When it comes to dress shopping, it sometimes can feel like wading through an endless sea of fabric. From floral prints to all-black sheer numbers and architecturally inspired silhouettes, from textures like light chiffon to modern neoprene, there are just a ton of options out there, and it can be a bit overwhelming at times.
We’re here to help. As it turns out, there are only five dresses you really need in your closet at any given time.
Keep scrolling to find out what they are, and shop 20 stylish dresses right now!
No shocker here! Every woman needs a really stylish LBD as part of her sartorial wheelhouse. Your mom probably iengrained this in you from a young age, and for very good reason. The LBD is one the most versatile and consistently appropriate dresses for just about every occasion.
Diane von Furstenberg New Jeanne Two Wrap Dress ($325)
Mason by Michelle Mason Stretch-Ponte and Lace Dress ($540)
T by Alexander Wang Jersey Twist Draped Sleeveless Dress ($215)
For most women, getting invited to formal events is exciting—until it comes to picking out what to wear. Remove the stress from the equation by having a cache of well-fitting formal dresses on hand whenever an invite comes through. (You can also use our handy dress codes guide to figure out what to wear to which events.)
Opening Ceremony Manera Knit Long-Sleeve Dress ($495)
No matter your style, a good statement dress is a must-own. Whether you’re a girly girl who consistently reaches for floral prints, or a mod-inspired woman who loves a good abstract print, find a statement-making dress that works for you and stick with it!
Dries Van Noten Floral-Print Tunic Dress ($1095)
We cannot emphasize this one enough: An oft-overlooked star in the seemingly hundreds of dress silhouettes out there, the swing dress is one of the most flattering styles. If you’ve ever experienced a so-called “fat day,” you probably already understand why the swing dress can be your best friend.
Barneys New York X Yasmin Sewell Sleeveless Shirt Dress ($825)
While a great LBD is certainly something you can wear to the office, sometimes it’s a good idea to change it up a bit by wearing professional dresses that experiment more with color, pattern, and shape. Key ideas: Don’t show cleavage, limit the amount of skin you show, and steer clear of overtly wild prints.