Ahead, find the best beach dresses for the coming season: from toss over your head and go about your day to styles that are as comfortable as ever.

Beach Dresses

Odds are, your summer is filled with at least one beach trip, if not many many more. And while you’re certainly packing your arsenal of denim cutoffs and bright white tees, your love of beach dresses is largely unmatched. After all, what other single wardrobe item can you throw on and go about your day, taking you through morning, noon, and night with little change?

And, while most dresses boast the same ease of wear, there’s something about beach dresses that demands a little bit more. Or, rather, less. After all, when you’re at the beach, you want a look that’s going to pack the strongest punch with the least amount of effort. 

Choosing a beach dress is the best part of your trip planning. As you browse, you’ll daydream about being at your beautiful destination and envision yourself posing in photographs that will last a lifetime.

That being said, there are always some things to consider when buying beach dresses. The best kind of dress to wear to the beach is one that is comfortable and feels carefree. We highly recommend natural fibers. Unlike synthetic materials, beach dresses in cotton, linen, or silk will be more breathable. You’ll appreciate that on a hot day! And you can never go wrong with a classic solid color, but consider tropical florals and other prints with vivid summer colors.

Our Top Picks

1.

Agua by Agua Bendita Cotton Midi Dress

Shop Now at Moda Operandi

Though this dress looks complicated, it’s totally pre-styled. In other words? It’s the perfect beach dress for a dinner out on a beach vacation, rife with side ties, a back cut out, and ruched shoulders with no fuss at all.

2.

Faithfull the Brand Beach Mini Dress

Shop Now at Smallable

Fully seamed with elastic, this beach dress offers a gathered silhouette that nips in at all the right places, letting the skirt flow in the wind underneath it all. You’ll love the adjustable square neckline and subtle puffed sleeves, too.

3.

Johanna Ortiz Organic Linen Midi Dress

Shop Now at Moda Operandi

This one shoulder beach dress boasts a faux wrap skirt and, while you just zip yourself up the side, it essentially looks like the most perfectly styled sarong. And who doesn’t want that?

RELATED: 14 Sarong Skirts that You Can Throw and Go

4.

Lemlem Striped Beach Dress

Shop Now at Net-a-Porter

Looking for cute beach dresses? Everything from tops and shorts to dresses from Lemlem scream beachwear. All crafted from female artisans in Ethiopia, they boast variations of colorful striped weaves that work double duty as cover ups and cocktail hour frocks with ease.

5.

Meadows Linen Beach Dress

Shop Now at Smallable

While this beach dress might very well transport you to a Victorian garden, its loose floral silhouette is perfect for a beach vacation. While you can certainly dress it up for evenings out on the town, it’s pure perfection with a pair of flat strappy sandals and a straw beach tote as well.

RELATED: 14 Best Straw Beach Bags for Summer

6.

Zimmermann Beach Dress

Shop Now at Saks Fifth Avenue

This maxi beach dress is an eternal staple of Zimmermann’s collection each summer, but you’ll love this blue-on-blue striped variation on the tiered look for this coming summer. It’s a little bit nautical while still retaining that bohemian feel.

7.

She Made Me Crochet Dress

Shop Now at Smallable

Though this sheer crochet beach dress is perfect as a cover up, you can just as easily top a bodysuit for a daring look, or a slip for a more conservative one, with the open weave mini. Crocheted from top to bottom, it will hang just-so, moving as you do throughout the beachside town.

RELATED: 14 Best Crochet Dresses We’re Obsessed With

8.

Matteau Floral Maxi Dress

Shop Now at Net-a-Porter

Matteau does maxi dresses at their best, crafting subtly tiered cotton weaves that just barely graze the floor. You can belt them or wear them loose; top a swimsuit or sultry lingerie with the lightweight summertime essential. Either way, it’s a must have beach dress.

RELATED: Best White Maxi Dress Options For Every Occasion

9.

J.Crew V-Neck Beach Dress

Shop Now at J.Crew

This colorfully-printed spaghetti strap beach dress cascades down your frame in subtle tiers that offers enough volume for a windblown beach walk, but not so much that you feel like a cupcake.

RELATED: 14 Spaghetti Strap Dresses You Can Wear Anywhere

10.

Farm Rio Cotton Mini Dress

Shop Now at Farm Rio

For those looking to make a statement with beach dresses, Farm Rio will always be a great bet. This colorful mini dress is just ripe for the picking of a late night of cocktails and dancing on the beach.

11.

Ophelia & Indigo Chloe Dress

Shop Now at Ophelia & Indigo

This tunic beach dress is light and airy, flowing with you and not sticking close to your body (which is a must for beach vacations). That said, instead of sitting like a shift that hangs from your shoulders, it has a bit of shirtdress tailoring and a drop hem that puckers a bit at the gathered seam for extra movement.

12.

Hill House Home The Ellie Nap Dress

Shop Now at Hill House Home

Hill House is forever expanding their Nap Dress family, adding even more beach dress styles for summer. While the OG is a play on a nightgown, they are now very constant fixtures in our ready-to-wear rotation and…you guessed it…perfect for the beach.

13.

Mango Beach Dress

Shop Now at Mango

Made of 100% cotton, this crisp wrap dress certainly has tailored appeal, but with its bright colors and nature-inspired print, it makes a great addition to your beach vacation wardrobe as well.

RELATED: Best Cotton Dresses For Women

14.

Juliet Dunn Floral Cotton Dress

Shop Now at MyTheresa

Juliet Dunn is here to make all of your block print dreams come true, especially when it comes to her classic shirt dresses that balance the preppy with the boho in a way that only a beach dress can.

15.

Dolce & Gabbana Floral Beach Dress

Shop Now at Matches

For a little bit of a splurge, Dolce & Gabbana will always transport you to the Italian riviera. And who doesn’t want that, no matter where you’re headed? With bright colors and whimsical prints, it’s a perfect beach dress… for always.

16.

Mille Floral Cotton Dress

Shop Now at Saks Fifth Avenue

If you are looking for long flowy beach dresses, Mille is one of the few brands that perfectly balances flowy silhouettes with casual tailoring, offering an arsenal of dresses that move in the wind. And this floral beach dress is no exception.

17.

Lemlem Striped Cotton Beach Dress

Shop Now at Net-a-Porter

Lemlem dresses are all about ‘happy colors and stripes’! This beach dress is a great swimwear topper and evening dress alike.

Pro Tip

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When looking for the perfect beach dress, make sure that you’re searching for something that isn’t form fitting. Whether mini, midi, or maxi, you’ll want your beach dresses that transitions from the beach to after-hours drinks with ease. We do love maxi beach dresses because they are so flattering and elegant. A flowy maxi beach dress can easily transition into a formal setting with the right accessories: like some block heel sandals. On the other hand, a mini beach dress could be perfect for a girls trip where you know you’ll be going out for cocktails at night.

In all shapes and sizes, we’ve rounded up the best dresses for your upcoming beach vacations, just for you. They’re perfect for nights out but can also be thrown over a bikini by day.

RELATED: 24 Best Wrap Dresses for Summer

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