50+ Fantastic Dresses & Summer Outfits for Women [2023]

Dresses & summer outfits for women - faverie

If you love the way that summer wraps its arms around you like a warm hug from a friend, then this post is for you. We will look at staying fashionable at the beach, pool party, and barbecue.

While most ladies wear fewer clothes in the summer, you will want those items to work together. Therefore, learning some fashion summertime dos and don’ts will help you choose great summer outfits.

I honestly believe that summertime should be renamed dress season as it is the perfect time of year to wear dresses during the daytime and at night. I will cover an exhaustive list of dress styles and how to style many of them.

Let’s start our summertime adventure now!

Women’s summer clothes

In the summer, many people wear fewer and lighter clothes than in the winter. Before the warmer weather arrives, learn more about how to dress in the summer. In this chapter, I will first define summer clothes. Then, I will give you some do’s and don’ts to follow when buying and wearing summer clothes.

What are women’s summer clothes?

Summer clothes are clothes that women wear during the warmer months. They can be various items, including tops, pants, jumpsuits, dresses, shorts, and skirts. Generally, they are lighter in weight and color than those worn in the winter.

While it can be hard to imagine, women did not have summer and winter clothes until the 1920s. After travel by automobile became popular, women wanted a lighter weight wardrobe on vacation because there was no air conditioning in vehicles. 

As stars traveled to resorts, fashion photographers captured their images wearing resort wear. Designers such as Bonnie Cashin, Tina Leser, Vera Maxwell, Claire McCardell, Clare Potter, and Emily Wilkens changed how women dressed in the summer.

Fashion photographers captured The Summer of Love in 1967, and soon designers, like John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, and Christian Dior reflected the cultural changes in their wardrobes. Many of those changes, such as wearing bright colors, can still be seen in the summer wardrobes of women today.

As you look at the first summer wear collections for women, you will see many international influences. For example, Carolyn Schnurer traveled to India before incorporating Indian fabric and patterns into many of her outfits. Yves Saint Laurent’ traveled to Russia before designing the ever-popular Russian peasant blouse. The Boho-chic summer dresses take inspiration from post-war France.

You will want to fill your wardrobe with easy-to-wear summer clothes from around the world. As the first summer wear collections, these light-colored clothes are a great way to beat the summer heat while staying fashionable.

Do’s and don’ts on summer clothes for women

Keeping some helpful tips in mind will help you build a beautiful summer wardrobe. While we will look at specific examples in the coming chapters, keeping these tips in mind can help you remember what you are looking for when shopping online or in a physical store.


Here are some do’s you can’t miss:

Wear light-colored clothing

Wearing light-colored clothing in the summer helps to keep you cooler as it reflects more of the sun’s rays before it reaches your body. If your only goal is to stay cool, wear thick light-colored fabric because thicker material allows fewer sun rays to reach your body. 

If you wear layers, put the thickest layer on the outside to stay cooler. Make sure that your clothing is as loose as possible as this will allow more air to reach your body so that you will stay cooler.

Opt for breathable fabric

Breathable fabrics allow air to move through them easily, and they also help wick moisture away from your body. Most breathable materials do not look wet no matter how much you sweat. While cotton is the most breathable fabric, it absorbs moisture, so it is not the best solution if you tend to sweat a lot. 

Polyester removes moisture better, and it is breathable, but polyester retains odor. While rayon is moderately breathable, and you may love its silky texture, it does not wick moisture away from the body effectively. Silk is breathable and does a moderate job of wicking away moisture, but it requires dry cleaning.

Select colorful clothing

Go bold with your color choices in the summer. Generally, colors with warmer undertones are the best choices for summer. Therefore, you will want to wear reds, oranges, and yellows. Keep in mind that you can wear different shades of these colors.

For instance, you might want to consider wearing lemon yellow, candy apple red, or mandarin orange. While white is not technically a color, you will want to wear lots of white and its shades in the summer. You can incorporate color into your wardrobe in many ways, including colorful skirts, tops, sandals, and hats.

Woman outdoors holds hair hand white clothes
Source: Engin Akyurt on Unsplash

While I will have more to say about the subject in a minute, avoid wearing too many different colors together.

Wear a hat

Wearing a hat helps to block the sun’s rays from hitting you, which can help you stay cooler and protect you from skin cancer. In some cases, you may be able to wear a hat and avoid wearing suntan lotion as wearing it will make your body temperature rise. 

When you use suntan lotion, the skin surface softens, making it harder to move tiny moisture droplets away from your body. Therefore, they accumulate until they form bigger droplets like rain hitting a window, and your body becomes warmer. Thankfully, there are many summer hat options with wide brims like sun, hiking, and gardening hats.

Show off your figure

There are so many ways to show off your figure during the summer. If you have a great upper body, consider wearing a shoulder-bearing top or dress. If you want to show off your legs, then a miniskirt may be a perfect choice. 

A crop top can be an ideal option if you have a great stomach. Whichever you prefer, cover up other parts of your body a little more, so there is contrast. You should never try to show off all your body parts simultaneously.

Consider the occasion

Different types of summer clothes work best for unique occasions. For example, a sundress is a perfect choice for a summer picnic, while a short set is ideal for running errands. A floral skirt with a lightweight top is an excellent choice for date night. 

Grab your favorite cutoffs and a summer tee shirt for lounging around the house. It is easy to mix and match different tops and bottoms with so many beautiful options to create stunning outfits for any occasion.


The following don’ts are aspects you should better avoid:

Don’t wear tight-fitting clothing

Tight-fitting clothes make you swear more easily in the summer than those with a looser fit. Additionally, wearing clothes that are too tight can worsen some skin conditions making you want to stay covered up in the summer. 

Any time of the year, wearing too tight clothes can cause your body to develop meralgia paresthetica, where your extremities can go dumb. Wearing them can also trigger spine and muscle issues. Therefore, be sure to make the most of warm summer days by wearing loose clothing. It is healthier for you, and you will stay cooler.

