Putting Together a Summer Wardrobe Capsule: 20 Dresses to Buy Now

Putting Together a Summer Wardrobe Capsule: 20 Dresses to Buy Now

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Arlyn Hernandez
Jun 29, 2016
(Image credit: Lindsay Ribe)

I like to think of the dress as the chameleon of the closet. Pair a short summery dress with a Panama hat and Converse sneakers and you're ready to walk the farmer's market; strap on some metallic-heeled sandals and throw on a pair of statement earrings and you're ready for date night. With that logic, perhaps we should all have a dress-only wardrobe?

In my previous post about putting together a summer capsule wardobe, I upped the dress count suggested by Caroline Rector of the style blog Un-Fancy from two to four because, frankly, two just didn't seem like enough for summer! That number breaks down pretty easily into four distinct types of dresses you should aim to have in your closet:

  • The Make-You-Feel-Pretty Dress: This is the dress you put on and instantly feel girly, beautiful and maybe even goddess-like.
  • The Maxi Dress: These can be tricky, especially for the vertically challenged, but if you're handy with a sewing machine or needle, they're pretty easy to hem to your ideal length. Maxi dresses are incredibly versatile. Dress one up with wedges or go casual with a pair of classic sneakers or strappy sandals.
  • The T-Shirt Dress: I could probably live in a T-shirt dress all summer, honestly. It's easy, it's breezy...what's not to love? Look for cotton and jersey materials for ultimate breathability (particularly with a little stretch to avoid looking like you're wearing a nightgown.)
  • The Linen/Chambray Dress: Summer screams for wearing linen or chambray. Both fabrics are incredibly lightweight and easy to wear.

Now, here are the resources for the first batch of dresses I originally suggested, followed by more picks for each must-have category:

(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

The Make-You-Feel-Pretty Dress

(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

The Maxi Dress

(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

The T-Shirt Dress

(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

The Linen/Chambray Dress

(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

→ See all our clothing picks for putting together a summer wardrobe here.

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