How to shop for summer dresses during coronavirus

Go for the practical. “These times are not built for complicated fashion — seek out brands that have a consistent fit, silhouettes that flatter your body type and color palettes and prints that lift your spirits,” says Kathryn Sukey, head of design at Draper James. “If you look good, you feel good and you can go out into the world to do good.”

Take a chance. Right now is the perfect moment to be experimental with your personal style, says Poshmark seller stylist, Allyn Wang, and anything that boosts your mood goes. “If you want to wear a maxi dress while watching Netflix, go for it. If you want to wear heels with a matching sweat suit to get the mail, do it,” she says. “We’ll be staying home more than usual, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun.”

Focus on what sparks joy. It’s very important to buy items that will make you feel good and that you love, more so now than ever. “If you are going to spend money on clothes, the number one rule is to ‘feel you’ and be comfortable,” says stylist and designer Paulina Castro.

Picture it how you’ll wear it. “Look for practical pieces that you can wear in many different ways and different occasions with items that you already own in your closet,” says Castro.

Go for transitional pieces. Castro recommends choosing pieces that you can wear from daytime to evening to help make life a bit easier — advice we could all use right now.

Avoid buying items just because they’re trendy. Instead, when you try clothes on, look for pieces, fabrics and colors that flatter your figure and accentuate your features. This way, you will get the most wear out of whatever it is you’re investing in.

Best summer dresses in 2020

Experts we consulted about summer dresses noted various trends that included tie-dye dresses, neon summer dresses, dresses with puff sleeves, denim and crochest options — and options especially comfortable for wearing at home.

Tie-dye summer dresses

From this time last year, Poshmark saw a 75-percent increase in orders and listings of women’s tie-dye apparel. From a splash of bright colors that brighten moods to relaxing pastel hues, summer dresses are all about the tie-dye print this summer.

1. White Mark Women’s Dye Maxi Dress

Keep cool in this sleeveless maxi dress that comes in three tie-dye options. With a flutter neck detail, this comfortable dress can be dressed up for a party or dressed down for work.

2. Jinaki Afefe Kaftan

Soak in the warm weather in this hand-dyed turquoise kaftan that can be worn as a dress or layered when it gets chillier. The lightweight piece is one size fits most — leaving you feeling breezy and making a statement.

3. Karen Kane Tie Dye Handkerchief Hem Dress

Whether you have a weekend filled with errands or a busy day at work, this fluid jersey dress is an easy option.

4. Asos Satin Mini Smock Dress

This bold tie-dye dress in green and gray. The relaxed-fit dress features a trapeze cut and tie-keyhole neckline that creates a slouchy-meets-sophisticated look.

Neon summer dresses

Sukey says she’s been seeing a desire for “optimism, head-to-toe” be reflected in major pops of color. People aren’t shying away from dresses that make a statement, and instead are rocking styles dripping in bold colors for an added boost of happiness, wherever they can get it.

5. Romwe Ruffle Sleeve Dress

Make summer memories in this short tank dress with a round neckline and flirty ruffle detail at the sleeves. The loose A-line fit is both cool and comfortable while the vibrant color makes it pop.

6. Cushnie Twist-Front Dress

This bright magenta dress sizzles with a statement — it sports a twisted knot front detail. The sophisticated midi dress features a spaghetti strap criss-cross back and side-slit, making it minimal and alluring.

7. Eloquii Belted Stretch Dress

Rock sunshine with every step in Eloquii’s glowing amber tea-length dress. From the wide ruffle hem and square neckline to the elbow-length sleeves and matching belt, this cotton dress should bring you joy.

8. Kasper Tie-Waist Shirt Dress

The cheery pink shade gives a modern twist to this button-up shirt dress’s classic silhouette. This sweet dress with matching tie sash is both timeless and polished.

9. Cushnie Leopard Print Wrap Slip Dress

Looking for a sultry dress that will wow? This bright blue slip dress has a wrap silhouette, asymmetrical hem and a V-neck that celebrates the body.

Summer dresses with puff sleeves

Mini dresses with puff sleeves in eye-catching prints and colors are dominating summer 2020, according to Wang. “They’re a little whimsical, a little 80s and a little extra, making them the perfect pick-me-up on a day when you need a bit of optimism,” she says.

