» Home The Best Summer Dresses, According To Passionate Reviews The Best Summer Dresses, According To Passionate Reviews
Throughout our intrepid warm-weather shopping research, we’ve discovered that all we want to wear right now is dresses. The temperatures is steadily rising and a breathable dress is our go-to uniform for all occasions — including (but not limited to) logging endless work-from-home hours, running errands, and looking cute on Zoom.
To prepare you for a full summer of dress-wearing, we crafted a guide to the easiest and breeziest styles worth living in for the rest of this season — and in order to suss out the styles that everyone is currently carting, we headed straight for the review sections of our favorite sites. Once you’ve read — and shopped — this story, don’t be alarmed if strangers stop and ask where you bought your summer dress, or if you and your best friend end up wearing the same
viral cottagecore frock.
Ahead, click through everything from a
funky leopard-print dress (that seemingly flatters all shapes and sizes) to a sunny mini dress with fluttery sleeves (perfect for a literal walk in the park) — or, just to peep what made customers’ cut on summer’s “best-frocked” list. Dressing for warmer temperatures has never been easier or more fun.
Welcome to Hype Machine, our hit-list of the top reviewed products across the web — according to a crowd of die-hard shoppers. Call this your 4-star & up only club, with entry granted by our devoted-to-the-goods shop editors.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
The Twirly Long-Sleeve Mini Dress
Wilfred Daydreamer Mini Dress
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars; 90 reviews on Aritzia.com
Throw the stereotypical idea of a fitted minidress out the window. This semi-sheer chiffon piece will change your mind. You won’t be able to help twirling in circles with the airy, lightweight fabric. The long sleeves are loose with elastic cuffs, and it charmingly drapes around your silhouette with accordion pleats. In addition, you can pick from various pastel hues like pale yellow, lavender, sage green, and dainty floral prints. “Loved the look when I put on the dress! The fabric was very comfortable on the skin, the size was right, the length was around mid-thigh (just where I wanted), and the dress can be very versatile. I imagine myself wearing this to a dinner, to hangouts, to work. I even tried the dress with a belt on, it looks great too! Highly recommend to the ladies who are looking for a Spring/Summer dress,” writes a reviewer.
Shop at Aritzia Wilfred Wilfred Daydreamer Mini Dress, $, available at Aritzia
A Buttery Soft One-Stop-Shop Dress
All Aligned Midi Dress
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars; 106 reviews on Lululemon.com
If you adore how soft your Lululemon Align leggings are, then you have to add the midi dress version to your collection. The slim-fit style deserves its section in your wardrobe — just don’t be surprised when you begin collecting the piece in various hues. “I originally bought this in black, not knowing what size to order so I chose my usual size 4, and loved it so much I ordered the other 2 colors IMMEDIATELY. This dress is perfection. It’s nice and fitted without being too clingy… I’m 49 and feel extremely sexy when wearing this dress. I want it in every color and many more. Please make more colors and more stock!! The dress is extremely versatile and can easily be dressed up or down. The fitted part is exactly what I want in a summer dress. Lulu you did great with this one. I would suggest going with your align size or a size up if you are on the fence. It IS tight in the stomach area,” a reviewer shares.
Shop Lululemon Lululemon All Aligned Midi Dress, $, available at Lululemon
A Summer Picnic Frock
Julia Stripe Bungalow Midi Dress
The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars; 8 reviews on KateSpade.com
Some days you’re just searching for a clean-cut dress in your closet with all the details so you can slip into your favorite sandals and head out the door. Kate Spade’s striped woven Bungalow dress was born for such days. It has countless eye-catching accents, like an A-line skirt with gathered pleats, three-quarter-length wide sleeves, a relaxed-fit collar, and an accompanying belt. “I bought this a couple of weeks ago and absolutely love it! It is very comfortable and just goes with everything, you could have a lot of fun with this dress. I would highly recommend sizing down about 1-2 sizes because this runs very big,” writes a reviewer.
