The Single-Most Irresistible Dress Trend of the Summer—Period

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(Image credit: @aniyahmorinia)

I like to think of myself as a strong-willed person, but if I'm being really honest, I'm a sucker for pretty things. As much as I'd like to save money and not fill my wardrobe with aesthetically pleasing pieces on a far-too-frequent basis, I often find myself giving in to temptation. Right now, no single trend is calling my name and tearing at my will quite as fiercely as off-the-shoulder dresses. 

Though it's ultimately a simple dress shape and not exactly a new one, I've come to form a strong bond with the sultry silhouette, pulling for the ones in my closet often and saving Instagram photos of others wearing them—usually by Khaite, The Row, and Alaïa—on a daily basis. It helps that there's a seemingly endless treasure trove of inspiration and shoppable options to choose from, with off-the-shoulder dresses easily being one of the summer's most-wanted trends. Below, see how fashion people are wearing the silhouette of the season. 

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(Image credit: @dawn.tan)

Combine two off-the-moment dress trends in one look by layering a sheer style underneath a mini-length off-the-shoulder one. It'll add some necessary dimension to the look and have everyone who passes by you wondering what you're wearing and how they can get it. 

Shop the trend:

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(Image credit: @hannamw)

Long-sleeve maxi dresses, despite how easy, versatile, and wildly chic they are, get slept on far too often. Perhaps it's because people automatically think they'll look frumpy or have too much fabric. By choosing an off-the-shoulder body-con style, though, you're in the clear in every way. 

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(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)

This off-the-shoulder full-skirt Khaite dress is one of the prettiest, most buzzed-about dresses of 2023 so far, so no one should be surprised that it made it into this story. It somehow balances being risqué with the neckline and being modest with the voluminous skirt. *Chef's kiss.* 

Shop the trend:

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(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

If it's drapey, made of jersey, and cream or ivory colored, I can assure you that I and everyone I know either wants it or will want it as soon as they catch a glimpse. It truly is an unbeatable combination that will never go out of style. 

Shop the trend:

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(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

In my personal opinion, there's nothing sexier than an off-the-shoulder minidress and some super-sharp black pumps for a night out. (No, it doesn't have to be in Paris, but that certainly helps.) Just don't forget to add a statement pair of earrings to finish off the look. 

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(Image credit: @abimarvel)

Is there anything better in the summer than a light-colored frock that can be worn to anything and with anything in any weather that Mother Nature throws at us? I, for one, can't think of a single thing. 

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(Image credit: @clairerose)

Rarely does a garment come along that actually does it all, but a little black dress that drops slightly off your shoulder and is made of jersey is one of them. No, I'm not exaggerating. 

Shop the trend:

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(Image credit: @aniyahmorinia)

Take cottagecore to the next level by trading in your nap dresses for a similar style with an added off-the-shoulder neckline. Trust me—it'll make the somewhat outdated trend feel shockingly modern and fresh. 

Shop the trend:

Coming up next: Here They Are: The 8 Major Dress Trends of Fall 2023

Editor

Eliza Huber is a Chicago-born, New York City–based fashion editor who specializes in trend reporting, plus-size fashion, brand discovery, and celebrity style. For the last year, she’s been covering all of the above for Who What Wear, where she first got her start as an intern and later a freelance writer in 2017.


Upon graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Iowa in 2018, Eliza moved to New York City full time and started at Refinery29 as a fashion market writer, focusing on SEO-optimized market roundups. Later, she transitioned out of just market and began covering the site's fashion news beat as well as writing features pertaining to plus-size fashion, sustainability, adaptive fashion, need-to-know brands, and the latest runway and social media–driven trends. In 2021, after almost four years at Refinery29, she moved on to Who What Wear, where she continues to be a trusted source for fashion news, trends, and more. In her first year at Who What Wear, Eliza has profiled Dakota Fanning and Diane Kruger, two of the site's 2022 cover stars, and launched her own monthly column titled Let's Get a Room, where she heads to dressing rooms around New York City to show the site's readers what new items are just as good IRL as they appear online. Eliza also curates market for Who What Wear's email newsletters.


Eliza currently lives in SoHo, in far too close proximity to Lower Manhattan's bevy of shopping destinations. When she’s not popping into stores for inspiration (or more), she's probably running on the West Side Highway, watching a Formula 1 race, sprinting at Barry's, or sitting outside at one of SoHo's many cafés.