How to Wear a Romper for Summer

A breezy alternative to dresses.

summer romper
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sure, there are dozens of cute spring and summer dresses (opens in new tab) I'm coveting, but I haven't forgotten about the romper! This style—basically a jumpsuit, but shorts!—is a key piece in any woman's wardrobe for easy warm weather dressing. They're a stylish alternative to dresses if you want to move more freely, say sitting crosslegged on the grass or touring a new city via bike share. Plus, they are about as comfortable as pajamas, rather than the oppressive bodysuit-tucked-into-a-pair-of-high-rise-denim-shorts that's so trendy right now.

I love the few I own to death. I pack my white-and-blue striped one-piece from Revolve (you can shop a similar one here (opens in new tab)) on vacation every summer and quite honestly, I could use a few more for this season. I did some research and found five possible romper contenders. While I'm at it, here's how to style them, too, for whatever occasion may arise between now and fall.

1. The Everyday Romper

summer romper

(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)

This utilitarian romper is for the ladies who want that rugged and cool look, as opposed to a more feminine print. Roll up the sleeves for a super casual vibe and wear with these Birkenstock x Hotel Il Pellicano woven sandals. You can wander the city all day in this outfit and still feel comfortable. A colorful bag like Frame's les mini adds a pop of color that says "summer."

Shop the pieces: 1. Frame service army romper (opens in new tab), $250; 2. Topshop sunglasses (opens in new tab), $26; 3. Mejuri spiral earrings (opens in new tab), $140; 4. Frame mini bag (opens in new tab), $350; 5. Birkenstock x IL Dolce Far Niente sandal (opens in new tab)s (opens in new tab), $480

2. The Party Romper

summer romper

(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)

For a sweet and sexy look for your next event, consider slipping into this printed Zimmermann one-piece. It has a plunging neckline and backless halter-neck design to show off just enough skin. But if you feel over-exposed, just throw on a matching blazer. The neutral tones in this look suit those who want to make a style statement without wearing something flashy. Hello, that's me.

Shop the pieces: 1. H&M earrings (opens in new tab), $13; 2. The Clear Cut signet ring (opens in new tab), $795; 3. Treasure & Bond blazer (opens in new tab), $99; 4. Zimmermann playsuit (opens in new tab), $595; 5. Coach 1941 bag (opens in new tab), $295; 6. Jacquemus sandals (opens in new tab), $690

3. The Vacation Romper

summer romper

(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)

My favorite item to pack for vacation are one-pieces because you don't have to scramble to put together outfits once there. Plus, they're a space saver in your carry-on. A floral lace romper like this one from H&M works well no matter your destination, whether you're headed to the beaches of Bermuda or the lavender fields of Provence. Swap your straw hat for a bucket style—this season's It accessory—and don't forget to bring a chic backpack for toting all your essentials.

Shop the pieces: 1. 
Adidas bucket hat (opens in new tab), $302. & Other Stories cat-eye sunglasses (opens in new tab), $303. H&M lace romper (opens in new tab), $354. Longchamp backpack (opens in new tab), $615; 5. Kensie slide sandal (opens in new tab), $75

4. The Night-on-the-Town Romper

summer romper

(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)

After a drink or two, dresses can get annoying: You're either worrying about tripping over a long dress or accidentally showing off more than you'd like in a shorter number. Solve this dilemma altogether with an elegant satin romper, like this one from Fleur du Mal. It has the sophistication of a suit, but is 100 times sexier—especially when paired with fiery-red heels (according to reviews, these strappy sandals are actually comfy!).

Shop the pieces: 1. Fleur du Mal satin playsuit (opens in new tab), $495; 2. H&M long earrings (opens in new tab), $133. Topshop ankle strap sandals (opens in new tab), $654. Proenza Schouler suede shoulder bag (opens in new tab), $995

5. The Shower Romper

summer romper

(Image credit: Design by Morgan McMullen)

A bridal or baby shower is the perfect time to bring out your new sweet and sophisticated romper. This gingham (the print for summer) one-piece with sleeves can easily be dressed up for the occasion with heels, dangly gold earrings, and an elegant clear clutch. In this cute 'fit, you'll stand apart from the crowd of floral wrap dresses in the room.

Shop the pieces: 1. Aly and Jay gingham romper (opens in new tab), $882. Deepa Gurnani earrings (opens in new tab), $603. Zara mules (opens in new tab), $504. L'afshar acrylic clutch (opens in new tab), $815

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Marina Liao is the former fashion news editor at MarieClaire.com, where she covered celebrity style (from Meghan Markle to Katie Holmes), fashion trends, and shopping advice, plus conducted original interviews with industry insiders. She's also had many opportunities to write content in other areas such as beauty, food, tech, and even home. Her previous fashion stints include POPSUGAR and Cosmopolitan.