The transition from winter into spring and summer is usually an easy one, but if part of you is also missing the comfy vibe that your sweats and PJs were giving you on those cozy nights in, a cute, airy sundress can feel just as good—if not better. Summer dresses are the ultimate fashion hack that every lover of comfort or ease already knows.
For starters, it’s an easy way to fake that “I spent hours on this outfit” look, when you likely pulled it off a hanger and on to your body in under two minutes. And, unlike a skirt, you don’t have to think about putting together a full outfit. But the best part is that when it comes to really good summer dresses, they’re also super comfy—especially if you’re getting one with a cozy fabric or a more relaxed fit.
Plus, a lot of sundresses are versatile, so you can wear them for anything from workouts (yes, I’m taking about that Insta-viral Outdoor Voices exercise dress) to all those weddings you’ll be attending this season, and the poolside cocktails in between. From silk slip dresses to floral maxis, wrap dresses, and *that* TikTok-famous ruched tank dress you’ve been eyeing, these will undoubtedly become the pieces in your summer wardrobe you reach for time and time again.
See below for the 16 best summer dresses in 2021 for comfort and style. Most of them are even under $40, so don’t hesitate to grab a few. Get ready to say “Oh, this thing? I just threw it on,” to all the compliments you’ll be getting.
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V-Neck Spaghetti Strap Bowknot Back Dress
Between the affordable price tag, cute spaghetti straps, lace embroidery, and flattering skater silhouette, there’s nothing not to love. Available in 32 colors and patterns, you’ll want to grab a few.
Best For Value
Backless Halter Floral Maxi Dress
This dress looks like something you may have spent at least a hundred dollars on, but it’s a bargain at $40. The elegant halter neck, ruffle details, and adjustable tie waist make this a win for any high-fashion wardrobe on a budget.
Best TikTok-Famous Dress
Crewneck Ruched Sleeveless Tank Dress
If this one looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it all over TikTok. Fashion influencers love how comfortable the fabric feels while still providing lightweight coverage that’s perfect for hot summer days.
Best Wrap Dress
Short Sleeve V-Neck Wrap Dress
A wrap dress is always in style. This may be under $20, but because of the adjustable tie closure and forever-trendy polka dots, you’ll likely keep it around for years to come.
Best High-Low Dress
V-Neck Sleeveless Maxi Dress
There’s nothing like a good high-low dress to show off your sexy legs. This one features a stretchy fabric on top that cinches at your waist for extra comfort, too.
Best A-Line Dress
Tie Front A-Line Swing Midi Dress
For the times you want the simplicity of an LBD but are craving something with a bit more of a pop, this sexy v-neck dress features a tie-front. The midi length and A-line silhouette make it a classic that’ll never go out of style, too.
Best Dress With Pockets
Spaghetti Strap Button-Down Midi Dress With Pockets
Never know where to put your hands for pictures, or just want a place to hold your phone (or snacks)? This strappy, striped dress features front pockets that seamlessly blend with the style and fun button-down detailing.
Best Maxi Dress
Strapless Maxi Dress
A strapless maxi dress is a must for those days you plan on spending a lot of time out in the sun. It’s a trendy way to avoid tan lines, and the stretchy top half makes it comfy, too.
Best Boho Dress
Long Sleeve Off-Shoulder Maxi Dress
If this doesn’t give off “romance novel cover” vibes, I don’t know what does. It’s a great option if you prefer more coverage, but the airy and lightweight fabric will still keep you cool. Like the look but prefer less of a sleeve? This flowy tank dress is a great option.
Best Tie-Dye Dress
Casual, Loose Tie-Dye Dress With Pockets
With over 6,000 five-star reviews, happy customers are obsessed with the comfy feel of this dress (and the fact that it has pockets!). The slits on the side are a fun little detail, and you can even tie the fabric at the front for a more trendy look.
Best Exercise Dress
The Exercise Dress
If you’re trying to go straight from your AM workout to brunch with friends, throw a quick belt or denim jacket on this cult-favorite exercise dress. Or, skip the workout and just keep it on-hand for hot summer days.
The dress features sweat-wicking fabric, a shorts liner, pockets(!), and adjustable straps for maximum comfort and support.
Best Floral Dress
Floral Maxi Dress
Florals aren’t everyone’s thing, but with the pattern being trendier than ever now, this neutral-toned maxi dress is a great way to dip your toe in the floral pond while still maintaining your minimalist vibes.
It’s a great luxe piece to wear to a wedding or with a blazer for work, but comfy enough to laze around in the park with for a picnic, too.
Best Wedding Guest Dress
Tiered Mini Dress
Some mini dresses lack a chic, elegant look but this one features a silky champagne fabric, ruffles, and bows—it’s perfect for all the weddings you’re attending this season. Plus, it looks great with a blazer layered over it for those cooler nights.
Best Pant Dress Set
This pant dress set gives off ultimate vaca vibes (whether you’re planning trips to the beach or margarita night with friends). You could easily wear the flirty ruffled dress alone, but the tailored, cropped pants add a unique touch of elegance.
Best Animal Print Dress
Long Sleeve Midi Wrap Dress
Is a fun summer wardrobe really complete without at least one animal print dress? The best part is that this one features a super soft stretch jersey fabric that’ll make it feel like you’re wearing pajamas.
Best Mesh Dress
Michelle Mesh Coverup
Mesh has made a full comeback from the ’90s, and this cover-up dress may be the best part of that. You can wear it over your favorite bathing suit, but you could just as easily pair it with a slip or even denim shorts and crop top for a more daring vibe.
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