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My Favorite AFFORDABLE Spring Dresses (all with pockets)

I’m a perpetual fan of the “One-piece-of-clothing” outfit, otherwise known as “the dress” (or romper, but that’s another post). Make that dress easy to wear (good drape), affordable (less risk) and WITH POCKETS (it swings!) and you had me at “howdy” (there is an accidental theme as you will soon see). I went to the mall with my friend Suzanne, tried on 30-40 dresses, and came home with these 7. Here. We. Go.

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Dress (available in store at Target) | Shoes (similar)

I LOVE this dress and it looks far more expensive than the $27.99 (yup, that it is). Plus I wore it three times without washing or even really hanging it up. It’s thick enough that it doesn’t get wrinkled easily AND YET DRAPES SO WELL. Likely it’s because of the princess sleeves and more fitted bodice, but I am a massive fan of it in every way (the cute cuffs, the simple collar, I could go on and on). I’ve had the clogs for a year and still love them.

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Emily Henderson Spring Dresses Denim

1. Denim Fit and Flare Dress | 2. Utility Denim Shirt Dress | 3. Denim Wrap Smock Dress | 4. Short Shirt Dress | 5. Denim Patch-Pocket Popover Shirtdress | 6. Lyocell Shirt Dress

Now let’s get whimsical with some ruffles…

Emily Henderson Affordable Spring Dresses Pink Side By Side

Dress | Hat | Shoes | Bandana

This dress comes in white, teal and this pretty pink and it was a hard choice to make. The ruffled sleeve, the casual drape, the tiered length, and the pockets make it SO easy to throw on (and it’s lined and the lining even drapes/falls well). It certainly has a prairie vibe that I obviously leaned into with the bandana, snakeskin boots, and hat. WHEN IN ROME.

Emily Henderson Spring Dresses Sleeveless

1. UO Hanna Embroidered Maxi Dress | 2. Women’s Floral Ruffle Dress | 3. Haverford Frock Midi Dress

Emily Henderson Affordable Spring Dresses Pattern Side By Side

Dress Shoes | Dog (sorry he’s taken:))

Sensing the theme? This tiered dress is a heavy rayon that ALSO drapes really well. The print makes it really forgiving, the rouging flatters the bodice (and would even more if you were less endowed), and the big sleeves are like a fun accessory. Throw in Boris in lieu of a handbag and you’ve got yourself AN official outfit. This is a great work/church/brunch outfit and is even as cute with thick-soled sneakers (like these or the black version of my snakeskin pair like these). And yes, this also has pockets.

Emily Henderson Spring Dresses Baloon Sleeve Copy

1. Liza Long Sleeve Smocked Midi Dress | 2. Polka Dots Long Sleeve Dress | 3. Apparent Long Sleeve Dress | 4. Floral Smock Dress | 5. Creped Dress | 6. Sister Jane Tiered Dress

Dress | Bandana | Shoes

This one is not a show stopper but I found myself opting for it on the weekend because it has this casual utilitarian vibe that is still cute, but so easy. I also think it would be a GREAT swimsuit coverup what with the zipper. It’s oversized in a good way, with huge pockets and screams “weekend dog walking or park with kids”. I had no idea how often I would wear those snakeskin sneakers, but the answer is 3-4 times a week.

Emily Henderson Spring Dresses Utility

1. Cloth & Stone Eryn Utility Shirtdress | 2. Topstitched Utility Shirtdress | 3. Utility Mini Shirtdress

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This shot is not properly displaying the joy that I feel wearing it. It’s thick, quilted, powder blue with massive sleeves and even a tie in the back. I feel so happy and just GOOD in this dress. It can obviously be dressed up for Easter, or down with sneakers. Its a whimsical statement but yet so easy to throw on. It is on the more splurgy side of affordable, but because it can be even worn to a wedding I think it’s worth it.

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Emily Henderson Spring Dresses Puff Sleeve

1. Puff Sleeve Mini Dress | 2. Puff Sleeve Babydoll Dress | 3. Mallorca Tiered Babydoll Dress | 4. Laura Ashley Mel Puff Sleeve Dress | 5. WeWoreWhat Puff Sleeve Polka Dot Romper | 6. Puff Sleeve Dobby Cotton Mini Dress

DressBelt | Shoes

We joked that this outfit is my “go to church, then brunch, then if brunch leads to a night out” dress. The dress itself is fairly tame (HA) but with the boots and belt, it felt even kinda nighttime. It’s thin, but forgiving (the fabric hangs so nicely) and has princess sleeves and a tiered skirt.

