Your Ultimate Guide to Spring’s Best Dresses

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Your Ultimate Guide to Spring’s Best Dresses
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Photo: Victor Chavez/ Getty Images

Whether you rock them with sneakers or coordinate them with your favorite heels, cute spring dresses are about as versatile as they come. Still cold out? Throw on a pair of tights or layer a turtleneck underneath. Finally getting warm? Go bare-legged and add a denim jacket.

MORE: 21 Best Spring Sweaters for 2017 That We’re Stocking Up On Now

And while there are endless variations of colors, patterns, and fabrications to choose from, there are a few silhouettes to look out for to build a solid spring wardrobe around. The slip dress, for instance, has been one of designers’ favorite styles to interpret this season, and you’ll find choices high and low in printed silks and slinky satins. Off-the-shoulder dresses continue their reign of popularity, with flouncy gingham options you can wear well into the dog days of summer, and trim knit versions that would look great with a pair of boots.

Even if your style skews more classic, you’ll find plenty to love among the shifts and A-line styles—strategically draped waists, voluminous pleats, lace-up fronts—and for off-duty days, the T-shirt dress is (or at least should be) a universal crowd-pleaser.

MORE: The New Iteration of the Kitten Heel for Spring 2017

Click through to study up on the seven silhouettes we’re loving for this season.

Originally published April 2016. Updated March 2017.

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A-Line

Listen: The fit-and-flare is popular for a reason. With a trim waist and slightly flouncy skirt, it flatters a wide range of figures—and in a modern print or classic color, there's no reason it has to look obvious.

A-Line Cotton Dress, $85; at & Other Stories

A-Line

Eggs Pleated Flared Dress, $404; at Farfetch

A-Line

Pleated Back Dress, $99; at COS

A-Line

Markus Lupfer Heidi Dress, $138; at Boutique1

A-Line

Ribbed Dress with Lacing, $9.99; at H&M

Off-the-Shoulder

We've sung the praises of this clavicle-baring style before, and our reasoning still stands. It's pretty, easy to wear, and looks just as good on a city sidewalk as it does on the French Riviera (well, almost).

Caroline Constas Off-the-Shoulder Gingham Mini Dress, $395; at Net-A-Porter

Off-the-Shoulder

Blue Strappy Off-the-Shoulder Dress, $76; at Pixie Market

Off-the-Shoulder

LoveShackFancy Off-the-Shoulder Dress, $325; at Kirna Zabête

Off-the-Shoulder

Off Shoulder Stripe Sundress, $40; at ASOS

Off-the-Shoulder

Silk Off-the-Shoulder Dress, $88; at Madewell

Pinafore

The best layering piece you'll buy this spring, the jumper-style dress has grown up a lot since we were kids. Pair it with a striped long-sleeve shirt for an Alexa Chung vibe, or add a collared shirt for a subversive schoolgirl look.

Pockets Pinafore Dress, $79.99; at Mango

Pinafore

SEE BY CHLOÉ Denim Pinafore Dress, $298; at Farfetch

Pinafore

Comme Des Garcons Vintage Polka Dot Apron Dress, $693; at Farfetch

Shift

This work-friendly standby has a slimmer skirt than the A-line, but still isn't tight tight—in a mini length (paired with block heels, perhaps?) it'll make your legs look extra-long.

Cold Shoulder Shift Dress, $90; at Topshop

Shift

One Shoulder Shift Dress, $55; at Topshop

Shift

Pleats Please By Issey Miyake Dress Over Dress, $410; at Tessabit

Shift

James Perse Tucked Shift Dress, $195; at Shopbop

Slip

Slinky, sexy, and totally OK to wear several (weekend) days in a row, the slip excels both as a layering piece—just add a turtleneck or a tee—or as a stand-alone dress.

Gemma Ruffle Bias Dress, $650; at Tibi

Slip

Stelen Carmen Slip Dress, $88; at Need Supply

Slip

Equipment Racquel Silk-Charmeuse Maxi Dress, $160; at Net-A-Porter

Slip

Satin Ring Back Dress, $20; at Topshop

Tank

Form-fitting but not quite bodycon, this season's tank dress lets you flaunt your figure without going full Kardashian. We like them best midi length and slightly sporty.

Wilfred Chrissy Dress, $60; at Aritzia

Tank

Cover Stitch Dress, $435; at McQ

Tank

Russian Red Silk Anna Dress, $230; at Datura

Tank

T by Alexander Wang Jersey Tank Dress, $257.99; at Need Supply

T-Shirt

Once you find your ideal T-shirt dress, you'll never want to take it off. Easily dressed up or down, this style is guaranteed to become a wardrobe MVP.

BDG Morisette T-Shirt Dress, $49; at Urban Outfitters

T-Shirt

Grey 'Simplicite' Print T-shirt Maxi Dress, $56; at River Island

T-Shirt

Press Strip T-Shirt Dress, $65; at Nordstrom

T-Shirt

Dress with Shirt Collar, $25.90; at Zara

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