Don’t over-accessorize outfits

Accessories can make your outfit look heavy instead of light and playful in the summer. Therefore, you should limit the number of accessories that you wear. Often, a pair of sunglasses and a big hat are all you need. 

Other times, you may want to add a simple necklace and a colorful hairbow. Whatever you choose, make sure that they do not add visual weight to your summer wardrobe. Unless you are trying to recreate a look from the 1950s or 1970s, consider smaller pieces in gold during the summer.

Don’t wear too many bright colors together

Wearing too many bright colors together makes an outfit look thrown together. Instead, think of the color wheel. Choose one warm color to be your primary color. You may want to wear this color as a top or bottom. Then, add a piece that is the exact opposite color. 

If you look at the color wheel, you can draw a straight line across the wheel to find its opposite color. For example, if you chose yellow to be your primary color, its opposite is purple. If your primary color is red, the opposite color is green because it lives directly across the color wheel. You will also want to incorporate lots of white to keep the feeling airy.

Alternatively, you may want to use your primary color’s split-complementary colors. Instead of being directly opposite on the color wheel, these colors are one space away from the complementary color. In the case of yellow, it would be leafy green and serene blue, while in the case of red, it would be yellow-green and blue-green.

Don’t wear little splotches of color

You should wear color blocks in the summer instead of little splotches of color. Choose at least two colors that complement each other. You can use two colors from the same color family or choose complementary colors. 

Whichever color is the brightest will serve as your primary color. Ensure that your outfit has large amounts of that color. Then, add smaller patches of the other color. Aim to create an outfit with 60% of your primary color, 30% of the other color, and 10% of a neutral color.

Don’t wear too many layers

You can wear layers in the summer if you keep some basic rules in mind. The layer closest to your skin should help remove any sweat from your body. Therefore, look for moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester, wool, and nylon. 

Especially if you are spending time outdoors, choose a light-colored base level as it will keep you cooler and help repel insects. Furthermore, this layer helps to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. 

This layer should be the tightest but not tight enough to stop air from getting to your skin. Then, each additional layer that you add should be a little less tight.

Don’t stick to only one fabric

Especially if you are going to put different pieces together, do not choose the same fabric for every piece. For example, if you wear a cotton shirt, select other type of skirt or different material, such as polyester or silk. When you choose to wear two pieces made from the same fabric, you will often look like you are putting pieces that belonged to two different suits originally together.

Why does it matter to wear the right clothes in the summer?

If you wonder why I have put so much emphasis on choosing the right summer clothes, making the right choices can help you stay healthy in the summer. That way, you can enjoy all the fabulous events that occur in the summer. You can choose between many different looks and stay within the general guidelines.

First, choosing light-colored clothes will help to keep you cooler. Remember that white and other light colors reflect light, so you stay more comfortable.

Woman colourful floral short dress

You will want to choose clothes made from breathable fabric that helps to wick moisture away from your body. This will help keep your body’s temperature regulated, as wearing the wrong clothes can cause your body to become overheated.

Wearing the right clothes can also help you protect yourself against skin cancer and other medical issues. Remember to always wear a hat and sunglasses when outside during the summer months.

One of the most important reasons to wear the right clothes in the summer is to look cute. Keep reading as I will cover many styles of cute summer outfits in the next chapter. You will want to incorporate these fashionable ideas into your wardrobe.

Summer outfits for women

There are an incredible number of outfit options that you can wear in the summer. If you constantly wear the same style, this chapter is especially for you because it covers many summer outfit choices.

When putting together specific items, you will want to apply the do’s and don’ts from the previous chapter. Therefore, we will not talk much about them in this chapter. Furthermore, in the next chapter, I will deep dive into women’s dresses so that you can find more detail there.

Generally, to decide whether specific pieces will go well together, consider the color wheel. You will want to choose pieces that are complementary or split complementary. Unlike winter clothing, summer clothing options usually have fewer design details.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it will help you get started thinking about new and different possibilities to wear in the summer.

White dress + silk scarf

Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun introduced the world to the little white dress in about 1776, and it quickly became a staple in every woman’s wardrobe. While the look of this dress has changed a lot over the years, you will want to wear a little white dress in the summertime. It can be made from silk, rayon, jersey, or polyester.

The trick to turning the white dress into a summertime fashion statement that everyone will remember is to wear it with a silk scarf. You can choose to knot the silk scarf around your neck, drape it across your shoulders or tie it around your middle like a belt. This can be an excellent look for the office, date night, or a summer picnic.

Strappy dress + cardigan

There is an incredible number of styles of strappy dresses. You can find short ones, tea-length ones, and maxi ones. Look for floral options in the early summertime, while you will want to turn to bold-colored ones later in the year.

The trick to wearing a strappy dress in many settings is to wear it with a cardigan. You can choose one matching the dress’s primary color or select a complementary color. Stay with lightweight sweaters during the summer. This is the perfect look for the office, especially when paired with ballet flats. It is also an outstanding choice for a date night when you wear it with a pair of strappy sandals.

Tied button-down + denim shorts

The tied button-down worn with a pair of denim shorts became a summertime staple in 1979. You will want to wear it this summer. There are at least 10 ways to tie a button-down so that you can create many unique looks. Learn about these ways by watching this video:

YouTube video
10 Ways To Tie & Tuck a Shirt! | 10 Different Ways To Wear a Shirt!
by Lyss Ryann

From Daisy Dukes to knee-length denim shorts, there is an incredible number of denim short choices. Consider wearing short shorts on the weekend as you are running errands. Alternatively, consider wearing this look to a summer gathering with longer shorts.

Woman blow hair smile white blouse
Source: Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Blazer + top + jeans

There are over 24 types of women’s blazers, and many of them look perfect in the summertime with a pair of jeans. The best option for women in the summer is oversized ones as they will let the air reach your body better. Select options where you can roll up the sleeves on a hot day.

Keep the top under your blazer simple. Sleeveless shell tops are a great choice, and you can also choose a tee shirt. Think about white options because they will do a better job of keeping you cooler. Consider creating a nautical summertime look by pairing a brown blazer with your favorite jeans. Alternatively, build a business casual look by wearing an off-white blazer with a matching top over a pair of high heels.

