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Boleros, Jackets and Shrugs for Summer

Updated on April 4, 2015
Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell is a freelance writer with WriterAccess, webmaster, member of Pinterest Party on FB and the owner of Lake Erie Artist Gallery.

Boleros, Jackets and Shrugs for Summer
Boleros, Jackets and Shrugs for Summer | Source

Adding Style to Your Wardrobe

I suppose we all have different reasons for wearing boleros - for me they add an extra dimension to any outfit, then, if I am honest, I need them to cover up rather heavy upper arms. In summer I want the function without it being heavy-weight or anything making me feel too hot. I really like cami-tops during the day but tend to feel a bit exposed - add a thin, lightweight bolero though and I am happy.

I've picked out some of my favorites, trying to pick out different styles, fabrics and prices so you will probably find something to fit into your summer wardrobe right here.

Featured here: Alex Evenings Women's Belted Lace Formal Blouse

Allegra K Ladies Sz XS Short Sleeve Open Front Shrug Black Bolero - Plus Size Sheer Cropped Bolero Shrug

eVogues Plus Size Sheer Cropped Bolero Shrug Black - 4X
eVogues Plus Size Sheer Cropped Bolero Shrug Black - 4X

This is exactly what I was thinking of - especially good for plus sizes - it covers up the upper arms without giving you too much weight.

Black Chiffon Caplet Shrug With Ruffle Edge
Black Chiffon Caplet Shrug With Ruffle Edge

This one fastens nicely in the front with a simple tie. I think it is fancy enough to wear over a fancy dress but will still look good over a cami top or something similar. You want to pick out items that can be used at different times and this is one of those things that are good in the wardrobe.

Cap Sleeve Guipure Accent Multi Layers Shrug Bolero for Women
Cap Sleeve Guipure Accent Multi Layers Shrug Bolero for Women

If you like a light wrap especially in the evening, this bolero will suit you perfectly.


Turn even the simplest of summer dresses into a perfect date night ensemble

A bolero is a very short shrug or jacket that is worn open in the front. Summer boleros are a great fashion accessory that can be used to complement even the simplest wardrobe pieces. Summer boleros, shrugs and jackets, are typically worn with such clothing items as a sleeveless dress or tank style dress. You can use them to add color, pattern, or texture to any outfit.

Many women choose to add summer boleros to their outfit as an additional layer to dress up a simple dress, or to wear to ward off the chill from an air conditioned building. They are also nice for covering up or hiding arms and shoulders in cases where you may be trying to avoid sunburn in this area, or perhaps conceal a sunburn or case of arm jiggle.

For summer daytime wear, bolero shrugs are popular choices. Many of these are made from lightweight materials, with several being a crocheted lace. These are lightweight and airy to wear and provide interesting patterns and textures that look very delicate and feminine.

As the summer evening approaches and temperatures begin to drop, a bolero jacket may be more appropriate. The jacket will provide slightly more coverage being somewhat longer than the shrug version, and many times can be found in long sleeve styles. These are perfect for warding off the chill of a summer breeze, especially when out on or near the water.

Boleros can be used to turn even the simplest of summer dresses into a perfect date night ensemble, party dress, or even something that can be worn at a semi formal occasion. Lightweight lace versions in white or ivory look especially pretty with summer bridal gowns, adding a touch of elegance.

Summer boleros can be found at several online retailers, or in popular clothing stores. If you enjoy sewing or crochet, there are also several make it yourself patterns available online.

Womens Plus Size Tie up 3/4 Flared Sleeve Shrug Lace Sequin Bolero Top - Xclusive Collection

Womens Plus Size Tie up 3/4 Flared Sleeve Shrug Lace Sequin Bolero Top (16/18, Black)
Womens Plus Size Tie up 3/4 Flared Sleeve Shrug Lace Sequin Bolero Top (16/18, Black)

For me lace is an obvious choice for summer tops and shrugs and with this one you get lots of options as to color. There are seven choices.

It is made of a nylo, viscose snd elastene mix so it is easy care and will also hold it's shape very well.

They have added a bit of bling in the form of sequins if you want to wear it over a dress.


Do you know the difference between boleros and shrugs?

They are not exactly the same

You might think they are one and the same thing but designers tend to differentiate between them...

  • I think of a bolero as a fitted, styled short or cropped jacket. Yes, you get them in short, 3/4 and full length styles and I tend to think of them as being made from fabric rather than wool. A lot of them are embellished with frills and ruffles, embroidery, sequins - all sort of things. I suppose they are mostly for dressing up, for formal and semi-formal occasion but not necessarily. Check out some of the celebrity magazines - there you can see how the rich and famous mix and match - a satin or silk bolero can top off a formal ball gown or a pair of jeans. All you need is the confidence and imagination to try different looks.
  • A shrug on the other hand is most commonly made of some sort of knit fabric. They were originally the province of dancers, made to pop on to keep their arms and shoulders muscles warm. I suppose you could think of a shrug as a cropped cardigan. More often than not they fit under the bust but they aren't necessarily as fitted as boleros. Like boleros you can get them with short, three quarter or full length sleeves and everything in between. They are great for creating layers, for bundling up without creating uncomfortable bulk.

Sexy Front Tied Short Sleeved Sheer Bolero Shrug Wrap Jacket - Hot from Hollywood

eVogues Plus Size Midnight Black Sheer Front Tie Bolero Shrug Top - 2X
eVogues Plus Size Midnight Black Sheer Front Tie Bolero Shrug Top - 2X

It looks delightfully simple, but it is delightfully effective. Add a pop of color with this shrug. It ties in the front, and just tops over a dress or top.

It is very light-weight and it is transparent. if you are like me and like the air to circulate around - you will like this one too.


Harkham Floral Lace Shrug Bolero Topper - on trend fashion for women

Harkham Women's Floral Lace Shrug Bolero Topper Black LG
Harkham Women's Floral Lace Shrug Bolero Topper Black LG

My favorite! This is a super lacey bolero that just screams style. It is sheer and elegant and will set off any outfit perfectly.

Slightly stretchy for a great fit.

Scalloped edge and rounded hems.

It is feather-light and very delicate. You can't help but feel completely feminine in this one.


Easy to Make Summer Bolero

This video shows you how you can make a very simple summer bolero at home with a piece of fabric and a sewing machine. Very little work involved. Great project for teens.

Have you bought your summer bolero yet?

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