Every time warmer weather rolls around, I get the sudden urge to find the best dresses for the coming season. Which can take weeks, because I spend so much time sifting through the spring and summer 2023 fashion trends to find the ones that'll prove timeless rather than just being a flash in the pan. This year, though, I turned to the experts to decipher exactly which summer dresses I should be investing in for 2023—and my finds are truly second to none. The best part? Many of them fall in line with the trends that have already been dominating the runways (and the streets) for spring/summer 2023.
What to Look For in a Summer Dress
If, like me, you’re not much of a dress-wearer during the other three seasons of the year, finding the right summer dress can be tricky. My rule of thumb: Look for a dress that you can wear for more than one occasion. “Versatility is key,” agrees Rickie De Sole, Women’s Fashion Director at Nordstrom. “The best summer dresses can pair just as well with a simple flat for day as they can with a platform sandal for night.”
Additionally, you should look for event dresses that can you can wear over and over again with ease. While shopping for a new dress for every spring and summer wedding you’re invited to sounds fun, the real secret to being on the best-dressed list is re-invigorating something you already own with fresh accessories. “The perfect summer dresses also solve for the many weddings and summer events on the schedule! Romantic leaning, longer length ethereal gowns are on my must-have list,” says De Sole.
What Colors are Trending For Summer 2023?
While classic options like white dresses and linen dresses are everywhere this season, so too are a few select trendy colors for spring and summer 2023. Shopping for a timeless dress in a trendy color is an easy way to refresh your collection and luckily, there are tons for you to choose from, like sunshine yellow, lavender, and pink. ”The color pink is trending across all categories this season,” says De Sole. “Pink oozes joy and optimism, and we’re loving it in all shades from soft candy hues to hot pinks.”
If you’re someone who already owns dresses in your favorite trending color, try picking one up in a print rather than a bold color. And no, these don’t have to be basic-feeling florals. Tie-dye, for one, is making a comeback (in a cool, adult way!) this season, as are geometric options. “Playful prints are always a fun way to tackle summer dressing,” says De Sole. Prints will give any silhouette an eye-catching spin.”
While mini skirts and mini dresses dominated last year, longer styles are everywhere for summer 2023. "We’re seeing that clothing is getting a little closer to the body," says De Sole. "We’re loving longer, leaner silhouettes for summer and into fall," he continues. This means that you can shop a dress now and wear it into the fall season with tall boots and tights.
The Best Summer Dresses
Classic White Options
I can't possibly talk about summer dresses without mentioning a few all-white options. A classic in any summer weather lover's wardrobe, my favorite picks for this season include lacy options from Banana Republic and romantic casual frocks from Anthropologie and Hill House Home.
Just like white frocks, linen dresses are my go-to when the weather heats up. The famously lightweight fabric was basically designed to be worn when scorching temperatures roll in. But they needn't all be white, as evidenced by a few picks from SIR and Everlane.
While florals are massive for spring (obviously) think outside of the garden when it comes to finding your favorite printed spring dress. Abstracted versions in bright colors (like the one below from FARM Rio below) provide just enough punch while still coming in a classic shape. Or, stick to classically pretty picks from brands like Tanya Taylor.