Shop Kate Spade Kate Spade Julia Stripe Bungalow Midi Dress, $, available at Kate Spade
The Timeless White Dress
Tiered Dress In Broken-In Jersey The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars; 73 reviews
Look no further: This tiered frock is your favorite effortless nap dress in a mini version. It’s made out of soft cotton and falls right above the knee for a perfect day dress. “Stopped in my local store the other day and saw this dress on the mannequin. At first, it seemed a little too young. But, I tried it on in white and fell in love. The white is a little see-through but I plan on wearing with a nude slip if I go out and as a cover-up as well. I love how versatile it is. It feels flirty and sweet and that is a good thing no matter the age. The material is light but not weak. I normally wear a small and I went with the small. I may purchase another color,” writes a reviewer.
Shop J.Crew J.Crew Tiered Dress In Broken-In Jersey, $, available at J.Crew
The Flowly Floral Dress
ASTR The Label Floral Print Dress
The Hype: 4.1 out of 5 stars; 198 reviews on Nordstrom.com
Stay breezy in this delicate floral dress with flutter sleeves and an asymmetrical hem. Reviewers rave that it’s a gorgeous number for engagement photos, summer weddings, and dates. Plus, the piece is made out of polyester, so you know that it’ll be lightweight and breathable during the heat. “Beautiful dress! I wore it to a wedding and got SO many compliments and people asking where I bought it! The back zips about halfway then there is a clasp at the top. Some gathering on one side and an asymmetrical bottom, with a V neck liner. It flows very well! For reference, I am 5’7″, 123 lbs and 32A,” writes one reviewer.
Shop at Nordstorm ASTR The Label ASTR The Label Floral Print Dress, $, available at Nordstrom
The Effortless Rainbow Dress
Farm Rio Halter Maxi Dress
The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars; 64 reviews on Anthropologie.com
Calling all maximalists! The whimsical prints and brilliant hues adorning this elegant number will fit right into your high-key wardrobes. “Beautiful silk fabric dress which cuts into the shoulders to compliment this stylish look. This is a knockout dress for any occasion,” writes one reviewer, who mentioned that they wore it to a wedding, a birthday party, and a summer wine event — in sum, it’s truly a versatile style. “The colors in the exploded floral do not disappoint, vibrant and beautiful. Fabric has a luxurious feel to it. I do feel the skirt part of the dress is voluminous but it adds to the statement of the piece. Highly recommend!”
Shop at Anthropologie Farm Rio Farm Rio Halter Maxi Dress, $, available at Anthropologie
The Japanese GoWeave Slip Dress The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars; 7 reviews on Everlane.com It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s — the most deceptively perfect dress that Everlane has ever produced? With a flawless silhouette and minimal details, reviewers find that this loose, easy slip dress is a key wardrobe staple. “I love this dress. Definitely relaxed fit, but I like that in the warmer weather. The fabric feels pretty substantial and drapes well. I probably could have purchased a size smaller, but I went with my usual size. Glad I did — [I] like the looser fit. The button in the back is a pretty detail too,” writes one reviewer. “Love this dress! It will make you feel slinky and amazing! The fabric is a dream — drapey yet light. It is lined, but the layers hang beautifully and it doesn’t feel heavy at all,” another reviewer shares.
Shop Everlane Everlane The Japanese GoWeave Slip Dress, $, available at Everlane
The Wear-Anywhere Workout Dress
Aerie OFFLINE Real Me Ruffle Dress
The Hype: 4.1 out of 5 stars; 49 reviews on AE.com
When temps start reaching extreme heights, all we want to do is reach for easy-breezy, sweat-wicking frocks. “I’ve been wanting an exercise dress for a while now, and I decided to pull the trigger and get this one and I absolutely love it! The pattern is so cute and the dress is perfect for running errands, going on a hike, or just [wearing] around the house! The shorts underneath are very comfy and the back is adorable,” writes one reviewer. Throw this swingy piece on for a workout session, or dress it up for a summer evening out. “Wouldn’t be shocked if this dress went TikTok viral. Grab it before it sells out! You won’t regret it,” another reviewer raves about the style. “It’s sooo flattering and comfy as heck!! I’ve been wanting an exercise dress for a while and this is the one right here.”
