No matter where I'm going or what I'm doing, dresses are always my primary choice of clothing. I find them especially comfortable and easy to pair with most accessories — but the
best travel dresses are a little bit more challenging. Whether you're wearing it on the plane or packing it away for the destination, there are some key features that make for a much more travel-friendly dress.
The first quality to look for is comfort. Especially when you're on the go, you want to make sure that your wardrobe is breathable, chafe-resistant, adjustable, and non-constrictive — especially if you'll be walking long distances or taking extensive plane, train, or car rides. The
most comfortable dresses will be loose and soft, but tighter dresses can also work so long as they're made with elastic or spandex for a stretchier fit.
Next, consider the ease of maintenance. A dress that turns into a wrinkled heap if it's not laid out flat likely isn't the best choice for that destination wedding or business conference. Fabrics made from synthetic materials create the
best wrinkle-free travel clothes. For that reason, polyester is a popular choice, but so is rayon, which is often soft, breathable, and resistant to creasing. The aforementioned materials are also quick-drying, which is great for both wicking away sweat and allowing the garment to air-dry should you choose to hand-wash and re-wear it.
Finally, think about the practicality and the versatility. Pockets are a popular feature on travel-friendly dresses. So is the ability to layer, which makes a piece suitable for varying weather. Last but not least, if a dress works well with all kinds of shoes, belts, bags, and jewelry, it's likely a great choice for your vacation; that way, you can pair your dress with other pieces so it's tailored to any event or activity.
These 15 travel dresses have all those features and more — plus they're available in a huge range of colors, patterns, and sizes.
The Most Comfortable T-Shirt Dress
With its 95-percent rayon material, the
AUSELILY casual T-shirt is one of the best, most comfortable options for travel. Its scoop neck, short sleeves, and pleated skirt work well with any type of shoes (including sneakers or flats for the plane) and it shakes free of wrinkles for effortless packing. It comes in a wide range of both solid colors and floral patterns, and each has pockets for your phone, wallet, or passport. Reviewers say: "Great travel dress because it takes up [little space], is light, and does not wrinkle. I ordered two more and really want a few more." Another says, "stretchy, breathable and versatile."
The Best Athletic Dress With A Built-In Bra
Known for their travel-friendly clothes, prAna always prioritizes convenience and comfort — but their
Cantine dress takes it one step further. This casual halter (available in 16 colors and patterns) is inspired by activewear, and as a result, it moves alongside you and effortlessly wicks away moisture. It also has a built-in shelf bra with removable cups. The Veeda polyester is recycled and eco-friendly, but contains 10 percent spandex for stretch and chafe-resistance. Pair it with sneakers for a quick hike or heels for a hot-weather bar crawl; either way, you'll be cool and comfortable. Reviewers say: "Color, pattern and fit were excellent. Love the built-in bra. So perfect for summer travel." A different buyer writes, "I wore it several hours on a hot and humid night and the dress looked like I never sweat at all!"
If you're looking for something loose, flowy, and breathable, look no further than this
floral print dress from Milumia. It's made from 100-percent rayon, but despite the lack of stretch, it's anything but constricting. Reviewers say it runs large, and the wide bell sleeves and tunic design are comfortable and relaxed. The drawstring closure even allows you to personalize the neckline. (Reviewers warn not to dry it in the machine because of shrinking — but don't worry; the rayon line-dries extremely fast.) Reviewers say: "I ordered this dress last minute for a trip and I’m so glad I did! I walked 12 miles in this dress all around Washington and I was 100 [percent] comfortable and I got a ton of compliments. I will be ordering other colors!"
The Best Plus-Size Maxi Dress
VISLILY plus-size maxi dress currently has a 4.5-star rating — not to mention pockets. This rayon-based piece has a relaxed top (in your choice of short sleeves or long) paired with a flowy, breathable skirt in various floral patterns. Despite the soft, stretchy fabric, it resists wrinkles extremely well. Reviewers say: "This dress is top quality and beautiful ... This will be great to pack for travel as well — so comfortable and it does not wrinkle." Available sizes: 14 plus — 26 plus
If You're Packing For A Business Trip
If you're looking for something a little more professional,
Amazon's Lark & Ro has created a dress that pairs elevated style with practicality. This dress (made primarily from polyester) has a wrap design and classic cap sleeves. It comes in tons of colors and designs, and can be worn alone with flats or layered with a blazer for a more business-oriented look. That said, it travels extremely well because it's adjustable and wrinkle-resistant. Reviewers say: "The dress doesn’t come open or gap like some of my other wraps. Also, the top didn’t come down too far to show too much cleavage. It is perfect for travel, I took to a conference and the material didn’t display any wrinkles after being pulled from luggage."
Thanks to its medium-weight knit fabric and longer sleeves, this
Rekucci fit-and-flare dress is well-suited for colder climates. It pairs well with stockings or leggings and is non-bulky for layering underneath coats and cardigans. Reviewers also love the ruched middle, modest boat neckline, and wide range of colors and prints. Reviewers say: "The perfect material to pack and carry; does not need ironing or special treatment. I have to travel and wear professional clothing, and this looks great every time. Also works perfectly for an evening performance when paired with heels and a necklace." Available sizes: 4 — 18 plus
The Best Dress For Layering
Sometimes you just need a comfortable, versatile base layer that pairs with virtually everything. The
Texere layering dress is that piece, especially when you're traveling. The bamboo-cotton blend is mixed with spandex to create a comfortable, breathable jersey material, and its empire waist and four solid color options go with everything from blazers and cardigans to stockings and button-downs. Reviewers say: "I love this dress! It’s perfect for travel. Lightweight, great fit, and versatile. It will definitely be my 'go to' dress for everything."
