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41 effortlessly chic dresses to wear this summer, according to shoppers

These stylish and affordable dresses are great for casual day dates, evening events and everything in between.
TODAY Illustration / Banana Republic / Quince / Leota

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.

According to Google Trends, searches for sundresses are up 170 percent over the last 30 days, so stocking up on summer staples is on a lot of people's minds right now. 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.

Materials and fabrics to look for when shopping for summer dresses

Regardless of whatever summer activity you're doing, you 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," mentioned 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 suggested shopping sundresses for their multipurpose features and flexibility to mix and match with accessories.

Best summer dresses

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 just an impromptu night out.

Old Navy Fitted Rib-Knit Midi Cami Dress

Don't be afraid to step out in this lime green cami dress from Old Navy. The colorful number will keep you fresh and chic wherever you travel this season.

Banana Republic Factory Tie-Back Midi Dress

For the lady on the move who doesn't have time to go home and change, this Banana Republic dress is perfect. The midi dress can be dressed up or down thanks to the loose silhouette and chic design on the back.

Asos Ultimate Tea Maxi Shirtdress

Stop stressing out in the morning with separate pieces. This colorful maxi is made from cotton and an airy front to let in some breeze during warm days.

Buck Mason Surplus Rib Tank 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 three neutral colors, this comfortable tank dress is easy to dress up and will keep you relaxed through muggy weather.

Loft Floral Ruffle Strap Midi Dress

Minor in simplicity but major in elegance with this floral design from Loft. This midi dress can be worn during a date night or to the beach.

Cowl neck dresses

Asos Cowl Halter A-Line Midi Cocktail Dress

For a more sophisticated take on the summer dress, wear this cocktail dress from Asos. Cowl neck dresses are increasing in popularity and according to Trendalytics, with over 12,000 average weekly searches for the term.

Banana Republic Factory Satin Slip Dress

This silky maxi dress from Banana Republic Factory is a must-have for summer. The dress can be worn with your favorite sandals or a pair of espadrilles. It's made from a soft-satin like fabric for a fresh feel.

Abercrombie Cowl Neck Slip Maxi Dress

Receive the best-dressed award at your next summer soiree with this delicate design from Abercrombie & Fitch. The design features an open back and strappy details for a feminine look.

Amazon summer dresses

Naggoo Floral Wrap Dress

Wrap dresses are cute, trendy and perfect for summer. This one comes in 26 colors and patterns for you to choose from.

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 42 different colors and patterns.

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 24 different colors.

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.

Grecerelle Casual Short Sleeve Maxi Dress

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

Viishow Short Sleeve Casual Maxi Dress with Pockets

This short-sleeve maxi dress has nearly 40,000 verified five-star ratings. Many customers love this dress because the fabric is lightweight and opaque.

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 20 designs and colors.

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 20,000+ verified five-star reviews that call out its quality and wallet-friendly price.

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!

Mitilly Summer Boho Sleeveless Swing Dress with Pockets

This vibrant dress currently has nearly 7,000 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 35 different patterns and is less than $35.

Halter dresses

Old Navy Fit & Flare Sleeveless Halter Floral-Print 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.

Scoop Women's Halter Top Midi Dress

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

Zara Satin Effect Halter Dress

Are you on the mission of getting some suitors? This silky dress will turn heads in whichever room you enter. The design boasts a sensual design and a delicate vibe for any woman that wears it.

Linen summer dresses

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 percent linen fabric.

Cynthia Rowley Linen V-Neck Tiered Dress

Grab an Aperol spritz on your favorite rooftop with this chic V-neck from Cynthia Rowley. It features ruffle hem detailing and a relaxed fit that won't make you sweaty.

Loft Strappy Button Midi Pocket Dress

Look effortlessly chic in this linen-blend midi dress from Loft. The lightweight design encompasses a straight design with buttons that look extra stylish.

Long summer dresses

Mango Ruched Detail Dress

For those days that you want to ditch the bra, wear a supportive dress like this one from Mango. It's long, elegant and features ruched detailing on the front. This also comes in handy when you need a last-minute wedding guest dress.

Free Assembly Smocked Midi Dress with Convertible Sleeves

For those days you need to get out of the house quick, wear this pullover style from Walmart. The design features a curve-hugging style and convertible sleeves for those days when the sun hits harsh.

Gap Tie-Back Halter Maxi 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.

Nanette Lepore Smocked Top Tiered Maxi 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.

White summer dresses

Madewell Eyelet Lucie Tie-Strap Tiered Midi Dress

Linen clothing is the best way to keep yourself cool this summer. This dress has an eyelet design and adjustable tie straps that won't dig into your shoulders or give you unwanted sunburn.

Leota Aaliyah Dress

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

Red Dress Hold My Hand Off White Maxi Dress

Meet the parents in this adorable maxi dress with modern details. The dress features billowing sleeves and a cutout design at the waist that doesn't look to revealing.

J.Crew Factory Squareneck Ruffle Maxi Dress

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

Simply Retro Alaia Sleeveless White Midi Tiered Dress

Head to the farmer's market in this dressy option from Simple Retro. The sleeveless design adds a comfortable feel and the black bow on the back complement the chic look.

Summer cocktail dresses

Dalia Macphee Sleeveless Floral Dress

Elevate your nighttime wardrobe with this elegant attire from Dalia Macphee. This is not just any floral dress. The bustier top and pleated skirt offer a very sophistical feel.

Banana Republic Factory Twist-Neck Midi Dress

For beach days you want to look put-together yet comfortable, this dress is the one. The halter design adds a hint of elegance and is the perfect fabric for humid days. This style will feel like a breeze on a hot summer day.

Plus-size summer dresses

Madewell Plus Joanna Smocked Midi Dress

This white maxi dress from Madewell is warm-weather approved thanks to adjustable shoulders and stretchy fabric.

Eloquii Linen Open Back Dress

Don’t complicate your outfits this summer. This linen option from Eloquii features a smocked back bodice and a front slit for a feminine feel.

Avenue Linen Plus Button Front Dress

With a button front detail and sleeveless design, this makes the perfect dress for any summer day outdoors. Wear it with flats or heels when you need a quick change of atmosphere.

Eloquii Satin Slip Dress

You can never go wrong with a floral slip dress. Add a button-down shirt for a chic office look or trade your sneakers for heels for a nighttime style.

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