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The 15 Best Dresses For Hot Weather

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Bustle / Amazon
By Andrea Gale Boerem

I’m not one who believes in suffering for fashion, particularly when it comes to extreme weather — and when temperatures rise, I want my clothing to be comfortable. The best dresses for hot weather are made of breathable materials like cotton and linen to keep you cool, all without sacrificing style — so whether you’re on your way to a wedding, running errands, or off to play tennis, you’ll still look like the proverbial million bucks, even when it’s about a million degrees outside. That might sound like a tall order, but Amazon has a bevy of sundresses guaranteed to suit your requirements.

What To Look For When Shopping For The Best Dresses For Hot Weather

Material

The type of fabric your dress is made of is key in keeping you cool and dry. Steer clear of materials like 100% polyester, leather, and denim, which tend to trap heat and moisture. Instead, seek out cotton, linen, rayon, and Tencel Lyocell — they’re some of the best fabrics for hot weather, since they’re so light and breathable. If you love the look of denim but don’t want to overheat, opt for chambray, which boasts finer threads than traditional denim for a lighter-weight feel. There are even performance fabrics made with moisture-wicking technology (even UPF protection!) to keep you cool and dry, whether you’re wearing your dress for a workout or just to hang out in the park.

Cut & Color

The cut of your dress can do a lot to keep you cool, too. For better ventilation, nix form-fitting styles in favor of looser cuts, like a T-shirt dress, swing dress, or shift. Of course, the shorter the cut, the more airflow you’ll enjoy, but maxis can be plenty airy, too. Try a loose, sophisticated caftan that can take you from the beach to cocktails; a nap dress with a billowing skirt; or a style with skin-baring cutouts or side slits. Color is another way to signal hot weather. Light colors, especially white, can keep you cooler than heat-absorbing black; and from an aesthetic perspective, cheerful florals and ginghams can be fun ways to make the most of the heat.

If your thermostat is rising and you’re on the lookout for a new dress, start your search with the 15 best dresses for hot weather on Amazon, ahead.

1

Editor’s Choice: This Stylish Tent Dress

How cute is this tiered tank dress by The Drop? It’s made of Tencel Lyocell, which is not only one of the most sustainable materials out there, but it’s also one of the best fabrics for hot weather; reviewers rave about its luxurious, high-quality feel, all while being totally breathable. The loose cut, square neckline, and adjustable tank straps add more ventilation. This would look so good with strappy metallic sandals for date night; wear it with sneakers or slides if you’re feeling more casual.

Editor Praise: “Honestly, this is my most-reached-for item in my closet this summer. It feels light as air, and even though it’s longer in length, it is really breezy thanks to the loose fit. I love that the straps are thick enough to conceal almost any bra strap and the pockets are perfect for heading out the door with my phone and keys.” — Kate Miller, Bustle Editor

  • Available sizes: XX-Small — 5X
  • Available colors: 7

2

This Lightweight Rayon Nap Dress In A Summery Gingham Print

With its cute gingham print and adorable (and adjustable) tie sleeves, this maxi dress is begging to be worn to a picnic, barbecue, or bridal shower. Those sweet details aren’t the only things recommending it for hot weather, though. Made from lightweight rayon, this breathable dress will resist wrinkling, and the flowy maxi skirt will pick up all those summer breezes. It features the smocked bodice, square neckline, and tiered skirt characteristic of cult-favorite nap dresses; and if you don’t love gingham, you can take your pick from a bevy of floral or abstract patterns instead.

Enthusiastic review: “Beautiful and comfortable summer dress! The dress is well made and the fabric isn't the flimsy see-thru fabric used in a lot of summer garments. VERY happy with this purchase!!!”

  • Available sizes: Small — X-Large
  • Available colors: 23

3

An Adorable Linen-Cotton Dress With Fluttery Cap Sleeves

This flutter-sleeve dress by Goodthreads is the sort of comfy and cute piece you’ll want to wear to any outdoor event. The 55% linen and 45% cotton blend will help keep you cool, and the fluttery cap sleeves and tiered skirt are the sort of sweet details that set it apart from the other simple dresses in your wardrobe. The silhouette is loose-fitting, but an above-the-knee length and V neckline add structure. It comes in so many cute colors and fun prints, from peach to pink to paisley, you’re sure to find something you love. Oh, and did I mention it has pockets?

Enthusiastic review: “This dress is so beautiful, well made and comfortable. I was nervous because it doesn’t have any stretch, but it’s perfect . Easy to dress up or down and keep you cool.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large
  • Available colors: 20

4

This Tiered Sundress Made From 100% Cotton

Similar to The Drop tent dress above, but with a more minimalist silhouette, this 100% cotton sundress is rendered in an effortless drop-waist style that will keep you cool, and will stay in your closet year after year. Between the loose, airy fit, tank sleeves, and that chic tiered silhouette with a calf-length hem, this is the perfect dress for almost any warm-weather occasion. Dress it down with fresh white sneakers to dash out for errands, or dress it up with some strappy sandals for an outdoor brunch.

