The return of spring and summer means the return of carefree wardrobe options. And what’s more carefree than a pretty sundress? “Sundress” used to refer only to strappy cotton dresses, but is now used as a general term for any variety of women’s dresses that are meant to be worn in warmer weather. They tend to be on the more informal side, although they can be dressed up for formal events like weddings. These lightweight, comfy dresses are super versatile in that they look great with sandals, dress shoes, flats, or even sneakers, depending on the type of dress and the styling you use.
When it comes to the best sundresses to wear in the Spring and Summer, we highly recommend wrap dresses, maxi dresses, fit-and-flare dresses, a-line dresses and shift dresses. These styles provide a good way to mix up your wardrobe and keep cool in the warmer weather. Sundresses also lean into the warm-weather mindset of ease and comfort; what’s easier than one-piece dressing or more comfortable than feeling a breeze on your legs when it’s hot out?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the best sundress styles and what makes them work so well in the Spring and Summer!
Wrap dresses are a popular type of sundress for women of every age, size and shape. As its name suggests, the dress is styled by wrapping one side around to the other side and securing it in place with a belt, tie, or button. The result is a V-neck that can be worn as open or covered up as you like, so you can style it modestly or for maximum va-va-voom! Wrap dresses were introduced in the 70s and quickly became a classic thanks to their comfort, style, and because every woman can find a wrap dress that makes her feel like the proverbial million bucks!
A maxi dress is one that is longer than most other styles of dress, typically reaching the ankles or even the floor. They are more form-fitting at the top and feature a flowing skirt, so they offer an elegant silhouette that is still easy and comfortable. While most people think of spaghetti straps when they think of maxi dresses, they come in sleeveless or short-sleeved styles! While you may assume that maxi dresses are for tall women when you see them in photos, it is only because of the illusion they create; they’re actually an ideal choice for shorter women as well. A petite maxi dress creates a long visual line on your body for a very flattering look. If you’re tall and want to break the long line, top your maxi dress with a denim jacket or cardigan that falls around the ribcage, or add a contrasting belt. Maxi sundresses are wardrobe workhorses because they are extremely versatile and can be styled for both formal and casual events alike!
For a dressier look, a fit-and-flare dress can be lots of fun! They’re typically fitted through the waist and then flare out at the hips, making them fun to twirl around in. You’ll notice that lots of dresses with a retro vibe use this style as it has been popular off and on since the 1940s and has moved into the pantheon of classics! Complement a fit-and-flare dress with strappy heeled sandals and a scarf worn around your ponytail or purse strap for a polished-but-flirty look!
An A-line sundress is similar to a fit-and-flare dress but features a cleaner silhouette. As the name implies, it looks like the letter A in its shape and looks great on practically any body type. Some maxi dresses are also A-line shaped, which can lend them a more formal appearance that makes them perfect for summer weddings and other events.
Shift dresses are a plain-cut dress featuring either a completely straight or an “A” silhouette falling from the shoulder to the hem with no defined waist. Many shoppers confuse shift dresses with sheath dresses, but a sheath dress will be fitted using seams and darts, giving it a defined waist and a much closer cut than any shift dress. Shirt dresses are a common example of a straight-silhouette shift dress, and exemplify their versatility as they are so often worn with a belt for waist definition.
A jersey dress can come in any of the styles mentioned above—it’ the fabric that they’re made of that sets them apart! Jersey is wonderfully soft and comfortable lightweight knit fabric known for its gorgeous drape, all of which makes it a favorite sundress fabric for many ladies. T-Shirt dresses are perhaps the most common jersey dress style, but lots of dress cuts and silhouettes can be made of jersey. One of the best features of jersey dresses is that they are pretty much wrinkle-free, so they are a quick choice for busy mornings and ideal for travel.
When choosing the perfect sundresses for spring and summer, don’t forget to consider different colors or patterns. Florals are always popular in springtime! If your taste runs more towards easy neutrals, consider styling your sundresses with bright accessories that echo the season. Sundresses are such a versatile element of your wardrobe, so be sure to have a few of them at the ready! They make warm-weather dressing simple and fast—just make sure you’re set with a selection of cute sandals and elevated sneakers so you can customize your sundress to be as casual or dressy as you like!