One of the best things about summer is not needing to bundle up in layers every time we leave the house. We can just throw on one of our favorite women’s dresses, slip on some matching shoes, and we’re ready to go. The tricky part is deciding what type of dress to wear for a night out. After all, loads of dress styles are on the market, and you’ll have to consider length, type of sleeve (if any), material, color, and style. Don’t worry, though: We’ve organized a list of night-out activities, with recommendations for summer dresses to wear with each one.
When you want to dress to impress but want to feel comfortable as well, you can’t go wrong with fit-and-flare dresses. The fabric is flowy and breezy, and the style flatters most body types as well. And because they tend to hit at or just above the knee, these dresses strike a perfect balance between being modest and carefree. You can dress up your fit-and-flare with some heels or dress it down by pairing it with a jean jacket and flats. Fit-and-flare dresses come in a variety of styles, so you’ll be able to choose your favorite neckline and sleeve length.
During summertime, some nights are warmer than others. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside tied to your air conditioner. You can still go out and feel comfortable in your outfit, as long as you choose a dress made of the right fabric. Choose a lightweight fabric that’s not only breathable but also moisture-wicking to hide any potential perspiration and keep your skin dry. Linen and lightweight cotton are ideal but stay away from fabrics that are entirely synthetic because they tend to trap heat. Synthetic blends are a good compromise because they tend to have the benefits of cotton but the durability of materials like polyester and nylon.
When you want to look polished and cute but don’t want to put too much effort into it, the T-shirt dress is a wardrobe essential. As long as it’s free of wrinkles and clean, you can’t help but look good in a T-shirt dress. Plus, they’re super versatile—you can wear them with sneakers or sandals. And since they’re ultra-comfortable, you can enjoy your night even longer, whether it’s sitting at an outdoor bar, hanging out on the back porch gossiping, or just taking a casual walk with the dog around the neighborhood. When looking for a T-shirt dress, keep in mind that they’re sometimes called jersey dresses, and they’re also sometimes made of wrinkle-resistant material, which is a huge bonus!
There’s something about the bohemian look that’s classy yet casual at the same time. And what dress is more perfect for this than a long, flowy maxi dress with some delicate spaghetti straps? Typically best for warm nights, you can still cover up a maxi dress with a cute little jean jacket or even a button-down flannel in case the temperature suddenly drops. With your hair hanging down, a flower tucked over your ear, gladiator sandals on your feet, and some cute bracelets on your wrists, you’ll have boho chic down pat.
Outdoor concerts under the stars are a much-anticipated part of summer for men and women alike. But there aren’t always conventional places to sit, and a dress isn’t always ideal for this reason. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the comfort of a dress. Just look for a romper dress that has shorts built into it. This will give the illusion of being dressed up but the practicality to wear it anywhere.
Just as not all dresses are the same, not all nights are the same. Some nights are more special than others and, as such, you’ll need a special occasion dress to fit the bill. While this can technically be any dress, the key is to make it a dressier one than you would normally be seen in. So, if it's normal for you to wear a T-shirt dress, consider something like a cap-sleeve, wrap-style maxi dress instead. Or, if you’re attending a professional event, consider a simple but stylish sheath dress for a flattering yet classy look. You’ll also want to make sure you dress it up with accessories, a cute clutch or purse, and some heels or elegant flats.
Regardless of what you have in store this summer, having any of these dresses on hand will help make sure you’re ready for anything life throws your way.