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These are officially the best summer dresses to wear during the current sunny season.
Given the recent heatwave in the UK, easy-to-throw-on pieces have become an increasingly appealing style for summer.
Rising to fame in 2019, Sleeper’s Atlanta dress arguably cornered the easy-to-throw-on-while-still-looking-chic summer dress market. The brand amassed a cult following shortly afterwards, and by 2022, many designers and high street names were following in its wake, producing dresses that can be worn with ease. This summer has graced us with plentiful styles that are as easy on the eye as they are on the skin. The dresses on offer come in mini and midi lengths but they all have a commonality – a fuss-free appeal and fabrics most associated with summer: linen and cotton.
When looking for an easy summer dress, shaping is imperative for giving that effortless vibe and that is reflected in this summer trend forecast. Many styles are billowy, smocked dresses with rounded necklines and voluminous sleeves; others reference the classic styles best associated with 90s fashion and Parisian style.
Keep on reading for our edit of 29 easy summer dresses to stock up on to help contend with the summer heat. From oversized spaghetti strap dresses in light cotton voiles to crochet styles and barely-there mini dresses, there is something for everyone.
Omnes Thora maxi dress
An easy-to-throw-on style with a square neckline and full skirt. Simply add slip-on sandals and jewellery for a complete look.
Baserange Dydine linen maxi dress
Baserange is a go-to for easy-to-wear styles. The latest release, a lightweight linen maxi in the chocolate-brown colour of the year, is guaranteed to withstand the test of time.
Lora Gene Marigold slip dress
Among a host of minimalist staples, Lora Gene produces excellent, sustainable slip dresses. The silk is cut on the bias, to ease the flow of movement.
Matteau shirred panel lace up dress
If ever you’re looking for a poplin cotton dress to withstand high temperatures, then look no further than Matteau. The shirred bodice juxtaposed with flowing cotton is the perfect pairing for a summer’s day.
No More Studios linen dress
No More Studios is a small made to measure brand with a refined collection. The linen dress is an apt summer dress as not only is the textile moisture-wicking, but it also features drop armholes. The ruched neckline is an additional flattering feature.
Lama Jouni green asymmetrical dress
Bright bursts of apple green are perfect for feel-good fashion in the summer. Wear this draped dress with minimal mules and a basket bag for optimal style points.
Warehouse plus-size tie dye voile dress
Tie-dye made a comeback in 2019, and it remains a summer favourite. It’s a match to behold on this airy cotton voile. Blue footwear rounds off the look but it’ll look equally chic with tan ankle-strap sandals.
Mango ruffle gown
This dress features ample details, from puffball sleeves to tiered lengths. Pair this with brown heeled mules, a matching bag and bold jewellery.
Jigsaw cotton plisse dress
This dress has a subdued Parisian lilt, from the white border to the streamlined fit. Pair it with a woven leather bag to complete a French-inspired look.
Skin Barrie shirred cotton-voile midi dress
The shirred waist panel is a modern feature on many dresses this year. It cuts accessorising time by half as you needn’t worry about a belt. Prop the shoulders high or low, depending on your preference.
Three Graces London Flossie off-the-shoulder shirred Swiss-dot cotton maxi dress
Polka dots are timeless, and the dainty Swiss-dot iteration is an elevated pattern as compared to bold polka dots. From work to picnics with friends, this is a look that will always suffice.
Arkitaip the Gerda ruffled slip dress
If you’re after a linen dress, then look no further than Arkitaip – a sustainable brand that offers classic styles in 100% Oeko-Tex-certified linen. The latest evergreen collection is versatile and fresh with an injection of colour – a candied lavender hue – and will be magic for days at the beach. It’s also available in black.
Sisterhood Katie dress
A mini slip dress in this year’s cocoa hue is a stellar choice. The skimming cut will pair beautifully with juxtaposing chunky flip-flops for a pinch of androgyny.
Kai Collective Gaia dress
Kai Collective’s Gaia dresses are cult for a reason; they’re perfect for wearing with slides on holiday or with a heeled sandal for a summery occasion.
Boden halterneck linen midi dress
Boden has recently restocked its sell-out halter dress in UK sizes 6-22. Featuring an A-line skirt with halter neck detailing, this is a modern-day Breakfast At Tiffany’s dress.
Deiji Studios the blousy linen dress
Deiji Studios are masters of transitional pieces that can be worn in and outside of the home. The additional appeal of the blousy dress is how much of an easy-wearing style it is. It’s exceptionally roomy, so size down for an accurate fit.
Beyond Nine Winnie wrap dress
Luckily for us, Beyond Nine’s Winnie dress is back in black. Wrap dresses are an easy style for the summer and if you’re unsure of where to start, a classic black wrap will never steer you wrong. Wear it with fisherman sandals during the summer and switch that out for ankle boots come autumn.
Bernadette Matthieu floral-print cotton-blend maxi dress
Mother-daughter duo Bernadette releases the easiest-wearing styles with a bohemian essence. The dainty floral embroidery lends itself to summertime wearing, but you can also squeeze wear out of it in the autumn months with the addition of suede knee-high boots.
Franks London Delilah dress
A summer dress for modest dressers with applique floral adornments. The rounded neckline and voluminous sleeves give this a modern look. This would also make a wonderful wedding guest dress.
Birdsong green reclaimed slip dress
An easy-wearing slip dress made from deadstock. Unlike most slip dresses, the sleeves are adjustable, so you can wear the plunged neckline as high or low as you desire. This design is available in UK sizes 6-30.
The Mie Phi Phi dress
The Mie produces made-to-measure linen frocks with intricate handwoven detailing. The double cuffed sleeve gives the allusion of ruching, which adds to the element of informality.
Arket lyocell strap dress
Not only is lyocell a conscious fabric, but it’s also a lightweight fibre for hot weather days. The high neck feature enhances the column-like design of the dress. This dress can be worn casually or dressed up for an evening out. Add a linen shirt over the top for an even more pared-back look.
River Island Plus broderie maxi dress
It wouldn’t be a summer edit without broderie anglaise. The tiered length and empire bust hem offers some additional shaping.
Cos Linen blend puff sleeve dress
This navy off-the-shoulder number has puffed sleeves, elasticated trims and discreet side-seam pockets. If you’re looking to style it in a casual manner, remove the waist belt and wear it as a blouson sleeve smock. The addition of antique-hued leather goods will round off this look entirely.
Arket seersucker maxi dress
This Grecian style maxi is a forever piece for your wardrobe. The seersucker detail and scoop back add an element of intrigue – while looking almost entirely effortless.
Loud Bodies Jane cotton dress
Although this dress has dramatic shaping through the silhouette, it’s a piece that can be thrown on quite easily. It’s guaranteed to be a hard-working piece in your wardrobe for years to come.
Sleeper Atlanta dress
Quite frankly, Sleeper has cornered the easy-wearing slip-on summer dress market. Not only does this dress feature fanciful detailing, but it’s also crafted from sustainable European flax so you can rest assured it’ll be an airy summer staple.
Re/Done 70s v-neck babydoll dress
Paisley print is a nod to the style of the 70s. This mini also features the most sought-after hue of 2022 – sage green. Pair with tan clogs for a head-to-toe vintage look.
Wat The Brand short sleeve tiered dress
A wafty tiered style with a square neckline is the perfect picnic day dress. Dress it up with clogs in the evening.
Images: courtesy of Getty, brands