The Best Spring Dresses Simplify Any Outfit Formula

Style this wardrobe staple for any occasion, from farmer's markets to formal affairs.

street style spring dress
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A versatile assortment of the best spring dresses is an absolute must-have, especially for busy bees with a jam-packed 2024 social calendar. During the week, your days will likely be spent in the office. But you’ll need something for rooftop night outings (to compliment an Aperol spritz and a scenic view) or when the weekend rolls around and spring picnics, museum visits, and weekend escapes are on the agenda. Not to mention, wedding guest dress season is swiftly approaching.

A reliable collection of the best spring dresses can take you from one occasion to the next and will alleviate any stress that comes with getting dressed for a busy schedule. Simply slip into your dress of choice, throw on your favorite spring shoes, grab a matching handbag (or tote), and wrap a spring jacket around your shoulders in preparation for a temperature drop. Et voilà! You’ve got a great, fuss-free spring dress outfit formula you can wear repeatedly.

The city streets are always a great source of inspiration when it comes to warm weather style, and spring dresses are the siren song of busy people who have mastered seasonal uniforms. So, Marie Claire perused thousands of street-style images to track down the must-have silhouettes, shades, and fabrics that have proven to have staying power. Stylish city dwellers interpreted the girlhood aesthetic with airy maxi dresses and dainty ballet flats. Others dove into the fringe trend with beach-ready dresses in knits and crochets. While silks and satins appeared to be a strong spring dress fabric choice that can create a polished look when worn head-to-toe.

Ahead, we've curated the best spring dresses of 2024 for various occasions, plus accessories for easy-to-master outfit formulas.

Spring Dresses for the Office

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street style spring dresses

Spruce up your spring workwear wardrobe with a flowy dress that falls below the knees.

(Image credit: Alamy)

If you’re commuting into the office on a balmy day, you’ll need a fresh selection of dresses for your rotation of spring work outfits. Below-the-knee hemlines are likely your best bet for office dress codes—especially if your nine-to-five leans more traditional. Choose a versatile neutral that you can style in different ways, or go for one of the trending shades of the season, like butter yellow and glacial blue.

Spring Dresses for Casual Occasions

street style spring dresses

On casual days, comfort is key. Choose relaxed fabrics and easy silhouettes.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether heading to your local farmer’s market, grabbing coffee with your girls, or taking a trip to the museum, a casual day of activities calls for an easy outfit. The fashion crowd seems to be embracing comfort with relaxed fabrics (like lightweight cotton and loose-fitting denim) and dresses designed with ease in mind (like slip-on maxis and caftans). Keep up the comfy agenda by styling your look with flat shoes like loafers and ballet flats.

Spring Dresses for the Beach

street style spring dresses

Take your look to the shore and beyond with the best spring beach dresses.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Spring break, anyone? For those of you planning to embark on a trip to the beach, don't forget to pack a breezy dress that you can wear on repeat. A quintessential white dress will fit the bill, or you can experiment with playful details, like fringe. With the selection of street style-inspired dresses below, you'll find that you can seamlessly transition these pieces from day to night. For an al fresco dinner or cocktails by the shore, swap your flip-flops for an elevated strappy sandal.

Spring Dresses for Formal Outings

spring satin dresses

A lustrous satin dress is an undeniable wardrobe staple, especially in the case of formal wear.

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Calling all social butterflies with garden parties, lavish luncheons, and wedding ceremonies on their calendars this spring. Look no further than a satin dress to get you through every fancy event in style. A satin dress can be a true wardrobe essential and will be everywhere this season. On the Spring 2024 Fashion Week circuit, brands like Altuzarra, Adeam, and Staud showcased an array of satin dresses, signaling that these butter-soft gowns will remain popular through the summer months.

Spring Dresses for Nights on the Town

street style spring dresses

Play into darker hues for an evening out and about.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite what some might say, you can, in fact, wear dark shades during spring—it's just a matter of time and place. Try deep hues of brown and black for an evening with friends (or a special date night). Take style notes from Fashion Week showgoers, who dressed for warm weather by wearing figure-hugging fabrics, skin-baring cut-outs, and plunging necklines.

Lauren Tappan
Fashion Editor

Lauren K. Tappan is the Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, where she writes engaging stories ranging from shopping pieces to trend reports. Prior to Marie Claire, Lauren covered fashion and beauty for Harper’s Bazaar and ELLE as a freelance editor, with a specific focus on e-commerce. She also held editorial roles at Town & CountryInto The Gloss, and Philadelphia Style Magazine. Lauren earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, with a minor in Journalism, from the University of Pennsylvania. Follow her along at @laurenktappan.