Blouse + shorts + shoulder bag

Linen shorts are a great option to wear with a blouse and shorts. Be sure to mix different textures, so choose a silky blouse. Then, wear your favorite slide-on sandals and carry a shoulder bag. This is an easy look to take from day to night by adding a blazer during the day and taking it off at night.

Another fantastic option is to wear a black blouse with your favorite pair of Bermuda shorts. This is a great outfit to wear with a pair of low-profile sneakers. Do not forget to carry your shoulder handbag.

Knit dress + platform shoes

The wide variety of knit dresses makes them perfect for many occasions. You can easily find options for a night out, to wear to the office, and fantastic knit loungewear choices. There are also outstanding choices for those days when working from home.

There are also many choices in platform shoes. You may want to consider pairing a simple knit dress with a pair of platform loafers or pull out your platform sandals and wear them with a knit dress with an asymmetrical hemline. Alternatively, your platform Mary Janes will look great with a long knit skirt.

Jeans + button-down + tank

Summer is an ideal time to wear jeans and a tank. Take it up a step by wearing a button-down shirt over the tank. While you can wear any color of jeans, high-rise jeans usually are best with this look. Consider wearing them with a white tank. Then, wear a denim button-down in a different shade than the jeans over it. 

You can wear this outfit with your favorite summer flat sandals or low-profile tennis shoes. It is an ideal outfit to wear around the house or while running errands. This outfit also lends itself well to an outdoor adventure.

Top + mini skirt

A top and a mini-skirt is a look you can wear in many different places but keep company dress codes in mind. Generally, dark tops are more appropriate for work, while light-colored ones are more appropriate for parties. You can easily pair this look with tights or leggings, but if you do, wear closed-toed shoes. 

Woman short skirt talking smartphone cup coffee car

Alternatively, create a monochromatic outfit, but ensure that the top and skirt are from different fabrics. If your skirt has daring design details, wear a plainer top or vice versa. Wearing noticeable design details in both places will make your outfit look too busy.

Maxi dress + strappy sandals

Maxi dresses are fabulous in the summer. While you can pair them with flip-flops for a pool or beach day, they also work well when paired with strappy sandals for more formal occasions, like weddings. They are also great for outdoor parties and barbeques. If the weather turns a little cooler, they pair nicely with a cardigan or a sweater. 

Woman long white dress walks kitten park 1

This is also an excellent option for wearing to a five-star restaurant kept freezing. These dresses also work well with sunhats and other choices with a wide brim. Consider sticking with lighter colors on the hottest days so that you will stay cooler. Options that are cut fuller and made from breathable fabrics will keep you cooler in the summer.

Puff-sleeve blouse + trousers + suede sandals

Puff-sleeve blouses are a great option in the summer. Pair a puff-sleeve crop top with high-waisted crop jeans or a puff-sleeve blouse with skinny jeans to create a casual outfit. Alternatively, pair a puff-sleeve blouse with your favorite pair of trousers and suede sandals for an office-ready outfit. 

This option looks particularly great when you choose a light-gray blouse and pair it with a yellow tote bag. Consider wearing a pair of white trousers as they will reflect the sun’s rays better, helping you to stay cooler. You may also want to accessorize the look with a few pieces of simple gold jewelry.

Summer sweater + trousers + colorful accessories

If you work in an office kept cold, summer sweaters and trousers are ideal choices. A pullover sweater is an excellent option with crop trousers. A lightweight, long sweater is a great option to wear with a colorful blouse and a longer pair of trousers. 

Add some color to your wardrobe by choosing a belted sweater in a bright summer color and wear complementary-colored trousers for a beautiful color-blocked outfit. One of the hottest trends is a polo knit sweater, and they pair beautifully with more casual trousers.

T-shirt + jeans

One of the most iconic summer looks is to wear a tee with jeans. You can easily make a fashion statement by tucking in the tee and wearing it with a pair of platform shoes. Get ready to run errands by pairing your tee and jeans with trainers. Wearing them with a pair of strappy heels is a great way to take this look from daytime casual to a nighttime party. 

Model girl black tshirt jeans

Alternatively, wear your black high-top boots for a fun nighttime look. You can also create different looks by adding a blazer or a jacket. Tying up the tee in the front or the back can add visual interest to this outfit.

Ruffle dress + sandals

Ruffles instantly add a youthful vibe to any outfit. You can easily achieve this look by wearing a ruffled dress. Many have an A-line cut, allowing the air to move around you easily. On the other hand, you may want to wear a ruffled blouse with a pencil skirt. 

In that case, choose a top with ruffles on the sleeves or around its bottom. Regardless, this is an excellent look for the office. Pair your dress with a lightweight sweater, and you will be ready for a summer evening gathering. Of course, you will want to wear your sandals. Keep the look casual by choosing flats or more upscale by selecting sandals with heels.

Knit top + printed pants

A crocheted knit top adds texture to your summer outfit. Choose one in a subtle summer color, like sage or silver. Then, wear it with a pair of printed pants containing the same primary color. You can choose full-length trousers or crop trousers. 

Woman city summer white dress

This is a super look to wear with camp jewelry made from natural materials, like wood, shells, or seeds. You can take this look from day to night by changing out your shoes. Select strappy sandals during the day and change them for a pair of trainers once your workday ends.

Romper + Pumps

A colorful romper is an excellent choice for summer. If your best asset is your upper body, choose an off-shoulder option. Choosing options with ruffles in the bust area is ideal for women with a pear shape. If your shape is more square or rectangular, select an option with ruffles near the neck. 

If you have an hourglass shape, choose options with design details at the waist. You can pair rompers with several shoe styles, but one fantastic choice is pumps. This look allows you to quickly go from day to night throughout the warm summer months.

I have had so much fun telling you about different looks you can easily wear in the summer. We will deep dive into terrific summer dress styles in the next chapter. Wearing dresses in the summer is a great way to look fashionable while staying cool, so you will not want to miss a word.

