Dressing for spring is like a never-ending battle against Mother Nature’s mood swings. A chilly, 55-degree morning can easily transform into a sweltering 80-degree afternoon, and an impromptu rain shower could cool down a humid afternoon in ways you weren’t prepared for. But one thing’s for sure: Spring marks the beginning of dress season, and we couldn’t be happier for it.
“When spring hits, I tend to jump right into a summer mindset when it comes to dress shopping,” says NYC-based stylist Calvy Click. “I love an easy linen shift or a vacation-ready option in a summery, fun print. I rationalize these purchases by wearing them a few months earlier, pairing with a chunky cardigan, a blazer or a classic denim jacket. I like pairing these with a retro running sneaker and a mini bag so when summer rolls around I can keep it fresh with sandals and a woven tote.”
Eco-conscious stylist Cassandra Dittmer, who works with celebs like Laura Dern and Hillary Scott, echos Click’s sentiments: “I prioritize wearing all-natural materials like cotton, silk and linen to stay cool,” she says, adding that she recommends more innovative moisture-wicking materials like Tencel, Lyocell and pineapple waste-based piña for summer.
Ahead, shop expert-favorite spring- and summer-ready dresses for 2022, plus find their tips on making them feel fresh.
We love a nap dress over here, and this one is also just perfect for spring, with two sweet floral options and a bunch of pretty punchy colors too. Want something a little shorter? Try the Elizabeth Nap Dress.
A favorite of Click’s, this summery print is perfect for work or play.
Use Dittmer’s trick to make any floral dress, like this top-rated style from Target, feel modern: “Jewelry amps up any look, and right now I’m loving vintage, chunky silver pieces as well as those with architectural shape or aesthetic.”
“I always light up when I see co-workers in a joyful floral outfit,” says Dittmer, who mentions that the pattern is a fun way to exude energy and confidence on a Zoom call. “Plus, the cyclical nature of flowers makes them an obvious and natural choice for the season.”
Another pick from Dittmer, this watercolor-effect dress gives off a floral feel.
This chic wrap dress is great for strolling the farmers market — or the aisles of Target.
Make a simple floral dress with cutouts office-appropriate by pairing it with an oversized denim jacket.
“I love an easy linen shift or a vacation-ready option in a summery, fun color,” says Click, who loves how versatile this breathable linen dress is.
Click says she’d pair this dress “with a retro running sneaker and a mini bag now, and sandals and a woven tote when summer rolls around.”
Peters’ pick, this bohemian-style dress is made of summer-ready linen and is easy to dress up or down.
This top-rated dress from Urban Outfitters toes the line between trendy and timeless. “As an edgy way to spice things up, pair it with a classic cowboy boot,” says Dittmer.
Dittmer recommends this cotton Ganni dress for its unexpected details, such as the pointed collar.
“Mint is such an it-color right now,” says Peters.
A favorite of Dittmer’s, this dress is made for any fanciful event you have in the books this summer.
“Blumarine is making such a huge comeback,” says influencer Audrey Peters. Pair this ’90s-inspired dress with white sneakers for a daytime look, or dress it up with strappy heels for a dinner date.
Another pick from Dittmer, Mara Hoffman’s off-the-shoulder style has a subtle twist detail at the décolletage, making it perfect for weddings and date nights alike.
Made from a Net Sustain- and Dittmer-approved fabric, this Tencel dress from Reformation has a stylish cutout detail at the side and a slinky crystal-embellished chain.
This midi dress from Madewell gets 5 stars from customers, who call the linen-blend style “light enough to wear on hot summer days.”
“I know this is nothing new, but I’ll always be into the dress and tennis sneaker combo,” says Dittmer, who loves sustainable brand Feners.
This linen-blend dress has everything Dittmer looks for in a springtime style: It’s breathable, versatile and stylish for everyday wear.
Good American is a stylist, editor and influencer favorite for its flattering, easy-to-wear silhouettes like this top-rated midi style.
Dittmer’s last pick, this midi style from Sleeper, is surprisingly wearable. Pair it with strappy heels for a date night look, or pair it with flats and a cropped jacket for a fun spin on a nighttime vibe.