As we start to embrace hot summer days, may I remind you all: Easy summer dresses are the absolute best go-to mom uniform for the season. With a busy schedule of never-ending summer festivities, there’s no better feeling than slipping on a flowy dress to beat the heat in. The right dress helps me look effortlessly put together while being simple to style. Many styles can also easily be dressed up or down just by changing my shoes and jewelry.
Take it from someone who’s experimented with different looks over the years: While shorts and T-shirts still have their place for activities that are particularly active, throwing on a cute summer dress helps me feel more like myself and a lot less frumpy. And with different lengths, styles, and materials, there’s truly a go-to summer dress for everyone.
Below are a few of my all-time favorite effortless dresses that I will be living in this summer. Regardless of your personal style, you can’t go wrong with any of these picks. Plus, these dresses are timeless and will be pieces you reach for season after season.
Hill House’s iconic Ellie Nap Dress started my love of simple summer dresses. I love the crepe version, because it’s unlike anything else I own. The crepe is truly impossible to wrinkle, which makes this Nap Dress stand out among all other dresses in my closet. I’ve worn this for everything from a formal ballet and playdates at the playground on hot days. There is nothing this dress can’t do, and it has pockets! I adore my emerald green dress, but it comes in a variety of colors and patterns so there is something for everyone. Hill House Home has expanded its styles since the original Nap Dress hit the scene and now offers shorter lengths, some with sleeves, and some really cute patterns. Although I think it’d be hard to find one that holds a candle to the Ellie, I do plan on trying some of the newer styles this summer.
More Hill House Home favorites:
I have several pieces from Quince in my closet and love their affordable, on-trend style. My fun orange dress from Quince always stands out, and I especially love the ruffles on the sleeves. The Quince Smocked Midi Dress is almost indistinguishable from more expensive versions of similar dresses. It lacks pockets, but that’s a small price to pay for a more affordable dress that is otherwise very high quality. This dress was wrinkled when it arrived but, given that it’s 100 percent cotton, that’s not surprising. The wrinkles came right out in the dryer and I haven’t had any problems since—including when I’ve packed the dress for travel.
I had been a fan of Summersalt’s iconic swimsuits for a long time before I gave their clothing a try. I now have a couple of Summersalt’s pretty dresses in my closet, but my favorite is this Silky Luxe Smocked Maxi Dress. The dress lives up to its name in that it is very soft and silky. It keeps me cool even on the hottest summer days. Out of all of my summer dresses, I think this is the one that would be most comfortable to nap in (although I haven’t tried it yet). I really like the tie straps on this dress, not only because they are adjustable, but also because they make this dress a little different from others in my collection. This dress also has pockets. I have it in black, but I have my eye on the two striped patterns as well.
This dress appealed to me because it has cute sleeves that can be worn on or off the shoulders, which is more unique take on a typical summer dress with thin straps. I also like the dress’s pretty pastel pattern, deep pockets and that the fabric is a very soft rayon. The pattern on this dress makes it a little harder to dress up, but since I don’t need to dress up very often that’s not a big deal for me. The pattern gives the dress perfect vacation vibes and makes me feel relaxed as soon as I put it on.
My Carve Designs Indie Dress is the most structured summer dress in my closet. It has a pretty ruffle that goes all the way around the neckline and flows into ruffled straps—I like the way this frames my face. The more structured bottom gives a more tailored look than flowy summer dresses, which is a nice variation. The midi length also makes this dress a good choice for the beach since I don’t have to worry about the dress hitting the ground.
I love the tiers on PACT’s Sunset Easy Cami Dress, which give the dress structure and style. It’s above-the-knee length is just right for keeping me cool and allowing me to move freely while chasing after little ones. It’s especially comfortable on very hot day. I also love the gorgeous baby blue and white striped pattern.
This tiered mini dress is so flowy it barely touches my body below the shoulders. Even though the dress is loose, it still manages to be very flattering, thanks in part to bell sleeves and an open neckline. I get compliments from multiple people every time I wear this dress. I have a striking teal with pink and navy leaf pattern, but it also comes in a pretty bubble-gum pink. If I were to buy a second of any of these dresses to use as an actual nightgown, it would be this one.
The pleated Gabrielle Dress has a loose, flowy style that is perfect for summer. It’s longer in the back and plain in the front, with pleats in the back only—which makes for a really unique and striking look. This dress comes with a matching belt that ties around the waist. That’s a great option for easily giving the dress a completely different, dressier look. This dress also has pockets, which is always a plus. It also comes in a pretty light green.