10. LoveShackFancy Puff Sleeve Dress

This feminine pastel dress brings a nostalgic feel with delicate floral print, oversized puff sleeves and floral hem. The bow sash completes this maxi dress’s sweet look.

11. C/Meo Puff Sleeve Mini Dress

Step up the drama with this stand-out floral mini dress. The elbow-length puff sleeves and sweetheart neckline give this draped dress a bold silhouette.

12. Asos Puff Sleeve Polka Dot Dress

This mini dress is all about the playful polka dots. A square neckline balances out the sweet puff sleeves while simple tie back detail finishes the bubbly look.

Crochet dresses

As people strive for comfort, one trend they’re embracing is crochet dresses. Not only does this style allow them to play around with bright color palettes or stick to a monochromatic look, but it also can feel akin to loungewear.

13. Tobi Crochet Bodycon Dress

Bright crochet patchwork details pop all over this form-fitting bodycon dress. The colorful squares pop against the white borders and give this dress a festive feel.

14. Asos Crochet Lace Midi Dress

Fall in love with both the color and texture that the crochet detail gives this party dress. Worthy of any summer celebration, this on-trend style features an overlay for an illusion midi hemline.

15. Anthropologie Crochet Midi Dress

Channel a vintage meets modern vibe with this midi crochet dress. The lined, sleeveless dress makes a statement with a flounce hem and form-fitting silhouette.

16. Milly Floral Crochet Dress

Milly’s crochet cocktail dress is an elevated look for a night out. The sophisticated cap-sleeve dress exudes sophistication with scalloped crochet knit flowers, keyhole back and banded waist details that accentuates the body.

17. Carmen Marc Valvo Sleeveless Crochet Dress

A white loose crochet overlay sits atop a contrast lining, giving this sleeveless dress a flirty vibe. This sheath dress with boat neckline can be dressed down with a denim jacket or dressed up with strappy heels or chunky wedges.

Denim summer dresses

As many have traded in their jeans for sweatpants, denim has found a new home this season in dresses. From a dark wash take on the traditional wrap dress to denim shirt dresses that feature ruffles and dramatic sleeves, these stylish looks can be worn well into the fall, making them a lasting investment.

18. Asos Denim Shirt Dress

This mid wash denim dress combines two hot summer dress styles: denim and puff sleeves. Plus, it has pockets — what more could you want in a chic look?

19. Draper James Chambray Faux Wrap Dress

From the sweet ruffles at the hem to the flattering wrap silhouette, this cotton dress is timeless. The flutter sleeves add a playful touch for a polished-yet-casual summer staple.

20. Zara Pleated Denim Dress

Make a statement in this light denim dress with bold sleeves and v-neckline. A metal zipper detail down the back gives casual contrast to the dramatic style.

21. White House Black Market Denim Dress

This faux-wrap stand out gives the denim dress trend a more elevated feel for a special event. The flounce sleeves and seaming detail give this effortless look an elegant feel.

House comfort summer dresses

“For an easy transition out of pajamas into something that’s arguably more comfortable and certainly cute,” Friedman says shoppers are looking toward house dresses. These styles, which are inspired by nightgowns and T-shirts, are just as easy to wear as loungewear but with the added bonus of dainty prints or a matching tie at the waist.

22. Yidarton Short Sleeve Slit Maxi Dress

Whether you’re headed to a summer party or work meeting, you can stay comfortable-yet-put-together in this casual long dress. You’ll appreciate the soft stretch fabric and ease that comes with this lightweight maxi style.

23. Milly Floral Print Dress

Fall in love with the low-key floral print but stay for the effortless fit. The peplum hem and keyhole back are special touches that make this T-shirt dress both chic and playful.

24. Old Navy Linen Shirt Dress

Throw on this diamond printed shirt dress and be prepared to handle whatever the day throws your way — in comfort. From the dolman sleeves to the pointed color, it’s all about the little details that make this navy dress an easy win.

25. Amazon Essentials Short-Sleeve Swing Dress

After months of rocking quarantine comfort, don’t give up on easy ensembles just because you’re ready for some fresh summer air. That’s why this versatile scoop-neck dress is an essential for everyday life this season.

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