Fab Collab: Celebrating Summer in a Sundress at Seventy-Plus

Summer Sundresses for 4 generations.

Summer Sundress: Then & Now

It’s time for another Fab Collab! Sherry from Petite Over 40 is back and this time we’re featuring that favorite summer staple, the sundress. If you joined our first Fab Collab where we shared styles and stories behind our pearls, you know that each of us represent a different decade in life. Sherry is in her 40s, I’m in my 50s, Nancy is in her 60s, and Mom is in her 70s. 
All this week you’ll see how we’re styling sundresses these days and read our own personal connections to a particular dress from our pasts. Sherry got the week started styling a Lilly Pulitzer sundress and sharing a story about dress that made her feel as elegant as Meryl Streep in the movie Out of Africa. Read her story here.
I styled my modern day sundress with a neck scarf & accessories–yellow, of course!! You can read about my handmade floral sundress that reminds me of dental school here.
Then Nancy took her floral sundress to stand with the flowers at the Botanic Gardens and gave us a story about her youth here
Summer Sundress for 4 generations.

Sundress Then:

In Charlotte’s words: To me a sundress is a washable comfortable dress to be worn in the heat of summer.  It was usually worn for vacation travel. The one in the picture below was yellow gingham, loose fitting with a  tie belt and about knee length.

Summer Sundresses for 4 generations. Summer Sundresses for 4 generations

After making my dress I had enough fabric left to make one for Jodie (about 10 years old).  We wore these matching dresses on one of our summer trips to Washington D.C.(the picture of Charlotte was at Mount Vernon). It’s funny because I remember overhearing a lady wondering if I had made or purchased the dresses. But since she was a stranger, I didn’t respond. Nowadays it seems like dresses are the last thing worn for travel.

This trip to Washington DC had many memorable moments. Since we took our car, I was the driver while Jodie navigated. Needless to say the driving in DC was tremendously difficult even then and there were many times we got lost. One time was right before our tour was scheduled at the White House. Luckily when we pulled up to the area, we found a parking spot very close to the front. When we came out of our tour however, we had a ticket since it was a non-parking zone. However the ticket was only $5, so it was well worth it.

Jodie & I had taken a trip to Eastern Europe the year before this. After seeing all of the castles in Czechoslovakia where the walls were lined with gold, she wasn’t quite as impressed with the White House.  I had to explain that the U.S. was only about 300 years old and Eastern Europe was more like 3,000 years old.

This was not the only time we had mother/daughter matching dresses. Since I could sew my own clothes, it was easy and fun to make us outfits that were coordinated. Of course by the time Jodie got to be older than elementary school, this was plain embarrassing to her (this is Jodie—can we talk about what an awkward stage this picture is from? I wasn’t going to include it but since you couldn’t see the front of mom’s dress, I did—no laughing!)

If you missed it earlier in the week, don’t forget to check out Sherry’s (the 40’s model) sundress and the story behind it on her blog: Petite Over 40! You can link to Jodie’s sundress (50’s) post here and Nancy’s sundress (60’s) here.

Sundress Now:

Summer Sundress for 4 generations Summer Sundresses for 4 generations. Summer Sundress for 4 generations.

Charlotte’s (70’s) Outfit: Mom doesn’t have an abundance of what I’d consider sundresses in her closet. But I thought since maxi dresses are so popular right now, this dress would serve the purpose marvelously!

The red shoes (and accessories) are definitely my addition to try to make the outfit more fun & modern. Of course black sandals would have been the easiest, but we just threw that pair out!

Dress: Jessica Howard (similar here)~~Shoes: Innoncence (similar here)~~Necklace: (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Bracelet: (similar here)

Thanks for reading—Don’t forget to share your sundress story in the comments—it’s just as fun to learn about you!!

And last but definitely not least, here are some maxis as sundresses (the Old Navy one is a great deal and even comes in Tall versions)

  • Kathleen McDermott

    Now those darling yellow and white gingham dresses are what I call sundresses. Charlotte’s maxi dress is so pretty. Effortless elegance and femininity, while comfy and cool. I love a cap or short sleeve, so this is right up my alley. And you know how I love florals.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      These are the epitome of sundresses, right?
      Sometimes I wish we had more photos from the years gone by!! But even nowadays, it’s hard to not be in the present if we’re always snapping pictures!!

  • Endearing story. And I love your mom in a long sundress. The red shoes add even more interest to the outfit. Gosh she looks good. She always did.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Didn’t this turn out good? We all get into our style ruts and although mom always dresses nicely, she tends to pair the same things together. However, I come along and try to get her to mix things up—I know she loves me, but I annoy the heck out of her at times (isn’t that the definition of a good daughter?)! She would have NEVER put the red shoes on with this—but I like the contrast!!

  • Such breezy, fun dresses for all ages! Thanks so much for joining us at #FridayFrivolity this week!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Lisa!

  • I adore this series, Jodie, and the perspectives of mature women. And your mom’s maxi too – love it! xo


    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks so much Patti!! It’s been so fun to go through pictures and then seeing what we can come up with in our closet now!!

