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The 16 Best Fall Dresses for 2021

There's no reason to wait.

fall dresses
Edward BerthelotGetty Images

As fall rolls around, baking hot days and skin-baring clothes start to feel like a thing of the past. Summer's carefree, breezy dresses cater to a different frame of mind. As many of us return to offices and schools post-Labor Day, we'll be turning to fall uniforms that read a little more sophisticated than our summer mainstays. We're talking darker hues, subdued prints, and elongated hemlines—but early autumn weather will call for lighter textures and freer-flowing silhouettes, too. Paired with the right accessories—one of this year's it bags or statement baubles, for example— a fall dress can truly transcend any forecast or season. Ahead, we've got 17 to start shopping right now.

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1 Cotton Blend Midi-Dress
Courtesy of Staud
Staud matchesfashion.com
$237.00

This khaki-colored dress has a relaxed fit and side slip pockets, marrying the ease of summertime dressing with the sophistication of a fall color palette.

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2 Striped Midi Dress
Courtesy of Kate Spade
Kate Spade katespade.com
$198.00

This elbow-length striped dress reads summer all on its own, but paired with an oversized sweater and knee high boots, it will be on constant rotation as the season begins to turn.

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3 Gingham Cotton Midi-Dress
Courtesy of Sea
Sea matchesfashion.com
$365.00

Gingham isn't just a summertime print. Wear this check dress well into fall, layered with a chunky cardigan and boots.

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4 Mini Polo Dress
COURTESY OF & Other Stories
& Other Stories stories.com
$119.00

This thick knit polo dress is ideal for early fall days. Style it with your favorite low-top sneaker for a weekend on the go.

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5 The Retro Jersey Polo Dress
Courtesy of Everlane
Everlane everlane.com
$58.00

Another polo dress for your Fall wardrobe. This one is machine washable and has a sophisticated contrasting collar. Style it with a cable knit over your shoulders, an ankle sock, and some loafers.

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6 Leather Shirtdress
Courtesy of Proenza Schouler White Label
Proenza Schouler White Label saksfifthavenue.com
$402.75

Embrace autumnal leather weather with this sleek button-down shirt dress that can be worn for work or play.

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7 Printed Broderie Anglaise Painter's Dress
Courtesy of Tory Burch
Tory Burch toryburch.com
$698.00

What better time to wear this market fruit print dress than in harvest season?

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8 Ruched Osaka Dress
Courtesy of Rebecca Taylor
Rebecca Taylor saksfifthavenue.com
$295.00

This silk midi-dress has a feminine ruched neckline and sweet pleat details. It's an elevated choice for fall wedding guest attire.

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9 Saint Catherine Denim Shirt Dress
COURTESY of Wales Bonner
Wales Bonner matchesfashion.com
$495.00

Crafted from medium weighted denim, this button-down shirt dress can be worn comfortably on summer evenings and well into crisp fall days.

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10 Floral Print Jersey Dress
Courtesy of Rosetta Getty
Rosetta Getty net-a-porter.com
$990.00

This floral retro fabric dress is an investment, but with the right accessories, it can be worn for just about any and all occasions.

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11 Ayse Poplin Twist Midi Shirtdress
Courtesy of Nanushka
Nanushka saksfifthavenue.com
$245.25

This sky blue dress has the ease of summer wear with the sophistication of fall silhouettes.

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12 Selena Cotton-Blend Coverup Dress
Courtesy of Ulla Johnson
Ulla Johnson modaoperandi.com
$395.00

There's no better fall color palette than chocolate and navy. Wear this puff-sleeve maxi-dress alongside ballet flats and a crossbody bag for a sophisticated work day look.

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13 Organic Cotton Poplin Midi Dress
COURTESY OF Tove
Tove bergdorfgoodman.com
$575.00

This delicate ruched, tie-neck dress is made from organic cotton. It's breathable for warmer temps but substantial enough to wear through leaf-peeping season.

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14 Lauren Mango Love Flower Silk Shirt Dress
Courtesy of Lisou
Lisou lisou.co.uk
£395.00

Wear this flower power print dress all on its own, layer it under a blazer, or pop on a cozy knit.

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15 Studio 189 Pouf Sleeve Shirt Dress
Industrie Africa industrieafrica.com
$575.00

This dress is made to order by local artisans who hand-weave linear patterns to reflect traditional West African prints.

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16 Two-Tone Tennis Dress
Courtesy of The Frankie Shop
The Frankie Shop thefrankieshop.com
$199.00

Take summer tennis tournaments into fall with this sporty court-to-street drawstring waist dress.

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