catherine
      Author
      4 August 2021 / 9:18 pm

      Thanks Caroline – to be honest it was probably fortunate that I didn’t have time to stop and talk to her… I think I would have made her EVEN angrier by doing my “give her a quiet talking to” thing…!

      It’s hard to let it wash over you, but it’s a skill I’m still trying to master – if you CAN do it, it’ll make things so much easier for you! x

  6. Liz P.
    3 August 2021 / 4:08 pm

    Such a well-written post! And a lovely outfit indeed! I don’t have a Panama hat but I look forward to that blog because who knew it looks so good with a cotton dress, like they are made for each other. I’ve clearly been missing out on this combination all these years. (I get the Cotton Traders catalog in the US too.)

    It is a bummer that people can be so mean and vile and take out their rage on strangers for the slightest offense, real or imagined. People feel so entitled. What ever happened to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”? I always try to remember that fundamental thought. If someone is truly parked illegally in your space then call a tow truck (after waiting a bit in case they’re just making a delivery.) I’m glad you didn’t let it ruin your day. People! I am afraid to go out sometimes for fear of random situations like this that I just don’t want to deal with, and women alone get picked on more. A lady once yelled at me at a gas station and I yelled right back at her, starting with “Look Lady! Back off!” She was with her husband and I was alone and I was so shocked at how mean spirited people are to other people who they think they can dominate.. It’s a sad day when we can’t assume that the average person has a sense of fairness and decency anymore.

    Let’s smile more and say “Good morning” and “Have a nice day” and compliment people. Maybe it will start a trend.

    • Catherine
      Author
      4 August 2021 / 10:04 pm

      Liz I’m all with you on the Good morning thing – that’s why I always tend to do it even if the other person doesn’t look like they want to say it back to me at all… sometimes I like almost trying to force it out of people (they might be more receptive to it when the NEXT person says good morning to them)!!

      And thank you – the post is nearly finished, it’ll be published on Friday. I was amazed at just how many times I’d worn my Panama…! x

  7. 3 August 2021 / 3:24 pm

    Oh my goodness, people and their parking space…. its a thing here too. I have been complimented twice about my outfit, both times in the UK. And we always notice that people in the UK far more often say hello then here in the Netherlands. Especially when your in a nature reserve or a national park. You look fabulous in that dress, the colour is stunning on you.

    • Catherine
      Author
      4 August 2021 / 10:07 pm

      Yep, they get very precious about it Nancy… we actually have our own private, designated parking space in a communal driveway – sometimes people park in our space in the day (mainly workmen if they’re doing something somewhere)… I’d only tell them to move if I had my car and was about to park in it, but Keith usually has the car in the day so it’s fine with me! Imagine if that was that woman and her private parking space!!!!

      And thank you re. the dress… it’s a lovely colour isn’t it 😀

  8. 3 August 2021 / 3:21 pm

    Gosh, it never ceases to amaze me how awful people can be sometimes. Whenever that kind of thing does happen, I try to remind myself that they’re probably going through something pretty awful. We never really know what’s happening to them in their private lives, do we? Poor woman. I’m also a firm believer in karma too. Enough said lol.
    As for your dress, I adore it! I agree that a boho dress in the summer is utter perfection. I love the shoes by the way!
    I did laugh at your comment about being winter again. Oh dear. Come on over to Portugal…it’s still very much summertime…summer, summer, summertime…Here it is the groove slightly transformed
    Just a bit of a break from the norm
    Just a little somethin’ to break the monotony…..how I LOVE that song!!!
    Hugs
    Suzy xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      4 August 2021 / 10:20 pm

      She really was awful in the truest sense of the word, Suzy… I’m not one to be bothered by bad language at all, but if someone’s shouting it in the street in full earshot of children then I’m FULLY against it. There’s nothing clever about being that vile and that crude in public, it’s just embarrassing 🙁

      Anyway yes, Summertime IS the best summer song!! It’s always the first thing I think of playing when the sun comes out. And thank you, this dress makes me want more boho dresses…!

  9. 3 August 2021 / 3:16 pm

    Awesome outfit, Catherine – every piece of it, and it’s so YOU! Good job not letting an obviously miserable person ruin your day. I’m just glad she didn’t do anything to your car! Thanks for a boost to my own day too.

    • Catherine
      Author
      4 August 2021 / 10:22 pm

      Thanks MK – yes I was actually worried when I was queuing in town in one of the shops, it suddenly occurred to me that I should get back and check on it. Luckily I only had a couple of things to get so I did dash back as quickly as I dashed in (car was fine thank god)!!

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