summer dresses 2021
Photographed by Angelo Pennetta, Vogue, March 2019

54 Ultra-Summery Dresses to Wear All Season Long

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Summer’s heating up! Well almost. Needless to say, easy, stylish, single-item outfits are more essential than ever, and we’ve handpicked the best summer dresses to wear from now until Labor Day weekend.

We’re most excited by dresses that show a little skin, like a slinky mini or an open-back halter knit. Both will have you more than ready for all your fun summer plans—travel, celebrations, and nights out. And there are a handful of other exciting dress trends to look forward to wearing this season: colorful crocheted knits, printed frocks in standout florals, and eclectic and groovy prints should you want to make a statement. You also need to prepare yourself for beach days, vacation plans, and, of course, wedding season. There are lightweight shirt dresses for the office and beyond, tube tops for sticky days, and minis that will make your heart melt, but keep you cool. All of that and more sweet styles of the best summer dresses to shop now, below.

Summer Whites

A simple white dress might not seem like much, but the perfect one can be a cure-all for summer style problems. Not only are they appropriate for just about every summer occasion, but these romantic, ruched, tiered, and ruffled-sleeve versions have also been dubbed as summer’s unofficial uniform. From mini to midi dresses, they allow for endless accessorizing options. Just swap your footwear, top it off with a summer bag of your choosing, and your white dress will feel new every time.

Posse Kenzie open-back maxi dress

Ulla Johnson Fiorella one-shoulder midi dress

Charo Ruiz Irene tiered maxi dress

Proenza Schouler twisted back maxi dress

Saks Potts Cami halterneck midi dress

Zara openwork embroidered midi dress

Vacation Versatility

While these dresses might read “out of office,” their cool silhouettes and seasonal prints make them quite versatile. A dress with the ability to transition from a swimsuit cover-up to a dinner out dress is key—especially when you’re packing for a vacation. Best of all, it will look even lovelier with a drink in hand.

Hill House Home Thea nap dress

Johanna Ortiz Escritura Quipu maxi dress

Eywasouls Malibu Sally maxi dress

Ulla Johnson Serafina ruffled tie-dyed maxi dress

Themis Z Thalasso swirl-printed satin wrap dress

Altuzarra Suberi dress

Hello, Legs

It’s about time we gave our legs a chance to be seen, and the best way to do just that is with a heightened hemline. You can and should take these mini but mighty options for a spin this season—after all, micro mini silhouettes have been a recurring trend on the runways.

Agua by Agua Bendita Horizonte floral V-neck dress

Matteau cutout halterneck mini dress

La DoubleJ Deck mini dress

Staud Krista dress shell

Sea Ryleigh mini dress

Jacquemus Bahia draped knotted mini dress

Crafty and Crocheted

Dresses you can touch and feel—whether it’s a colorful crocheted knit, a fringe sleeveless option, or a swishy, sleeved beaded number—these textured dresses are totally swoon-worthy for summer 2023.

SIMONMILLER x Mango knitted dress

Simkhai Lenon midi tank dress

Proenza Schouler Ribbon crochet maxi sweaterdress

Alejandra Alonso Rojas Summer Club crocheted midi dress

Massimo Dutti raised long dress

Roberta Einer Bianca maxi dress

Dainty Day Dresses

A simple sundress is one of the most versatile pieces of the season. You can just as easily wear one as a beach cover-up as you could to a wedding (so long as you have the right accessories). If you pick a good one, the very same dress can be worn on weekend neighborhood strolls, park picnics, or even going out for a cocktail or spritz. Airy and light, a floral day dress will be the hero piece in your summer wardrobe.

Juliet Dunn floral midi dress

Hannah Artwear Ari pleated floral-print midi dress

Borgo de Nor Ninet midi-dress

Sea Renee midi dress

Isabel Marant Étoile Gia ruched floral-print maxi dress

SIR asymmetric maxi dress

Shirtdress Summer

How to feel polished for important Zoom meetings or stay cool on the commute to the office? A collared shirtdress or tunic will be sure to get the job done. Plus, these styles don’t look overly professional if you feel like taking one for a mid-afternoon stroll, work break, or as a casual dress option for the weekends too. 

Esse Studios gathered cutout maxi dress

Derek Lam 10 Crosby Laurel sleeveless shirtdress

Cos cutout-waist midi shirt dress

See By Chloé striped midi shirt dress

Bouguessa Lina maxi shirt dress

Max Mara cotton-poplin dress

Summer Daze

For a modern approach to a quintessential summer print, look no further than these 2023 versions of gingham and check print day dresses. With elevated details like rosettes, floral overlays, and color blocked bodices, they are just as stylish as they are sweet. 

Rosie Assoulin halter neck midi dress

Rhode Claude dress

J.Crew Collection maxi dress

Rixo Nicolette printed midi dress

Hill House Home Sabrina dress

Wiggy Kit square-neck gingham dress

Hot Tanks

Seen throughout our April 2023 story (shot in Jamaica and styled by Gabriella Karefa-Johnson), tank dress silhouettes in statement and psychedelic prints are on the rise for summer. We love styles from Marni, Louisa Ballou, and more. 

Marni Notte Giorno-print maxi dress

Louisa Ballou Sea Breeze maxi dress

Loewe Anthurium printed midi dress

Mara Hoffman Ramona dress

Staud Katie sleeveless midi dress

Coperni floral mesh maxi dress

Totally Tubular

Of course, dresses make summer dressing a breeze, but these lightweight, strapless midis will keep you stylishly cool with every step thanks to their bouncy skirt silhouettes. They’re ideal for those too-hot-for-clothes kind of days or over swimsuits at the beach.

Rhode Lisa dress

Tove Lauryn strapless midi dress

Casa Raki Penelope sleeveless midi dress

Peony strapless midi dress

Eres Ankara convertible maxi dress

Faithfull the Brand Le Bon midi dress