13 Trendy Summer Sundresses That Will Fulfill Your Cottage-Core Dreams

Heat wave-approved. 

Photo: Shopdoen.com

It's officially sundress season, and by sundress we mean too-hot-to-wear-anything else season. Unfortunately, the mid-to-late summer heat isn't going anywhere, but luckily neither is the cottage-core trend. Blame it on the popularity of Bridgerton or Netflix's version of Persuasion, but billowy gowns are here to stay.

When you think cottage-core, you may imagine toile china tea cups, dried flowers, and thick wooden cutting boards carefully strewn across the countertops or perhaps, you think of flowy dresses, puffy sleeves, and bow-tie straps resting atop your collarbones. In which case, you wouldn't be wrong, but the aesthetic is more than that.

Popularized by internet culture, cottage-core represents an idealized version of quaint, country life. The nostalgic aesthetic is a nod to simpler times—you know, when you had to churn your own butter, tend to the chickens, and didn't have air conditioning.

But jokes aside, this style has become a mainstay in fashion and for good reason. Not only are silhouettes effortlessly chic, they are also surprisingly comfortable. Loose-fitting, breathable fabrics only cling where they are supposed to instead of restricting movement or soaking up sweat. Instead of mulling over a new way to pair your go-to work slacks and a button down blouse, simply slip on one of these effortless dresses and let the compliments roll in.

If you haven't found your go-to sundress or are simply looking to add to your collection, consider this your exhaustive list of frolic-worthy frocks.

Best Sundresses for Women

01 of 13

Dôen Leisel Dress

cute-sundresses-Doen Leisel Dress

Don't let the fitted body fool you. This flowy frock is your next summertime staple. We promise you'll come for the pillowy, organic cotton, but you'll stay for the eye-catching embroidery across the neckline and hem.

02 of 13

Hillhouse The Ophelia Nap Dress

cute-sundresses-Hillhouse The Ophelia Nap Dress

Chances are you may have noticed a nap dress or two scrolling through your Instagram feed. Hillhouse trademarked this particular style after the popularity of its first rendition. Simply put: The nap dress is a house dress. While the dress is not meant for sleeping, it is comfortable enough to sneak a snooze in. The Ophelia style includes the signature smocking, but this time it comes in an hourglass friendly A-line cut and an exaggerated puff sleeve.

03 of 13

Target A New Day Spaghetti Strap Smocked Dress

cute-sundresses-Target A New Day Spaghetti Strap Smocked Dress

Participating in the cottage-core trend doesn't mean breaking the bank. Many brands offer budget-friendly options that don't skimp on style. This smocked sundress cinches around the chest and falls away. Our favorite part? It has pockets! Available in eight colors and prints.

04 of 13

Old Navy Waist Defined Puff Sleeve Plaid Midi Dress

cute-sundresses-Old Navy Waist Defined Puff Sleeve Plaid Midi Dress

The smocking around the middle defines the waist without restricting it. Plus, this style boasts an impressive size range. Insider tip: Old Navy regularly offers markdowns. Make sure to check before clicking "confirm purchase."

05 of 13

La Ligne Madeleine Dress

cute-sundresses-La Ligne Madeleine Dress

La Ligne founders set out to create high-quality, timeless pieces that withstand the constant changes of the fashion industry. Its Madeleine Dress is proof of concept. The silhouette feels special enough to wear to your next summer wedding while the fabric is comfy enough for a trip to the grocery store. We'll take ten.

06 of 13

Abercrombie Poplin Strapless Midi Dress

cute-sundresses-Abercrombie Poplin Strapless Midi Dress

Don't call it a comeback. For some, this brand may stir up images of tight, branded tees and topless models, but now you can expect to hear "Thanks, it's Abercrombie" after complimenting your stylish friend at brunch. This unassuming peach poplin dress makes a statement on its own, but also creates a chic base for an oversized denim jacket and a pair of espadrilles. The point is you have options.

07 of 13

H&M Gathered Cut Out Dress

cute-sundresses-hm gathered cut out dress

This H&M accomplishes what so few of its peers are able to: sensibly placed cutouts. The extended open back gathers fabric in at your middle, creating an hourglass shape. On top of that, this high-necked frock manages to look both regal and casual at the same time. Wear it to dinner with friends or your next Zoom presentation.

08 of 13

Reformation Tien Linen Dress

cute-sundresses-Reformation Tien Linen Dress

Calling all alt-girls. If feminine and frilly aren't your thing, check out this edgy option from Reformation. The built-in belt adds shape as well as attitude. Pair with your favorite pair of Doc Martens, and make sure to snap an outfit pic.

09 of 13

Lulu's Loveliest Looks Dusty Blue Floral Jacquard Tie Strap Floral Dress

cute-sundresses-Lulu’s Loveliest Looks Dusty Blue Floral Jacquard Tie Strap Floral Dress

The sweetheart top, jacquard print, and bow-tie straps make this number feel like a Bridgerton fever dream. The blue stood out to us, but it is available in five colors, so you can choose what works best for you. Still not convinced? The webpage includes pics of real women wearing their purchase, so you can get a better idea of the fit on your body type.

10 of 13

Staud Landry Dress

cute-sundresses-Staud Landry Dress

This dress offers all the benefits of a bustier top without boning digging into your torso. It's versatile to dress up for an event (hello, heels!) or keep it casual with some sneakers. What's not to love? But hurry, this baby has a tendency to sell out.

11 of 13

J.Crew Ruffled Tier Trim Dress

cute-sundresses-J.Crew Ruffled Tier Trim Dress

The kelly green is enough to turn heads while walking down the street. The straps offer a little extra support and are thick enough to sneak a bra under—score! Made in a variety of lengths, this dress has an option for everyone.

12 of 13

Free People Feeling Groovy Maxi Dress

cute-sundresses-Free People Feeling Groovy Maxi Dress

If smocking and cinched silhouettes are not calling your name, check out this billowy beauty from Free People. The long sleeves offer added coverage if that is something you are into and make this the perfect transition piece between seasons.

13 of 13

English Factory Cut Out Poplin Mini Dress

cute-sundresses-English Factory Cut Out Poplin Mini Dress

For the days where you have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear, check out this simple stunner. Approachable yet elevated, this mini feels sophisticated without sacrificing comfort. Priced at under $100, this may be your smartest summer purchase yet.

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