As a lover of practicality, I’ve long been mini dress-averse. It’s not that I hate fun, or cute clothing, or anything. It’s just that, when you’ve got legs as long as mine, mini dresses are a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. To be clear: This isn’t a #humblebrag so much as it is a lament—I wish I could wear a mini dress without the fear of flashing passers-by looming overhead (or under-skirt?) at all times. For too long, short hemline anxiety has kept me from buying and sporting every cute mini dress I’ve laid eyes on. But this summer, even my most severe apprehensions are no match for the incredible selection of mini dresses on offer; my fear of flashing is strong, but my immense desire for mini dresses is stronger.
Mini dresses have long been trendy. They’ve been a summer staple since I was born—and well before then, too. But something of a resurgence has taken place within the last year. I don’t know if our collective obsession with the noughties is breathing new life into retro styles or what, but there are more mini dresses on offer this summer than there have been in a long, long time. The zeitgeist is being absolutely inundated with cute minis—which is good news for our wardrobes, bad news for our wallets, and I don’t know what kind of news for my state of mind. (Suffice it to say I’m experiencing some serious cognitive dissonance at the hands of this summer’s mini dress selection. And the minis are winning out.)
No matter your thoughts on mini dresses, you can’t deny a few simple facts: They’re adorable. They’re here en masse. And they’re ready to pervade our wardrobes. The least we can do is window-shop them. And the most we can do? Buy them all.
1. Laura Ashley Penelope Toile Babydoll Dress, $79 at Urban Outfitters
A seeming floral that isn’t a floral at all.
2. Motel Selah Sparkly Mesh Bodycon Mini Dress, $54 at Urban Outfitters
Because sheer is the new black.
3. Reclaimed Vintage Inspired Frida Kahlo Print Mini Dress, $42 at ASOS
I mean, why not take full advantage of the opportunity to wear a print crafted from Frida Kahlo’s face?
4. Heavily Embellished Mini Shift Dress, $59.50 at ASOS
Too party-worthy to pass up.
5. Tied Together Mini Dress, $68 at Free People
Perfect for beachy days and breezy nights.
6. Sophie Mini Dress, $98 at Free People
An off-the-shoulder shift dress that feels veritably fresh.
7. Little Bonita Dress, $390 at Free People
All kinds of cute.
8. Hallie Puff-Sleeve Floral Mini Dress, $69 at Urban Outfitters
Not your average puff-sleeve floral mini.
9. Sequin Dress, $69.90 at Zara
Summer sequins are officially a thing.
10. Johnson Tie-Back Mini Tank Dress, $49 at Urban Outfitters
Forget T-shirt dresses—tank dresses are here to keep your summer breezy.
11. C/Meo Collective Elate Balloon-Sleeve Mini Dress, $180 at Urban Outfitters
A quintessential summer mini if I’ve ever seen one.
12. River Island Mini Dress, $73 at ASOS
A silky slip dress that’s anything but slinky.
13. For Love & Lemons May Heart Bustier Mini Dress, $213 at Urban Outfitters
Because hearts don’t have to be a strictly February motif.
14. Polka Dot Dress, $39.90 at Zara
Zara is single-handedly bringing back summer polka dots, and I’m here for all of it.
15. The Easy Way Out Corduroy Dress, $35 at Nasty Gal
Because sometimes it’s cloudy and windy during the summer. And when it presents sartorial opportunities this cute, it’s OK.
16. Sequin T-Shirt Mini Dress, $29.95 at Free People
A sequin mini that feels more bohemian than anything.
17. Georgina Swing Dress, $282 at Free People
A dress that combines the best parts of 2000 with the best parts of 2019.
18. Fluorescent Dress, $39.90 at Zara
Neons are summer’s favorite palette.
19. Colorblock Nylon Half-Zip Mini Dress, $34.99 at Urban Outfitters
For the shopper who loves their go-to windbreaker so much they’d wear it as a dress if they could.
20. Sequin Dress, $49.90 at Zara
Buy it now, and wear it well into winter (just, you know, layer it over a turtleneck and some tights).
21. Show Me Your Mumu Clarissa Embroidered Mini Dress, $129.99 at Urban Outfitters
A textured dress, rendered in a Starburst-worthy palette—I’m sold.
