A cool ocean breeze is probably the ideal way to beat the summer heat—but for those of you surrounded by smoldering concrete—not idyllic water—sun dresses for women are here to help. There’s a reason why these airy pieces are a hero of warm-weather dressing: Equal parts effortless and elegant, sun dresses for women—which are mostly made from lightweight cotton or linen—are uniquely suited to keeping you cool on the hottest days of the year.
Their easygoing silhouettes (whether in mini, midi, or maxi form) also solve one of the biggest challenges of dressing in the heat. You don’t need much else to feel put-together—just grab a cute beach bag, slip into some suede Birkenstock sandals, and push your shades onto your head. Oh, and don’t forget the hat.
With July 4th around the corner, your closet is probably already stacked with all your favorite summer clothes. Of course, if you’re still in the market for a cute dress for summer—there are some really good 4th of July clothing sales happening right now, FYI—scroll down to shop some of our favorite summer sun dresses, including an embroidered linen shirt dress that’s perfect for wearing to the office and a one-shoulder number that wouldn’t feel out of place at a garden wedding.
Midi Sun Dresses
Not so hot take: Some of the best dresses are midi dresses. Endlessly wearable, these calf-length styles (or sometimes ankle-length if you’re petite) provide enough coverage for work or dinner settings without overwhelming you in fabric. Their cropped length is also perfect to show off your favorite summer shoes.
Mini Sun Dresses
If you’re a mini-or-bust kind of person in the heat, take a look at some of these beauties. There are cutout swing dresses, spaghetti strap slips, elevated babydoll styles, and sleeveless A-line dresses with smocked details. No need to keep things neutral either—these short dresses are all about vibrant solid colors and prints.
Maxi Sun Dresses
Between their floaty fabrics and floor-grazing hems, there’s something so freeing about slipping into a maxi dress. While some flowy dresses can ready too beachy or boho, there are plenty of long dresses you can wear out and about in the city. A few favorites include Dôen’s short sleeve crochet and cotton eyelet dress, which is the ideal sun dress in our book: It’s made to last, looks and feels weightless on—and can be thrown over a bikini as a cover-up or styled with barely-there sandals for an alfresco aperitivo at your go-to restaurant. Farm Rio’s floral print dress is also a great option for an outdoor wedding—it’s not too fussy, but it’s also not your textbook beach dress.