05/13/2014 02:07 pm ET Updated Jul 13, 2014

Summer Dresses for Every Style, Body Type or Budget

It's summertime! If the warm weather and sunny skies don't pull you towards dressing in the season's warm weather fashions, chances are you've got an event or two during the summer months that might require that you do. When it comes to this time of year the dress isn't just a great essential from a style standpoint but is among the most warm weather-friendly pieces you can wear.

The maxi dress has held the style court for a few years now and doesn't appear to be letting up on its solid position as a staple in any closet. A lot of women believe that this piece is limited to the ultra thin or tall body types, but any shape can make a maxi dress work. It all depends on the cut of the dress and the way it fits. For example, blousy fabrics can overpower petite builds or add bulk to a curvy shape. Opt for something that's a bit more fitted through the bodice instead.

If you're shorter in height, don't be afraid to have a maxi altered in its length. Just be careful that the dress hits flush to the floor or slightly higher -- you do not want much gap between the edge of the hem to the ground or it'll break up the line and proportion, making the body appear shorter or stocky. This proves true, also, with heel height and this piece. You can wear a maxi dress with heels but be cognizant of where the hem of the dress hits. If it is at the ankle or higher, go with a lower heel or opt for a different dress.

The midi dress is a big trend this summer, arriving newer to the style scene. Midi dresses tend to hit around mid-calf on most body types -- definitely below the knee. This can make the midi hard to work with for a lot of people. It tends to shorten versus elongate the body by its inherent design, so cut and fit become rather critical with this piece. Look for something that fits the body well from hip to hem. Voluminous midi styles can work -- just be aware of the role the extra fabric in the item is playing in terms of your overall look, as it can create the illusion of bulk or weight on even the slimmest of frames. Petite women may want to shy from the midi but once again, these same rules apply to your body type. For petite women, in general, volume and excessive material can overpower, and this holds true particularly with the midi dress.

Super short length dresses have grown a little tired after years of reigning popular, particularly for evening. But if short is the order, update the vibe with a sheath dress or cap sleeve cut this year. Candy colors, bright prints, and winter whites are playing up the trends in this dress length for summer. Wear with a flat shoe or a wedge versus a classic strappy heel or pump for a fresh take.

Moving from length to dress cuts and styles, you'll find a lot of options regardless of whether its a midi, maxi, etc. Camisole and tank top dresses are popular this summer, and the classic wrap or strapless cut of course have not gone anywhere this year. Regardless of taste, style or budget, there are more dresses than ever to choose from once you've got a cut in mind and understand what will be the perfect fit.

To see summer dress picks and all of this month's edition of Condiment, visit