No matter how many dresses I have squeezed into my overstuffed closet, I can always justify browsing the year’s summer dress trends and buying a few more. Don’t worry, I’ll donate the ones I don’t wear anymore! I’m all about splurging on staples I’ll wear forever—I have simple cotton sundresses and silky shifts that have been in my wardrobe for years—but that doesn’t mean I won’t treat myself to a trendy piece or two when the seasons change.
Summer is definitely one of the most fun times of the year to play around with your style, but since you can’t as easily layer on pieces as you could in cold winter weather, it’s important to ensure the base of your look is strong. For me, that’s more often than not a great dress, which is why I take dress trends very seriously. What’s in for 2020? So glad you asked. Bold patterns from florals to fruits to polka dots (and feel free to clash them with a bit of pattern play, while you’re at it!), square necklines, belted and wrap waists, and of course, the puffiest of sleeves. If you leave this article and remember only one thing, let it be this: You need a puffy-sleeved dress in your wardrobe ASAP.
Of course, you can wear whatever your little heart desires, but if you happen to be in need of some inspo, I rounded up a few shoppable dresses that embody the season’s cutest trends. Just suggestions! Read on to see if any of the 21 knockouts below strike your fancy.
1. Bold Floral With Puff Sleeves
I love how the blue leaves and white flowers pop against the bubblegum pink background of the Yumi Kim Daphne Dress.
2. Square Neckline & Belted Waist
Skip the scoop neck and opt for a square shape to emphasize your collarbone. While you’re at it, go for a dress with a belt in the same shade that chinches your waist effortlessly—the Eloquii Square Neck Fit and Flare Dress checks all the boxes.
3. Zebra Bodycon Mini
Going out? Slip on the re:named Zebra Mini Dress with your strappiest sandals.
4. Breezy Wrap Dress
The Milumia Wrap Asymmetrical Maxi Dress is the ultimate “brunch to errands to happy hour” look. Who doesn’t love a dress that does it all?
5. One-Shoulder Shift
The AE One Shoulder Shift Dress comes in three colorways, but I can’t get enough of this gorgeous buttery yellow.
6. Cinched Sides
Cinched sides give subtle definition to an otherwise casual dress, making the Torrid Multi Stripe Drawstring T-Shirt Dress an all-occasions winner.
7. Eyelet Accents
Palm Beach Lately collaborated with Vineyard Vines on a ton of summer staples, and the VV x Palm Beach Lately Tiered Eyelet Shirt Dress is one of my all-time faves.
8. Shimmery Slipdress
The mermaid-but-make-it-fashion vibes this Express Sequin Cami Slip Dress is giving me are too. damn. good.
9. Chambray Shirtdress
Denim is a summer staple, so when it’s too hot for your fave mom jeans, throw on the Ryllace Sienna Shirtdress instead.
10. Prairie Mini
Even if festival szn is cancelled, I fully intend to prance around in this Free People The Delightful Mini Dress and pretend I’m on Coachella grounds. Sorry not sorry.
11. Fruity Prints
The Sicilian lemon print on the Eva Mendes Collection Maria Dress just screams summer to me. If flowers feel cheesy, try a fruit print for a fresh new take.
12. Cutout Blazer Dress
The 4th + Reckless One Sleeve Blazer Dress? In this hot orange? With a tan? Don’t even get me started…
13. Smocked Mini Dress
The sage green hue of the English Factory Smocked Mini Dress is expertly complemented by the sweet bow at the front and baby ruffles at the hem.
14. Ladylike Puff Sleeves
Take me on a day date in the Banana Republic Linen-Cotton Puff-Sleeve Dress, I beg of you!
16. Off-The-Shoulder Balloon Sleeves
Did 2018 Ariana Grande dream up the Sau Lee Arabella Dress? It kind of feels that way, and believe me, I’m not complaining.
17. Button-Up Front
In 2020 it’s all about the details, and the buttons on the LC Lauren Conrad Puff-Sleeve Dress really give it an elevated flair.
18. Big Picnic Energy
Name a dress better-suited for picnicking! None compare to the Rachel Antonoff Ali Midi Dress, I can assure you.
19. Ruffle Collar
20. Pattern Play
If pattern-clashing scares you, try a safer take on the trend. The adorable Moon River Mini Babydoll Dress incorporates two blue-and-white polka dot patterns for a contrast that isn’t too wild.
21. Satin With Chain Straps
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