Emily Henderson Spring Dresses Long Sleeve Copy

1. Patterned Satin Dress | 2. Floral Long Sleeve Midi Dress | 3. Levita Georgette Midi Dress | 4. Button Front Dress | 5. Creped Dress | 6. Patterned Dress

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Dress | Shoes

Lastly, MAYBE my favorite – this orange/red maxi. It has all the things – princess sleeves, good drape, built-in lining for the skirt, a V-neck so I’m not totally covered head to toe, AND POCKETS. It’s $39.99 and I’m going to wear it ALL THE TIME. It’s so voluminous and fun, while being so easy to wear. Dress it up like I did with cowboy boots, or down with vans. Or dress it up even more with heels (although I’d opt for platforms or something chunky rather than something delicate).

Head to stories later to see these guys in action (I always find it easier to assess clothes on a moving body). Happy dress shopping!

Emily Henderson Spring Dresses Smock

1. Casual Cotton Maxi Puff Sleeve Dress | 2. Chiffon Dress | 3. In The Moment Dress | 4. Tiered Gingham Dress | 5. Poplin Smock Midi Dress | 6. Black/Pink Creped Dress

*As we’ve stated before – we at EHD try to promote good fashion for all budgets from companies that we love and believe in, so while I at times might splurge on those boots for instance the ones in the photo above (that I wear probably four times a week), we also love the accessibility of these dresses for our readers that simply want a new spring dress to make them feel happy, express themselves creatively and bring them a burst of joy regardless of their budget. We encourage you to buy what you think you’ll wear for years and years, season to season, regardless of the price.

Now, Hey Spring it’s time to SPRUNG. Thanks Suzanne Thune for shopping with and styling me 🙂

***Photos by Veronica Crawford


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56 thoughts on “My Favorite AFFORDABLE Spring Dresses (all with pockets)

  1. Such gorgeous dresses, except the pink one. It doesn’t do you justice at all.
    They totally lean into Uptown Prairie and are so versatile.

    Question though, weren’t you saying recently that your fashion posts (and ‘doings’) this year were going to be about wearing what you already have, instead of buying more (7) clothes? Or, did I get it wrong?

    I love the “go to church, then brunch, then…” one. It lifts your vibe and seems to be your vibe. Luverly.

    1. Ha. yes and this I think is our first of the year, I think 🙂 Instead of weekly fashion posts its more about making them purposeful. Would love to know what you guys would like out of spring lifestyle/fashion on saturdays 🙂 Last years ‘affordable spring dresses’ was our best performing fashion post of the year so it seems like something that our readers must love (and so do we). Although I love doing more reviews so if you have anything that you want me to research please let us know 🙂

      1. I’m in love with the pink dress in the Steel color (it’s a dark gray that appears to have just a slight purple tint). I also feel like sizing down just a tad would help it look more flattering while still being comfy 🙂

    2. Love these dresses and love that they are actually affordable for a normal human being!! Thank you! Is it possible to get a link for the adorable denim one, I don’t see it there. Thanks!

  2. I always love these Saturday fashion posts. And before the Fast Fashion Police come at Emily (or me), I am on board with affordable shopping — yet limiting what I buy to things I truly love and will wear for years to come. So go arrest someone else.

    Love the denim and utility dresses here. Unfortunately I don’t do ruffles. They’re just too frilly/girly for me; I feel not myself in them. And those big puff sleeve dresses would make me look like a linebacker but they look great on Emily!

    1. I’m leaning hard into ruffles and puff sleeves this year. Its how I used to dress but then the years of chambray button ups happen. The shirt I wore yesterday had alarmingly large poof shoulders that looked totally ridiculous, but i loved them. xx

  3. Love this! the two Target dresses (red long sleeve, and pink ruffles) were my favorite. Definitely on the calendar to order when they become available!

