To say we’re excited for this summer would be an understatement. After the starts, stops, and flops of the past couple of years, we’re vowing to make the most out of these upcoming sun-kissed months — and no perfect summer would be complete without the perfect summer dresses!
From the wedding circuit to bottomless brunch to finally taking that trip abroad, this year’s hottest summer dresses are here to help you make a statement everywhere you go. But just because we’re stepping up our fashion game doesn’t mean we’re done putting comfort first.
If the past couple of years taught us anything, it’s that beauty isn’t pain — it’s being as cozy as possible, whether we’re lounging, working, running errands, or hitting the town. With flowy silhouettes and zero effort required, summer dresses are the answer to our cute but comfy dress code.
If you’re ready to look hot in the heat (without breaking a sweat) or stay breezy and cool as you bounce from event to event, we’ve found THE dresses for the job. Keep reading for our favorite ‘fits, from Bridgerton-inspired nap dresses to the perfect Little White Dress.
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Where to Buy Summer Dresses
Retailers far and wide have heard the cry for chic summer dresses, and they. are. delivering. If you’re looking to try out the latest trends (from sultry cut-outs to statement neon), you should buy summer dresses from shops like Lulus, H&M, and ASTR The Label.
How to Wear Summer Dresses
Arguably the best thing about summer dresses is how wearable they are. Whatever aesthetic you’re leaning toward this summer, from coconut girl to coastal grandma, you can achieve a look that feels like you with the right dress — and, of course, the right styling.
For an everyday look, we love wearing summer dresses with strappy sandals for a laid-back, beachy vibe or your go-to white sneakers to give it a cool girl edge. If you want to take the look up a notch, you can’t go wrong with the festival shoe of choice (which we’re going to be rocking all summer long): cowboy boots. Complete the look with some jewelry that fits your personality, like a chic birthstone ring or retro sunglasses.
If you’re dressing for more glam events, like a wedding, bachelorette party, or baby shower, you can easily take your look up a notch with some trendy heels and statement tassel earrings. Swap your tote bag for a clutch and you’ve got an elevated look that doesn’t sacrifice on style. Just remember to stay within the dress code on your invite!
What does a semi formal dress code really mean? We’re here to break down how formal is too formal.
What to Wear Under Summer Dresses
This year, cut-outs, plunging necklines, and open backs are ALL the rage for summer style. So, what do you wear under these summer dresses to stay comfortable and, ahem, covered?
A classic for a reason, silky slips are perfect for wearing under dresses that are sheer or have fabric that cling to your body, which can cause it to chafe or ride up. Plus, with the right accessories you may be able to repurpose your slip as another dress for date nights or evenings out. It’s glamorous and functional!
If your summer dress has cut-outs or necklines that make it impossible to wear with a normal bra, it may be time to get an adjustable plunge bra or a strapless adhesive bra. Or, if you’re not into the idea of a bra that sticks to you, we love this clever, customizable option.
Now that you know the ins and outs of styling summer dresses, it’s time to go shopping!
Casual Summer Dresses
If you’re swearing off pants or shorts this summer (because same), casual summer dresses are perfect for rocking anywhere and everywhere.
Simply throw them on and you’ve got a stylish look that can take you from bright mornings at the farmers market to balmy nights at your favorite beer garden. The best part about casual dresses? They look great with your favorite pair of sneakers (seriously, could there be a cuter look?!).
Whether you’re escaping to that beach vacay you’ve been planning for years, or you just want to emulate those care-free vibes, this is the casual dress for you. It’s just as effortless and relaxed as your favorite lounge set, but way cuter.
The best casual dresses make you look like you put real effort into your outfit — when all you did was throw it on over your head. Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with us! This stunning slip dress will give you those polished vibes in the seconds it takes to tie up the dainty straps.
Our devotion to cottagecore is still going strong, and this casual nap dress is giving the aesthetic a bright, summery upgrade. Expect to see this sweet and sunny silhouette EVERYWHERE this summer. Comfy, cozy, and WAY cute.