Shop Aerie AE, Aerie OFFLINE By Aerie Real Me Ruffle Dress, $, available at AE
The Most Magical Dress
FP One Adella Slip
The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars; 295 reviews on FreePeople.com
This isn’t the first time that Free People’s “Adella” silhouette has made it into a Hype Machine — the bodice-only iteration of this top-selling dress can be found in our roundup of comfortable cotton bras. (We were skeptical, but the reviews don’t lie.) For such a delicate-looking confection, reviewers from sizes XS to XL say the Adella Slip is well-fitting and supportive, so clearly there’s some magic at play.
“I bought this dress late last fall. Since then this beautiful number and I have adventured, laughed, cried, slayed, over shared, and all the while she is just as luxurious as the day we met,” writes one reviewer who praises the magical piece. “The lace that adorns her bodice was at first something I thought I’d have to overcome. I can say with certainty that the lace isn’t simply lace, but somehow armor as protective as it is sexy. Amazingly enough, the skirt is fit for a queen, soft and somehow workable.”
Shop Free People FP One Adella Maxi Slip, $, available at Free People
The Most (Low-Key) Elevated Dress
Poplin Shirtdress The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars; 30 reviews on BananaRepublic.com
Banana Republic’s poplin shirtdress is ideal for those days when you want to look put together with a limited amount of effort. “I like tailored-style clothing, so glad to find this. I think I can dress it up or down a bit in my casual wardrobe. I like that it is all cotton; I live in Texas! I did not buy a petite as I wanted the length. In front, it hits just above my knees.,” writes one reviewer. They also found that it offered comfort and style and instantly created a put-together look. “I stood in front of the mirror for quite some time trying to make a decision on this one…love the stripes and shirt details. Can’t put into words the way this classic shirt dress feels more elevated compared to others…might be the collar and cut,” another reviewer shares.
Shop Banana Republic Banana Republic Poplin Shirtdress, $, available at Banana Republic
A Dreamy Number
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars; 813 reviews on Athleta.com
Rely on this airy dress for your next casual date-night outfit, vacation, or a picnic outing. The pastel hue, high-low hem, and racer-back detail give off an unforgettable romantic vibe. “I have this dress in two colors! It is my go-to for weekends. I can dress it up for brunch or dress it down for errands.” They made sure to emphasize arguably the best part: Pockets. “Love this dress and the material is great! I have worn it belted for a more fitted look as well and it’s super cute. Runs big, I ordered a petite small and could have ordered an XS, but it works. I’m 5’1″ 130 lbs,” said another reviewer, sharing a different way to style the piece for a more fitted appearance.
Shop Athleta Athleta Presidio Dress, $, available at Athleta
The Animal Print Dress That Saves The Day
Trendy Plus Size Shirt Dress
The Hype: 5 out of 5 stars; 5 reviews on Macys.com
The transition from spring to summer is unpredictable, as the temperature could easily spike up within a day. That’s where Nina Parker’s leopard-print dress comes in to save the day. “The picture of this dress is a little off. It’s more beautiful in person,” writes one reviewer who assures viewers that they wouldn’t be disappointed when they receive their dress. “Material & how it flows! Worth every penny!!” The sheer piece is breathable and all you need is a slip underneath. “This dress is everything. It was delivered today and I tried it on immediately. I normally wear a 1X but ordered the OX. The fit and quality are perfect. This is a very versatile dress,” another reviewer shares.