Women’s summer dresses

Summer is a great time to wear dresses. There are an incredible number of choices available. Learning about the different types of dresses can help you decide which ones you would like to add to your wardrobe.

Dresses are a great option in the warmer months because most let the air reach your body easily, which will help keep you cooler. You can find summertime dresses in many different patterns, from bold-colored ones to floral prints. 

With the incredible number of options, it can be easy to get confused. This chapter will help you learn the different types of dresses for summer. Sounds interesting, isn’t it?

One of the advantages of wearing dresses in the summer is that you do not have to wear as many accessories. Often, a hat and a pair of sunshades to provide coverage against the sun’s harmful rays is all that you will need.

YouTube video
by Noorie Ana

Some dresses are perfect for a day on the beach, while others are excellent choices for a night of clubbing. Therefore, think about where you will wear the dress before making a final decision.

Here are just a few of the options in summertime dresses:

Asymmetrical dresses

American designer Roy Halston introduced this style of dress where the hemline or neckline on the dress is at a slant in the 1970s, and it has never gone out of style. If you want to look tall and lean, choose an option with an asymmetrical hemline. 

If your upper body is your biggest strength, select a choice with an asymmetrical neckline. These dresses are perfect for wearing to the office and other formal occasions. They pair beautifully with strappy sandals, but you can also wear your pumps with them. They are ideal for summer because their unique design means you need little jewelry. Select more conservative options in asymmetrical dresses if you are not confident in your appearance.

Ryusou dresses

Traditionally, women have worn ryusou dresses for coming-of-age parties and other special occasions in Japan. They are often made from hemp fabric, although you will find silk options. The bright colors in these dresses make them ideal for summer. 

In the past, craftspeople mixed natural dyes with starch to create colors, which they hand-painted onto the fabric, often using stencils. Fish, flowers, and fauna are common motifs. These dresses that are perfect for giving your summer wardrobe a Japanese vibe contain four layers that loosely drape the body so that air moves easily. 

Asian girl wearing red kimono umbrella

Women usually wear these dresses with elaborate hair accessories. While these dresses are typically worn in Japan with geta or zoris sandals, you can wear them with your favorite pair of leather flip-flops.

Bubble dresses

Bubble dresses are an ideal choice for summer because of their short length. These dresses that usually end above the knee are unique because their hemline is folded back on itself to create a bubble. You will often see these dresses for summer with cap sleeves and a tight bodice. 

These dresses, usually made from shiny fabrics, are great for summertime parties. Pair them with your strappy heels, and consider wearing a pair of colored tights underneath. Since the skirt has a lot of volume, wear some flashy drop earrings or other jewelry to help balance the look.

Empire-waist dresses

An empire-waist dress cinches under the woman’s bustline rather than at their natural waist. Therefore, these dresses are perfect for creating the illusion of being taller and thinner. They also fit tightly across the bust, but they drape straight down. 

These dresses contain less fabric than A-line dresses so that they can be a great choice in hot weather. For summer, consider options that have no or very short sleeves. You can find empire dresses with varying necklines, including halter tops and V-necks. 

Select the hemline you like best because it can be miniskirt to floor length. Depending on the exact dress’ design, these dresses are perfect for wearing to the office or a party. Designers use this style often when creating wedding and bridesmaid dresses.

A-line dresses

Sometimes called flare dresses, A-line dresses are like empire-waist dresses in many ways, but there are some key differences. These dresses usually fit close to the body through the woman’s natural waistline. Then, they flare out with a fuller skirt. 

Like empire-waist dresses, these dresses can have short or long sleeves and have a variety of necklines. These dresses often lend themselves very well to office settings. Consider pairing them with more elaborate earrings to help balance your look. For summer, consider bright colors, such as red, yellow, and green.

Maxi dresses

Maxi dresses are a trendy option in the summer. There are an incredible number of ways to style this dress that ends about mid-calf. You can wear it by itself or opt to wear it with a cardigan or blazer. 

Additionally, you can find no-, short-, and long-sleeve options. While many maxi dresses have a high round neckline, that is not always the case as spaghetti-strap and halter-top choices are also available. 

While not always the case, most maxi dresses have a casual vibe, which lends itself well to wearing summer sandals or short boots. Stay even cooler during the summer by wearing options with a slit up to their sides, allowing the air to reach you more easily.

One-shoulder dresses

One-shoulder dresses come in a variety of styles. These dresses can be short or have longer hemlines. If you are looking for a casual dress, consider a printed one-shoulder dress and pair it with your favorite sneakers.

Woman touching braid glasses flowers inside

On the other end of the spectrum, metallic or sequined options, especially those with short hemlines, are perfect summer clubbing outfits. In that case, you may want to pair it with high-heeled sandals or your favorite pair of leather boots. 

Simple one-shoulder dresses are the ideal option for weddings and cocktail parties. In that case, choose your favorite summer sandals or a pair of espinados.

Peplum dresses

Peplum dresses have an extra strip of fabric around their middle, and others have a peplum shape at their hemlines. This can be an ideal summertime dress choice for those who wish their body was a little more in shape as it helps to mask a larger midsection.

Especially options with a peplum shape at the hemline can be a fun look for summer and help you stay cooler. Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham, Blake Lively, and Kim Kardashian have all sported these dresses that first became popular in the 1940s. 

Consider the hemline when choosing shoes to wear with a peplum dress. Those with a peplum hemline look great with strappy summer sandals, while those with the ruffle around the waist often look great in the office when paired with ballet flats.

Sheath dresses

Sheath dresses fit close to the body, and when you choose one in a bright color, they can be an excellent summer-dress option. These dresses usually stop at the knee or just a tad below it. They make a great option to wear under a lightweight summer jacket. 

These dresses work well for the office, but you can choose to wear them for more formal occasions. One prevalent choice is to select a white shift dress and pair it with a beautiful floral jacket. This look goes well with summer sandals, like gladiators, but you can also pair this dress with pumps creating a more formal look.

