9 Must-have Summer Dress Styles

Summer dressing is a cinch with this style guide to the season's most scorching looks

Credit: Aritzia

Stock your closet with dresses in the latest fabrics, patterns and shapes to suit summer’s sizzling styles

It’s so much easier to get dressed in the summer when you can simply pull on a dress and be out the door in a flash.

And this summer’s dresses are fresh, fun and full of unique cutouts, patterns and colour combinations that will have you wanting to dress it up every day.

Here are 9 go-to dress styles to add to your wardrobe this summer.

Credit: H&M/


If you think denim is just for jeans, then you’re way behind on the trends. This season denim is in everything from jackets to vests and skirts, but the cutest way to wear it is in the form of a dress.

Denim is a heavy fabric, so keep the hemline above your knee. Any lower and you’ll drown.

These styles from H&M and Dynamite do tailored denim perfectly.


The classic A-line makes any body beautiful. If you want to add a little volume, look for a dress with pleats, like this gorgeous royal blue version from Aritzia.

The waistline of the dress should hit just above your belly button, creating the perfect hourglass shape.

This little black dress from Forever 21 has extra class with a lace panel detail on the front.

Credit: Zara/


A huge trend in dresses this summer is cutout details. They began on the upper sides of the dress, and have now moved to the front and back as well.

This simple detail adds extra dimension to any dress, like this bright orange one from Zara.

Cutouts are appearing in all styles of dresses, from office-wear to the weekend wardrobe, like this denim version from Artizia.

A little extra skin is exposed with this dress style, so remember to apply a bit more sunscreen if you’re spending the day in the sun.


The shirtdress comes in short, long and three-quarter length sleeves, so find a length that suits your needs. Try buttoning up the dress all the way for a trendier look, as shown with this dress from Forever 21.

What’s fantastic about the shirtdress is that it can easily be transferred into your fall wardrobe just by throwing on a pair of leggings. But fall’s cold, so let’s ignore it for now and focus on the warm weather.

This style is loose fitting, like you see in this dress from Artizia, so if it doesn’t already come with a belt, throw one on around the smallest part of your waist to give your body a great shape.

Shift Dress

A boxy fit, this simple cut sits away from the body, coming in only slightly at the waist.

It’s perfect for weekend housewarmings, cocktails with the girls or a Monday at the office.

Because of its simple design, look for a shift dress with texture, like this lace version from Forever 21, or with a bold pattern, like this blue one from Joe Fresh.

And when the weather cools down, search for the same style with longer sleeves.

Credit: Aritzia/

Black & White

You can’t go wrong with a black or a white dress, but this summer, try combining these basic shades.

Find dresses that use blocks of black and white for a retro flavour. Aritzia has created a two-sided dress, with the front in white and the back in black.

Or go for Zara’s black and white version that uses thick fabric sections to add dimension to monochromatic shades.

Credit: J.Crew/

Colour & Pattern

To balance out the black and white dresses, you’re going to want a dress with pizazz. That’s where bright colours and bold patterns come in.

Nature brightens up during the summer, so choose dresses that reflect those colour changes. J. Crew captures summer in its silk chiffon dress, available in 13 different colours.

Or be one with nature in this leafy silk dress by Aritzia.


Popular in a skirt form, this asymmetrical cut also looks ravishing as a dress and can be found in an array of dress styles. From casual jersey dresses to silk eveningwear, it looks classy every time.

This summer, try a looser fitting piece to keep that flowy trend going. Aritzia delivers a uniquely layered dress to create the high-low hemline.

Or do two trends at once, and look for a high-low dress in a rich colour, like this one from Forever 21.


You can be short or tall and still look fabulous in a maxi dress. This styles gives you instant glam. Because of the amount of fabric, this dress can sport any pattern or colour. So find one you like best, cinch it in at the waist, throw on a pair of summer sandals and you’re good to go.

Forever 21 masters the pastel colours in its sleeveless and cutout maxi dresses.