Asian woman outdoors in a polka dot dress

Summer fashion is often hit-or-miss. Anyone can look stylish in a coat. But shorts and a T-shirt? That’s another story. With the heat index slowly rising, you may find yourself struggling to find something to wear in a closet full of clothes. How does one look effortlessly chic in this sweltering heat? Here are some no-frills, universally flattering summer dresses that might do the trick.

Maxi Dress

Think Connie Britton in White Lotus, swirling around the place in a long, patterned dress. That’s the maxi dress effect — it makes you look elegant and move like you’re floating. More importantly, it’s relaxed and breezy enough to wear at the , but also dressy enough to go from day to night. There’s no wrong way to wear a maxi dress, just as there’s no right body type for it. Because of its forgiving and elongating silhouette, you only have to when choosing a maxi dress.


The caftan is every woman’s best friend. Want to look like a million bucks? Throw on this easy, fuss-free dress and pair it with laid-back sandals (no heels, please!). Originating from ancient Mesopotamia, the caftan is usually made of cotton or silk and has wide sleeves. Some caftans are open in the front, but there are also tunic-type variations that are easier to wear as dresses or beach cover-ups.

Shift Dress

The shift dress is one of the simplest silhouettes. Its clean lines make it universally flattering and work on most body types. What makes a shift dress different from any other short dress is its roomy shape. If it’s fitted, it’s not a shift. This timeless cut has been worn by fashion icons, from Jackie Kennedy and Twiggy to Alexa Chung and Victoria Beckham. Its comfortable fit makes it a summer staple.

Trapeze Dress

The trapeze dress is usually a shorter version of the maxi. It can be midi or knee-length. However, anything above the knee might be too short. This silhouette is equally forgiving, but this is the way to go (over the maxi) if you want to . Wear with caution, however, especially in breezy venues such as the beach or rooftops — unless a Marilyn Monroe moment is in your plans.

Shirt Dress

One of the easiest dresses to wear for both casual and semi-formal occasions, this type of summer dress offers the structure you need without discomfort. It has a collar and buttons, which make it feel more dressed up, but it can still give you enough room to maneuver as well as enjoy the buffet. Wear sneakers or chunky sandals for a more modern take.

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Say no to “meh” summer outfits. Choose from these comfortable and flattering summer dresses to enjoy the season in style.

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