Shop at Macy’s Nina Parker Nina Parker Trendy Plus Size Shirt Dress, $, available at Macy’s
A Comfy Day Dress
Cross Front Flutter Sleeve Dress The Hype: 4.1 out of 5 stars; 312 reviews on Eloquii.com
Women size 12 and up sing the praises of Eloquii’s classic gold dress, citing a fabric weight suited for year-round wear and expert, flattering tailoring. “Thick and stretchy material was perfect. I paired with sneakers for a casual look and was so glad that substantial shapewear wasn’t needed,” writes one reviewer. “Great dress for church and work. It’s a little roomy, [so] size down if you want a more snug fit,” another reviewer shares.
Shop Eloquii Eloquii Cross Front Flutter Sleeve Dress, $, available at Eloquii
The Freewheelin’ Frock
Linen Fox Nida Dress
The Hype: 5 out of 5 stars; 15,416 reviews on Etsy.com
The forgiving silhouette and convertible belt of this easy linen dress mean it can be styled to the wearer’s specifications. Reviewers love that it could be tight or loose, depending on their mood. “The fabric is gorgeous, with a beautiful drape. It’s a very simple shape with a lot of fabric; the belt is what gives it shape and you can fuss with the fabric to make it lay right so it flatters your particular shape,” writes one reviewer. “This means it will be comfortable on bloaty days or if you gain a few pounds. The quality is excellent and I’m sure it will last a very long time. I have a feeling I’m going to be living in this dress for a while. I couldn’t be happier with my purchase.”
Shop on Etsy Linenfox Linenfox Nida Dress, $, available at Etsy
The Best-Kept Secret
Philosophy Cashmere Sleeveless Jersey Midi Dress
The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars; 349 reviews on NordstromRack.com
Summer after summer, we watch this lightweight jersey tank dress sell out on Nordstrom Rack, and the reviews continue to pile up. Savvy shoppers know that this under-$20 hidden gem is worth buying up in multiples — it’s the kind of frock you’ll wear all summer long. “The sale price may give you pause, but you’d be missing out, I cannot believe how perfect this dress is for summer fun,” writes one reviewer who even bought four out of the six colors. “The fabric has body so that it drapes and doesn’t cling. The scoop neck is in the right position for someone who doesn’t want to much cleavage showing. A perfect day to evening dress.”
Shop Nordstrom Rack Philosophy Cashmere Scoop Neck Midi Tank Dress, $, available at Nordstrom Rack
Iconic Geneva V-Neck Dress The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars; 128 reviews on UniversalStandard.com
Universal Standard’s now-iconic Geneva Dress may look simple, but it’s engineered to provide both comfort and supreme elegance. Listen to the reviewers: Don’t underestimate the power of tailored, expertly-draped Peruvian cotton. “I felt silly after buying this dress on a bit of an impulse, because I was worried I just spent over $100 on a long t-shirt, but after having it for a couple of weeks now I have no regrets,” writes one reviewer. “It’s comfortable like a t-shirt or pajamas, but the tailoring and fabric quality are exceptional. I have worn it with tights and flats for the office, and I’ve worn it around the house on a day when I was feeling under the weather. It’s easy to care for and the color is beautiful.”
Shop Universal Standard Universal Standard Iconic Geneva V-Neck Dress, $, available at Universal Standard
Lunya Washable Silk Slipdress The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars; 373 reviews on Lunya.com
Enthusiasts of ’90s minimalism should add this restrained silk slip dress to their carts ASAP. Loose and forgiving while still possessing an impossible chic, this is the perfect dress for rolling out of bed and hitting the streets on a sweltering Saturday morning. (We choose to show you the back because we’re especially obsessed with the adjustable “T” strap detail.)
“I received my silk slip dress and it was more lovely than I could have hoped. It fits like a dream and feels amazing,” writes one reviewer. They even reveal that the silky dress has a hidden feature: pockets. “I am also delighted with the pockets that not only fit my phone… but are hidden in the flow of the dress, so the silhouette is not ruined when you stuff them full. It’s my new go-to for an easy and sophisticated outfit.”