22. Chelsea Denim Puff-Sleeve Mini Dress, $79 at Urban Outfitters
Who said puff-sleeve minis couldn’t skew incredibly sexy?
23. Fringed Dress, $49.90 at Zara
Summer fringe is here to keep your season fun AF.
24. Posies Mini Dress, $128 at Free People
A no-fail mini you’ll be wearing for years to come.
25. The East Order Luca Smocked Drop-Waist Mini Dress, $169 at Urban Outfitters
Smocked, ruffled and rendered in gingham—a summer fashion trifecta.
26. Tail All Leopard Shirtdress, $15 at Nasty Gal
Because animal prints are very much on the sartorial menu this summer.
27. Cactus Rose Tie-Back Slip Dress, $69 at Urban Outfitters
Aughts-inspired without skewing too on-the-nose.
28. Basel Sheer Mesh Bodycon Mini Dress, $39.99 at Urban Outfitters
A different way to take advantage of summer’s sheer trend.
29. Check Bandeau Mini Dress, $45 at Urban Outfitters
Form-fitting gingham? Yes, please.
30. Malou Linen Button-Front Shirtdress, $49 at Urban Outfitters
The kind of thing you hope to dig out of a thrift shop bin.
31. Leopard Print Button-Through Mini Dress, $51 at ASOS
It’s versatile and statement-making—could you ask for anything more?
32. Katrina Eyelet Tiered Mini Dress, $69 at Urban Outfitters
Textured, ruffled and rendered in one of the prettiest summer shades around.
33. Dusty Daze Tiered Mini Dress, $61.50 at ASOS
One of the funnest party dresses I’ve laid eyes on in a while.
34. Blank NYC Suede Dress, $60 at ASOS
Summer suede? Hell yes.
35. Puff-Sleeve Button-Through Dress, $45 at ASOS
A neon summer dress that feels anything but average.
36. Urban Renewal Remnants Babydoll Dress, $49 at Urban Outfitters
So cute. So low-key. So perfect for every summer day.
37. Denim Mini Dress, $39.90 at Zara
Denim minis are always a good idea.
38. Off-the-Shoulder Floral Dress, $29.90 at Urban Outfitters
Off-the-shoulder, smocked, spaghetti strapped and floral—because you deserve it all, honey.
39. Striped Tank Dress, $22 at ASOS
So comfy you’ll want to wear it everywhere. So cute you might actually be able to.
40. Carousel Asymmetric Babydoll Dress, $69 at Urban Outfitters
Look like you walked straight off the runway and into the park (or restaurant, or wherever else you’re headed).
41. Sasha Polka Dot Tiered Mini Dress, $49 at Urban Outfitters
More summer polka dots, please.
42. Like a Lady Mini Dress, $58 at Free People
Undoubtedly the sexiest possible use of ruched detailing.
43. Sparkle Ruffle Dress, $24 at ASOS
So many decades encapsulated in a single mini.
44. Casablanca Slip, $88 at Free People
Wear it as a dress on humid days, and throw it over jeans on breezier ones.
45. Collusion Sequin Bodycon Mini Dress, $33.50 at ASOS
Be the extra AF person you wish to see in the world.
46. Gingham Seersucker Mini Dress, $69 at Urban Outfitters
I mean, it’s seersucker—need I really say more?
47. Collusion Sparkle Bodycon Mini Dress, $14 at ASOS
Fodder for your next night out.
48. Tahoe Gingham Stretch Mini Dress, $54 at Urban Outfitters
I mean, it’s just so damn cute.
49. Draped Dress, $49.90 at Zara
Leave it to Zara to craft a statement-making mini that’s all kinds of elegant.
50. The East Order Edi Snake Print One-Shoulder Mini Dress, $169 at Urban Outfitters
Nothing says “aughts-inspired” like a purple snake print mini.
51. Rainbow Striped Mini Sweater Dress, $29.99 at Urban Outfitters
Your favorite cami, rendered in mini dress form.
52. Ruched Off-the-Shoulder Bodycon Mini Dress, $34.99 at Urban Outfitters
Last year’s fruit print obsession definitely trickled into this year, too.
53. Heavily Embellished Sequin Mini Dress, $47 at ASOS
Quite possibly the cutest summer party dress on offer right now.
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