Look and feel your best this summer with summer dresses. They’re cool, comfortable, and come in sizes for every body. If you need some fashion inspiration, check out our favorite summer dresses and styling tips.
If you’re looking for a summer dress that’s casual and classic, you can’t go wrong with denim. The knee-length button-front denim dress is one style option to consider—you can wear it on its own during the day and with a lightweight sweater on cool summer evenings. The denim button-front dress can be worn with a belt for a cinched look or unbelted for a relaxed style, and it goes with multiple types of shoes including flats, heels, sandals, and sneakers.
The jean jacket is another summer staple. Layer a denim jacket over any summer dress to impart a laid-back look and light warmth. For example, you could wear a cropped denim jacket in a light wash over a black maxi dress, then finish with your favorite summer shoes and handbag.
Striped dresses are a summer must-have. There are fit-and-flare dresses with stripes; they’re made from light, flowy fabric and flatter every body type with details like a form-fitting bodice and flouncy knee-length skirt. You’ll find some fit-and-flare styles with details like cute cap sleeves and embroidery, while others have shirred detailing. This dress style goes with jean jackets, but you can also wear a striped fit-and-flare dress with a cardigan sweater or even a blazer. If you want a versatile wardrobe staple that you can wear to almost any summer event, choose a mid-length striped dress in classic colors such as navy and white.
There are also longer dresses with stripes, including tiered styles in vibrant summery colors. When shopping for a dress for warm weather, look for breathable fabrics such as cotton jersey and poplin. In addition to being light, these materials are soft and machine washable for easy cleaning.
There are multiple types of shirt dresses that you can wear during the summer. Button-front shirt dresses—like the denim style mentioned above—are one option. Another is the t-shirt dress. There are plenty of reasons to wear t-shirt dresses in the spring and summer. They’re soft and have a slight stretch for all-day comfort, and they come in a variety of colors.
You can wear T-shirt dresses with sneakers or sandals. It pairs well with any kind of summer sweater or jacket—including lightweight fleece. For cool weather or air-conditioned environments, you can slip on a hoodie in a pullover or zippered style. T-shirt dresses can even be worn to some casual offices, especially if you add a dressy short-sleeve sweater and a few understated jewelry pieces.
For a dress that can go from day to night, there’s the sheath. This mid-length summer dress style has a structured look with darts that define the figure. Sheath dresses come in versatile neutral colors like navy and black, and they pair well with classic pumps in a matching hue. When it comes to outerwear, blazers are an excellent accompaniment to sheath dresses.
Sheath dresses can be worn with pantyhose for a classic look. However, you can also wear them without pantyhose or pair them with opaque tights. Although sheath dresses fall on the formal end of the fashion spectrum, you add casual flair with ankle boots, a denim jacket, and a vibrant scarf.
Another summer dress that works for most everyone is the maxi dress. These ankle-length dresses come in flattering styles including wrap and surplice. There are scoop-neck maxi dresses and those with V-necks. When it comes to fabric, cotton jersey is one to consider. Like other cotton weaves, jersey is light and allows for plenty of airflow. What sets jersey apart is the smooth texture and gentle stretch—it has a flowy look that’s never too tight or baggy.
Maxi dresses for women can be styled in many of the same ways as the other dresses. Slip on a denim jacket and sneakers for casual style, or wear wedge sandals and a light summer sweater for a dressier look. When it comes to jewelry, accentuate the neckline of your dress with a delicate chain necklace or make a statement with a bold pendant.
If you plan to visit the beach this summer, you may want a cover-up dress, as they are both stylish and offer enough coverage to wear to a beachfront cafe. They come in multiple colors and prints. There are beachy tie-dye styles and those with intricate embroidery, so you can find one that’s right for your summer wardrobe. Some of these cover-up dresses offer UPF 50 to protect covered areas against UV rays, and they all dry quickly for comfortable wear after swimming.
Summer dresses are versatile and fashionable. There’s one for every occasion, so shop around to find your favorite fits and styles.