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I don’t know about you, but comfort is at the top of my list when it comes to finding the best summer dress. Sure, I could deal with zippers, ties, and buttons, but why would I want to do that when the temperature is downright scorching and I’m nearly always in a rush? Enter my need to find the best smocked dress on the market. The trend has been taking over my social media feeds for summer 2022, so I rounded up a list of the very best ones to pick up and wear for the rest of the season.
The smocked dress trend has been around for quite some time, spurred on by the popularity of brands like Hill House and their range of best-selling Nap Dresses, most of which feature stretchy smocked detailing at the bodice. The most popular of the Nap Dresses is by far The Ellie, known for its midi hem and zipperless design. The brand has since expanded into mini versions of the Nap Dresses, including the puff-sleeved Athena style, which is perfect if you prefer your summer dresses on the shorter side. The brand even dubbed their most-recent launch—their largest ever— the "Nap Dress Summer" collection.
“The smocked dress is popular because it’s such a versatile, flattering, and comfortable style,” says Nell Diamond (opens in new tab), Hill House Home’s Founder and CEO. “These are all major components that I look for in a dress. I love being able to dress it up or down, feel feminine and stylish, while also being comfortable,” she says.
A smocked dress’ versatility is one of the main reasons why I personally love them, too. They look just as good worn to the office in the summer or on a date night. Keep reading to shop the best smocked dresses at every length and style.
Shop Hill House Home's Nap Dresses
The Best Smocked Mini Dresses
The Best Yellow Smocked Dress
Talk about the perfect summer dress! This sunny mini dress from Anthropologie also comes in four other colors, including black, rasperry red, and brown.
Best Long-Sleeved Mini Smocked Dress
Long-sleeved mini dresses are great to wear on summer nights because they both keep you cool thanks to the short hemline but don't leave you shivering every time a breeze comes by. This one from & Other Stories is available in two colors and is made from 100% cotton.
Best Linen Smocked Dress
If you're a bride who's on the hunt for a bridal party dress, meet this one from STAUD. The fitted smocked bodice gives way to a flouncy mini-length skirt for a sweet look.
Best Strapless Smocked Mini Dress
Jetting off on a warm vacation soon? This strapless smocked dress from Ramy Brook is perfect for your next beach-to-bar evening.
Best Puff-Sleeved Mini Smocked Dress
This adorable plaid mini dress from Loeffler Randall is a part of its first full ready-to-wear collection. And if this dress is any indication, you're going to love the rest of the pieces, too.
Best Simple Smocked Dress
Behold another best-in-class linen dress to add to your summer dress collection. Unlike the others currently hanging in your closet, though, this one features 2022's trendiest detail: smocking.
Best Halter Smocked Dress
This sleek halter from Jonathan Simkhai is a fresh, modern take on the classic smocked dress trend for 2022.
Best Smocked Dress With a Back Cutout
This mini smocked dress from Maeve has a secret cutout across the back for a surprise bit of skin. Not a fan of red? Shop it in ivory and navy.
Best Cottagecore Nap Dress
The cottagecore trend is still going strong for summer 2022. This gingham and lace-trimmed piece from Urban Outfitters (which retails for under $100) is a great one to add to your collection.
Best Cherry-Printed Smocked Dress
You have too many floral-printed pieces in your collection. Swap one of them out for this cherry-printed one from English Factory instead.
The Best Smocked Midi Dresses
Best V-Neck Smocked Dress
Orange is one of this summer's most in-demand colors, and this v-neck smocked midi dress is the perfect way to style it.
Best High-Necked Smocked Dress
If you want a smocked dress but are looking for one that offers a little more coverage, this high-necked one from J.Crew should be in your shopping cart.
Best Bra-Friendly Smocked Dress
This cotton poplin dress from Tanya Taylor is available to shop in sizes 0 through 22 and features a tie at the back that expertly hides pesky bra bands.
Best Cream-Colored Smocked Dress
This floaty off-white smocked dress from Madewell is available in sizes up to a 3X and has a tiered design for maximum breathability.
Best Romantic Smocked Dress
This dress from internet-approved brand Ciao Lucia is practically made to be brought on vacation in the south of Italy or France. Available in four other colors and produced locally in Los Angeles, it's a timeless piece that will last forever in your summer wardrobe.
The Best Affordable Smock Dress
This $20 smocked dress from H&M is a lifesaver if you're trying to save money and be on trend this season. It even comes in five colors including this trendy hot pink shade.
Best 100% Cotton Smocked Dress
Shop this 100% cotton Everlane dress in two colors this summer. At only $98, it might be worth it to pick up both shades.
Best Pastel Pink Smocked Dress
Perfect for a daytime wedding, a trip into the office, or a day date, this checked pastel pink smocked dress from sustainable brand Reformation should be on your must-buy list.
The Best Smocked Dress With A Collar
I mean, who doesn't love an oversized collar on a dress? This one from GANNI—one of the best smocked dress brands on the market right now—has all the sweet details you know and love: a soft floral print, exaggerated puffy sleeves, and a flouncy silhouette.
Best Relaxed Smocked Dress
This smocked dress from Endless Summer comes in five colors, but I prefer this soft, off-white color the best. Layer it up over a turtleneck in the fall and winter to make it last longer in your closet.
The Best Smocked Maxi Dresses
Best White Floral Smocked Dress
I personally own this dress from Pink City Prints and can attest to how comfortable (and cute) it is. It's made from organic cotton and feels light-as-air on the skin.
Best Vibrant Smocked Dress
Forget basic colors. This bright pink smocked dress from Free People is bound to make a statement the next time you wear it, but is easy enough to style so you can wear it over and over.
Best Convertible Smocked Dress
I love a dress that I can wear multiple ways, and this white smocked dress from Urban Renewal is proof that's now easier than ever to find your perfect fit.
Best One-Shoulder Smocked Dress
Not all smocked dresses need to be pastel or feature a square neckline. This one from ELOQUII has a chic one-shoulder design that works for day or nighttime wear.
Best Simple Black Smocked Dress
You can't beat this great smocked little black dress for an easy summer outfit. It's made from a breathable cotton blend for all-day wear.
The Best Bright Red Smocked Dress
This maximalist approach to the smocked dress trend from Bec & Bridge is a great summer wedding guest dress alternative to your usual lineup.
The Best Faded Floral Smocked Dress
If you love a summer dress that equal parts sweet and edgy, this faded floral smocked dress from Lucky Brand is for you.
The Best Subtle Smocked Dress
If you just want to give the smocked dress trend a test-run this season, this maxi dress from Tiare Hawaii features a thin band at the waist that's basically unnoticeable.
The Best Cut-Out Smocked Dress
This floral-printed smocked option from NIA is the best vacation-ready dress. Style it with sneakers for a mix of feminine and relaxed styles.
The Best Office-Appropriate Smocked Dress
This classic black smocked dress from Open Edit has a cut-out in the back, but it can be easily covered up by a blazer for days spent in the office. Shed the layer for after work drinks.
Julia Marzovilla is an E-Commerce Writer at Marie Claire covering all things fashion, beauty, and entertainment. Offline, she’s most likely browsing the web for another pair of black boots or listening to music too loudly—often at the same time.
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