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Long and pretty dresses to wear this Memorial Day and beyond

May 26, 2011 | 10:00 am

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Besides the fact that the maxi-length dress and skirt trend is in full swing, the Memorial Day holiday had 158Women's Madewell_Shop_By_Category - DRESSES - Wild Woodblock Sundress me thinking about long, flowy, pretty dresses that would be perfect to wear to this weekend's barbecues or outdoor Zarafloraldress6990activities. Plus you can get extra mileage out of these dresses should you have any summer vacations planned. Style them with the right pieces and they can carry over to the fall.

The pink floral version from Banana Republic is feminine and soft (above). But styled with menswear-inspired pieces the way they did in their fashion show, the dress can go from backyard cookout to work attire or dinner outfit with the addition of a neutral toned jacket or blazer and a statement necklace.

Same goes for this bold floral print dress from Zara (at right). The rich tones against an ivory background make this easy to pair with simple flat sandals or flip-flops for summer, as well as with a dark denim jacket and brown boots for fall or an evening BBQ.

The brown and black woodblock print from Madewell is another maxi style dress that’s super versatile (above left). By itself, it  has a tribal-summer vibe that would look great with black wedge sandals or even a splash of color in a pair of red espadrilles. But for cooler 49Calypso Women's Dresses - Calypso - Target Designers - Shopping Directory - Target_1306362237395 months, try black opaque tights, Victorian style lace up booties and a Tibi345netaporter fitted black leather jacket, for an instant boho-rocker look.

If you’re in the market for something full-on summery and bright, the Calypso St. Barths for Target line has a vibrant hot pink tie-dye print dress that will definitely stand out by the pool (at left). It’s roomy and caftan-esque. Just untie the little string belt and voila! You’ve gone from sleek silhouette to muumuu, which is a good feature for gatherings heavy on meat and potato salad this weekend.

Tibi has a strapless option with a greenish-blue watercolor pattern (at right). This screams sun-filled holiday and should be paired with some metallic flat sandals and a big floppy hat. 

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos: (Top) Banana Republic BR Monogram, $250 at www.bananarepublic.com. Credit: Banana Republic.  (Middle left) Madewell wild woodblock sundress, $158 at www.madewell.com. Credit: Madewell.  (Middle right) Zara floral print dress, $69.90 at Zara stores. Credit: Zara. (Bottom left) Calypso St. Barths for Target, $49 at Target stores and www.target.com. Credit: Target.  (Bottom right) Tibi strapless sundress, $345 at www.netaporter.com. Credit: Netaporter

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