Whether dressing for function or fashion, you can never have enough cute summer dresses. Breathable fabrics and breezy cuts are the ideal outfits for scorching days and depending on the style, can take you everywhere from poolside hangs and grocery store runs to long-awaited weddings and date nights.

Related: 10 beach cover ups under $30 that we’ll be wearing all summer long

No matter what you have planned this season, there’s a dress for it. Dashing from one camp pick up to another? Throw on a casual T-shirt dress and some sneakers. Summer weddings call for gorgeous colorful maxi dresses or sweet, tiered poplin. And don’t forget about the official/unofficial uniform from Memorial Day to Labor Day: the white summer dress. (Well, for any occasion except a wedding, right?)

From maxi to casual dresses, here are 20 cute summer dresses for women that are sure to suit all kinds of styles and occasions.

Casual Summer Dresses

Women's Short Sleeve T-Shirt Dress - Universal Thread

Universal Thread


Women's Short Sleeve T-Shirt Dress

If you’re all about that #nopantslifestyle, a closet full of T-shirt dresses is really all you need. I love this one from Target for the super affordable price tag and wide range of color choices.

Available in sizes XS-XXL


Pact Fit and Flare Midi Dress



Fit and Flare Midi Dress

Can we just take a minute to appreciate this color combo? Along with a sweet fit and flare ballerina-esque silhouette it’s a total showstopper. Add in the fact it’s made from comfy organic cotton, has a built in shelf bra and pockets and now we want one in all the colors.

Available in sizes XS-XXL

CCX Pia Dress



Pia Dress

From the gorgeous plaid cotton to the tiered skirt and flattering square neckline, this dress has “summer” written all over it. And since it looks great dressed up or down, you can reach for it all season long!


Available in sizes 12-24

J.Crew Tie Back tiered poplin dress

J. Crew


Tie Back Tiered Poplin

An A-line beauty in crisp cotton poplin? Yes, please. Its silhouette is casual enough for every day but can easily be elevated by strappy heels and some gold bangles for a polished, party-ready look.

Available in sizes 00-24

Amazon Ruched Tank Dress



Ruched Tank Dress

One of the most-loved dresses on Amazon with over 30K+ ratings, this tulip-hemmed cotton dress is equal parts casual and sexy. Ruching along the side makes it flattering on every shape and with a rainbow of colors to choose from, there’s a style for every taste.

Available in sizes S-XL

Old Navy Fit and Flare Gingham Dress

Old Navy


Fit and Flare Gingham Dress

Perfect for picnics and sunny summer days, this gingham midi dress will be your go-to all season long. The smocked top and a-line skirt create a flattering look that can take you pretty much anywhere. (And it even has pockets!)

Available in sizes XS-4X

Quince Tencel Rib Knit Sleeveless Dress



Tencel Rib Knit Sleeveless Dress

Turns out our go-to brand for affordable cashmere has become a year-round staple. Quince, the affordable luxury brand that has no doubt infiltrated your social feeds, promises “high quality essentials at radically low prices”–and they definitely deliver. For the summer, we’re loving this rib knit dress which is comfy yet still put together. And even though it’s less than $40 bucks, it’s fully lined and holds its own against styles that cost 4x as much.

Available in sizes XS-XL

Women's Plus Size Sleeveless Cross Back Woven Dress - Ava & Viv

Ava & Viv


Women's Plus Size Sleeveless Cross Back Woven Dress

Who doesn’t love a good pop of color? This cross-back mini is lightweight and breezy with a swingy silhouette that’s perfect for backyard barbecues or better yet–mimosas with the ladies.

Available in sizes X-4X

Gap TIe Back Midi Dress



Tie Back Midi Dress

Business in the front, party in the back! This seemingly traditional tank dress features a cut out and tie at the back to make it just a little more fun.

Available in sizes XXS-XXL

A version of this story was published July 6, 2021. It has been updated.

White Summer Dresses

H & M Tie Belt Shirt Dress

H & M


Tie Belt Shirt Dress

Speaking of timeless, this menswear-inspired button-down shirt dress can easily be dressed up or down for everything from brunch to beach days.

Available in sizes XXS-XL

Universal Standard Afternoon Tee Dress

Universal Standard


Afternoon Tee Dress

This simple style is the ideal summer throw-on-and-go. A cinched waist offers a bit of shape for an alternative oversize T-shirt feel. Just grab some sandals or sneaks and you’re out the door!

Available in sizes 4XS-4XL

Lane Bryant Lena Flutter-Sleeve High-Low Dress

Lane Bryant


Lena Flutter-Sleeve High-Low Dress

Ready for a cascade of compliments? Slip into this gorg number. The flutter sleeves and sophisticated tie waist are already a knock out, but add in that elegant high-low hemline and it’s totally a knock out.

Available in sizes 12-28

Outerknown Utility Shirt Dress



Utility Shirt Dress

We love the laidback California style of Outerknown–particularly this versatile shirt dress which makes the perfect dress or beach cover up. And it’s not just the style we love. Since sustainability is central to the brand’s identity, this stunner is made with organic cotton and buttons crafted from tagua palm nuts gathered from the forest floor. Plastic? No thanks.

Available in sizes XS-XL

Old Navy Fit & Flare Puff Sleeve All Day Midi Dress

Old Navy


Fit & Flare Puff Sleeve All Day Midi Dress

Want that nap dress look without the nap dress price tag? We’re smitten with this flowy tiered number from Old Navy that’s less than $50 bucks.

Best Summer Maxi Dresses

Farm Rio Black Cool Leopards Maxi Dress

Farm Rio


Black Cool Leopards Maxi Dress

With their bold, colorful patterns and gorgeous fabrics, Farm Rio dresses are the ultimate investment statement pieces. For real, do not put one on unless you’re prepared to talk to at least three strangers who stop you in your tracks to ask you where it’s from (or to simply shower you with compliments). I’m currently a superfan of this elegant button front number with its billowy but not over-powering sleeves and irresistible leopard motif. Invite me to things! I need an excuse to purchase.

Available in sizes XS-XL

Universal Standard Iconic Geneva Tank Dress

Universal Standard


Iconic Geneva Tank Dress

A tank maxi, but make it pop. With an eye-catching asymmetrical hem and a variety of bold colors, this Peruvian cotton dress feels like a nightgown but looks like a million bucks.

Available in sizes 4XS-4XL

Elan Cover Up Maxi Dress



Cover Up Maxi Dress

This billowy maxi is a fan favorite for its breathable, easy-going style that’s designed for lazy days at the beach or pool. The only complaint? It should come in more colors.

Available in sizes XS-XL

Gap Strappy Ruffle Hem Maxi



Strappy Ruffle Hem Maxi

A light, breezy maxi that’s 100% beach ready. We love the bold pop of raspberry and crinkly fabric that calls for strappy sandals and an oversize tote.

Available in sixes XXS-XXL

Plenty by Tracy Reese Halter Maxi

Plenty by Tracy Reese


Halter Maxi

Between the unforgettable color palette and the take-your-breath-away design, this truly is the dress of a lifetime. You might not be packing your bags for Malta just yet, but there’s no reason you can’t have a wardrobe that’s ready for it.

Available in sizes XS-3X

Aranbess Maxi Dress



Maxi Dress

Oh, hey there new summer uniform! Nice to meet you! Amazon’s number one best selling dress is a wardrobe staple that’s available in literally 30(!) different colors and patterns. Wear it with sneakers and a chunky cotton cardigan on chilly mornings or a pair of strappy sandals and a straw hat when the sun is cranking. It’s guaranteed to become the hardest working piece of clothing in your closet.

Available in sizes S-XXL