Shift dresses

The loose fit of the shift dress makes it a perfect option for summer because air can flow around your body easily. This dress style hangs straight down the body to about the knees, and it typically has a boat or rounded neck. Many summertime options have no sleeves. 

Consider wearing it with a simple leather belt to the office. This is also a great dress to put a summer blazer over so that you can be warm if a restaurant or your office is freezing. This dress is also an excellent option for casual days when paired with sneakers.


While most shirtdresses have cuffed sleeves, you can find short-sleeve options that are perfect for summer. These dresses button down the front and have a collar like found on men’s work shirts. 

While the original shirtdress created by Christian Dior in the 1950s was short, these dresses have evolved, with most ending about the knee. You can pair this dress with a floppy hat to create a great summer look. 

It goes nicely with flat sandals and sneakers, making it an ideal dress to wear to outings where you may need to do some walking. You can also create a fun shirt dress outfit by wearing it with colored tights.


A sundress is a great casual dress option in the summertime. You can fashion these dresses that usually hang from spaghetti straps in several ways. You can put them under a denim jacket. Wear them under or over a tank top, or wear them over a button-down shirt. 

These dresses often look best when you carry a shoulder bag and wear a sunhat. You can find them made from various fabrics, but like I already covered, cotton is a great choice to help you stay cool in the summer. Sundresses come in multiple colors, but bright prints are usually the best option.

Sweater dresses

While you may think of a sweater dress as a winter essential, you can find great summertime options. Most of these knitted dresses end at the knee, but you can find longer and shorter choices. You will want to avoid cowl and turtleneck options for summer. 

Lady knitted summer dress sitting

Instead, choose those with round or boat necks. Remember to select lightweight options for summer. Therefore, you will want to avoid highly textured ones as they are usually thicker. Put your boots up and wear this dress with sandals with heels to create a fabulous look for the office or a casual dinner date.

Tea dresses

These dresses fall about a hand width below the woman’s knee, and they were what women wore to afternoon teas in the 1920s. Designers use various fabrics, including jerseys and taffetas, to make this style of dress that you can wear on different occasions.

For a casual affair, consider a floral pattern, and you can choose to wear it with heels or flats. On the hottest summer days, consider off-the-shoulder options, but you can find a variety of sleeve styles. You can often wear these to more formal occasions by choosing options with more design details and wearing them with your high-heeled sandals.

Tiered dresses

These dresses are composed of overlapping layers, and they may also be called ruffled dresses. Some tiered dresses also give the illusion of having different layers while being flat. You can find various lengths ranging from maxi to mini. 

The layers are often created using different textured fabrics or putting pieces together in unique ways. You can find options with different sleeves, including puffed, sleeveless, and capped. 

Consider the look you want to create when opting for a tiered dress. For instance, a subtle floral print is an excellent option for a romantic date, while a smocked choice is ideal for running errands.

Tunic dresses

While some tunics are short and you should wear them as tops, other tunics are longer and make beautiful summertime dresses. Since these garments fit very loosely, they are an excellent option for summer. 

This is a fun option to wear to a casual affair when paired with a colorful scarf. You can wear the scarf wrapped around your neck, laid across your shoulders, or use it as a belt. 

The best shoes to wear are sneakers, flip-flops, or flat sandals. Take this outfit from day to night by adding a statement necklace. When choosing the necklace, consider what will look best with the tunic’s neckline.

Wiggle dresses

A wiggle dress is any dress where the hemline is smaller than the waistline. They are super for summertime formal affairs because their design reminds you to take smaller steps. One of the reasons this option is perfect for the summer is that most are in bold colors. 

This dress was initially popular in the 1950s when it was a sexy staple. You will want to pair wiggle dresses with high-heel sandals. While you will want to be careful not to over-accessorize, this is a great option to wear some vintage jewelry with during a night out on the town.

Pencil dresses

A pencil dress accentuates the hips and tapers at the knees, and it has a very straight cut. While you can find pencil dresses in many different colors, sticking with white or bold colors is ideal in the summertime. 

Many of these tight-fitting dresses are sleeveless, but they may also have capped sleeves. While you can find many styles of necklines, stick with boat or scooped necks during warmer months. 

You can also find these dresses in many different colors. White options are perfect for summer evening parties. Bold-colored options go easily from daytime to evening when paired with high-heeled sandals.

Wrap dresses

If you love dressing in easy styles in the summertime, a wrap dress is ideal. These dresses are closed by wrapping a belt around the middle or with hidden buttons. Most wrap dresses have a V-neckline. You should always purchase a wrap dress that properly fits the largest part of your body. 

Girl model poses street red dress belt

You can easily create a casual outfit by pairing a wrap dress with sneakers. Take the look up a notch by wearing it with knee-high boots. This is also a great dress to wear with platform sandals or other statement footwear.

High-low dresses

The high-low dress has a higher hemline in the front than it does in the back. This dress is particularly an excellent option for petite women as there is not a lot of fabric to overpower smaller bodies. 

It can also be a perfect option for the summertime because the lack of material helps to keep the wearer cooler. Often made of sheer fabric, this can be a great option for formal occasions. 

Some women wear them to the office but be sure the front meets your company’s dress code if that is your choice. Depending on the dress, you can find options that work with every shoe style, except tall boots. Many also lend themselves well to being worn with blazers.

Halter dresses

Halter dresses typically fasten at the back of the neck and the waist. Many halter dresses are backless, so they make a cooler summertime option. Others have minimal fabric in the front, showing off cleavage well. 

Woman blonde summer dress

These dresses come in a variety of lengths. The bodice is almost always form-fitting. Some flare out at the waist with a large skirt while others lay close to the body. In the summertime, consider those made from lighter-weight fabrics. 

Many halter dresses are too revealing to wear to work, but they are a super option paired with high-heeled sandals to wear to a party.

Slip dresses

Slip dresses are often made of silky material and cut on the bias. These dresses usually have spaghetti straps and hang close to the body. Adding a denim jacket is an excellent option for giving a slip dress a casual vibe. 

