It’s a funny thing, summer: For the rest of the year, I feel virtually no inclination toward any clothing that could best be described with adjectives like folksy, bohemian, and free-spirited—but then the temperature hits the 80s and—poof!—suddenly I’m compulsively scrolling through photos of girls in long, floral dresses and mulling a move to a patchouli-scented, greenery-filled bungalow in the hills of California.
To be clear, that scenario is never going to happen: I don’t understand how to use incense, and I can’t keep houseplants alive for more than a few months, tops (in fact, writing this post just reminded me to water the poor, neglected succulents on my desk for the first time in weeks). One part of the fantasy I can indulge, though, is the part where I’m wearing diaphanous, beautifully embroidered dresses every day—whether scored from Etsy or bought new from one of the many designers that have picked up on the trend this season.
The prevalence of the homespun-looking touches right now likely has a lot to do with one of last year’s street-style hits, the traditional Ukrainian vyshyvanka dresses made by designer Vita Kin. But while those will run you upwards of $1,000, there are plenty of pieces with the same easy, wear-all-day vibe at more palatable price points, and in a wide variety of silhouettes (including, yes, off-the-shoulder).
Ahead, shop 16 embroidered summer dresses ideal for making your bohemian dreams a (sort-of) reality.