The 3 Spring and Summer Dresses You Need In Your Wardrobe

Shona Joy

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As soon as we get that first warm, balmy day of spring, we’re fantasising about floating around in a great summer dress. Heading to picnics, feeling the sun on our legs at a backyard BBQ, dancing the night away in a sexy mini — however you’re spending the warmer months, there’s a dress for it.

Every dress lover’s wardrobe should have three key staples. First, a seriously fun summer party dress that makes you feel a million bucks every time you wear it will be a worthwhile investment. Then, when you find the perfect spring/summer midi dress, buy it! You’ll wear it to weddings, picnics, and all sorts of occasions where a casual dress isn’t quite right.

Speaking of casual dresses, you’ll want a few of these. There is no better feeling than waking up after hitting snooze a few too many times, and knowing you can just throw one item on, slick your hair back into a bun and head to work, brunch with the girls, or wherever your day is taking you. The casual dress works harder in a wardrobe than Kris Jenner works for the Kardashians.

Here is our edit of the best spring and summer dresses currently in stores.

Best Spring Midi Dresses

Aere Linen Shirred Midi Dress

Aere Linen Shirred Mini Dress. Image: The Iconic.

When you’re looking for your seasonal midi dress, start with Aere on THE ICONIC. This Linen Shirred Midi Dress ($170) is a bestseller and with good reason. The elasticated waist keeps you comfortable while adding definition under the bust, and the floaty sleeves give a smart casual feel without adding bulk.

Cecilia Tie Front Midi Dress

Shona Joy Cecilia Dress. Image: The Iconic.

Earth tones are a great way to transition into summer dressing. They feel trans-seasonal and work really well with boots and coats if the weather isn’t entirely there yet. This Shona Joy dress ($340) is our pick for wedding guest dressing. It’s still really versatile and you’ll get plenty of wear out of it in your wardrobe, but it also looks fantastic with some heels for a garden wedding.

Shirred Cotton-Voile Maxi Dress

Farm Rio Cotton Voile Dress. Image: Net-a-Porter.

Farm Rio’s pieces are inspired by the bright hues of Rio de Janeiro, so you’ll find that colourful summer dress you’ve been searching for in their collection. This maxi dress ($360) is a total dream for anyone with a love for retro fashion. The cotton-voile material is soft and floaty, and we adore the shirred bodice and puffed sleeves tied at the neckline.

Best Casual Summer Dresses

Sarah A-Line Dress

Princess Highway Sarah Dress. Image: Myer.

The award for the sweetest mini dress goes to this one from Princess Highway ($98). If you’ve been looking for a dress that will pair perfectly with your cowboy boots, this is it. The nod to Western Americana is there in the puffed sleeves and broderie cotton, but this dress also works with some sandals if it’s too hot for boots.

Winona Fay Mini Dress

Auguste Winona Dress. Image: Auguste.

With a print inspired by the swinging ’60s, and three-quarter sleeves that make it perfect for the in-between months, this mini dress from Auguste ($199) is really a year-round buy. Pair with boots and a big coat for cooler days, or sandals and a floppy hat for summer. It’s also a smart pick for throwing over your swimmers on beach days, thanks to the airy cotton fabrication.

Noho Dress

Petal & Pup Noho Dress. Image: Petal & Pup.

The best type of casual summer dress is one that can be dressed up. The Noho Dress ($109) by Petal & Pup definitely fits this category. Made with a blend of rayon and linen, you can easily throw this dress on for the weekend with some slides, or team it with boots for the office. 

Best Summer Party Dresses

Strapless Stripe Mini Dress

Glassons Mini Dress. Image: Glassons.

The dip dye trend is huge right now, and it works really well in this strapless stripe mini dress from Glassons ($39.99). Practically made for dance floors, the stretch jersey fabric is comfortable for all-night wear.

Stella Mini Dress

Bec + Bridge Stella Mini Dress. Image: Bec + Bridge.

Is this the ultimate little black dress you’ve been searching for? Maybe. Bec + Bridge do make great LBDs, and currently, we’re obsessed with the Stella Mini ($280) with its ’90s twist on the classic. The shaping through the bodice and satin fabrication make this mini feel like it’s been plucked straight from the wardrobe of Clueless’ Cher Horowitz.

Frankie Silk Dress

Reformation Frankie Dress. Image: Reformation.

If you regularly ask yourself “am I the drama?” you’ll love this showstopping silk dress from Reformation ($450). Form-fitted through the waist and hips and landing at your ankles, the dress is both bra-friendly and bust-friendly thanks to a smocked back. The split allows you to walk, not shuffle, so while this dress looks restrictive it’s actually pretty comfortable to wear.

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