  • brilliant, the maxi dress is the new sundress! Charlotte looks great in hers and I love the story of mother/daughter dresses. I remember when I used to dress my daughter as my mini-me. Nowadays, we are amused when we accidentally twin. Thanks for sharing your post on my Fine-Whatever link up.


    • Jodie Filogomo

      I like the accidental twinning—even my husband and I do that sometimes—to me that shows being on the same wavelength!!
      Thanks for reading, Rena!!

  • Mother Daughter

    I love sundresses and daughter and I had a number of them alike back when she was a little girl. I use to sew and still can when I decide to. lol Your mother looks great in her maxi dress.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Did Katie love that as a kid? I think it was fun as a youngster…I just remember being older and thinking it was silly!!
      You should post a couple pix of the creations!!!

      • Mother Daughter

        I don’t remember Katie ever saying anything. lol But that doesn’t mean she didn’t. I will have to find some pictures and post them.

        • Jodie Filogomo

          Can’t wait to see them!!

  • Rosemond C

    I love the red accessories with the maxi dress. It totally make the outfit pop. I’m jealous, I had the hardest time finding matching dresses for my daughter and I when my daughter was younger. Now she’s way too old to be seen in anything remotely similar!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Ha ha…I can so relate. I guess that’s definitely an advantage of sewing! Maybe you could start your own clothing line of matching mom/daughter clothing??
      Thanks so much for reading Rosemond

  • Aww…I loved seeing these photos and hearing your mom’s perspective on things! I always loved the matching mother/daughter dresses. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      These old photos are so fun, Darlene—as for the matching outfits? They’re cute now, but ….

  • AngeliePangilinan

    That’s such a beautiful sundress! 🙂

    Angelie // Avon Illuminating Face Pearls Review

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks so much Angelie!!

  • I’ve really enjoyed this series Jodie, this post and story was lovely. I love how you and your mum wore matching dresses when you were little. Gemma x

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Gemma!! It is cute looking back!!

  • sophie

    I love sundresses.They always look pretty

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I think so too—thanks so much for reading!!

  • Jean Ann

    I love the photo of Charlotte in her sundress with her yellow sandals bracelet and earrings the hat and purse coordinating. You have inherited her sense of style Jodie. Please continue to share these older photos and the updated current fashions it’s great to see! I really enjoy the personal stories also.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      This really has been fun to do these series!! Sherry (the 40’s model) gets all the credit—it was totally her fabulous idea! We’re planning on doing one every quarter!!
      I’ll tell mom you liked this–she’ll be very pleased!!

  • I love this yellow sundress on your Mom!

    I think it is darn cool you travelled with your Mom at such a young age.

    I know all about wearing matching outfits. My Grandma used to sew for my sister and I as we couldn’t afford retail clothing. I HATED it! Both my sister and I did. Of course being the older of the two I really despised looking like my sister. This might be why I’m so obsessed with not wanting to dress like anyone else.


    • Jodie Filogomo

      Isn’t it funny how adults think its so cute and the kids do not!! I’m sure I didn’t mind it at this age because we garnered quite a bit of attention, but especially as you get older you want to be your own person, right?
      And at the younger ages, I was a good kid, so travelling with me was relatively easy (it wasn’t until high school that I became a brat—one of these days I’ll tell you about the Grand Canyon trip). It was really just us two after she got divorced—so we did everything together.
      I’d love to see some of those photos of your sister & you—you should do a flashback!!

  • Bernadette Laganella

    You came by your fashion sense honestly. From this post I can see your Mom also has always been very fashionable.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      It’s funny…because I’m not sure I realized it until we were going through her old pictures for this series! Even when she was growing up on a farm—she loved clothing and that’s one of the reasons she went into home economics!

  • Judy Gramith

    The fashions are wonderful; Charlotte’s skills as a seamstress are evident and the results delightful! What is more definitive than a yellow gingham sundress! It’s perfection!
    This post with the accompanying story of the two of you at Mount Vernon is the BEST EVER!
    There is the lovely Charlotte sitting in the coolness of the grass with the portico as a backdrop. Her sun hat and white wicker (?) purse, the perfect accessories. “Splendor In The Grass”!!
    These were the days when we dressed up for an occasion that was unique. Charlotte and her daughter were elegant ladies visiting Washington DC. SUNDRESSES REQUIRED!!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      You’re so right—yellow, gingham, sundress are the perfect ingredients for a summer trip. Mom has always dressed up for occasions…it’s hard to get her to leave the house in casual—I’m sure that’s where I get my love of clothing & looking nice!
      I always lament, that it’s so sad we’ve gotten so casual nowadays!! Especially when travelling—but since trends & fashion cycle, maybe that will too! And we’ll be tooting around as tourists in our sundresses again!!
      Thanks for the lovely comment Jude!!

  • What a lovely story! I did not know you traveled a lot with your mom. I need to read some older posts on your blog.your mother looks so very stylish, she must be a remarkable woman!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Nancy!!
      My mom loved to travel every summer since she was a teacher and had all summer as vacation. We usually borrowed my grandparents RV, but sometimes just took our car. The Europe trip came about through a school project! Even in the last 20 years, she usually takes an abroad trip with this travel group in town!! She definitely has the bug, but has slowed down some now!!