Shop Lunya Lunya Washable Silk Slip Dress, $, available at Lunya
The Travel Companion
Toad&Co Sunkissed Maxi Dress The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars, 184 reviews on ToadandCo.com
This whimsical floral printed dress boasts scores of glowing reviews that praise the frock for its high-performance, sweat-wicking, and rumple-proof qualities. With UPF fabric that provides excellent sun protection and a quick-drying, anti-wrinkle nylon fabrication, this durable and flattering dress is a stylish option for travel and outdoor activity.
“Love this dress. The fabric is so lightweight and comfortable. I have worn it on vacation at the beach as well as traveling on the plane and walking around in NOLA when it was 100 degrees,” writes one reviewer. “At first, I thought it was going to be very wrinkly based on how it looked when I received it, but after hanging up for a few hours the wrinkles were gone which also makes it a perfect travel dress. Always receive compliments when I wear it.”
Shop Toad&Co Toad&Co Sunkissed Maxi Dress, $, available at Toad&Co
Fit & Flare Strappy Dress
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars; 42 reviews on Pact.com
For those looking for the best eco-friendly summer dress out there, Pact has the best bet in earth-friendly organic cotton. It doesn’t hurt that this universally flattering style has a built-in bra and two on-seam pockets for extra comfort and utility.
“Built-in bra, pockets, four-way stretch — it’s my favorite dress,” writes one reviewer who has it in three other versions: black, blue, and pink. “Dear Pact, please make this dress in red and yellow and navy. I will absolutely buy one of each. I consider this my uniform.”
Shop Pact PACT Fit & Flare Strappy Dress, $, available at PACT
YESNO Cotton Maxi Dress The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars; 15,091 reviews on Amazon.com
The soft fabrication and accommodating silhouette of this pajama-like Amazon number earned it glowing reviews from comfort-seeking customers. “I read all the reviews before purchasing. I am 5’ 3” and very top-heavy. I bought the large and it fits well, it is a tiny bit tight across the very top edge but actually works well for me because often times if I order larger there is too much of a gap under my armpits. My bra band size is smallish: 34,” writes one reviewer. “For me, this is the perfect dress for hot weather, for lounging at the house, watering outside and I am sure it will look adorable in cooler weather with a cardigan or jacket. I am buying my second one now.”
Shop on Amazon YESNO YESNO Cotton Maxi Dress, $, available at Amazon
The Flowy Daydreaming Dress
A New Day Long Sleeve Tiered Dress The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars; 109 reviews on Target.com
Care to waft around your neighborhood this summer in a cloud of style, romance, and lightweight, fabric? If so, Target has the dress designed for you — reviewers praised this frock’s easy fit, soft hand-feel, and flattering tiered look. “This is such a great find! I love this dress. Great length and styling. I’m 5’2”, have a pear-shaped figure and the XS fit perfect. Someone else suggested buying based on chest measurement, and that was accurate. My bust is 32.5” and the chest fits great with just a bit more room to spare. My usual size is a Small, or size 4,” writes one reviewer. “The fabric was very upscale and the cut was perfect. I need this is many more colors—preference to solids and some monochrome prints,” another reviewer shares.
Shop Target A New Day A New Day Long Sleeve Tiered Dress, $, available at Target
The Wardrobe Essential
Surplice Maxi Dress
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars; 4,093 reviews on Amazon.com
This floral dress is winning rave reviews from over a thousand highly satisfied customers. Reviewers say it’s the type of frock that can be transformed into almost any look with the right accessories and wears with the utmost elegance and ease. “This dress is everything I wanted and nothing I don’t. Simple, drapes well. The material is your standard summer maxi stretchy matte cotton,” writes one reviewer. “The V isn’t so deep that you need a cami to cover cleavage at work. The sleeves are long enough to not be sleeveless but close enough to be cool. The armholes are blessedly normal-sized and not gaping.”
