Summer Dresses to Wear To A Special OccasionI love wearing dresses all spring and summer. Something lightweight and breathable. I like to have a wide selection of dresses in my closet that fit a more casual event (here are the best white sneakers to wear with dresses) or are suitable to wear when I have somewhere special to go. I literally call them my special occasion dresses. LOL Birthday parties, wedding showers, baby showers, graduations, summer soirees – whatever event I am invited to that I need something elevated and polished to wear, I have a handful of dresses that I always reach for. And especially when I am shopping for a new season, I try to invest in a new dress each year that can be worn when I have somewhere important to go.

There is nothing worse than panic shopping at the last minute for a dress to wear somewhere special and ending up spending money on an item I don’t love, won’t wear again or doesn’t make me feel my best. Now is the perfect time to give your summer dress collection an update as the season is about to begin. Here is a round-up of the best dresses that can suit a variety of occasions and events that you will attend this summer.

20 Summer Dresses

Neutral Summer Midi Dress

Neutral Summer Midi DressDress | Shoes | Bag | Sunglasses

I am a neutrals gal through and through so I immediately saw this midi dress and fell in love with the colorway. There is a bit of pattern mixing in a subtle way which makes the dress even more intriguing. Tie the belt with the bow in the front or back or add your own belt to customize the look even more.

Classic Summer Shirt Dress

Classic Summer Shirt DressDress | Shoes | Bag (discount code: MAREE15) | Sunglasses

I saw this dress and immediately knew it would be a classic piece in my closet for the next 10 years. A simple midi belted shirt dress in a solid color is a timeless wardrobe choice. The fabric on this is quite stiff so the dress has a great shape to it and the collar stays put. It comes in a variety of colors if red is not your color, but the fit will always be in style.

Short Summer Dress

Short Summer DressDress

Printed Summer DressDress (discount code: MAREE15) | Shoes | Bag (similar) | Sunglasses

As someone on the shorter side (I am 5’4″), mini dresses have been a must have in my closet forever. Especially for a day event or lunch, a brightly colored short summer dress is perfect. If you nervous to wear a bright print or bright color but still want to try something, opt for a mini dress which will be a bit less intimidating. The fit of the printed mini dress from Mille is absolutely fantastic. The belted waist is so flattering and the length is short but not much so that I feel uncomfortable wearing it. If you are not a fan of a mini dress, this exact style comes in a maxi length too (discount code: MAREE15)!

Floral Summer Maxi Dress

Floral Summer Maxi Dress | Summer Dresses for Special OccasionDress | Jacket (similar) | Shoes | Bag | Sunglasses

Summer Dresses for Special OccasionDress | Bag | Shoes | Sunglasses

Summer Dresses for Special OccasionDress (similar) | Bag (similar) | Shoes | Sunglasses

summer floral dressDress | Shoes | Bag (similar) | Sunglasses

I don’t wear too many florals outside of summer, but during the warmer months it always feels right. It’s always timeless, my neutral accessories work with any pattern and it’s suitable for a variety of special occasions. If you have a summer garden wedding or something that allows for non-cocktail attire, this dress (worn above) is absolutely stunning. It comes in a slimmer silhouette with a fishtail hem which is equally beautiful.

Summer Midi Dress

Summer Midi DressDress | Bag (similar) | Shoes | Sunglasses

I always laugh when I say this but I call this dress my “wedding guest dress”. And in fact, most of the reviews of this dress mention how they purposely bought it to wear to a wedding. It’s not a cocktail dress per se but it is dressy enough to wear to most weddings. But the midi length also makes it appropriate for a summer dinner party. There is no stretch to it so I always wear this pair of lightweight Spanx underneath which is always my go-to for wearing underneath dresses that don’t have any stretch.

Black Summer Maxi Dress

Black Summer Maxi DressDress | Bag | Sandals | Sunglasses

Can you still wear black in the summer? Absolutely YES! Black is a year round color for me. It is always a favorite and always works for any occasion. It also lends itself to a variety of accessory options. Go neutral like I did or have fun with some bold jewelry and/or bright colors.

White Summer Dress

White Summer DressDress | Shoes

The details, the fit and the price of this dress make it an absolute 10/10. I found it on Amazon last year and wore it all summer long. I like the idea of having a long sleeve dress in my closet in case I’m worried about being cold or I just don’t want to wear something sleeveless or short sleeved. It comes with a cute corded belt, but you could easily switch it out for something color or metallic to add more detail to the look.

Summer Dresses At All Price Points

Summer Dresses At All Price PointsBelted Linen Dress

This dress is a great option for a more professional out of work event that you may need to attend. It also works for the office but can easily be dressed up for evening.

Floral Linen Maxi Dress

A simple strappy maxi dress is always a classic for summer. It can easily be dressed up or throw it on with flats and denim jacket for a casual weekend lunch.

Sleeveless Belted Dress

I love the look of a classic shirt dress and this is a great sleeveless option.

Strapless Floral Dress

A more vibrant and colorful option that is perfect for summer. Depending on the dress code, this could be a really fun wedding guest dress.

Cotton Poplin Mini Dress

A cute drop waist simple tank mini dress in a bright color. I would style this with neutral accessories and a bright pink lip.

Plunge Lace Tiered Maxi Dress

It’s great to have a classic white maxi dress for summer. It’s always in style and will be something you can wear year after year.

Floral Mini Long Sleeve Dress

Another great long sleeve summer dress option. It comes in a few prints and colors too!

Poplin Puff Sleeve Dress

I’ve seen this dress styled so many ways on social media and it always looks so amazing. The fitted bodice with the full skirt is so flattering.

Maxi Floral Dress

Feminie and timeless. This feels like a great option for any summer wedding or baby showers that you can have to attend.

Modern Scuba Tank Dress

The accessory options for a dress like this are endless! I love the idea of styling it with a chunky statement necklace and fun clutch. Or bold earrings and a huge wrist cuff.