Create a Parisian-inspired look by putting a thin summer sweater under it. Wear a longer linen jacket over it for a look that you can wear to most offices. 

This dress also works very well to wear to cocktail parties. Therefore, simply changing your blazer and shoes gives you an outfit that you can wear all day and night.

Smock dresses

The unstructured design of a smock dress makes it perfect for summer. Choose an option made from lightweight fabric. While the shape of the dress varies minimally, these dresses are available in many lengths. 

In the summertime, opt for cotton, polyester, or linen choices. These dresses are usually best when worn on casual days. You can wear almost any shoe style with a smock dress, so choose one that fits the occasion. 

White is often a trendy choice, but these dresses come in various colors. If you are concerned that the front is too plain, consider carrying a crossbody bag to break up the design.

Pinafore dresses

Pinafore dresses have been around since the Vikings. Yet, they remain a summertime staple. These dresses, sometimes called apron dresses, are often worn over summer tops. These sleeveless dresses often tie or button in the back. 

While you can wear these dresses with sandals, they are also an excellent choice for wearing with ankle boots and low-profile shoes. This option often looks best when carried with a hobo bag or a satchel, but you can take a tote bag instead. This dress style is an excellent option for casual days when running errands.

Tube dresses

You can think of a tube dress as being like a tube top that is long enough to wear as a dress. These dresses have no neck holes, and they are sleeveless like tube tops. They first became popular in the 1970s and have never entirely gone out of style. 

While not meeting the traditional definition, you can also find tube tops with buttons or zippers. These casual dresses are ideal for a day at the beach or a pool party. These dresses are ideal for pairing with your favorite flip-flops or flat sandals. They also make fantastic swimsuit coverups.

Qipao dresses

Qipao dresses are often called cheongsams, and people of Asian descent often wear these dresses on formal occasions, like weddings. These dresses are usually made of silk, and they have short sleeves. Most hug the body tightly clear to the floor. 

Consider wearing your hair in an upscale for special events and accessorizing it with a Chinese hairpin. Since many of these dresses have flecks of gold in them, consider wearing this dress with a gold statement necklace. 

Qipaos are often worn with high heels that have a closed toe. You will love wearing the vibrant colors of this dress style in the summertime.

Bouffant dresses

Many people call bouffant dresses pouf dresses because the fabric poufs out away from the body. Usually, the skirt on these dresses is very rigid. This dress style started at Ivy League schools in the early 19th century. 

These summer dresses often have oversize pointed collars and a summer sweater top. They can be one or two pieces. The way this skirt poufs out provides this dress with a light summer flare that is perfect for wearing with flat sandals or your favorite sneakers. Consider wearing these dresses to evening picnics and barbecues.

Bandage dresses

Bandage dresses are the ideal summer dress to wear alone or use as a base for light summer layers. These tight-fitting dresses appear to wrap around the body. Women often wear them to more formal events with stilettos, but you can wear almost any footwear by matching the color of your shoe to your dress or going with a summer staple, like white sandals. 

If you want to wear your bandage dress to a more casual event, wear it with an unstructured blazer. If this dress seems a little boring to you, then add a beautiful belt. If you opt for an off-the-shoulder dress, then skip the necklace and wear a pair of dangling earrings. Otherwise, consider wearing a statement necklace.

Handkerchief-hem dresses

Handkerchief-hem dresses are beautiful dresses for the summertime because of the way that fabric panels are sewn together to create multiple points that hang down. These dresses are especially an excellent choice in the summertime because they are usually made from a lightweight material like chiffon. 

Woman fashion white dress

Often the skirt on these dresses is made up of more than one layer of fabric. You can dress up these dresses or give them a more casual flair depending on the shoes that you wear. For running errands around town, pair these dresses that often hang from spaghetti straps with your favorite flat sandal or low-profile tennis shoe. Wear them with a pair of wedge sandals for a more formal event.

Tent dresses

A tent dress is a great summertime option because of the amount of air that can reach your body. These casual dresses are narrow in the shoulders and extremely wide at the hemline. Designers choose breathable material for these dresses, which helps you feel even cooler. 

Elegant woman long dress posing beach

These dresses have no waist, so they are not ideal for women who like to show off their curves. These dresses come in various sleeve lengths, but in the summertime, you will want to stick with shorter options. Most have V-necks, but others have round necks. If you are petite, consider options with less fabric to not look swallowed up.

Cocktail dresses

Christian Dior was the first to name one of his creations a cocktail dress. That was in the 1940s, and they have been a summertime favorite ever since. While little black and white cocktail dresses remain popular, you can also find these miniskirts in many different colors. 

Many options have no sleeves or extremely short sleeves. While some hug the body closely, others have a loser skirt. Summer is the perfect time to carry a brightly beaded clutch with your dress and wear a pair of color-coordinated high-heel sandals.

Peasant dresses

Peasant dresses take their styling from German folk clothing, and they are a terrific summertime casual option. Many have floral embroidery in a folksy manner. Often made of cotton, these dresses may have puff sleeves and low necklines. Create an edgier look by wearing these dresses with colored tights. 

If you work in an office that is often kept cool or are dining in a restaurant where it is freezing, pair your peasant dress with a denim jacket or wear it with a lightweight shawl. While you can wear these dresses to work, they are also perfect for picnics or running errands.

Skater dresses

Skater dresses are casual dresses that usually end right above the knee. These dresses that are often sleeveless have a skirt that flares out at the waist. These A-line dresses generally have spaghetti straps or halter tops, and you can wear them in several different ways. 

These dresses are perfect for a first date or a casual picnic when paired with sneakers. You can also wear them with your favorite dress sandals for a little more formal occasion. If you want to wear it to a party, wear sandals matching the dress’ color and carry a matching clutch. This look also works well with closed-toe sandals and colored tights.

Camisole dresses

A camisole dress is a great casual option for lounging around the house in the summertime. Usually made from stretchy material, this dress style has a camisole top and a slightly pleated waist. If you do not style this dress correctly, it can look like you just crawled out of bed. 