    1. I agree. Those were my favorites, too! Target is making some amazing fashion. Unfortunately, I made a commitment this year to buy less, but I do have some vintage fabric that I’ve been wanting to use for a dress and a similar pattern, so I need to get sewing for my spring dresses. I’m happy the tiered skirt dresses are still in style, because I made one for my teen last year, and I’ve been meaning to make one for me.

    1. Target. They are either Target or And Other Stories (although I went to H and M, Urban, Anthro, Free people, Madewell and Nordstroms – nothing affordable that was good enough. We’ll fix ! sorry, we rushed out of office yesterday to our team happy hour. haha.

  4. Wait, I love that first denim dress but you said “available in store.” Which store?? Thanks!!

    1. oh sorry – Target. I can’t believe its not online right now, but its SO GOOD. We’ll link it up as soon as its available.

  5. Lots of great options. I can’t believe those snakeskin shoes are Target! And they must be comfy if you wear them so often–added to cart. Here’s hoping for some sunshine and 70 so we can wear some of these dresses!

  6. It’s fun you are trying new things. But you are so cute, youthful and effervescent that I don’t think these dresses do you justice.

  7. The Saturday fashion posts are my favorite on the blog and one and possibly on the internet. Please bring them back!

    1. aw thanks so much, Samantha!! this means a lot to us. we love them just as much as you do 🙂

  8. Love this roundup!! Do you mind sharing what size you bought in the pink Target ruffle dress? It’s so so cute and I think you and I are similar sizes, so just curious what size you’re wearing? It’s perfect!

  9. Disclaimer: I only say this because I love the content you produce and wish it were EVEN BETTER!

    I know people say this all the time, but oh man… the lack of copyediting HURTS. “Rouging” instead of “ruching” killed me. I’m sure a good copyeditor is $$ but like, I’ll run your post through Grammerly FOR FREE if it means being able to read it without stopping every few lines and grimacing at the errors.

  10. I love these Saturday posts and appreciate that you allow your readers into your closet. I think it’s a pretty vulnerable thing. You’ve mentioned wanting to shop your closet more and I’ve observed a shift in your posts. But- you get to decide what shopping your closet looks like – no one else. So if it means sometimes you want to add or take away from said closet – GO FOR IT! 🙂 I love these dresses and actually found the denim one at my local Target today. Hoping the long red one shows up online or in stores soon!

    1. hey Lacey! thanks so much for the kind words. the red dress should be in stores already — saw it yesterday! 🙂

  11. I love them all except the first black/white dress with the bigger waistband. I think it’s just way too much fabric. It still looks great on you, just not as great as the others. I also LOVE the short pink utility dress. It is one that looks so easy to throw on and would be great for any regular day where you want to look put together but casual. So so cute.

  12. I love the Hanna maxidress on you! You usually wear looser clothing, but the fitted bodice on this one is SO flattering.

    The soft mauve ruffly dress reminds me of the dress Elaine Welteroth (Project Runway judge) wore on this week’s episode. So cute! And the thigh high purple boots she wore were quirky and attractive.

  13. I love your energy, smile, wit and voice in general and enjoy your posts very much. I’m not even a style junky, I’m here for your awesome vibe. That said, I know you are running a business, but I’m wondering if the climate crisis we are in has affected your thinking at all. I think affordable fashion is great for all the reasons, but since the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry globally personally I’m trying to see a style or brand I like I like I’m checking Thred Up, Posh Mark or EBay. I’m not saying you or your readers should buy ALL second hand Or that you shouldn’t post affiliate links to fast fashion, but maybe Include a nod to these other options, after all people could find even better deals. I’m still going to buy the occasional FF item, but since dipping into the secondary market I’ve found it’s pretty addictive and fun and you’ve saved more textiles from hitting the landfill. Once you learn that “Fashion production makes up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams and 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year”, it feels better to just see if an awesome red dress like the one you are wearing couldn’t be found amongst the bazillion red dresses on Thred Up. Or maybe suggest a cool very affordable dress from a sustainable brand in your round up? Every incremental change matters…

  14. You guys are the best but I would so appreciate if you could be more size inclusive. Maybe offer a few plus size options? I know you do it now and then but consistency would be so great. No shade – just a friendly request!

  15. I love the “only available in store” denim dress. Great classic with a twist. My favorite item in the post are the blue cowgirl booties. How do you like them? Comfy? Worth the $$?

