Summer dresses signal the return of longer days and lighter layers. They put you in a vacation type of mood, regardless of whether you’re actually heading out of town. The best summer dresses are about capturing that relaxed state of mind, and then translating the feeling into easy-to-wear and effortless styles. When shopping to find those perfectly designed options, you’ll want to keep a few details in mind.
Length can vary a lot in summer dresses, from minis in flouncy fabrics to tiered maxis that graze your ankles. The most versatile length tends to be the midi, or styles that hit mid-way on your calf, since you can pair them with flats or strappy heels. In terms of fabrics, linen is a summer classic for casual days while silks and satins dress up your look a bit further. While it’s not hard to find dresses from a variety of fashion brands, certain ones really stand out for offering beautiful silhouettes that flatter the body, wrinkle-resistant fabrics, size-inclusive styles and prices that deliver excellent value.
Ahead, our recommendations for where to shop for the best summer dresses, organized by length—maxi, mini and midi. And for fancier events, here’s where to find the best wedding-guest dresses and mother-of-the-bride dresses.
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