Woman red dress looking camera

If you have a great waistline, consider wearing it with a belt. You can also wear this option over a lightweight tee or sweater. It is also an excellent option for wearing with a shirt tied around your waist. This dress is a perfect option for wearing with flip-flops.

While I have mentioned some ways to accessorize summer dresses in this chapter, I will be covering more about accessories in the next chapter. You can also wear many of these options with your other favorite summer outfits, so you will want to keep reading.

Summer accessories for women

I sure hope you have enjoyed learning about the different types of women’s dresses in the last chapter. While women generally wear fewer accessories in the summer, that does not mean that you do not need to think about them. Since you will be wearing fewer, each one must be carefully chosen and of good quality.

For at least 10,000 years, women have been wearing necklaces, and you will want to have some great choices to wear with your summer outfits. About 500 years after that, women wore their first necklaces, and they started wearing bracelets.

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by Nadia Anya

Thus, you will want some outstanding choices to wear to work and on outings during the summertime. Likewise, women began wearing earrings about 5,000 years ago. And the right earrings can take your summer outfit up a notch.

As I have already touched on, the right summer hat can make you look spectacular. And it can also help protect you against the sun’s harmful rays. It is essential that you choose the right shoes to wear with your outfit so that you look fabulous and stay comfortable.

Summer hats for women

Choosing the right summer hat is the perfect way to stay cooler in the summer while adding glamor to your outfit. While every woman will want a wide-brim sunhat or two, there are other choices to enjoy, like the Panama hat, which is perfect for humid weather.

Girl bicycle park holds sunhat

 If you are spending the day on or near the water, then a boater hat is ideal. You will also want a visor or two to help keep the sun out of your eyes. Flat beanies, like Parisian hats, are ideal for adding glamor to an outfit.

Summer shoes for women

Choosing the right pair of sandals in the summer can be challenging because there are many fabulous choices. Make your legs look longer and leaner by wearing a pair of stiletto heels for dressy occasions. For more informal ones, especially those where you will be walking, then a pair of kitten heels is a perfect choice. 

You will love wearing sandals with block heels as they are incredibly easy to move in. Of course, you will want a pair of leather sandals and a pair of flip-flops for casual days. No women’s wardrobe is complete without a pair of flat and high-heeled mules as they are perfect for work.

Summer handbags for women

If you plan on traveling in the summer, then choose a transparent bag as it will make it easier to get through security at significant summertime events. Crossbody and shoulder bags are both available. A brightly colored canvas tote is perfect for days spent shopping.

Woman posing street bus purse

Summer is the ideal time to carry a straw crossbody bag. Choose one with an unusual design that will leave people talking about your fabulous tastes. Summertime is about bright hues and floral prints as it is a great way to show how much you love summer’s vibrancy.

Summer necklaces for women

Gold jewelry is perfect for summertime as it glistens against your suntanned skin. Choose simple pieces with interesting textures, such as herringbone, braided, or chain-link. Medallion necklaces are a great choice, and you can find them in many different themes.

Alternatively, consider wearing pearls in the summer as you show your love for the beautiful world around you. While women used to save statement necklaces for winter, you will want to embrace colorful options this summer. 

Choose pieces that are the same color as your outfit to create a monochromatic look, or choose complementary-colored ones to create an interesting contrast.

Summer earrings for women

You will want at least two types of earrings to wear with your summer clothes. You will want some gold earrings as they go with almost everything and look great glistening in the sun. You will also want some natural stone earrings. They are ideal for adding a pop of color to your summer wardrobe. 

Blue topaz, yellow quartz, pink topaz, ruby, and spinel are summertime favorites. You can elongate many summertime outfits by wearing drop earrings. If you choose ethnic outfits in the summer, consider wearing ethnic jewelry to go with it.

Summer hair accessories for women

If you have longer hair, then you can find many ways to accessorize it in the summer that will look fabulous. Wearing scrunchies is a fun way to keep your hair out of your face, and you can use them to create a low bun or a messy bun on top of your head. 

Even if you keep your hair short, decorative bobby pins can help you take your look to a new level. Bandanas are a fun hair accessory that almost everyone looks great wearing. Choose cotton options for casual days and silky ones for more formal occasions.

Summer sunglasses for women

When choosing sunglasses, ensure that they offer 100% protection. Especially on days when you will be playing on the water, select polarized sunglasses as they help to reduce glare off the water. Increase the amount of protection your sunglasses provide by choosing oversized pairs that cover the sides of your eyes.

Woman sunglasses closeup portrait

Pick the type of sunglasses based on your face’s shape. Slightly angular rectangular lenses look best on round faces, while aviator-style sunglasses are ideal for oval faces. If you have a square face, balance it out by wearing round sunglasses. Those with oblong faces can wear almost any style.

Summer scarves for women

Scarves are one of my favorite summertime accessories. You can place it around your neck to add a splash of color to almost any outfit. On the other hand, you can wear a large one like a shawl and let the ends hang down your front. Alternatively, they make colorful belts. 

Scarves with open weaves made from breathable fabric are cooler than other options. Linen and cotton scarves are usually the best bets. When choosing a scarf, keep your complexion and the colors in your wardrobe in mind. Wearing scarves in complementary colors is a trend that will not go away.

Summer belts for women

There are many ways to wear belts in the summertime. They are a great way to add a splash of color to a drab outfit or tone down the color a little in a bright one. They can be beneficial for keeping your outfit in place, especially during outdoor summer events. Opt for a colorful one to wear with jeans and a tucked-in blouse. 

If you want to look taller and leaner, then choose a thin belt. Thin belts are also an excellent option for petite women as they will not overpower their body size. A neutral-colored one is a perfect option if you want to look thinner.

Summer color tights for women

Colored tights are a great fashion accessory for summertime office and formal occasions. Consider letting your tights bring a touch of color to a white monochromatic outfit. Match your favorite pumps to your colored tights and wear them with a denim outfit. Floral tights are a great way to accessories a vintage-inspired outfit. 