Enthusiastic review: “This dress is wonderful! It looks expensive and chic. It can be dressed up or down, and looks great either way. It’s made of a quality material and has a lining inside the top section also. It lays well and the long ruffle on the bottom is simple but shows very wonderfully. It’s just a total win.”

  • Available sizes: XX-Small — 5X
  • Available colors: 3

5

This Faux-Wrap Rayon Dress That Drapes So Beautifully

This maxi dress by Amazon Essentials has a breezy, loose fit to keep you comfortable in hot weather, and the ultra-soft rayon and spandex fabric drapes so beautifully, so you’ll look put-together while staying comfortable. Featuring an ankle-grazing length, short sleeves, and a surplice neckline that offers the illusion of a chic wrap dress, this is the kind of wardrobe staple you can wear to the office, the park, or dinner with equal confidence, depending on how you accessorize it. Take your pick from 19 sophisticated prints, cheery brights, and wear-with-everything neutrals.

Enthusiastic review: “Love the comfy fabric. It’s hot here in Tucson and this dress is my new summer fave!”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large; 1X — 6X
  • Available colors: 19

6

This Effortlessly Cool Tank Dress In Silky-Smooth Rayon

Everyone needs an easy tank dress in their closet, and this one from Daily Ritual is made from a smooth, soft blend of 95% rayon and 5% spandex, so it’s nice and breathable for hot days. An empire waistline, scoop neckline (which is mirrored in back), and hidden side pockets give this classic silhouette a modern spin. Think of this as the boyfriend jeans of dresses — the sort of relaxed, effortlessly cool piece you can toss on anytime and feel cute and comfortable.

Enthusiastic review: “This a a no-frills, comfortable summer dress for those days when it’s too hot to wear clothes yet you still need to be in public. Nice midi length and tank straps in a soft, non-sheer fabric.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large
  • Available colors: 11

7

This Cotton-Blend Shift Dress With The Cutest Ruffle Details

The ruffles embellishing the sleeves and tiered skirt of this popular mini dress add the perfect amount of zhush, so even if the rest of your outfit is simple, you still look like you put in so much effort. Made of 65% cotton and 35% polyester, this short-sleeve, V-neck dress hits around the mid-thigh, making it the perfect length to dress up or down, and the loose, tunic-like fit will keep you cool in the heat. Wear it with some flip-flops to the beach or pool, or a pair of wedge espadrilles for a dressy moment.

Enthusiastic review: “This dress is an absolute must have! I wore the white with some golden goose sneakers and carried a leather mini backpack and got compliments all night while being SO comfortable. [...] It is lined and I wore it without a bra with no issues. Loved it so much that I ordered the black too. The perfect effortless summer dress with so many styling options. Cannot recommend highly enough!”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — X-Large
  • Available colors: 43

8

A Classic Chambray Shirt Dress You’ll Wear Season After Season

This classic shirt dress from Tommy Hilfiger allows you to sport the look of denim, but in a breezy, lightweight chambray, so you won’t overheat. An elasticated tie waist, tab collar, flap front pockets, and cuffed sleeves add structure and polish. This is the sort of easy, sophisticated dress that will feel upscale when paired with dainty heels (pair with a box bag for a hint of retro chic), or casual with some white sneakers. You’ll keep this A-line silhouette in steady rotation for years to come.

  • Available sizes: 2 — 16
  • Available colors: 2

9

This Columbia Dress Made With Sweat-Wicking Technology

The hottest summer days are no match for Columbia’s Freezer III Dress. It’s specially designed with the outdoor brand’s signature sweat-wicking fabric — which is also crafted with advanced cooling technology and UPF 30 protection — so this dress will keep you as cool and comfortable as humanly possible. Tank sleeves, a scoop neck, and a knee-length hem make this dress a chic and simple daytime choice, whether you’re heading out for a walk or even to a casual meal.

Enthusiastic review: “This dress is awesome! It fits comfortably [...] Material is stretchy, breathable, and moves with you. It feels like a thin bathing suit. [...] This will be perfect for hot and humid days, beach or water vacations, and an all occasion [...] dress.”

10

This Lightweight Linen Tunic Dress With Pockets

This tunic dress with pockets is made from 100% lightweight linen — the ultimate in summer luxury, it boasts that relaxed, perfectly-rumpled-but-chic vibe we all crave in hot weather. The asymmetrical hemline, short sleeves, and pleated neckline add just the right amount of detail to this flowy silhouette. Try this dress with some on-trend leather fisherman sandals or a pair of heeled clogs. And don’t put it away when the temperatures cool down; simply add thick tights and a chunky sweater.

