As the summer heat finally rolls in, our clothing options seem to get smaller—both literally and figuratively—because who wants to wear jeans in 30-degree weather? But maybe short-shorts and sports bras aren’t really appropriate or convenient for your lifestyle? Well, we’ve got 17 dresses that are sure to keep you cool, while still looking completely stylish and presentable—no sweat stains in sight!
17 summer dresses that won’t stick to you
Shirt-dressA classic look in crisp summer white, this cotton dress should have a slightly roomy fit to let the breeze blow through. Wear it with sandals, sneakers or heels and layer it over skinny jeans come fall.
J.Crew Short Sleeve Cotton Shirtdress, $98 USD at J.Crew.J.Crew
Flounce DressWant a flirty, feminine dress that's not so body hugging? This sweet, lightweight dress gives you the twirly skirt you're after in a roomy flattering fit. Keep twirling, it'll send air up and around your body for DIY air-con!
J.Crew Sleeveless Flounce Dress, $138 USD at J.Crew.J.Crew
Fringed DressA polished, loose-fit t-shirt dress will take you so many places. This one features a fun, but not over the top, fringe down the sides. The off-white colour is key—light colours reflect the sun, keeping you cool, while darker shades absorb heat.
Mango Flowy Fringed Dress, $60 at Mango.Mango
Mullet DressLuckily, the days of full-on mini dresses in front and maxis in back are over but this subtly layered, asymmetrical dress will cascade around ankles letting air move around you. Delicate straps leave arms and shoulders bare.
Mango Midi Asymmetric Dress, $63 at Mango.Mango
Pleated DressThis perfectly pleated dress could keep you cool at a wedding or special event. The loose fit is key in the heat but the pleats make it dressy. You'll feel like you're wearing a caftan but look super sophisticated.
Mango Premium Pleated Long Dress, $119 at Mango.Mango
Slit DressLike your favourite summer tee, this lightweight knit will feel great in the heat but look so much prettier. The mid-thigh slits provide a little extra air and deep arm holes provide necessary ventilation.
Totême Bahia Stretch Knit Dress, $220 USD at Net-A-Porter.Net-A-Porter
Long Shirt-DressNot a mini dress person? A calf-length shirt dress can be just as cool. Cotton voile is a super lightweight fabric that'll feel great skimming sweaty skin and sleeves can be rolled up during the day and down in the evening—or to protect skin from the sun.
Day Birger Et Mikkelsen Day Breeze Cotton Voile Midi Shirt Dress, $220 USD at Net-A-Porter.Net-A-Porter
Beach DressThis drapey dress would look just as great on the street as over your favourite bikini on the beach. The loose fit is made sexier with a thigh-high split in front and a few sheer, peek-a-boo panels that let air flow through those lovely layers.
Mara Hoffman Electrolight Printed Georgette Beach Dress, $255 USD at Net-A-Porter.Net-A-Porter
Ombré DressThe colours of this gauze dress just give the appearance of a cool, blue ocean even if you're stuck in the concrete jungle all summer. The generous fit looks beachy and allows fabric to flow and move in the breeze.
Splendid Dégradé Crinkled Gauze Maxi Dress, $270 USD at Net-A-Porter.Net-A-Porter
Tank DressThis pretty jersey dress takes your favourite tank top to a pretty new level—without the denim shorts you usually wear. The simple top is contrasted with a flowing shirred skirt, plus, the empire waist is universally flattering.
Loft Tank Midi Dress, $66 at Loft.Loft
Maxi DressNot sure you can pull off a loose fit dress without any definition? This generous maxi dress has a delicate belt to help define your waist. The graphic print is striking and the deep-v neckline and spaghetti straps look luxe despite a comfy rayon jersey fabric. Wear it everywhere from a special event to the beach.
Loft Sketched Palm Cami Maxi Dress, $106 at Loft.Loft
Pintuck DressAnother pretty pleated dress, this one hits just above the knee and falls loose from the shoulders. The pleats stop at about hip level giving just a bit more volume for a super comfy fit that flatters legs and feels oh-so-airy to wear.
Babaton Ilja Dress, $125 at Aritzia.Aritzia
Off-The-Shoulder DressSure, this dress requires a strapless bra but that breeze blowing over your bare shoulders will be worth it. The a-line shape of this soft dress makes it easy to wear in even the hottest temperatures and the smocking at the top is reminiscent of your favourite childhood sundresses.
Talula Horatio Dress, $90 at Aritzia.Aritzia
Embroidered DressThis is what you always imagine you'll look like if you buy that embroidered dress in the gift shop while on vacation, except once you get it home, it never looks right. This dress is the perfect mix of wearability with an exotic touch. In 100 per cent cotton, it's airy, breathable and reminiscent of your last tropical vacation.
Roxy Sparks Fly Tank Dress, $50 at Roxy.Roxy
Henley DressThe buttons down the front of this midi dress make it a henley. Those buttons also allow you to customize the neckline and expose more or less skin to the sticky humidity. Unbutton it all the way over a bikini or keep it buttoned-up for a weekend brunch.
Roxy Manzanita Henley T-Shirt Dress, $45 at Roxy.Roxy
Oversized DressThis is one of those pieces you just throw on knowing you'll look instantly fabulous. Not only does the roomy fit mean it'll feel super comfortable in super hot weather, but it'll look good in just about every situation. Just change the shoes from heels for evening to flats for day.
French Connection Sundown Border Drape Dress, $198 at French Connection.French Connection
Handkerchief DressThe loose trapeze shape and deep arm holes on this boho-inspired dress mean that you'll never have fabric sticking to sweaty skin but the v-neck and delicate double straps keep this dress pretty and not overwhelming, especially on petite frames.
Forever 21 Abstract Print Trapeze Dress, $30 at Forever 21.Forever 21