For A Destination Wedding Or Fancy Getaway
Chiffon is a great fabric for travel — especially when you're headed to a fancy getaway or a destination wedding — because it has an elevated, luxurious feel, but it's low-maintenance and breathable. This
cold-shoulder dress is a popular pick because of its eye-catching designs, adjustable spaghetti straps, and loose, stylish fit. The polyester is sheer and lightweight, but comes with an attached slip, so you don't have to worry about getting your own. Reviewers say: "Love this dress received so many compliments... Hangs well. Love the stylish sleeves. Wore it to a destination wedding." Another says, "The material is nice and it has a good liner. It packs well for travel."
The Best Sleeveless Midi Dress
Made from a mix of polyester and spandex, this
Boho polka dot dress is well-suited for pretty much any occasion — and apparently, it never needs ironing. Among its key features, you'll find a button-down front, flutter sleeves, an adjustable tie around the waist and two side pockets. Get it in your choice of red, blue, black, yellow, green, turquoise, or pink. Reviewers say: "This dress was perfect for my recent trip to Asia ... The material doesn't really wrinkle, so it was easy to pull out of the bag and throw on. It's not tight under the underarms, which made wearing it in the 100 degree weather much more comfortable."
The Most Versatile Dress For A Warm-Weather Vacation
Due to its loose-fitting design and rayon-spandex fabric, this
MAKEMECHIC maxi dress is about as versatile as it gets for a warm-weather vacation. Wear it with flats during the day, throw it over your bathing suit at the beach, pair it with heels and a belt for a restaurant, or wear it with sneakers and a cardigan on the plane. It comes in over a dozen tie-dyed designs, and some are shorter than others for more petite frames — plus it even has pockets. Reviewers say: "I wear this all the time - to the pool, out to lunch, on the plane, sleep in it. It's the perfect dress."
A Romper Dress With Built-In Shorts
Made from 100-percent rayon, this
BIUBIU off-the-shoulder piece is half dress and half romper. The skirt splits in the middle to reveal comfortable, practical shorts, which means you don't have to worry about breezy environments or the way you're sitting on the plane. Buyers say it's not as wrinkle-resistant as other options, but the creases come right out when steamed — or when hung up on the bathroom door during a hot shower. Reviewers say: "It was a cruise trip outfit. Perfect for a night of dancing!" Another writes, "I really like how it appears like a long dress but it's a romper so you don't have to worry about wind or a breeze exposing your underwear."
The Most Low-Maintenance Option
MOLERANI plain T-shirt dress doesn't have any frills, waistlines, or intricate necklines — and that's why reviewers absolutely love it. It's potentially the most low-maintenance outfit on this list because it works with any season or accessory. It's also especially great for travel because the rayon fabric is stretchy, breathable, and dries wrinkle-free. You can get it in multiple floral patterns, or you can opt for a solid color. Reviewers say: "Purchased for an upcoming beach vacation. This dress is simple and comfortable, yet trendy and reasonably priced. You can wear it by itself or pair it with a jean jacket/accessories to dress it up. Absolutely a great buy!"
This Plus-Size Ruffle Sleeve Dress
ruffle sleeve dress from Nemidor comes in 14 colors and seven plus sizes. The soft, comfortable jersey knit fabric doesn't have any closures or uncomfortable fasteners; instead, it offers optimal movement, dual pockets, and cute, elbow-length ruffle sleeves. It also doesn't wrinkle when packed or worn all day long. Reviewers say: "This is an excellent go-to summer dress. It is comfortable, cute and has an excellent sleeve for someone who doesn’t wear sleeveless but wants something cool for summer." Available sizes: 14W — 26W
It comes in over 30 color options, but no matter which you opt for, the
Angashion midi dress looks elegant and put-together. The added polyester means it's extra resilient, while the elastic ribbing in the back ensures that you get a snug but comfortable fit. Pair all that with the cooling spaghetti straps, the mid-calf length, the faux buttons, and the dual pockets, and you can look dressed up without the discomfort that typically accompanies it. Reviewers say: "I was impressed with how comfortable and breathable it is. I already have [four to five] other patterns I'm trying to choose between for my next purchase; this is bound to be my new favorite sundress!"
This "Wrinkle-Proof" Vintage Swing Dress
Buyers say the
ECOLIVZIT vintage midi dress is especially great for travel because it's extremely comfortable and stretchy — not to mention virtually wrinkle-proof. The cotton-polyester blend comes out of your suitcase looking freshly pressed, and the three-quarter sleeves, midi length, and faux-skirt design works well for everything from weddings to business events. You can get it in 20 color and pattern combinations, and every single one comes complete with pockets. Reviewers say: "The best part is it's pretty much wrinkle-proof so it was great for traveling to a family wedding." Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.