Shop Amazon Amazon Essentials Women’s Plus Size Surplice Maxi Dress, $, available at Amazon
The Budget Rib-Knit
Fitted Rib-Knit Midi Cami Shift Dress
The Hype: 4.9 out of 5 stars; 409 reviews on OldNavy.com
A surprise trend hit this summer is ribbed fabrics. It’s a playful nod to early-aughts fashion with a super-soft feel. Plus, knitwear simply
looks expensive. This midi from Old Navy checks all the style boxes at only $32. “Very happy with this purchase. It’s adorable and flattering, and it’s super comfy. I love the color and it’s easy to accessorize,” writes one reviewer. “These dresses are so comfortable and cute! They have great stretch. I ordered one in almost every color,” another reviewer shares. If you were curious, this number also comes in four additional shades.
Shop Old Navy Old Navy Fitted Rib-Knit Midi Cami Shift Dress, $, available at Old Navy
Side-Ruched Bodycon Dress
The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars; 322 reviews on Nordstrom.com
Every body is a work of art, but we’ve all struggled to see the beauty in our own forms, especially as women. This simple dress boasts strategically-placed ruching that helped to restore a reviewer’s confidence in herself — and that is truly a beautiful thing. “I’m not a dressy person and have always wanted to try a t-shirt dress. Most dresses are either too boxy, or the body-con are too revealing for my taste. I’m middle-aged with children, so body has many, many imperfections,” writes one reviewer. “I had no expectations for this dress when I purchased. I was greatly surprised at how forgiving it really is. The ruched side really helps to hide those imperfections. I wear with tennis shoes or sandals and throw a jean jacket on to keep it casual looking.”
Shop at Nordstrom Treasure & Bond Treasure & Bond Side Ruched Body-Con Dress, $, available at Nordstrom
A Modern ’90s Denim Dress
Tiered Denim Squareneck Dress The Hype: 5 out of 5 stars; 11 reviews on Jcrew.com
Denim dresses are no longer stuffy and rigid. Now they’re made out of soft and breathable cotton that allows for comfort and mobility. “I love this dress! It looks exactly what is shown in the picture. The squareneck is what sold me, it’s perfect for the spring and summer. I purchased my usual size and it fits like a glove,” writes one reviewer. (The only thing they wished was that the frock had pockets — don’t we all.) “This is the PERFECT spring/summer dress! Lightweight, classic fit, and great quality material. I did find the arm holes and chest to run a little small — I’m 5’6″, ~150 lbs, 34B and sized up to an 8 from my usual 6. Fits like a glove. Can’t wait to start wearing this,” another reviewer shares.
Shop J.Crew J.Crew Tiered Denim Squareneck Dress, $, available at J.Crew
The TikTok-Approved Dress
Cora Linen Open Back Midi Dress
The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars; 17 reviews on UrbanOutfitters.com
Do you know the difference between
angelcore and goblincore? What about dark academia and light academia? If you’re curious about the world of internet “aesthetics” — which are tirelessly cataloged on Tumblr, TikTok, and this user-generated Wiki — we suggest trying this dress on for size. We think it will fall into more than one category. “Really great cottagecore vibes! The dress is gorgeous and I love the back since it adds flexibility in sizing,” writes one reviewer. “I bought this dress a little concerned because of the reviews mentioning the bust portion. I wear a DD, and I feel like this fit me just right. The back does take some adjusting to get the perfect fit, but I think that allows for a more adjustable fit,” another reviewer shares.
Shop Urban Outfitters Urban Outfitters Cora Linen Open Back Midi Dress, $, available at Urban Outfitters
The Superwoman Dress
All Yours Tank Maxi Dress
The Hype: 4.3 out of 5 stars; 107 reviews on Lululemon.com
With a floaty, A-line silhouette and a Pima cotton and lyocell fabrication, this unassuming tank dress gives wearers style superpowers — even in the sweaty warmer months. “So much love for this dress. It’s so soft and drapes nicely. I have already worn it a few times working from home, adding tights and a cardigan for winter warmth. Can‘t wait to wear it in the warmer weather,” writes one reviewer. “Great summer dress. Lightweight, loose fit, and great color (bought the burnt orange). Will definitely be wearing this for steamy summer days to stay cool,” another reviewer shares.
