Dresses: They’re easy to pack, they’re a fashion no-brainer, and they can go from casual to fancy even more easily than pants. That’s why they’re my absolute favorite type of clothing for travel. But you have to pack the right dresses for summer travel—versatile, wrinkle-free, and odor-resistant pieces that rock a travel wardrobe. Here are the best travel dresses for everyone.
Stay cool with these sleeveless travel dresses for summer.
Patagonia Porch Song Dress
Patagonia has a great reputation for outdoorsy active-lifestyle clothing. But if you’ve always imagined its clothes as more high-country than high-fashion, you might be surprised by its awesome women’s collection, which is packed with cute options like this Porch Song Dress. It’s Fair Trade Certified and made from organic cotton (with a little bit of spandex added in for extra stretch), plus it comes in great patterns and colors.
Toad&Co Sunkissed Petal Dress
Toad&Co’s Sunkissed Petal Dress is the ultimate beach vacation dress. It’s crafted out of a lightweight, sun-protective fabric that’s made from recycled plastic bottles. The dress dries quickly and resists sand and stains, plus features a gorgeous trim hemline so you can wear it from the beach to the boardwalk to dinner.
Title Nine Tomboy Evolution Dress
Who says dresses have to be uncomfortable and confining? Title Nine’s Tomboy Evolution Dress is cut loosely so you have room to move, and has all the features you need for adventuring: a built-in shelf bra, zippered pocket, and performance-knit fabric.
United By Blue Vista Convertible Dress
Change up your look on the road with United By Blue’s Vista Convertible Dress, a versatile piece that can be tied differently and worn in a number of different styles. This sleeveless, scoop neck dress is made from an incredibly soft organic cotton that’s easy to wear, easy to clean, and easy to look good in.
Mountain Khakis Cora Dress
Mountain Khakis’ Cora Dress is 100 percent cotton, so you won’t have to worry about dry cleaning this dress, or wearing uncomfortable fabric. Its sleeveless design and longer length work well for layering, and it’s so comfortable that it would make for a great plane outfit even on a long flight.
Smartwool Basic Merino 150 Dress
Wool in the summer? Yes, but only if it’s Smartwool’s merino-nylon blend, an ultra-lightweight, breathable combination that helps to regulate your temperature even on the hottest days. The Basic Merino 150 Dress is a classic little black dress, updated with a racerback design.
White Sierra Tangier Mosaic Dress
White Sierra’s Tangier Mosaic Dress is made from a very cool bamboo rayon/spandex knit fabric that’s wrinkle-resistant and moisture-wicking. Wear this, and you can easily go from the plane to dinner without changing.
Aventura Avis Dress
Aventura’s Avis Dress refuses to wrinkle, no matter what you do to it, thanks to its eco-friendly rayon fabric made from bamboo.
Travel Maxi Dresses
Maxi dresses’ longer length protects you from the sun and offers an elegant look, without making you overheat.
Toad&Co Sunkissed Maxi Dress
You won’t believe how unbelievably light and cool Toad&Co’s Sunkissed Maxi Dress is until you try it on. It’s made from a unique, sustainable fabric (84 percent nylon/16 percent spandex) that dries quickly and has UPF 50 protection. A tulip hem and peekaboo back cutout give extra style to this maxi dress, and it has everyone’s favorite dress feature: pockets.
Loveappella V-Neck Jersey Maxi Dress
This maxi dress is so perfect for travel that you’ll want to buy one in each of the six colors that it comes in. The jersey fabric is cool, lightweight, and easy to pack—and extremely comfortable.
Columbia Freezer Maxi Dress
Keep your cool in Columbia’s Freezer Maxi Dress, which uses its patented Omni-Freeze ZERO tech performance fabric to lower your skin temperature and wick away sweat. Bonus: it protects against the sun as well.
Short-Sleeve Travel Dresses
These short-sleeve travel dresses for summer can go from casual to elegant with the right shoes and accessories.
Fjallraven High Coast Dress
Made from a soft, flexible cotton/elastane blend fabric, Fjallraven’s High Coast Dress is as much at home in the woods as it is in the city. This dress is lightweight and cool, and packs down small without wrinkles. An A-line cut and wide, round neckline make this dress look good on everyone.
Backcountry Basin and Range Sunnyside Dress
Backcountry’s Basin and Range Sunnyside Dress feels like a lightweight version of your favorite sweatshirt, thanks to its cozy French terry fabric blend. The relaxed fit of this versatile dress makes it easy to pair with leggings, bare legs, or skinny pants.
