Our 9 Favorite Summer Dresses

Style meets function

(Courtesy The Reformation)

Why would anyone ever choose to cover their legs if they didn’t have to? For those who want to air it out, here are nine of our favorite summer dresses.


The Reformation Tortoise ($220, Pictured Above)

This looks like a lot of dress, but it’s made from linen and Tencel, so it’s soft on the skin and breathes exceptionally well. Bonus points for the off-kilter button design. Thanks to environmentally responsible manufacturing, the dress also comes in below industry standards with regard to waste and emissions: It produced only 12 pounds of carbon dioxide compared to the industry standard of 22 and created 1.1 pounds of waste instead of 2.3.

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Patagonia Edisto ($80)

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(Courtesy Patagonia)

We know you took off your sweaty Patagonia Houdini after that run and then threw on this dress. But to everyone else, it will look like you tried. Made from wrinkle-resistant Tencel and organic cotton, it comes with plenty of utility, like a shelf bra and an adjustable back, as well as some fun details, like that strap design. Even better: The dress only comes in patterns, so you won’t be tempted to buy the black one.

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Madewell Ribbed Tank ($70)

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(Courtesy Madewell)

Maybe you don’t think about technical function when assessing casual wear, but we do, which is why we love this dress. It looks great, but the fitted cotton-poly blend with a high neckline is also designed to stay perfectly in place when the wind kicks up.

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Everlane Cashmere V-Neck Mini ($155)

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(Courtesy Everlane)

When the summer sun goes down, this dress goes on. The cashmere feels great and adds a touch of warmth while sipping drinks at the rooftop bar.

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The North Face EZ Tee ($50)

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(Courtesy The North Face)

Here’s a review of this dress on the TNF website: “I bought this for a wedding in Yosemite…I will go to the wedding AND on a hike in this dress.” You’ll want to hike in it because it’s stretchy and has pockets. You’ll want to wear it to a wedding because the tailoring is just right for a ceremony below Half Dome.

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Roxy Prism Pattern ($55)

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(Courtesy Roxy)

Hey, surfers: This flowy viscose dress has a strappy back that may have been specifically designed to show off your muscles. Wear it with pride. You earned it.

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Anthropologie Ikebana ($170)

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(Courtesy Anthropologie)

Okay, let’s be real: You’ll wear this dress because you want to look good and stand out. Enough said.

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Lucy Wonder Away Jumper ($90)

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(Courtesy Lucy)

A romper counts as a dress, right? We like to get off the trail, take off our tank top and capris, and put on our tank top-capri combo. The belted waist offers a put-together look at no expense to your personal comfort, and there’s a good chance the polyester-spandex blend is what your workout clothes are made from, too.

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Toad&Co. Liv ($80)

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(Courtesy Toad & Co)

This dress is quick-drying, has a DWR finish, and features pockets that zip shut. Have you ever heard a sentence like that describing a dress? It’s your go-to when you have to switch from trail gear to evening wear, but do so begrudgingly. Or, better yet, just wear this all day, from hike to happy hour.

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