Shop Lululemon Lululemon All Yours Tank Maxi Dress, $, available at Lululemon
The Most Likely To Sell Out
Voluminous Linen-Blend Dress
The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars; 147 reviews on HM.com
H&M’s greatest hits are known to vanish from the brand’s website in a puff of smoke the moment its savvy customer base catches wind of a must-have. This lime-green A-line number is just the silhouette we’re looking for this spring and summer — which means that a lot of other shoppers are, too. Grab it before the womp-womp “Out of Stock” notification is all that’s left on the drop-down menu. “This is it. I prefer to load up on my minimal gold jewelry with this (rings, bracelet, necklace, earrings) and style my hair into a loose up-do. It looks effortless but chic. The linen and cotton combo are also great for really warm weather,” writes one reviewer. “Vibrant, comfortable and quality fabric!! This dress is so pretty and flowy. It’s springtimey and summery. I’m wearing anytime the mood hits me… any season,” another reviewer shares.
Shop H&M H&M Voluminous Linen-Blend Dress, $, available at H&M
The Go-Anywhere Dress
Plus Ruffle-Sleeve Tiered Midi Dress
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars; 2 reviews on Madewell.com
Do you have a long day of plans ahead of you? Maybe you have to meet a friend for breakfast, spend the day at the office, and then regroup with family for dinner. One thing for sure is that this comfortable-chic frock will suit a variety of events. “This dress is lovely and the color is accurate. I had to size down for it to fit correctly. The arms are very open so if you don’t like your arms showing wouldn’t recommend,” writes one reviewer. “This dress is very cute and comfy, though it fits large. It’s perfect for summer,” another reviewer shares.
Shop Madewell Madewell Plus Ruffle-Sleeve Tiered Midi Dress in Daisy Stitch, $, available at Madewell
The Summer-in-a-Bottle Dress
Abstract Floral Satin Slip Dress In Yellow
The Hype: 4.3 out of 5 stars; 9 reviews on Asos.com
You’re not looking at any ordinary slip dress. Behold the most adorable floral frock, dusted with specks of lime, gold, and sky blue hues. The piece is chock-full of pretty details, so you don’t have to focus too much on additional accessories. Reviewers almost unanimously agree that it’s the ultimate piece for any kind of summer, hot girl or otherwise. “Lovely fabric and super flattering. Perfect for the spring or summer,” writes one reviewer. “I love this dress, it’s perfect for summer. The fabric is beautiful and it’s my new favorite summer dress,” another reviewer shares.
Shop at Asos Topshop Topshop Abstract Floral Satin Slip Dress In Yellow, $, available at ASOS
The Perfect 10
Reviewers were evangelical in their praise for this ditsy-floral Aerie creation. It gets straight As in all subjects, from from pattern and fit to price and curb appeal.
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 29 reviews on AE.com
What They’re Saying: “10-star dress, cut and style. Just beautiful. AE just nailed everything about this dress. Fit perfect, love the color and cut, and the price was right. Can’t wait to wear it with sneakers all summer. Need more vibrant colors.” — Jewel, AE.com reviewer AE Floral Print Midi Slip Dress, $, available at American Eagle Outfitters
Kemi Maxi Dress
The Hype: 5 out of 5 stars; 1 review on KemiTelford.com
This maxi dress had customers lighting up at its festive floral print — it brings a much-needed dose of joy, along with a chic silhouette and a cool cotton weight that’s perfect for summer.
Kemi Telford Kemi Maxi Dress, $, available at Kemi Telford
Elizabeth & James Knit Dress
The Hidden Gem
We’re pretty firm believers in Kohl’s — especially as a resource for cuter-than-necessary separates from overlooked brands like LC Lauren Conrad and the Olsen twins’ contemporary label Elizabeth & James. Pieces like this chic, universally flattering midi dress are hiding in plain sight on the department store’s discount-heavy dot-com boasting piles of accolades from happy customers — who didn’t have to spend too much for their ultimate summer dress.
