Everything feels better when you do it in a dress. That feeling is increased twofold when it comes to sitting down for a delicious meal outside. From the comfortable breeze to the orange sunset glow, nothing tops dining alfresco in a pretty dress while taking in the summer scenery. In fact, it's pretty much all I want to do right now. My humble balcony has seen more scrappy candlelit dinners than I'd care to admit.
You technically don't have to dress up every time you enjoy a plate of pasta outdoors, but wearing a nice dress surely enhances the experience. Should you, too, have many evenings of alfresco dinners ahead, take time to consider the below dresses. From elegant silk numbers to low-key floral pieces, each is exactly what I envision wearing on a warm night while downing a glass of wine and a delectable cheese plate. Even if you prefer to eat indoors, these dresses are simply so pretty that you're bound to wear them for at least one occasion this season. Scroll on to shop my favorites and see some summer inspiration.
Just from the details alone, I'd never guess this dress would be under $100.
While the front is supremely elegant, the back features a subtly seductive cutout.
At 60% off, it's pretty obvious that this should immediately be added to your cart.
Style this with colorful earrings and heels to play up the tropical print.
Sheer is everywhere these days, and if you're game to try the trend, here's a way to embrace it without going totally risqué.
While wearing black undergarments is an obvious choice, another approach would be styling a bright swimsuit underneath.
Here is more evidence that an oversize button-down is the MVP of summer. This dress can be worn as a cover-up or worn with heels for a low-key dinner look.
Since everyone couldn't stop talking about that pink Zara dress, the retailer released a similar version in black.
The modern way to do polka dots.
This dress feels like destinationwear.
When comfort and cool are key, Sleeper's selection of effortless linen dresses is your best bet.
Indya Brown is a fashion editor, stylist, and writer living in Los Angeles. While going to school at Columbia University in New York City, she got her feet wet in the fashion industry interning at Elle magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine's The Cut. After graduating in 2016, she joined The Cut as a fashion assistant, eventually working her way up to fashion editor. There, she worked on a multitude of projects, including styling inbook feature stories for New York magazine's print issue, writing and pitching market stories for The Cut, and serving as fashion lead for The Cut's branded content. While New York has been her home for over 10 years, she moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 for a new chapter. Now she is a fashion market editor for Who What Wear, focusing on emerging designers, rising trends on and off the internet, interior design, and BIPOC creatives and brands. Aside from her duties as a fashion market editor, Brown is also a freelance stylist and writer, working on national print and video commercial campaigns for Sephora, The Independent, and Cadillac. Her bylines also include Harper's Bazaar, Vox, and The New York Times. But once the computer goes down and the emails turn off, she's likely eating her way through Koreatown, hunting down vintage furniture, scoping out new outrageous nail designs to try, or taking a hot cycling class.
I Haven't Shopped at J.Crew in Months—These Elegant Picks Are Now in My Cart
By Grace O'Connell Joshua
I Spent 7 Hours Digging Through Saks—39 Items I Discovered That I Now Need
The perfect pastime.
By Aemilia Madden
Iris Law Just Wore the Viral Mango Skirt Suit Our Editors Can't Get Enough of
The best thing on the high street right now.
By Natalie Munro
These 10 Items Are the Easiest Way to Spot a Fashion Person in 2024
By Allyson Payer
I'm a Fitness-Loving Fashion Editor, These Are My 5 Go-To Leggings
Every brand, tried and tested
By Rebecca Rhys-Evans
I'm a Plus-Size Fashion Editor—These 28 Styles Are on My Spring Wish List
I want all of these ASAP.
By Chichi Offor
29 Nordstrom Items I Chose Over My 401(K)—Sorry, Dad
By Eliza Huber
It's True—I Really Did Find the 5 Best Nordstrom Items for Spring
Starting at $59.
By Eliza Huber