Summer dresses that won’t break the bank


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released its long-range summer forecast and it’s set to be hotter than average in most states, so you’ll want to get your summer wardrobe sorted quickly. If you’re looking to do so on a budget, these summer dresses are way cheaper than they look. Whatever your style — sundresses, shirt dresses or maxi dresses — you can find an affordable summer dress to suit you. 

Types of summer dresses

  • Sundresses: Sundresses are lightweight, sleeveless dresses with spaghetti straps or wider shoulder straps perfect for hot summer days. They generally sit above knee length. 
  • Maxi dresses: Maxi dresses are long, floor-length dresses that give wearers a relaxed, bohemian look. 
  • T-shirt dresses: These dresses are styled to look similar to a T-shirt. They’re often oversized and loose-fitting. It’s common to find them in mini length, but they can sit anywhere to just above the knees. 
  • A-line dresses: A-line dresses have a fitted bodice that gradually flares out from the bust or waist, creating an “A” shape. 
  • Wrap dresses: These versatile dresses feature a front closure that wraps around the body and ties at the waist, so you get a customized fit. Wrap dresses come in various lengths from mini to maxi and are available in different fabrics and prints.
  • Fit and flare dresses: Fit and flare dresses have a fitted bodice that cinches at the waist and then flares out into a fuller skirt. You can find them in all kinds of fabrics, including lightweight ones that are ideal for summer.
  • Shirt dresses: Inspired by button-down shirts, these dresses typically have collared necklines, button-front closures and loose-fitting silhouettes. Shirt dresses are often made from lightweight fabrics like linen or cotton.

Best affordable summer dresses 

Ouges Women's V-Neck Button-Down Skater Dress

Ouges Women’s V-Neck Button-Down Skater Dress

With its trendy button-down style, this summer dress takes you back to the ’90s grunge era, which is very much in vogue. Although it also comes in a long-sleeve version, the short-sleeve option is better for summer. It’s made from 95% cotton, which is cool on hot days. 

Sold by Amazon

The Drop Women's Britt Tiered Maxi Tent Dress

The Drop Women’s Britt Tiered Maxi Tent Dress

This relaxed-fit maxi dress is a stylish summer choice that looks great with chunky boots or sandals. The Tencel fabric is light and breathable. Although it’s affordable, it looks extremely chic, so nobody would guess you bought it at a bargain price. Many wearers love the addition of pockets.

Sold by Amazon

BCX High-Low Fit and Flare Dress

BCX High-Low Fit and Flare Dress

Available in black floral or green floral, this dress has summertime vibes. Its hem is higher in the front and lower in the back, which gives it a high-end look, as does the ruffle detailing at the neck. It’s an excellent floral dress for summer. 

Sold by Macy’s

Prettygarden Women's Summer Wrap Dress

Prettygarden Women’s Summer Wrap Dress

You can choose from 41 solid colors and prints, including a range of summery florals, so there’s something to suit most buyers. The fabric is light and flowy, which is comfortable for warm weather. Thanks to the tie-front wrap style, you can adjust the fit. 

Sold by Amazon

Angashion Women's Summer Spaghetti Strap Button-Down Dress

Angashion Women’s Summer Spaghetti Strap Button-Down Dress

Made from a cotton-polyester blend and sporting spaghetti straps, this dress looks and feels summery. The button-down front brings a relaxed look, while the two large front pockets are both stylish and practical. It comes in a choice of 31 colors and prints, including stripes and florals.

Sold by Amazon

Zesica Women's Summer Boho Ruffle Dress

Zesica Women’s Summer Boho Ruffle Dress

Not only do the thick tie-up straps look good, they let you adjust them to your liking, which is great if you often find spaghetti straps too long or too short. The elasticized bodice gives you a close fit, while the long skirt flows out and ends in a ruffle. 

Sold by Amazon

Styleword Women's V-Neck Swing Dress

Styleword Women’s V-Neck Swing Dress

This cute mini dress is made from 95% cotton and has spaghetti straps, making it a cooling choice on hot summer days. You have a choice of 45 solid colors and prints, so there’s something for everyone. The pocket is handy when you don’t want to carry a purse. 

Sold by Amazon

Elescat Women's Summer T-Shirt Dress

Elescat Women’s Summer T-Shirt Dress

Its 57 available colors and prints include bold florals, tie-dye prints, stripes and geometric designs. The cotton-polyester blend is cool and breathable on warm days. With its pull-on design, it’s a comfortable and casual choice. 

Sold by Amazon

Riviera Sun Spaghetti Strap Maxi Dress

Riviera Sun Spaghetti Strap Maxi Dress

With its simple design, this maxi dress looks effortlessly stylish — and nobody will guess how little it cost. You can choose from 10 colors, including plain black, navy and coral and a black and white gradient design. 

Sold by Amazon

Manydress Women's Button-Down Swing Dress

Manydress Women’s Button-Down Swing Dress

The button-front design instantly elevates this dress, making it look trendy and expensive. You can choose from 33 solid colors and prints, including some floral designs that work well for summer. The fabric is stretchy, comfortable and cool enough for warm days. 

Sold by Amazon

Amazon Essentials Women's Short-Sleeve Scoop Neck Swing Dress

Amazon Essentials Women’s Short-Sleeve Scoop Neck Swing Dress

Its easy-going simplicity is part of what makes this dress look like a high-end purchase rather than a budget buy, particularly in its solid hues. The soft jersey fabric is comfortable to wear and drapes nicely. 

Sold by Amazon

Prettygarden Women's Summer Casual Boho Dress

Prettygarden Women’s Summer Casual Boho Dress

The ruffled skirt and puffed sleeves make this summer dress stand out. It comes in 20 prints and plain colors, including several florals and leopard prints. It’s made from lightweight polyester that’s great for hot days. 

Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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