11 Items to Wear Over a Sleeveless Dress in the Summer
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  • Writer's pictureBrenda

11 Items to Wear Over a Sleeveless Dress in the Summer

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Summer is the perfect time to embrace sleeveless dresses and show off your upper arms. However, there might be occasions or moments when you feel the need for a little extra coverage or want to add a touch of style to your outfit. Luckily, there are plenty of options available to wear over a sleeveless dress that can elevate your look while keeping you comfortable in the warm weather. In this blog post, we will explore 11 fashionable items that you can effortlessly pair with your favorite sleeveless dress this summer.


*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, at no cost to you.

1. Lightweight Cardigan: A lightweight cardigan is a versatile option for layering over a sleeveless dress. Choose lightweight or sheer fabrics in a complementary color to add a touch of elegance and provide some coverage without overheating. A sheer cardigan could be worn on top of sleeveless tops as well.

Get the look HERE

2. Denim Jacket: For a more casual and trendy look, throw a jean jacket over your strapless dress. Denim adds a cool and edgy vibe to any outfit, making it a great option for summer nights or casual daytime events. Complete your overall look with a pair of white sneakers or chic sandals.

Get the look HERE

3. Kimono: A kimono is a stylish and breezy option to wear over a sleeveless dress in the hot weather. Opt for a flowy fabric, such as chiffon or silk, to create a bohemian-inspired look. The loose fit and vibrant patterns of kimonos make them perfect for adding a pop of color and a touch of femininity to your ensemble.

Get the look HERE

4. Blazer: If you need to transition your sleeveless dress from a day at the office to an evening event, consider pairing it with a lightweight blazer. Choose a breathable fabric like linen or cotton in a neutral tone for a sophisticated and polished appearance. This is a great way to style your summer dresses with short sleeves for a more formal event.

Get the look HERE

5. Cropped Jacket: For a fashion-forward and playful look, layer a cropped jacket over your sleeveless dress. This combination adds dimension and visual interest to your outfit, while allowing you to showcase the top part of your dress.

Experiment with different colors and patterns to create unique and eye-catching ensembles.

Get the look HERE

6. Oversized Shirt: An oversized shirt tied at the waist can effortlessly transform your sleeveless dress into a casual, chic ensemble. Opt for a linen or cotton shirt in a neutral color and leave a few buttons undone for a relaxed and laid-back summer look. Another stylish way of wearing your shirt on top of your favorite summer dresses is by tying it into a knot in the front.

Get the look HERE 7. Lightweight Scarf: A lightweight scarf can be a versatile accessory to wear over a sleeveless dress. Whether you drape it around your neck or tie it as a belt, a scarf adds a touch of elegance and can protect your shoulders from the sun. This is a good choice for date night. Choose a vibrant pattern or a solid color that complements your dress.

Get the look HERE

8. Cropped Sweater: On cooler summer days or evenings, consider layering a cropped sweater over your sleeveless dress. This combination is both cozy and stylish, allowing you to wear your favorite summer dress throughout the year. Choose a sweater with an interesting texture or pattern for added visual appeal.

Get the look HERE

9. Vest: A vest is a unique and fashionable choice for layering over a sleeveless dress on hot days. Opt for a tailored waistcoat for a sophisticated and professional look, or go for a boho-inspired crochet vest for a more relaxed and eclectic vibe. Complete your look with a pair of heels or ballet flats.

Get the look HERE

A more affordable version can be found HERE

10. Sheer Top: For a touch of romance and femininity, layer a sheer top over your sleeveless dress. This combination adds a delicate and ethereal feel to your outfit while providing coverage. On cool summer evenings, opt for a sheer top with long sleeves to cover your bare arms.

Get the look HERE

11. Button-Up Shirt: A classic button-up shirt is a versatile piece that can be worn over a sleeveless dress in various ways. Leave it unbuttoned and tie it at the waist for a casual and effortless look or button it up and tuck it into the dress for a more polished appearance.

Get the look HERE

With these 11 stylish items, you can easily transform your sleeveless dress into a fabulous summer ensemble. Whether you're looking for a casual daytime outfit, a polished office look, or a chic evening attire, these layering options offer both style and functionality.

Remember to consider the fabric, color, and pattern of the items you choose to ensure they complement your dress and create a cohesive overall look. Experiment with different combinations and mix and match these items to suit your personal style and the occasion. Don't be afraid to play with colors, textures, and patterns to add interest and create unique outfits that reflect your individuality.

