Summer Dresses: Classics & Trends | On the Daily EXPRESS


Summer Dresses: Classics & Trends

Last summer was the first year that I really started to enjoy wearing dresses and I came to fully understand the convenience of having a few options on hand. I don't wear dresses nearly as much in the winter or even spring, but I'm getting excited to pull out a few of my favorites again for summer. Here are six of my favorite dresses that I'm excited to wear again this summer. Most of these are pretty casual since that's my lifestyle 90% of the time. And they're also fairly basic and classic, which maybe isn't as fun as some of the trendier options (I'll talk about those below), but it does mean they stand the test of time!


I think this dress is supposed to be a beach cover up, but I wore it to the beach and beyond! I'm sharing it first because it was probably my favorite dress last summer. I first posted it HERE along with some additional layering/styling ideas for it. It has pockets, can be worn with a regular bra and is just comfortable easy to wear all around. It's also thick enough that it's not see-through. It's by Carve Designs, and they have lots of other cute summery dresses and beach apparel (swimwear and more) that I would love to own!  It's not cheap (as in, it's not one of those amazing under $20 Amazon finds we all love), but you do get good quality for for the price on their pieces. This dress was true to size, as well as one other style I have from this brand.

Similar Cami Sundress | Earrings | Necklace | Tory Burch Half Moon Crossbody (c/o Shopbop) [Budget Option] | Sandals (c/o) | Charmed Stacks Bracelets 

This sundress dress style is a great basic that's figure flattering on just about every body type! It's also easy to dress up or down. I shared a few different options for styling mine in this post. My exact dress is from Old Navy and old/sold out, but if I were currently shopping for a dress in this style I'd get this version at Express. Theirs has pockets (mine does!) and a cute button front detail. Actually, the first dress I owned in this style was from Express but I replaced it last year with Old Navy's option because the Express one was a bit too low cut and I was always fussing with it. Funny how retailers re-invent the wheel year after year with the same items in just a slightly different variation! I don't think I noticed that as much until I started blogging and shopping for similar links. Was I the last person to realize this?

T-Shirt Dress (c/o) | Denim Shirt (tied at waist) | Necklace (c/o) | Earrings | Tory Burch Half Moon Crossbody (c/o Shopbop) [Budget Option] | Sandals (c/o)

Not all t-shirt dresses are created equal, but after some trial and error I found this one from Daily Ritual and it's just right for me. First, it's the right balance of fitted and relaxed. Most I've tried are either bodycon or swing dress styles and neither of those work for me. This is true to size and has some shape to the waist without being tight everywhere. Second, it's not too short and doesn't ride up at all while I'm walking/moving around. Of course, length will depend on your height, but I'm 5'4" and this is a good functional length for me. I can wear this to my kids school or activities or running errands and feel 100% appropriately covered. Finally, the neckline is a flattering scoop without being low cut. Most t-shirt dresses seem to be crew neck, and I generally don't like the look or feel of those myself so this was exactly what I needed. This dress comes in eleven colors now, and mine is navy blue. When I pulled this dress out of the packaging I thought to myself, "I thought I ordered navy blue?" The dress definitely looked black in my indoor lighting! I liked the fit so I didn't mind if it was black or blue, but just wanted to mention for anyone considering this color!


This dress is newer to me so truthfully I can't call it a summer staple yet (I've only had it since Spring), but despite my hesitation over how flattering a midi length might be on my height, it was undeniably practical. I needed flat sandals for a lot of walking on the day I wore this in real life, but I do think pairing it with a wedge heel would help me look taller (of course!) so I'll be doing that next time if the occasion permits. This dress is also regular bra friendly so bonus points for that!

I really couldn't think of a better title for this dress style than "Moderately Dressy." Ha! It's not a cocktail dress, but it's also not a casual, running errands or beach dress, either! This would be a good workwear option or in my lifestyle, something I could wear to my kid's music recitals or possibly a nicer dinner date if we ever did one of those! This dress has pockets (we all know this cannot go unmentioned!) and is under $20! And on that note, it's a fairly thin t-shirt like material (it looks dressier than it feels) so don't expect to be amazed with the quality for the price! If you pick one of the lighter colors (it comes in at least a dozen colors) you may need to wear a slip underneath it. I'm wearing a Small and I'd say it runs true to size and slightly on the small size, so go up if you're in between sizes. It does have a fairly wide neckline so I did have to wear a strapless bra with this, which is about the only drawback of the dress.


For the most part if I have a special event to attend, I'll rent a dress from Rent the Runway. But this lace dress is under $40 and I loved having it on hand last summer! It's true to size and also comes in a few other colors. I'm hoping to have a few dressy events to attend this summer so I can dust this off again!


My favorite dresses are all classic styles, but if you're looking for a trendier option to add to your closet, the big trend I am seeing for summer dresses are rainbow stripes! You can splurge on top brands for these styles at Shopbop, or save on some of the similar Amazon options below.
ONE: Shop BB Dakota Dresses (In the Rainbows - $108)
TWO: Shop Rails Dresses (Madison Dress -  $178)
THREE: Shop Xirena Dresses (Grayson - $311)
FOUR: Shop Free People Dresses (Lilah - $98)
SIXAmazon Wrap Dress $54 (Same Print  in an off-the shoulder style: $30)
EIGHT: Amazon Midi Sundress $27

Our weather is slowly but surely warming up around here and this is making me excited to to start wearing dresses again! If you want to save this post for reference, feel free to Pin the image below!

Linking up with: Rachelle



  1. You have so many cute dresses! I love a good tee dress for summer :) I just layered mine up for winter too!

    Hope that you've had a great weekend! I was surprised with a weekend away, it was wonderful! :)

    Away From Blue

  2. All of these dresses are so great on you Gina! I wish I could wear a cami dress but I really need more coverage. Love the v-neck option from Amazon but sure wish they would add some bright colors. Looks like a great dress to throw on and be comfy but put together! I may cave and get it in black! Have a great Monday!

    1. You're so right Kellyann- color selection is one area where Daily Ritual could improve! I usually content with the neutral selections but if I ever crave color, I probably can't find it there!

  3. you have a nice little collection of dresses, that's all you need for the Summer.


  4. These dresses are really cool for summer. Great post!
    Vishwakarma Matrimony Site for Vishwakarma Brides

  5. You have such a great collection of dresses! The first striped dress with the drawstring is so cute on you! I want to add a striped dress to my wardrobe this summer and love all of the dresses in your round-up!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

  6. You look so sensational in dresses pretty lady! My favorites are the Cami sundress and the T-shirt dress! You rock them all with such grace!

  7. All of these dresses are so cute Gina! I really love them all. Each one is versatile and can be worn in so many ways. I really like the Daily Ritual t-shirt dress! And the midi would be comfortable for long road trips :) Definitely pinning these to refer back!

  8. I love wearing dresses more in the summer, too. They are a wonderful and quick option! I like that black t shirt dress you have. It's hard to find options that are fitted, but not bodycon! You have some really cute ones!

  9. A t shirt dress is definitely a must have for summer. It's easy to throw on and wear during the day, for a beach cover up or a night out!


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