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Updating your summer wardrobe? 30 dresses that are guaranteed to make the cut

There's picks for every aesthetic and body type.
Vivian Le / TODAY

Striking temperatures and more humidity call for some warm weather-appropriate attire. Instead of putting together different combinations of tops, bottoms and shoes whether you're heading to work or a tropical getaway, opt for a low-effort, flowy dress that will let you breathe when the weather turns unbearable.

From linen fabrics to chiffon-made designs, dresses offer a relaxed silhouette without the extra effort. We talked to a stylist for tips on how to shop for a summer dress that will create infinite looks this season. Plus, we rounded up some shopper-favorite pieces that will add versatility to your social summer calendar.

What to look for | Amazon dresses | Halter dresses | Linen dresses | Long dresses | White dresses | Cocktail dresses | Plus-size dresses

Materials and fabrics to look for when shopping for summer dresses

Regardless of whatever summer activity you're doing, you'll want to stick to comfortable materials during warmer stretches.

"My best recommendation when shopping for summer clothes is to seek a composition of cotton, silk and linen. These lightweight and breathable fabrics are perfect for dealing with a hot climate, and they help keep the body fresh and cool," advises fashion stylist Luciana Spatola.

Additionally, you want to wear UPF clothing and protective sun hats to add not only glamour but also extra safety to your skin.

As for dress styles, Spatola suggests shopping sundresses for their multipurpose features and flexibility to mix and match with accessories.

Amazon summer dresses

Haomeili Summer Swing T-Shirt Dress with Pockets

When the heat hits an all-time high, you'll need this sleeveless T-shirt dress. While we love this pink and black floral pattern, it's also available in 22 designs and colors.

Grecerelle Casual Short Sleeve Maxi Dress

You can't go wrong with a simple maxi dress. It is lightweight and versatile, has more than 30,000 verified five-star ratings and comes in over 40 different colors and prints.

Belongsci V-Neck Bell Sleeve Shift Dress

This V-neck bell sleeve shift dress is all you need for a dressy summer night. It has 24,000+ verified five-star reviews that call out its quality and wallet-friendly price.

R.Vivimos Long Sleeve Bohemian Floral Midi Dress

We can't get enough of this bohemian-inspired dress. Even though it has long sleeves, its lightweight material makes it perfect for a breezy summer day.

Mitilly Summer Boho Sleeveless Swing Dress with Pockets

This vibrant dress currently has nearly 8,000 verified five-star ratings. Many customers enjoy this dress for its flattering fit and fluttery sleeves.

Ouges Summer Short Sleeve V-Neck Floral Dress with Pockets

What's not to love about a simple dress with pockets? This Amazon favorite is available is over 50 different patterns and is less than $35.

Naggoo Floral Wrap Dress

Wrap dresses are cute, trendy and perfect for summer. This one comes in 31 colors and patterns for you to choose from.

Viishow Short Sleeve Casual Maxi Dress with Pockets

This short-sleeve maxi dress has more than 42,000 verified five-star ratings. Many customers love this dress because the fabric is lightweight and opaque.

Merokeety Striped Short Sleeve T-Shirt Dress

T-shirt dresses are a must-have for anyone’s summer wardrobe. This option from Merokeety can easily be dressed up with booties or kept casual with sandals for a day of running errands or a quick lunch with some friends. It comes in 25 different colors.

Floerns Floral Print Boho Long Dress

This dress can easily take you from daytime to evening plans. The off-the-shoulder style paired with a split in the leg adds a playful element to the look. Take your pick of almost 50 different colors and patterns.

Zesica Bohemian Floral Printed V-Neck Wrap Dress

This bohemian floral print wrap dress is trendy and comfortable. The relaxed, feminine silhouette is classic and flattering — just add a cute sun hat!

Halter dresses

Free Assembly Sleeveless Halter Midi Dress

For those days you need to get out of the house quick, wear this pullover style from Walmart. The design features a curve-hugging silhouette, comes in four colors and is available up to size XXL.

Old Navy Halter Tie-Strap Crochet Mini Dress

For a classy summer event, this one is the winner. The halter design is flattering, while the breathable crochet pattern will keep you comfortable all night long.

