Summer is Dress Season. A good summer dress is the perfect one-piece outfit that's versatile, comfortable, and can keep you cool during the longest, hottest days of the year. The best summer dresses are the summer dresses that can be worn time and time again at an endless variety of events and days.
This ideal summer dress can also be taken seamlessly from day to night. Whether your summer plans are full of weddings, festivals, and backyard barbeques or mostly consist of quiet at-home lounging, we have the perfect summer dresses to take you from day to evening.
A cute, fit-and-flare A-line dress is flattering and versatile. The A-line dress is an easy choice for moving from day to night without changing your look too much. Pair this dress with a denim jacket and a pair of comfy flats for a casual about-town daytime look.
When moving into the evening, swap your denim jacket for a sleeker leather jacket or a sports coat, and switch out your flats for a pair of strappy heels. You haven’t changed your dress, but your look has shifted completely and (almost) effortlessly.
The T-shirt dress is a great option when going from day to night with a single piece. These comfy cotton dresses are great for lounging around the house or working from home during the day but can also be dressed up for a casual but chic night-out look.
Elevate your casual t-shirt dress style by pairing this dress with a pair of cute leather ankle boots. Dress up this simple style with a long, elegant necklace or dangling drop earrings. If your shirt dress is on the shorter side, you can experiment with wearing leggings or pants under it to completely change up the look. If your shirt dress is on the longer and more billowy side, elevate this piece with a belt and a leather jacket.
A work dress, or business casual dress, is not necessarily one exact style of summer dress, so let us define what we mean by “business casual dress.” This style of dress includes those that can be worn in most office job environments. They typically have a modest hemline, knee-length or tea-length (mid-calf), and a high or modest neckline. These dresses also should have sleeves of some variation, and they are usually not made of soft cotton or linen. For a more professional look, we recommend wearing this style dress in a solid, neutral color.
These professional-style dresses are great for summer, as you can acceptably wear this dress to the office, perhaps with a blazer and some close-toed pumps, while keeping your legs bare and staying cool during the hottest days. Wear this dress out to happy hour after work by ditching your blazer and changing into a pair of fun, strappy heels. If your work dress has buttons, simply unbutton a couple at the top, and you've taken this dress from business casual to after-work casual that easily.
Not considered a “summer dress” necessarily, this dress has withstood the test of time and deserves representation on all dress lists. Your stand-by Little Black Dress can be worn to the office with a suit jacket, tights, or pantyhose, and a pair of modest, professional heels. This dress can then easily be taken to an after-hours event by switching out your briefcase for a classy clutch, swapping your blazer for a silky shawl, loosing your tights or pantyhose, and maybe even switching out your work shoes for a pair of more daring high heels.
The maxi dress truly tops our list of the most versatile and summery of versatile summery dresses. A good maxi dress can be worn in almost any situation, given the right pairings and accessories.
You can wear your maxi dress to brunch with a pair of trendy platform heels. Add a fun wide-brim hat to keep the sun off of your face, and you're ready for a walk or a trip to the park. The maxi dress can make a great easy and breezy but stylish beach cover-up to take you from a day at the seaside to an evening out at a water-front dinner spot. Maxi dresses can be the ultimate casual-cool summer outfit, but the right maxi dress can even be worn to a more formal event, such as an outdoor summer wedding.
If your choice of summer dress fits you well and makes you feel comfortable and confident, it will easily transform from day to night with you.