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Comfortable Dresses You’ll Want To Live In This Summer

Editor’s Note: We stated last week that we were going to create real equity for Black designers, artists, and businesses on this site. To continue this promise we are taking The 15% Pledge started by Aurora James to ensure sure that 15% of the products on all of our shopping posts will be from Black-owned businesses. We are also committing to making sure POC owned businesses are represented in our shopping posts as well. More equity, more inclusion, more beautiful things.

We’ve all heard the phrase “beauty is pain” and while this is true in some instances (i.e. waxing and wearing heels), I am a firm believer that clothes don’t have to be uncomfortable to look good. I prefer to be comfortable AND stylish whenever possible. I am the person at the wedding that takes my heels off as soon as the music starts. In the wintertime, I’d rather be in sweats than anything else (and thank goodness matching sweatsuits have been a trend recently). But when summer comes around and wearing sweats becomes unbearably hot, what replaces them?? Answer: Dresses.

Granted, not all dresses fit this bill. I am not talking about your bridesmaid dress or the awful mistake that was your prom dress. No. The right kind of dress is an inconspicuous garment that tells the story that you are pulled together when in actuality you are wearing a single piece of fabric that could double as pajamas. Whoever made this a thing is genius.

Now, having spent the last 3 months in my house as the weather gets increasingly warmer, I’ve been looking for something to replace my sweats and sweatshirt uniform. I scoured the internet and found a casual amount of 51 dresses that would satisfy my needs. And because I aim to please, today I am sharing them with you all in case you are looking for a chic, yet comfy summer staple. Here are my picks:

1. Lyocell Dress | 2. Floral Tiered Dress | 3. Crinkled Dress | 4. Body Dress | 5. Bow Wrap Dress | 6. Lycoell Denim Dress | 7. Sleeveless Smocked Dress  | 8. Puff 3/4 Sleeve Button-Down Dress | 9. Leopard Print Wrap Slip Dress

#2 and #3 are my kind of party. They are flowy and spacious so eating a giant burrito for lunch will not be a problem.

#9 is a little fancier than most, but is part of a new collection at Target by the brand Cushnie and oh man, all of the pieces are GOOD. If you are looking for a sultry date night dress or something to wear to a wedding, look no further.

If you remember from this post, Emily has the puff 3/4 sleeve dress and it is even cuter in person. It’s a perfect dress for going on a picnic or to brunch and she says it is really comfortable.

1. Blue Ruffle Chuck On Mini Dress | 2. Metallic Tiered Long Sleeve Maxi Dress | 3. Lotus Dress | 4. Fluted Hem Dress | 5. Lilac Ruffle Trim Dress| 6. Printed Stretch Dress | 7. V Neck Chiffon Dress | 8. Upcycled Linen Minimal Dress | 9. Long Kaftan | 10. Tiered Maxi Dress | 11. Swept Away Floral Midi Slip Dress | 12. Lime Green Textured Square Neck Midi Dress | 13. Slim Fit Cotton Linen Dress | 14. Long V-Neck Dress | 15. Check Mesh Long Sleeve Minidress

Soo many cute options here. I think #9 would be excellent to wear to a dinner party (whenever those happen again) but I’d probably wear it around the house, too. Especially nowadays throwing on a cute but comfy dress does wonders for my mood. I also really love the shape of #13 and I am always a fan of a little red dress.

1. Your Time To Shine Maxi Dress | 2.Wrap Jumpsuit | 3. Keïta Summer Dress | 4. Luella Stripe Dress | 5. January Dress | 6. Luz Dress | 7. Avery Slip Dress | 8. Suki Dress | 9. Anita Dress | 10. Tencel Seersucker Slip Dress | 11. Veranda Knit Dress | 12. Perri Dress

I have added so many of these to my cart. I love the pattern and drape of #3 (that is beautifully made and hand-painted) and same goes for #6. Can you imagine the ease of throwing one of them on, pairing with mules and a chunky earring and looking chic as hell?? What a dream. I also can’t stop thinking about #4 which is so cute and has me picturing vacations in Greece and frolicking through vineyards. A girl can dream right???

1. Sky Blue and Navy Dots Dress | 2. Esaso Dress | 3. Sueño Jumpsuit | 4. Jasmine White Ruffle Voile Dress | 5. Ixelotli Tunic | 6. Bat Sleeve Maxi Dress | 7. Casita Cotton Dress | 8. Semira Sky Popover Dress | 9. Luna Wrap Dress | 10. Shirt Dress | 11. Linen Button Front Dress | 12. Eshe Cascade Dress | 13. Versus Dress| 14. Painal Tunic | 15. Maska Multi Dress

Okay, can we talk about that insane dress by Mozh Mozh?? It’s brilliant. The designer, Mozhdeh Matin, is brilliant. I am obsessed. I am also obsessed with this top and this bag by her-but I digress. We are here to talk dresses so let’s continue.

I love #12 by Lemlem. All of their designs, in fact, look so comfortable but still very feminine and cute (check out this one too). Same goes for Selva Negra where that really cute jumpsuit (#3) is from. And finally, I have to say #13 really pulled on my heartstrings. The print is incredible and I love a good could-be-pajamas-but-is-actually-a-really-chic-dress situation. Please just give me all the flowy silhouettes.

