I'm a Fashion Editor, and These Are the 8 Summer Dress Styles I Recommend


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

The best thing about summer? Wearing a dress, of course. Sure, summer is exciting because of the travel plans and vacations, but there's nothing like the feeling you get when you're wearing a new dress and the weather is warm. I don't have to tell you that you can wear dresses any time of year, but without all the coats and layers, you can really let them do their thing.

Ahead, I rounded up some of the best dress styles to take for a spin this season, from classic styles like linen and LBDs to statement ones with crochet and printed designs. I guarantee you'll find a style no matter what aesthetic you're going for, whether you're more interested in bold textures and colors or more minimalist silhouettes. So don't wait. Scroll down for eight types of dresses that'll go on to become go-tos in your warm-weather wardrobe—period.


A woman wearing a green drop-waist linen dress with a white mini bag walking on a dirt track.

(Image credit: @kayla_seah)

Linen is a must when it's boiling hot outside during the summer. It's for the types of days when you're taking two showers at the very least. It's highly breathable, and of course, it also creates the illusion that you're sipping rosé in Provence. I'll take it. The lightweight linen styles below will become constants in your wardrobe whenever you're looking to combat sweat and look effortlessly cool while doing it.


Eliza Huber wearing a white Tory Burch sculpted minidress in a mirror selfie.

(Image credit: @elizagracehuber)

Similar to linen, white dresses are always a summer must because they're airy and the lighter color helps keep you cool. They look just as fitting in the city as they do on a beachside vacay; plus, you can accessorize them with added pops of color or keep them monochrome if you want to look like you're attending the iconic white party in the Hamptons this season.


A woman wearing a black V-neck slip dress in the ocean.

(Image credit: @cassdimicco)

The classic to end all classics—a black dress will always be relevant, even in summer months. Switch things up with dramatic shapes and bold cutouts, or use accessories like a chain belt for some added shine.


A woman wearing a black-and-pink floral spaghetti-strap maxi dress with a green handbag and black net heels.

(Image credit: @fannyekstrand)

A fun print or pattern can make even the most basic dress a head-turning one. Go with bright florals made of rows of blooming peonies and lavender or opt for a vacation-inspired print with sunsets and palm trees. Whatever you choose, just know that you're bound to get tons of compliments on your colorful number.


A woman wearing a cowl-neck white minidress with white heeled sandals on a stone walkway.

(Image credit: @fakerstrom)

Dramatically short hemlines aren't everyone's favorite, but they sure are fun. A minidress comes in handy when the temperatures are absolutely sweltering and you need to feel more air on your skin. Pair it with a lightweight material like cotton or linen to combat the sweat, and you can accessorize with anything from sneakers to high heels, depending on the occasion.


A woman wearing a strapless, maxi-length yellow dress with a large black floral brooch.

(Image credit: @linneklund)

If you haven't joined the fray of maxi-length fans, you're a little late, but that's okay! Longer lengths have been a mainstay for the past few seasons because they translate to weddings, fancy nights outs, or sometimes even casual everyday wear. Consider this your sign to go long.


Nana Agyemang wearing a red one-shoulder crochet dress with flower embellishments.

(Image credit: @itsreallynana)

Crochet dresses are airy by definition, especially when they also feature open-back details and see-through materials. Use the knitted options below as swim cover-ups or get clever with layering to take the sheer trend out for a spin. Either way, your summer packing just got a whole lot easier.


A woman wearing black sunglasses, a white hair clip, and a strapless white maxi dress.

(Image credit: @chalaux)

Strapless dresses are here to stay with the rise of '90s minimalism. Even better? No strappy tan lines if you're out in the sun. Casual versions are usually ones you throw on (no zippers required!), but there are also more structured styles if you're heading out on the town. Shop this season's most impressive options below.

Lauren Adhav
Freelance Fashion Editor

Lauren Adhav is a freelance fashion editor based in Los Angeles. Originally from Orlando, Florida, she always wanted to work at a fashion magazine. After finally getting an internship at Town & Country in 2015, she moved to New York City and continued to get her footing in the industry with stints at Cosmopolitan, W magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and Moda Operandi. In 2017, she returned to Cosmo full time, starting off as the beauty and fashion editorial assistant and working her way to fashion editor. She contributed to both the website and print issues, pitching new ideas, forecasting trends, covering red carpet events, and informing the overall coverage and brand voice. After five years in NYC, she moved to the West Coast for the sunshine and the change of pace. As a freelance fashion editor, she still contributes to Cosmo and now Who What Wear. She's always trying to get ahead of the next big trend before it goes mainstream and loves discovering fashion brands with a unique point of view (Chopova Lowena, Sandy Liang, and Bode being some of her current favorites). She also spends an unhealthy amount of time online shopping for the perfect piece, and now that she's in L.A., she's rediscovering her soft spot for malls. On the weekends, you can find her walking around the Silver Lake Reservoir, trying to catch up on her tan at Venice Beach, and probably ordering a Chinese chicken salad at Joan's on Third.