Get the look HERE Additionally, accessorizing plays a crucial role in completing your outfit. Consider adding a wide-brimmed hat, a statement necklace, a belt, or a pair of stylish sandals to elevate your look even further. These accessories can tie the entire ensemble together and add an extra layer of flair to your summer style. Remember, comfort is key during the hot summer months, so opt for lightweight fabrics that allow your skin to breathe and keep you cool. Embrace the carefree and playful nature of summer fashion, and have fun experimenting with different combinations until you find the perfect look that makes you feel confident and comfortable.

Get the look HERE Now that you know the different ways to add an extra layer to your sleeveless summer dresses, I would like to share some of my favorite sleeveless dresses. I know some of you are on the hunt for the perfect summer dress to add to your summer wardrobe and so this list should prove helpful.

The Best Summer Dresses

1. Flowy Maxi Dress: Maxi dresses are a summer staple, and a sleeveless version adds an extra touch of sophistication. Opt for a flowy maxi dress in a lightweight fabric like chiffon or cotton to stay comfortable in the heat.

Get the look HERE The long, sweeping silhouette is effortlessly elegant and can be dressed up or down for any occasion. Choose vibrant floral prints or solid pastel colors to embrace the vibrant spirit of summer. Opt for dresses with shorter sleeves if you’re comfortable showing off your arms.

2. Fit-and-Flare Dress: For a flirty and feminine look, a fit-and-flare dress is the perfect option. This classic silhouette cinches at the waist and flares out at the skirt, creating a flattering shape for any body type.

Get the look HERE Select a sleeveless fit-and-flare dress in a playful pattern, such as polka dots or stripes, for a touch of retro charm. Pair it with wedges or sandals for a cute and comfortable daytime outfit.

3. Shirt Dress: A sleeveless shirt dress is both stylish and versatile, making it a must-have for summer. With its button-down front and collar, this dress combines casual and polished elements effortlessly.

Get the look HERE Opt for a lightweight fabric like linen or chambray for a laid-back vibe. You can wear it with sneakers for a casual daytime look or dress it up with heeled sandals and statement accessories for a more refined ensemble. During the winter months, you could easily add a pair of leggings underneath.

4. Sundress: A sundress epitomizes summer fashion, and a sleeveless version is an absolute essential. Sundresses are typically made from lightweight cotton or linen fabrics, perfect for keeping cool on hot days.

Get the look HERE Look for sundresses with fun and flirty details like ruffles, smocking, or delicate embroidery. Whether you choose a breezy floral print or a vibrant solid color, a sundress will keep you feeling stylish and comfortable all season long.

5. Shift Dress: A sleeveless shift dress is a timeless and versatile choice for summer. Known for its relaxed and effortless silhouette, a shift dress skims over the body without clinging, making it a favorite dress for those hot summer days. You can also style shift dresses for more professional settings with a high heels and a trench coat.

Get the look HERE Opt for a sleeveless shift dress in a bright and bold color to make a statement, or choose a classic neutral shade for a more understated look. Pair it with strappy sandals and a floppy hat for a chic and effortless summer outfit.

As the temperatures rise, sleeveless dresses become the go-to choice for staying cool and stylish in the summer heat. Whether you opt for a flowy maxi dress, a flirty fit-and-flare, a classic shirt dress, a charming sundress, or a relaxed shift dress, you can't go wrong.

Get the look HERE These five stunning sleeveless dress options offer a range of styles to suit any occasion, from casual outings to special events. So, embrace the summer vibes, experiment with different accessories, and rock these fabulous sleeveless dresses with confidence and style all season long.

Wearing a sleeveless dress in the summer doesn't mean you have to compromise on style or coverage. By incorporating these 11 stylish items into your wardrobe, you can effortlessly elevate your sleeveless dress and create fashionable and versatile outfits for any occasion. Enjoy the summer in style and embrace the endless possibilities of layering!

Get the look HERE

Do check out my post: 8 Items to Wear Over Your Cocktail Dress to Stay Warm for some more ideas on how to add a warm layer on top of your cocktail dresses.

I also have a post: How to Wear a Sleeveless Dress All Year Round which serves as a general guide on how to add outerwear to your dresses for different occasions.

Get the shawl HERE

Do check out my post: 10 Outfits to Wear to the Lake This Year for some outfit ideas to wear to the lake this summer.

Headed to a country concert on a chilly night? Check out my post: 11 Outfit Ideas to Wear to a Country Concert When it's Cold.

Until the next post,



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