14 Smocked Dresses That'll Be The Unsung Heroes Of Your Summer Wardrobe

The return of the nap dress.

smocked summer dresses 2023
Courtesy of Hill House & Autumn Adeigbo
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Back in 2021, the relaxed Nap Dress by Hill House was all over the internet, shooting smocked dresses to stardom. Years later, the style is even buzzier, with celebs like Hailey Bieber, Emma Watson, and Helen Mirren all rocking the style.

Selena Gomez, in particular, counts herself among the stretchy item’s many fans. She recently donned a prairie-style option with puff sleeves on her cooking show and has previously taken to TikTok in a much spicier iteration. (Remember when she went viral for dancing to Camila Cabello’s “Bam Bam”? Yes, that was a smocked dress.)

There’s a myriad of reasons why summer after summer, the elastic style keeps returning. For one, it’s absolutely comfortable. The body-hugging fabric expands to fit your contours — it’s practically the dress version of the crinkle swimsuit, another cozy favorite this season. Despite its impressive stretchy capabilities, however, smock dresses still offer all-over support sans the feeling of being too constricted. It’s the best of both worlds.

Style-wise, it’s versatile, effortless, and oh-so-chic. It can go from picnic-ready with massive poofy sleeves and a playful print, to elegant and sophisticated (read: maxi versions with long sleeves). Essentially, you can shop the scrunched-up style in all sorts of silhouettes and necklines too.

Ahead, I scoured the depths of the internet for the chicest smock dresses to add to your rotation this summer — from whimsical to utterly romantic.

The Nap Dress also comes as a mini. Puff sleeves and a unique floral pattern veer this dress into the whimsical.

Drop-waist dresses are a big hit this summer. Why not combine the trend with the uber-comfy smocked fabric? This option’s abstract print will make you look like a watercolor masterpiece.

I’m obsessed with this off-the-shoulder mini. The ruffled neck and hemline make the smocked look feel more polished, less beachy.

Take the smock dress into edgy-girl territory with a hard-to-miss all-over leopard print.

Gingham is another summer staple, reminiscent of picnics and frolics across the grass. Combine it with a smocked bodice for a decidedly season-ready look. This tiered option adds dimension to a 2D print.

This iteration of the TikTok-famous Nap Dress features a long-sleeve, off-the-shoulder style with a smocked bodice. An elegant take on the smocked frock, this design can go from a summer picnic to a more formal get-together with nothing but a swipe of red lipstick.

Everything about this dress — the puff sleeves, square neckline, midi length, and cute daisy print — screams summer.

For more bang for your buck, consider a two-piece set. The smocked separates from this olive co-ord — a strapless bandeau and waist maxi skirt — can be worn as separates or together, as shown. It’ll depend on how much belly you want to bare.

A halter-style frock that’s coated in the most vivid of flowers just screams summer. Frilly and floral are the perfect combination.

A frilly mini — with the most subtle of tiered ruffles — is a must in your closet this summer. This mint-hued style is both sweet and a little saucy.

This marigold number — with its smocked bodice and balloon off-the-shoulder sleeves — is the epitome of sweet and feminine.

Take a page from Hailey Bieber’s playbook: nothing beats a simple white dress in the summer.

Smocked dresses can also be spicy, especially if you consider a body-hugging silhouette. With a plunging neckline and a low-scoop back, you can take this option from day to night.

The silhouette of this maxi, with its long balloon sleeves and flowing skirt, is decidedly sophisticated. Even the white florals are a luxe touch.