Old Navy Fit & Flare Crinkled Halter Maxi Dress

This flirty piece from Old Navy is perfect for a garden wedding, picnic reunion or any other outdoor event. The gorgeous floral print will add an elegant vibe to your summer wardrobe.

Linen summer dresses

Universal Thread Sleeveless Smocked Linen Midi Sundress

Nothing screams summer more than a strappy maxi dress. The cotton-linen blend fabric and side pockets make this design an essential piece for the scorching weather. Trust us, you will recycle it for next season.

Quince 100% European Linen Button Front

Going on vacation with your children? This dress is comfortable enough to walk around and keep an eye on the little ones. Also, it's made from 100% linen fabric.

Long summer dresses

Old Navy Fit & Flare High-Neck Combination Midi Dress

Every friend will compliment this maxi dress when you wear it. The design comes in three colors and features straps on the back that you can easily adjust. As an added bonus, it has side pockets to keep your concert tickets safe.

Old Navy Fit & Flare Smocked Maxi Cami Dress

When you have office meetings in the morning and happy hour at night, this summer dress will maintain your elegant vibe all day long.

Old Navy Waist-Defined Sleeveless Maxi Dress

For the lady on the move who doesn't have time to go home and change, this Old Navy dress is perfect. The midi dress can be dressed up or down thanks to the loose silhouette and flattering waistline that won't leave you looking boxy.

White summer dresses

BTFBM Sleeveless Tank Dress

A simple everyday white dress is a must-have for summer. This sleeveless tank dress can be paired with your favorite baseball hat and sneakers for an elevated errand-ready look or paired with heels and a clutch for a night out.

Banana Republic Factory Linen-Blend Button-Front Dress

Linen clothing is the best way to keep yourself cool this summer. This dress has an classic button-front design and a can easily be styled for everything from the office to a picnic with friends. Right now, you can save an additional 15% off the sale price at checkout, making this dress less than $60.

Showpo Junmae Tiered Waffle Wrap Midi Dress

If you're looking for a white dress that can transition into most summer activities, this one is versatile enough. This Showpo dress is flowy and has a wrap-style bodice for a feminine fit.

Summer cocktail dresses

Free Assembly Sleeveless Wide Strap Mini Dress

Stylish a summer dress is as easy as putting it on, according to Spatola. She recommends adding "a timeless denim jacket or a lighter leather one over the dress. As for accessories, I would go for a mini bag or clutch."

Available in four colors, this comfortable tank dress is easy to dress up and will keep you relaxed through muggy weather.

Ebifin Square Neck A-Line Babydoll Mini Dress

All you need to do is throw on this dress for an effortlessly chic look at any cocktail party. It has pockets (score!) and the sleeves are easily adjustable so you can make it an off-the-shoulder number, if that's the look you're going for.

Lulus Joyful Multi-Stripe Tie-Back Mini Dress

“Business in the front, party in the back” applies to this stylish mini dress from Lulus. The front features a solid color, but the back has a beautiful and colorful multi-stripe tie. It’s perfect for any event or an impromptu night out.

Lulus Chic Sensibility Satin Jacquard Pleated Midi Dress

Elevate your nighttime wardrobe with this elegant midi dress from Lulus. This is not just any floral dress. The bustier top and pleated skirt offer a very sophisticated feel.

Plus-size summer dresses

A New Day Ruched Mini Babydoll Dress

This white mini babydoll dress from Target's in-house brand A New Day is perfect for a night out. It's available up to size 4X and has the most beloved feature of any dress: a functional pocket.

A New Day Strapless Smocked Tube Sundress

Tan lines where? This tube sundress will allow you to soak up the sun without leaving any evidence behind in the form of strap-sized tan lines. It comes in four other colors including neutral hues like black and white.

Rebdolls Eboni Button Down Mini Shift Dress

This button-down is perfect for when you've got to run out the door but still need to look put together. It's available in several colors and sizes up to 5X which fit a 30-32.

Eloquii Woven Mini Wrap Dress

Don’t complicate your outfits this summer. This easy wrap dress from Eloquii pairs well with everything from sneakers to sandals. Plus, if you use code YESPLEASE, you can score this dress for just $35.