Channel all the picnic season vibes with this playful gingham dress (so cute, yet casual!). Pair it with a homemade charcuterie board, a group of friends, and your best picnic blanket for the perfect sunny afternoon.
This groovy casual dress checks the boxes for all of our favorite summer trends — bright hues, a retro print, and that micro mini hemline. When we tell you we’re OBSESSED, we cannot stress that enough. Style it with some statement gold jewelry or a colorful pair of sunglasses.
P.S. This cute mini also comes in 14 other summer-ready colors and patterns!
This casual summer dress makes us want to quit our jobs, move to a cottage in the woods, and spend our days picking wildflowers.
The smocked bodice and breezy cotton fabric will have you looking AND feeling your best, even during those scorching summer days. And that feminine ruffle neckline is seriously swoon-worthy.
It’s essential for casual summer dresses to be breathable, and this orange Madewell frock understood the assignment. Plus, Madwell partners with the Better Cotton Initiative to improve cotton farming globally — as if we needed another excuse to add this to our cart!
An unexpected cutout detail gives this sweet and casual babydoll summer dress a flirty edge, and we are here for it. Combined with a bright floral print, this frock is truly to die for.
And if colorful patterns aren’t your vibe, this flirty dress also comes in plain colors for a look you’ll be rocking ALL summer long.
Summer Maxi Dresses
Whether you want to channel easy, breezy bohemian or elevated elegance, summer maxi dresses are a no-brainer for those warm-weather months. Every wardrobe needs one (or two) for the days you want to add some movement and dimension to your look — while still feeling cool when temperatures creep to scorching levels. Our favorites are floaty, free, and a little bit fun.
A casual summer maxi dress that instantly sparks joy? Sign us up! This look is ultra flattering with a twist top and front cut-out detail — perfect for a swimsuit cover up or sizzling going out dress.
Oh-so romantic, this flowy ruched look is the ultimate summer wedding guest gown. With feminine florals and a playful tiered skirt, it will turn heads whether you’re making a toast to the newly betrothed or showing off your moves on the dance floor.
Attending a summer wedding and need a gown that’ll keep you fabulously cool (and chic!) in the heat? We’ve got you covered.
Florals and flowy summer maxi dresses go together like bees and honey. The flowers on this maxi dress are so vibrant, they seem to be blossoming right off of the fabric. We love the ruffle detail and silky fabric…such a work of art!
A flattering cinched bodice means you can show as much or as little skin as you’d like with this flowy maxi dress. It’s a fashion-forward pick for your most hotly anticipated summer occasions, from a secret garden wedding to a bubbly baby shower.
You’ll look like the center of the universe with this sunny yellow maxi dress. Made with loose linen, this frock will help you stay cool, even when your ‘fit is fire.
This floral maxi dress screams Bridgerton, but with a sexy twist. The cut-out on the side adds a flirty pop of skin, which is complemented with the modest neckline and fluttery sleeves. You’ve heard it here first: this is the diamond of the summer season.
Nothing says laid-back, summer vibes like tie dye. Sit back and relax with this casual blue maxi dress — perfect for walks along the beach or weekend coffee runs.
Petite Summer Dresses
Petite summer dresses are here to save the day when you want to look cute and carefree, without being weighed down by too much fabric or overwhelming silhouettes. With more inclusive size options, you can rock every covetable summer style — no trip to the tailor necessary.
Our top picks range from sophisticated to free-spirited, and they all dazzle on a petite frame.
Not only is this petite dress flattering for every occasion, it’s also flattering for every body type. It comes in a wide range of sizes and five different colors, including pretty pink and bright yellow. Easily dress it up or down with the right accessories (it would pop with some fun and colorful tassel earrings!).
When it comes to petite dresses with floor-skimming hemlines, it can be difficult to find a silhouette that doesn’t overpower your figure. This petite maxi dress is flowy and floaty but still super flattering thanks to its open back and tiered skirt.
