The perfect picnic dress is easy to find. When browsing your favorite shops or websites, look for dresses that are tighter on top and flare out from the waist to the knee. Strapless dresses are cute, but may not be comfortable to sit in outside all day, so look for dresses held up with thin spaghetti straps, cap sleeves or halter tops for maximum comfort and style.
Gingham is a popular and flattering print on a soft cotton picnic dress. A perfect example is Dorothy's dress from The Wizard of Oz; white and blue gingham check with a conservatively cut top. Gingham comes in many colors typically paired with white, so chose the color that best complements your skin tone. Be wary though, gingham is also a popular pattern for picnic blankets, so make sure your dress does not match or clash with your seating.
Pale colored halter dresses are perfect for a picnic date. Light colors reflect the sun on a hot day keeping you cool, while the halter top enhances cleavage but still covers up all the necessary places. Whimsy lace detail is romantic around the hem or embroidered into the dress. Floral patterned dresses are always a solid choice as well. Stay away from large busy flower patterns and chose solid colored dresses with flowers either scattered or grouped around the hem or collar. For your feet, slip on a pair of ballet flats or jewel encrusted sandals.
For girls who dare to be bold and prefer a little sparkle to their picnic dress, head over to Betsey Johnson or Nanette Lepore for a unique outfit. For more casual fashionistas, stores like J. Crew or Ann Taylor LOFT sell classically cut dresses that can be used time and again. Brands such as Splendid or James Perse make incredibly soft, solid colored dresses perfect for a day outdoors.