Orvis Go2 Travel Tee Dress
Orvis’ Go2 Travel Tee Dress has an easy to wear, casual silhouette that works with sneakers or sandals. The organic cotton, Tencel, and spandex blend fabric keeps its shape and offers UPF 50 protection—plus wicks away moisture and odor.
eShakti Cotton Knit Midi Wrap Dress
Don’t you hate it when you find a dress off the rack that’s great—except it fits weird? That will never be the case at online retailer eShakti, where you can customize clothing to your specifications. Best of all, it’s shockingly cheap—check out the Cotton Knit Midi Wrap Dress, which is perfect for travel thanks to its cotton/spandex jersey knit fabric.
Modest Travel Dresses
These modest travel dresses for summer are ideal for visiting destinations where you want to be covered up, but still cool.
Persifor Winpenny Dress
Persifor’s Winpenny is among those summer travel dresses ideal for when you need to look pulled together without overheating. The button-front collared neckline dresses up this look, but the A-line silhouette and stretchy fabric are super easy to wear, even on the hottest days. Bonus: The front chest pockets are functional, so you can stash your cash or cards and ditch the purse.
eShakti Maxi Dress
Want a dress with a little more coverage? eShakti’s maxi dress has elbow-length sleeves and a long length to protect you from the sun. It also has pockets! If maxis aren’t on your list of summer dresses for travel because they don’t accommodate your height, try this one—it comes in short, tall, and regular length options.
J.Crew Stripe Knit Maxi Dress
With elbow-length sleeves, a long length, a high neck, and a loose silhouette, J.Crew’s Stripe Knit Maxi Dress has you covered. An ivory and navy stripe pattern and high-low handkerchief hemline add a touch of fashion.
Grecerelle Long Sleeve Maxi Dress
This maxi dress has long sleeves, a modest neckline, and pockets—what more do you need? It’s also extremely affordable, so go ahead and get one in every color and print available.
Plus-Size Travel Dresses
These travel dresses are specifically designed for plus sizes.
Karen Kane Plus Palm Blossom Dakota Dress
The palm blossom print on this Karen Kane dress screams summer vacation. The polyester/spandex blend fabric will keep you cool on hot days and won’t wrinkle, and the A-line shape works for a variety of occasions.
Ava & Viv Plus Size Striped Short Sleeve V-Neck Dress
Customize the fit of Ava & Viv’s V-neck dress by tightening or loosening the waist-tie belt. The black and white stripe design lends this dress a casually cool air, and the knit fabric is extremely comfortable.
Universal Thread T-Shirt Dress
Looking for something simple? Universal Thread’s T-shirt dress is it. This casual T-shirt dress has short sleeves, a scoop neck, and a high-low hemline that can be dressed up or down and worn multiple ways on one vacation.
Lemon Tart Grecia Maxi Dress
Need a dress for a summer wedding? Look no further than Lemon Tart’s Grecia Maxi Dress. This flowing maxi dress has an elastic waist for definition and a flattering V-neck. Choose from a sunny floral print, a fun red leopard style, or basic navy.
Lark & Ro Classic Cap Sleeve Wrap Dress
Whether you’re heading out on a business trip or a beach vacation, you’ll want to pack this dress by Lark & Ro. This classic style pairs cap sleeves with a tulip hem and faux-wrap style (so you don’t have to worry about wardrobe malfunctions on a windy day).
Calvin Klein Cold Shoulder Maxi Dress
Calvin Klein’s airy cold shoulder dress shows off your shoulders and legs but still leaves a little mystery. This dress comes in a gorgeous sea foam green color, overlain with a fun floral print.
Marcia Faux Suede Sandal
This vibrant, lightly padded slip on sandal pairs beautifully with a dress and provides ultimate comfort and style, whether you are making your way through the airport or exploring the streets of a tropical destination.
Editor’s note: The cover photo is stock photography, and unfortunately the dress featured in it appears to be sold out. For similar options, you may like this one from Talbots, an inexpensive one from Lulus, this one from Macy’s, a Kate Spade version, or this one from Asos. We apologize for the inconvenience.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 8 Great Little Black Travel Dresses
- Lightweight Shoes Perfect for Packing
- 10 Multi-Functional Dresses for Simple Packing and Styling
Caroline Morse Teel loves travel dresses for summer trips. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for style and travel photos from around the world.
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