  16. You are such a beautiful woman that I can’t help but say that none of these dresses flatter you. Some look childish and some even look frumpy old lady-ish. What kind of style is this? Let’s see some classic dressing which would really do you justice! And rompers are for little girls.

  17. These are all cute dresses but try wearing a smaller size that fits you better. You have such a beautifully petite frame, don’t drown it in oversize clothing.

  18. Emily, very beautiful dresses, wonderful taste! I usually choose clothes according to the principle “the simpler, the better”. I love plain things, and it’s easier to combine them. I like simple dresses made of natural fabrics, straight cut, reminiscent of nightgowns. I usually look here: . There is just a huge selection of everything – for both men and women, I love such concise things.

  19. I love the Stories dress and I am ready to click add to cart, but I am curious about the fit. Was it true to size? Did you do an xsmall or a small? Thanks!!!

  20. Isn t this a great way to greet the Easter Bunny and all your guests? In lieu of a wreath, create a pretty display that mimics the shape and colors of E.B. s favorite food.

  21. I *love* the red dress! It is a great color on you, Emily. 🙂

    Please forgive my English teacher brain. One tiny thing…you meant ruching, not rouging.

  22. These dresses all look stunning on you! I’ve been desperately looking for nice looking tunics to wear with leggings (for this middle-aged gal who needs a LOT of help in the wardrobe department. Ok, not just in the wardrobe department. 😉 ). Can anyone please help????

  23. The ads cut off the post! Makes me so sad that I can’t see all the words on the right side of the screen, between your “latest videos” and the ads!

  24. (first time commenter) I think your layout update has broken some of the images in this post. There are several that I assume should be Emily wearing dresses, but are instead photos of interiors (Birdie’s old nursery is one of them, IIRC). Just wanted to give you a heads up/bug report!

  25. I have that Target zipper dress in olive and LOVE it. Like, I can eat a giant burrito and still feel sexy AND sit comfortably at the same time! It is not fancy, but just hangs so perfectly!
    Just a note- I am reading on my iPhone and some of the photos are showing up wrong. Two are photos of an old nursery. I was able to click the links, but thought it may be a system glitch worth checking out!

  26. I’m gong to make a really really long reply. The reason is so I can test how long I can make a comment before the text gets cut off because in the backend the settings are set so the reader can leave as long of a message they want without being cut off. So I’m really confused. And when I say that I’m really confused, I mean I wonder why more than one person was having an issue.

    Unlike in relationships this is one occasion where it’s probably is me not you. I’m glad I added a paragraph break to see how that looks when rendered. Don’t forget to update the comment section font type.

    1. I’m gong to make a really really long reply. The reason is so I can test how long I can make a comment before the text gets cut off because in the backend the settings are set so the reader can leave as long of a message they want without being cut off. So I’m really confused. And when I say that I’m really confused, I mean I wonder why more than one person was having an issue.

      Unlike in relationships this is one occasion where it’s probably is me not you. I’m glad I added a paragraph break to see how that looks when rendered. Don’t forget to update the comment section font type.

    2. I’m gong to make a really really long reply. The reason is so I can test how long I can make a comment before the text gets cut off because in the backend the settings are set so the reader can leave as long of a message they want without being cut off. So I’m really confused. And when I say that I’m really confused, I mean I wonder why more than one person was having an issue.

      Unlike in relationships this is one occasion where it’s probably is me not you. I’m glad I added a paragraph break to make sure that feature works which it frankly hasn’t work yet. That’s super annoying.

  27. An Italian doctor staying at a resort in the Canary Islands was also feared to have the virus. New outbreaks in Europe, Asia and the Middle East are renewing fears of a coming global pandemic.

    RIGHT NOWIraj Harirchi, the Iranian health official who has been leading his country’s response to the outbreak, has the virus, according to the government.

    A court in China has sentenced to 10 years in prison a Hong Kong-based book publisher with Swedish citizenship whose secretive detention in China ignited international controversy. The sentence was quickly denounced by his supporters as the latest example of the Chinese government’s resolve to smother criticism from abroad.

  28. The red dress reminds me of Princess Buttercup so hard! But nothing wrong with looking like young Robin Wright 🙂

  29. It seems like some of these are the wrong images; a picture of Birdie’s old nursery, a chair, and a sofa.

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