Okay, that’s all from me. Now, please please tell me which dress is your favorite? Or even better, do you own any of them?? Can you vouch for the comfortability?? Tell me everything.

Opener Image Credit: Photo by: Sara Ligorria-Tramp| From: How to Style An Outdoor Space So You’ll Actually Use It

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3 years ago

EHD team, if you’re serious about anti-racism work, you need to recognise the link between exploitative labour practices, fast fashion, and racism. Many of the clothes you link to above fall within this fast fashion ecology

Reply to  Beth

I’ve checked out several of these dresses now and several of these companies are fair trade and not fast fashion. I think the fast fashion pieces come in with the low prices and EHD feels the need to include those in order to include things for people with smaller budgets. I agree with the idea of buy fewer well made more sustainable items, but I also know that is harder for some.

3 years ago

As someone on a low income, I 100% get the need for lower price point options. However, if we as consumers and businesses are to put into action our anti-racism sentiments, there needs to be some follow through – the under $50 section could have included thrifted and other second hand options. I recommend watching The True Cost documentary for more info about harmful manufacturing processes and labour practices in fast fashion.

3 years ago
Reply to  Beth

This is very interesting. You should start a blog about affordable fashion that is ethical and good for the environment. Perhaps you could include a link to your favorite places to buy clothing (other than vintage or thrift, that’s a given).

3 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Hi Beth, thank you for sharing that article. It’s always important for us to remember that spending money is similar to voting. Because I hold any amount of financial privilege, I’m responsible for how and where my money is spent.

so timely. i’m constantly on the hunt for the PERFECT summer dress. the kind you wear almost every day because it’s so comfy and looks good. it’s harder now with my mom bod. everything clotheswise was easier in my 20s. sigh.
looking for a mid-length, not tight in the middle, but doesn’t look like a big garbage bag, with a gorgeous print, not too low in the front, covers bra straps. i’ll have to look thru all of these new sources!

OH. and roomy enough for giganto boobs, but again, not going to look like a garbage bag.
ALSO, sustainable and fair trade!

I basically need the holy grail dress.

ALSO. THANK YOU for including People Tree! Never heard of it, but just looked it up and it’s fair trade and sustainable. YES! totally scouring their site now!

3 years ago

EHD, could you stick to recommending products produced by companies that pay their employees fairly?

3 years ago

Hey Ryann, I think one of the links is broken. Can you check under 100, number 10? The photo is of an Indigenous dress, but it links to an ASOS dress. Thanks!

3 years ago
Reply to  Christina

YES PLEASE! I was trying to find the same one, and gave up!

3 years ago
Reply to  jamie

The link is updated!

3 years ago
Reply to  Christina


3 years ago

Cannot recommend Sotela enough! I have that green wrap dress – and it’s not only beautiful, but it is so adjustable to a changing body. Shout out for size inclusive and ethical brands!

3 years ago
Reply to  Maria

YAY! I was specifically looking at that dress! It’s my favorite color.

Yael @ Nosherium
3 years ago

Oooohhh I love this so much! I am finally giving away my summer dresses that don’t fit anymore and I need to restock. BTW, I lived in Oakland for a while and McMullen is AMAZING, everything is beautiful there.

3 years ago

None of them looks like a dress that I’d want to wear (at any price). And half of them won’t make any woman prettier.

3 years ago

I don’t have any of these, but I love my linen dresses and jumpsuit from Pyne and Smith Clothiers, which is a slow fashion brand (based in CA, dresses handmade in small batches in LA).

3 years ago
Reply to  Lashley

Oh! And I just checked to see, and Patagonia, which has long been a leader in sustainability and ethical manufacturing, has some cute dresses too. Some less cute too, but I’m sure very functional! XD

Gabrielle Muir
3 years ago

Maybe I just got unlucky, all the dresses I pressed on where rayon, polyester, …..not natural cool materials for summer.
I was excited about the hunt for cooler
Having said that 100% great effort on the 15%, that is why I was keen to shop

3 years ago

#6 Selva Negra gingham dress is perfect! Except that the sizing only goes to 10. With such a simple pattern I don’t see why they couldn’t have made larger sizes. Obviously a question for them, not EHD. For the people with suggestions like only show brands that pay their workers fairly or show second-hand clothes as an option – come on! That is asking too much of a FREE design website. So your own homework and follow your own values to only purchase what matches your priorities. To except the small staff at this FREE website to research every brand they come across to see how workers are paid, how sustainable their practices are, are the clothes vegan… you cannot make everyone happy and the brands would almost entirely be $$-$$$, them shutting out those who cannot afford to live their values 100% of the time. To show vintage clothes as options, which no one could actually access? Give me a break! I shop 80% used and would never expect this. No one is saying these are the only clothes available to you – they are ideas, jumping off points, a starting place. Of the 8 dresses I clicked through… Read more »

Carol A Christensen
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea

Amen, Andrea!