This petite summer dress is bold in the best way. A bold print, a mini hemline, and flirty ruffle sleeves mean that you’ll stand out, whether you’re sightseeing on your Mediterranean vacay or lighting up happy hour.
Comfortable, cute, and just a little bit sexy, this petite summer dress really does it all. We love that it has multiple size options, and the black color makes it wearable no matter your sartorial style. Style it with a fun tote bag and some matching black sunnies for all your summer outings.
For minimalists looking for something feminine and playful, this petite dress is a pale pink dream. Plus, the babydoll silhouette is gorgeous on a petite frame. And made with lightweight linen, it’ll keep you cool and comfy all season long.
Make the most out of weekdays back in the office with this sophisticated petite shirt dress. The tie detail is fun without going over the top, perfect for lunch meetings and elegant Sunday brunches alike.
The radiant lilac hue and flirty ruffles of this petite high-low flowy dress are simply too cute to resist. Catch us re-wearing this for the entire wedding season.
Whether you wear this flowy petite summer dress on your tropical getaway or lounging around the house, it’ll transport you to that free-spirited, summer state of mind. With the cutest high-low silhouette and a vibrant color scheme that we can’t stop thinking about, this dress has main character energy.
Like a breath of fresh air, this blue petite gown is cool and collected. The laid-back silhouette is optimal for styling any way you like — while the plunging v-neck gives it a sexy touch.
Wear it as a beach cover-up or rock it for a casual date night. Either way, we have a feeling you’ll be living in this frock for the next few months.
White Summer Dresses
The LWD (little white dress) is to summer what the LBD is to, well, every other time of the year. These white summer dresses are a fool-proof way to look good, no matter where your summer adventures take you.
Easily transition from day to night, picnic to dancing, suntanning to stargazing, and everything in between. In other words, white dresses are an essential piece for your summer capsule wardrobe — and are a chic lifesaver when it’s too hot to think about putting an outfit together.
GWS Tip! White summer dresses are also a great investment for bachelorette parties, bridal showers, and rehearsal dinners, since you can easily dress them up or down. If it’s the final countdown to your wedding, add some everyday white pieces into your summer wardrobe to build that excitement right up until the big day!
Check out our full roundup of little white dresses, perfect for all the events leading up to your “I do”s.
We couldn’t create a roundup of white summer dresses and not start off with something cottagecore. This dreamy, casual dress is extra sweet with fluttery ruffles, textured fabric, and a comfortable smocked bodice.
Another no brainer for white summer dresses: a laid-back free-spirited design. This dress combines a lightweight flowy texture with a bohemian silhouette and an alluring strappy back. The result? A breathable, feminine dress that you’ll want to show off all day every day.
How timeless is this flowy button-front casual white dress? Made with airy and durable cotton, it’s designed to last far longer than even the cutest trends. You better believe we’ll be wearing this every summer for the foreseeable future.
At this point, milkmaid dresses are such a staple in closets, we wouldn’t know what to do without them. They literally look good on everyone! Go classic with white and keep it breezy and casual with airy lightweight fabric.
This midi length white dress is the definition of chic. While Y2K fashion may be in its comeback era, we think this romantic vintage-inspired corset bodice and lace trim will always be in style. And, for those looking to juice up their summer wardrobe, this dress also comes in a cheerful nature-inspired print.
Flowy tiered skirt? Check. Mini hemline? Check. Smocked bodice and romantic ruffle details? Check and check. This flirty frock has everything we could possibly ask for in a casual white summer dress. We have no notes!
If you’re looking to stop traffic with your summer ‘fit, this eye-catching white dress is a must for your warm-weather lineup. It would be THE moment for a summery rehearsal dinner or an elevated bridal shower. Seriously, how sweet is the eyelet detailing?!