Enthusiastic review: “I live most of the year in Cabo San Lucas Mexico and when it is hot I love a light linen dress- I only bought 2 not knowing if they would run small, they arrived I tried them on and fell in love! I went right to my computer and ordered 3 more! They wash well keep the shape and I get asked where I bought them all the time! Go ahead and buy them you won’t be disappointed!”

  • Available sizes: Medium — X-Large
  • Available colors: 8

11

A Simple Jersey Tank Dress You’ll Wear All Day, Every Day

A racerback adds just a hint of edge to this versatile tank dress by Daily Ritual. Made of 95% rayon and 5% spandex, this dress is lightweight and perfectly swingy, which is just what you want in a summer dress; the knee-length hem will catch any welcome breezes, and the tank sleeves leave your arms free to breathe. You’ll wear this it all day, every day; slip on some flip-flops to run errands, then add strappy gladiator sandals when you head out for the evening.

Enthusiastic review: “love it - perfect for summer. [...] material is soft, cool and comfortable. not too thick and not see thru. i am using it as lounge wear around the house or as a nightgown. can be worn as a casual dress. length is just right about 3-4" above the knee. fits perfectly after washing and drying but does stretch out a little bit.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large
  • Available colors: 10

12

This Sweet Tennis Dress You Can Wear On & Off The Court

You might not think of a tennis dress as the most versatile item of clothing, but this one makes a strong case for itself (after all, the tenniscore trend is still alive and well this season). With a built-in bra and shorts, it’s literally a one-and-done outfit (you don’t even have to think about underwear), while the performance-wear fabric — a blend of nylon and spandex — is smooth, light, and wicks away sweat, whether you’re working out or not. The adjustable spaghetti straps and short hemline are precisely what you need on the tennis court, but they’re also sweet details that would pair so well with some strappy heels and a sparkly bracelet (a tennis bracelet, naturally) for a steamy night out.

Enthusiastic review: “bought this dress to wear to WDW at the end of the month. It fits perfect. It's comfortable, has a built in bra, shorts, and pockets! The straps are also adjustable, which is great for someone like me. My measurements are Bust: 33 Waist: 30 Hips: 44. I also have a Halara dress, which is basically the same, but less expensive!”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large
  • Available colors: 8

13

A Chic Caftan For The Beach Or Cocktails

If you ask me, caftans don’t get nearly enough credit in the fashion world — as you’ll soon find out when you rock this off-the-shoulder caftan, the style is surprisingly versatile (and so chic). Made from 95% rayon with 5% spandex for just the right amount of swing, you can wear this to the beach as a cover up; with some fabulous heels and statement jewelry for an al fresco dinner; or even with slide sandals for a sophisticated WFH outfit. Either way, the loose fit will have you feeling like you’re wearing nothing at all. The neutral tie-dye version pictured above is perfect for beach days, though you have 18 more colors and prints (including a handful more tie-dye shades) to choose from. Add a belt at the waist, or slung low on your hips, if you prefer more structure.

Enthusiastic Review: “If you are looking for something flowy this is it! Material a little thinner then I expected but with the right under garments its fine. Received a lot of compliments on this outfit. You can easily leave your shoulders out or leave them covered. I love options! Glad I made the purchase!”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — 3X-Large
  • Available colors: 19

14

A Cutout Cotton Midi Dress For Day Or Night

It’s hard to pin the appeal of this midi dress by Something Navy to just one special detail. Is it the lightweight, 100% cotton construction in a breezy mid-calf length, perfectly dressy and cool? The summery lilac shade? Those on-trend cutouts at the waist? Who cares! Each detail makes this dress special, down to the gathered round neckline that ties in the back. You’ll wear this with sandals, with sneakers, with heels; you’ll wear this to the grocery store and to bridal showers and cocktail parties. When you think of all the places and ways you’ll wear it, this luxurious dress practically pays for itself, right?

  • Available sizes: XX-Small — XX-Large
  • Available colors: 1

15

This Tunic Dress With An Airy, Swingy Fit

Never underestimate the power of a well-cut dress. Although this dress is made from 90% polyester, the loose, swingy fit and mini hemline work overtime to allow airflow, keeping you cool and comfortable (bonus points if you choose a light color that reflects heat — can’t go wrong with white). Reviewers also mention that the material is lightweight, not heavy. That roomy fit is ideal for those hot days when you wish you were wearing nothing at all, but thanks to its lovely, wrinkle-resistant drape (courtesy of 10% spandex), it doesn’t look sloppy.

Enthusiastic review: “Super comfortable [...] even wore it it during 112 degrees and still it was comfortable!”

  • Available sizes: Small — 5X-Large
  • Available colors: 45