6 Quick Dress Outfits That Are Guaranteed To Invite Compliments This Summer

Contending with busy parks? Check. Swapping jeans for skirts? Check. Hayfever? Triple check. It looks like summer is just around the corner, and with so many new dress trends already making their way into stores, we're officially ready to make the move from transitional wardrobe to warm-weather commitment. From flirty minis to boho maxis, summer dresses are the easiest and most elegant way to pull together a summer look. And although we aren't quite ready to give up on oversized shirts, linen trousers, and breezy skirts just yet, we find that the right dress can be the foundation for so many compliment-worthy outfits without having to do the extra legwork of figuring out what will go with it. (Hint: everything does.) With that being said, dresses are nothing new, so we're confident you already have a wardrobe full of great options, so rather than encouraging you to start from scratch, we've pulled together some easy ways to style them up.

summer dress outfits

(Image credit: @maggie_mccormack)

Should you be fortunate enough to be booking a holiday, don't pack until you've seen the simple, 90's dress trend that you can wear for both day and night. Settling for summer in the city? We've got you. Trainers will feel so much more polished with the dress influencers are wearing theirs with now. Oh, and of course, there's work too! And whether you're in an office or are always on the go, there's one colour you can rely on for a sleek and sophisticated look, but more on that later.

summer dress outfits

(Image credit: @styleidealist)

While little black dresses are forever, and long white dresses are seasonal staple, we thought about all of the hero dresses that are likely to be in your wardrobes, and searched through to socials to see how Instagram's best dressed are making classic dresses feel fresh again. From kitsch puffed sleeve dresses to slinky slips, keep scrolling for 6 summer dress outfits to carry you through the season in the most stylish way possible. And, they only take five minutes to assemble.

1. Head-to-toe Black

summer dress outfits

(Image credit: @sobalera)

Style Notes: Yes, it is possible to wear black in summer without overheating. Strip back the layers and opt for an airy maxi for a chic instant outfit that doesn't need over-accessorising. We're taking notes from Valeria [pictured above], and pairing this elegant dress with a black bag and shoes for an expensive look that you can put together without a second thought.

Shop the Look:

2. Slip Dress + Strappy Sandals

summer dress outfits

(Image credit: @iamzoefoster)

Style Notes: There is no dress code that a slip dress can't meet, and Zoe Foster's outfit is a case in point. Not only would this white slip look good with a chunky, flat sandal like a Birkenstock, it's just as good dressed up with an evening heel too. No need to suffer in high stilettos though, fashion insiders rely on kitten and demi-heels for a look equally chic that comfortably lasts all night.

Shop the Look:

3. Mini Dress + Ballet Flats

summer dress outfits

(Image credit: @salome.mory)

Style Notes: It just wouldn't be summer without the opportunity to go bare-legged, and a playful mini deserves an equally cute shoe trend—enter the ballet flat. Of course, a versatile mini would be perfectly paired with a leather ballet pump for a nod to French styling, but Salome's mesh flats are ideal for summer heatwaves when you'd prefer to be wearing nothing at all.

Shop the Look:

4. Floral Dresses + Slides

summer dress outfits

(Image credit: @rayan.xasan)

Style Notes: Floral dress trends have evolved in 2024, and we're currently obsessed with rustic, provincial inspired prints that look like they've stepped straight out of an idyllic village in the South of France. These colourful, micro florals come into their own in the summer, and look best with brown leather, raffia, and cosy knits to drape around your shoulders after the sun sets.

Shop the Look:

5. Prairie Dresses + Mary Janes

summer dress outfits

(Image credit: @livpurvis)

Style Notes: Echo the colours of a countryside summer with a watercolour prairie dress, Mary Janes and a sensible trench (you know, just in case). This outfit is light enough for high temperatures, and layers up when you need it, and you'll wear it long into autumn too just by adding a pair of socks or tights.

Shop the Look:

6. Puff Sleeve Dress + Trainers

summer dress outfits

(Image credit: @claudia_berresford)

Style Notes: Looking for an outfit you can throw on for a weekend of errands? Trainers are always reliable, but when you want to give the impression that you've taken your time getting ready, dress up casual kicks with a pretty dress. Not only does the combination make sense, it's also incredibly comfortable. You're welcome.

Shop the Look:

Up Next, This Millennial-Loved Dress Trend Is Officially Back For Summer 2024

Remy Farrell
Fashion Editor

Remy Farrell is a London-based shopping editor with nearly 10 years of editorial experience covering fashion, beauty and lifestyle. After graduating with a journalism degree and working on the editorial and fashion teams for titles such as Grazia, Elle, Cosmopolitan and British Vogue, she moved into the luxury e-commerce sector, working as fashion assistant at TheOutnet.com styling for the social media channels and helping to develop the collections for the in-house brand Iris & Ink. After expanding an assisting and styling portfolio that includes shooting talent such as Gigi Hadid, Victoria Beckham and Miquita Oliver, she also branched out into beauty, creating tried-and-tested reviews and diverse beauty content.In her role as shopping editor at Who What Wear, Remy is interested in discovering new and exciting brands to share with the Who What Wear readership and particularly loves uncovering hidden gems at affordable prices to make shopping accessible to everyone.Born and raised in Sheffield, Yorkshire, Remy moved to London in 2014 and lives in the Docklands with her partner and pug Billie.