Amazon Summer Dresses
If you’re looking for a covetable new addition to your summer wardrobe and you needed it yesterday, Amazon summer dresses have you covered. These picks are cute and affordable — and they’re your best friend for last-minute party invites or spontaneous weekend getaways.
Step up your summer style in the 24 hours it takes for these dresses to arrive at your doorstep! We’re pretty sure it doesn’t get any better than that.
Nothing says summer like a bold tropical print! This flowy Amazon summer dress channels that lush feeling with vibrant colors and a boho high-low hemline.
Soft, sweet, and oh-so flattering, this flowy Amazon dress would stun for a summer event. Wear it with your hair pulled up to show off the open back with a romantic tie detail.
Casual and effortlessly cool, this flowy Amazon summer dress would be a great coverup for the beach or pool — but we prefer it glammed up with some boho accessories. Think layered necklaces, stacked rings, and a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face.
With flirty tie straps, a flowy skirt, a flattering smocked bodice, and over 20 colors to choose from, this Amazon dress might just be the perfect summer look. We’ll take four!
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we’re retiring our much-loved animal print! This Amazon dress shows your fun side with a leopard pattern, but keeps the look chic with dainty ruffles.
One-shoulder dresses are HUGE right now, and it’s not difficult to see why. This Amazon pick takes some of the classic features of your favorite warm-weather frock, but adds oomph with the trendy neckline and lively color. And that flowy skirt is GOALS.
Prepare for this casual Amazon dress to be your new favorite closet staple. While you can’t go wrong with black, it does come in multiple different colors and patterns, including a summer must: sage green. You may want to pick up a few — you’re going to wear it THAT often.
Flowy Summer Dresses
As you may have guessed by now, flowy summer dresses are our favorite warm-weather silhouettes. On those hot summer days and nights, there’s truly nothing better than a floaty, airy frock that feels like you’re not wearing anything at all.
Plus, flowy dresses add an element of drama that gives summer memories their unique je ne sais quoi. Perfect for twirling, frolicking, and swaying, here are a few more flowy summer dresses that have captured our hearts (and our closet spaces).
This flowy yellow midi dress is a serious mood-booster, and we love the dimension that the tiers add to the full skirt. It would be nearly impossible to have a bad day when you’re wearing this dress!
Aptly named “Ready to Bloom,” this flowy summer dress from Lulus is fresh, floral, and gorgeously feminine. The blue and green print offers a cool alternative to your typical pink floral dress — ensuring you stand out at your next summer event.
We love an unexpected color combo, and the orange and purple of this midi flowy dress is seriously dreamy. Combined with a one-of-a-kind woodblock print, this handmade dress feels luxe and slightly vintage. Oh, and did we mention that it has pockets?
The warm, earthy hues of this flowy midi length summer gown are putting us in a sunny haze. Style it with glimmering gold jewelry and you’ll look like a walking golden hour.
It’s official: we’re head over heels in love with this flowy summer maxi dress! With such a rad graphic pattern, it’ll help you stand out, no matter where the evening takes you. Plus, it’s size inclusive and SO flattering, perfect for all your hot date nights and formal summer events.
Paisley is a summer classic, and this casual blue flowy gown is proof. With a smocked bodice and an airy tiered skirt, it was made for twirling under the sun, Sound of Music style.
Who doesn’t want to dazzle like the night sky whenever they walk into a room? With this sequined flowy maxi dress, you’ll look like a sparkly, celestial dream.
How Are You Styling Your Warm-Weather Outfits?
While almost all of these dresses are a complete look on their own, we’re absolute suckers for cute, statement accessories. Was it Coco Chanel who said you should always take one thing off before you leave the house? We can’t relate!
To give that warm-weather outfit some personality, why not try a birthstone necklace or some stackable birthstone rings? For a bit more oomph, statement earrings (including our favorites, tassel earrings), are true show-stoppers. And, for the final touch, spice up your most practical accessory with these It Girl sunglasses. Summer, here we come!
How are you planning on styling your ‘fits in the blazing heat? Tell us in the comments below!