Woman legs pink tights

A split-complementary-colored pair looks great when worn with shorts or cropped pants and a linen blazer to the office. Regardless of how you choose to style your outfit that includes colored tights, wear them with closed-toe shoes or ankle-high boots.

In this chapter, I have discussed numerous fashion accessories. I hope you have gained some new ideas on accessorizing your summer outfits, and I am not done yet. In the next chapter, I will talk about what to wear to different summertime events.

How to choose the perfect attire for a summer event

We have looked at many unique items that you need in your summer wardrobe, but you may be confused about where to wear different options.

This chapter will clear up some of the confusion by telling you what to wear to various summertime events and unique occasions. 

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Feel free to take these ideas and modify them to fit your wardrobe and the looks you love. Of course, summer is also the perfect time to go on a shopping spree.

With more hours of sunlight in the summer, it gives everyone more time to get together and enjoy each other’s company. Many couples choose to have summertime weddings while pool parties and barbecues are always great fun.

You will want to look fashionable regardless of whether you roam near or far during the summer, so I have included ideas for travel and casual days.

Casual event

A maxi dress is perfect for a casual summer event. During the day, select an interesting floral or geometric pattern. It is best to stick to a solid color, like red or white, for an evening event. In that case, you may want to wrap a colorful scarf around your neck. 

Pair your dress with some beautiful flat sandals, especially if it is likely wet or muddy. Carry a fun shoulder bag in a color matching your dress’ primary color. Use a scrunchie to put your hair up in a messy bun.

Formal event

A lime green slip dress is perfect for a formal summertime event. This looks even better if you can find one with an asymmetrical hemline. Then, wear it with a thin silver belt around its middle. If you are likely to get cold, then take a purple button-down cardigan to wear. 

Select a pair of stiletto sandals if the weather is dry or if the event is indoors. Otherwise, select kitten heels with a chunky heel. This is a great outfit to carry a purple or lime green hobo bag to keep your necessities safe.

Beach party

A silky romper is a great choice to wear to a beach party. If it is a little see-through, then put your bikini on underneath. Consider options that are orange or gold as they will look perfect against the water in the background. 

Pair this look with a khaki bucket bag and your favorite pair of flat sandals. You can choose between khaki and gold. Complete the look with gold and diamond hoop earrings. Wear a matching silk bandana to keep your hair pulled back out of your face, or opt for a floppy sunhat.


The office is a great place to wear a sleeveless white sheath dress. If it seems a little too loud, wear an unstructured linen jacket over it. This is the perfect outfit to wear with your white flats. If you feel that you look too plain, then wrap a silk scarf around your neck. 

A white beaded clutch is the perfect purse to carry if you stick with a monochromatic look. Otherwise, choose one of the colors in your scarf and carry a matching crossbody bag. Crystal hair clips look adorable with this outfit. Finish the look by wearing a gold statement necklace.


A floral one-shoulder dress is a perfect garment for a summer wedding. Consider one with a handkerchief hemline. You will want one with a tight bodice that flares out a little in the skirt. A hidden side zipper can help you get into the dress easier. 

Pair this dress with a pair of high-heeled sandals that tie around your ankle. This outfit will look stunning with a pair of crystal dangle earrings. Think about a pair that has a little fringe attached to them. You can easily take this look from a daytime wedding to a nighttime one by how you style your hair.

If you need more help picking out suitable wedding dresses, see our post Wedding Guest Dresses. It is filled with outfits that you will want to consider.

Night out

A bodycon mini skirt is a perfect choice for a night out. Choose a pretty summer color, like red or orange. Pair the skirt with a silk blouse in a complementary color that leaves one shoulder bare and has an asymmetrical neckline. 

This is a great place to wear your bamboo high-heeled sandals. You will want to wear a toe ring or an ankle bracelet that connects to a toe ring. Grab your crystal eternity bracelet and a set of matching earrings. A small tote bag with a strap handle is the perfect purse to complete this look.

Country weekend

Your high-waisted skinny jeans or shorts are an excellent option for a weekend in the country. Pair them with a pretty summer sweater. You may want to create a layered look by wearing a tee-shirt underneath. 

Woman posing jeans tshirt sea
Source: Cody Black on Unsplash

That way, you can adjust the layers as necessary depending on your exact location, as old country buildings can still get drafty in the summertime. This is a great place to wear a classic straw hat. You can wear your hair pulled back in a scrunchy or put it in a bun with a pretty bow.


A long white spaghetti-strap top from linen fabric looks great when worn over matching linen crop pants to a summer BBQ. This is a great look to wear a statement necklace in a bold color. 

Depending on where the barbecue is held, you may want to wear platform sandals or kitty heels with chunky heels as they will make it easier to walk outside. You will want to wear a hat. A white bucket hat can be a great choice. A canvas tote is a great option to carry for a purse.


An embroidered top paired with your favorite pair of stonewashed jeans is a great vacation outfit. Choose a white top with enough design details to make it interesting. You may want to consider ones with shirt sleeves that you can easily roll up as they will allow you to adjust to the weather. 

A bell sleeve with a bit of fringe on it can be a great option. Wear the shirt tucked in and add a leather belt. Since you may be doing quite a bit of walking, consider leather cross-strap sandals.

Beach/swimming pool day

A solid-colored sundress with a sunhat is a great look for a day spent at a beach or a swimming pool. It can double as an easy swimsuit coverup. The addition of a waterproof watch and simple sandals makes this outfit look stylish. 

You can quickly go from the water to a nearby waterfront restaurant by carrying a towel, sunscreen lotion, and other necessities in a straw handbag. Do not forget to wear your shades.


I hope you take the information you have learned in this post and apply it to what you wear in the summertime. When you do, then post photos so that we can all see more ideas on summertime clothing.

If you have any questions, then feel free to post those too. We love interacting with you by answering your questions.

I hope you have found this post helpful. If so, will you please share it with at least one friend? Everyone can use some help getting dressed in the summer.

Along with checking out the post about what to wear to a wedding, we have posted many other informative posts that you will want to read.

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