The Hype: 4.3 out of 5 stars; 29 reviews on Kohls.com
What They’re Saying: “Great quality. Just bought this in medium (I am a 10-12) and it fits perfectly, loose enough in the middle, great shape around bust and arms. Actual cotton! This will be my go-to dress with a jean jacket and sandals all summer.” — Dhebfar
Shop Elizabeth & James at Kohl’s Elizabeth and James Knit Dress, $, available at Kohl’s
This loosely-fitted, swingy Aerie frock has all the comfort of a house dress — but, thanks to a unique, asymmetrical hemline, still feels fresh and elegant.
The Hype: 4.5 stars; 39 reviews on AE.com What They’re Saying: “I love this dress!! So comfortable. I wore it without a bra and it kept everything in place due to the multilayer lining. You can really wear it casual or dress up with heels. I usually wear a medium, but bought a large and it did not slip down.” — Mari2122, AE.com reviewer AE One Shoulder Shift Dress, $, available at American Eagle Outfitters
The Prancing Through The Meadows Dress
Sunshine And Whimsy In The Garden Fit And Flare Dress The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars; 4 reviews on ModCloth.com
Fully embody the joyful summer air with this light and breezy mini dress. Be aware the slip is a bit tricky, however it’s removable so you can easily wear one of your own. “On a hot summer’s day, this lighter than air. It would be perfect as long as you have the slip underneath. It will be worth it to wear this whimsical array of garden flowers,” writes one reviewer who highly recommends double checking in the mirror before you leave the house because of the sheer fabric. “Love the dress and the print and it’s not too long, given I’m short and sometimes when I buy dress from Modcloth, I have to alter the length but I don’t think I will need to alter the length of the dress,” another reviewer shares.
Shop ModCloth ModCloth Sunshine And Whimsy In The Garden Fit And Flare Dress, $, available at ModCloth
Farm Rio Flutter-Sleeved Maxi Dress
This stunner is easy, breezy, and quite beautiful. The fluttery sleeves, eye-catching print, and just-right silhouette seem to make this Farm Rio pick universally flattering.
The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars; 3 reviews on Anthropologie.com
What They’re Saying: “I spotted this dress in store and had to have it once I tried it on! The fit is amazing and I love the fabric. As the previous reviewer says, it is sexy. It hugs the curves for sure. I couldn’t be happier!” — Bailey, Anthropologie reviewer
Shop Farm Rio Farm Rio Flutter-Sleeved Maxi Dress, $, available at Anthropologie
Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress
The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars; 187 reviews on Anthropologie.com
This straight-A student Anthropologie stunner converted many a pants-wearer to the frock lifestyle, thanks to its flattering cut and lightweight, summer-ready fabrication.
“Want a dress that feels like your favorite pair of jeans? This is it,” writes one reviewer who would stay in it all day if she could. “The fit is perfect, if not a bit giving. The fabric is great quality, perfect transitional weather weight. I also wear with a jean jacket and it goes everywhere. My new fave, bought it in two colors and I’m not even a dress wearer.”
Shop Anthropologie Anthropologie Somerset Maxi Dress, $, available at Anthropologie
Scoop Off-The-Shoulder Maxi Dress
The Surprise Friends: don’t sleep on Scoop. The in-house Walmart brand — which recently tapped designer Brandon Maxwell as a creative director — offers unexpectedly high-end style paired with good, old-fashioned rollback pricing.
The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 stars; 6 reviews on Walmart.com
What They’re Saying: “This dress needs to be in every girl’s closet!! It’s so soft and so flowy. Flattering on every body type and the color is absolutely STUNNING – do yourself a huge favor and grab this!! You won’t be sorry!!” — Reviewer, Walmart.com reviewer
Shop at Walmart Scoop Scoop Off-The-Shoulder Maxi Dress, $, available at Walmart
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