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It isn’t really a hot take to say there’s no such thing as too many summer maxi dresses. Because when the sun is at its shiniest (and humidity at its most oppressive), nothing feels as wearable as a dress of any kind. Sundresses and mini dresses definitely deserve moments in the spotlight, but maxi dresses drip with bohemian elegance and convenience in a way that’s untouched by any other summer clothing genre. Nothing billows in the summer breeze quite like a floor-length dress—and nothing feels as effortlessly comfortable (read: as unlikely to ride up or fly up) as a floor-length dress, either.
As if summer maxi dresses weren’t already bringing enough to the table, they also offer a kind of easy versatility that can’t be discounted. Not only are they all-in-one outfits that require next to no styling, but they also walk the line of casual/formal so masterfully that they can basically take you anywhere you need to go. Few ensembles feel as fit for a day at the beach as they do for a five-star dinner, but summer maxi dresses offer to do all of that and more. Seriously, with one or two styling adjustments, the same maxi could get you from brunch to the park to the bar and back—and maybe even to work, too.
When presented with so much effortless efficiency, there’s really only one thing to do: Stock up. This summer’s maxi dress selection is vast, varied and ready to be ravaged. Go forth and fill your summer wardrobe with the no-fail pieces it deserves.
A statement-making dress that’s easily dressed up or down. This, friends, is the holy grail.
A prairie dress that drips with retro-fun appeal.
The only vacation dress you need in your arsenal.
Perfect for job interviews and parties, alike.
Integrate this must-have into your work rotation, stat.
This LBD (Long Black Dress) skews a little dressy for day-to-day wear, but whip it out for a summer party and prepare to turn heads.
A maxi you could wear during literally any season.
The subtly sexy date night dress your summer rotation needs.
Fans of the shift dress: Rejoice. Longline options abound.
An anything-but-average wedding guest dress for an anything-but-average shopper.
A blank canvas for all your favorite statement jewelry.
Sexy—and sure to stay firmly in place, no matter what you’re up to.
Because shirtdresses are better when they’re covered in sequins.
Puff-sleeves, fitted bodice—can’t lose.
A decidedly maximalist approach to texture.
An endlessly flattering silhouette—in an underrated color.
A dress that makes the most of summer’s crochet trend—without taking it too literally.
Of course there are anything-but-basic slip dress options on offer.
Fans of button-downs will be delighted to learn there are dress-based iterations of the format.
Off-the-shoulder necklines have endured in the zeitgeist for a reason. (They’re cute as hell.)
A geometric approach to patchwork, and a patchwork approach to floral—mesmerizing, much?
Ruffles so stunning friends will think you walked straight off a runway.
The number of cute, contemporary prairie dresses on offer right now is borderline astounding.
Fit for parties, date nights and ant other moment worth looking drop-dead gorgeous.
Come summer, punchy palettes are always a good idea.
Part classic prairie dress, part slinky LBD.
A slip dress for the fan of structure—and saturation.
A surprisingly sexy take on tie-dye.
A maxi, crafted with the fan of minis in mind.
It’s covered in sequins and adorned with pom-poms. What more could you—or any of us, really—ask for?
Tropical prints aren’t going anywhere.
Basically a bridal gown you can wear on the daily.
Worth wearing well into autumn (and long after, too).
There’s a reason the LBD is an enduring wardrobe staple.
This dress makes the most of two of 2019’s favorite trends—ruffles and tropical prints—at once.
A textured tangerine cami dress is the sexy must-have you didn’t know you needed.
Give us pink anything, and we’ll be pleased.
Summer polka dots are a forever mood.
A fresh take on florals.
Unexpected pops of color get an emphatic “yes” from us.
Give us a smocked bodice and a dress covered in tropical plants, and we’ll be happy.
Neon animal prints? A bold move during any season.
A dress that gets more fun with every step.
A pool cover-up that’s cute enough to wear to a beachside bar. (Hello, versatility.)
A princess gown, crafted for the modern age.
A punchy palette that feels anything but overwhelming.
Feel like a fairytale bride, even when all you’re doing is going to brunch.
Simultaneously campy and elegant—we’re on board.
Available in so many incredible color variations, we kind of don’t know which one to shop.
Ulla Johnson’s maxi dress game is strong, and this dress is no exception.
Be the most elegant person in the room, no matter where you’re headed.
A dress as fit for work as it is for your friend’s wedding—hello, new versatile favorite.
A decidedly different approach to the tropical print movement.
Stun in your next job interview—or, you know, on the daily, too.
Practically begging to be paired with your favorite statement jewelry.
Is it just us, or are T-shirt dresses always a good idea? (We’re pretty sure it’s not just us.)
Florals, and ruffles, and stripes—oh my.
Kaftans are an absolute summer must.
Be the most fashion-forward guest at any wedding you’re invited to.
A floral dress that feels anything but basic.
The easiest way to integrate some serious fun into your work wardrobe? Snag this bold AF floral dress.
Because come summer, LWDs are as necessary as LBDs.
Because pride doesn’t just end when June does.
A surprisingly fancy take on summer’s sheer clothing trend.
A maxi that doubles as outerwear—now that’s versatility.
Printed in all the right places.
Perfect for the office, cocktail hour—and everywhere else you’re headed this week.
When in doubt, remember monochromatic maxis deliver chic style in seconds.
Just fancy enough.
A different take on the longline slinky satin dress.
Be the best-dressed friend at your next Sunday brunch.
Wedding guest wardrobe fodder for sure.
A super versatile silhouette, rendered in a super versatile palette—what’s not to love?
Summer stripes that don’t skew too nautical.
Sexy AF. Layer on your favorite jewelry, and let the compliments come rolling in.
Fodder for your next vacation Instagram.
A plunge neckline sure to make J. Lo proud.
Obsessed with this vintage-inspired plaid maxi.
If we owned this, we’d never take it off.
Upscale beach attire (or just, you know, cute everyday attire).
Cute from the front—even more adorable from the back.
Has a plunge neckline ever looked so incredibly delicate?
Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.
A version of this story was originally published in May 2019. Updated July 2019.