57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

It’s easy for a go-to going-out dress rotation to get monotonous. But summer demands more from its going-out dresses. Because summer isn’t just about finding the sweatiest club with the cheapest drinks—it’s about sipping sangria when it’s 5:00 somewhere, or finding a rooftop bar that has yet to be discovered by the rest of the population, or post-gaming dinner with hours of dancing to who-knows-what. During the summer, our going-out activities are far more varied than they are during any other season—and our summer going-out dresses should be just as varied, accordingly.

I’ve written a handful of going-out clothes stories in my time as a fashion editor, and none have been as fun to curate as this one. Because during the fall, we wear figure-hugging little black dresses. In the winter, we wear figure-hugging little black dresses. And in the spring (which is always almost-surprisingly cold), we wear figure-hugging little black dresses. In the summer, we sport the occasional LBD, but we also bust out our favorite colors and our boldest prints. We dip our toes in the pool of summer sequins—which feels slightly transgressive, because sparkles are supposed to be reserved for New Year’s Eves and New Year’s Eves only, right?

As we take full advantage of the summer sun and the delicious heat that accompanies it, our sartorial brains open up. No longer forced to dress exclusively for practicality, we have room to explore, to play, to create. And we have room to do something other than sit inside, bundled in a pile of fuzzy blankets, too. Summer nights—weekdays and weekends, alike—are filled with fun, with spontaneity, with escape. And while the same little black dress certainly could get us through all of it, there’s no reason it has to.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

1. Limited Edition Sequin Dress, $89.90 at Zara

Sport it all summer long—then whip it out next New Year’s Eve.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

2. Say No More Satin Off-the-Shoulder Dress, $35 at Nasty Gal

The aughts fashion resurrection has brought with it a handful of regrettable styles—but this dress is so veritably chic I’m becoming convinced it was all worth it.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

3. Do Tail Leopard Midi Dress, $30 at Nasty Gal

The slinky slip dress isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

4. We Square Midi Dress, $10 at Nasty Gal

A classic is a classic. And this comfy day-to-night LBD wants to take you everywhere this summer.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

5. Mimi Mesh Bodycon Mini Dress, $24.99 at Urban Outfitters

It’s summer—why shouldn’t you up the saturation on one of 2019’s trendiest prints?

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

6. Tee BT Belted Midi Dress, $20 at Nasty Gal

A dress that’ll take you from the office to the bar—and back.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

7. Cut-Out Dress, $39.90 at Zara

Who said your go-to mini had to be black?

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

8. Evonna Dress, $348 at Free People

A dress that could actually take you from running errands to sipping margs—that’s versatility.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

9. Sequin Dress, $49.90 at Zara

More summer sequins, please.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

10. Polka Dot Dress, $39.90 at Zara

When polka dots are this low-key hot (and high-key adorable), who can pass them up?

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

11. Posies Mini Dress, $128 at Free People

Long-sleeves are oft underrated during the summer, and this subtly sexy mini just wants to rectify that.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

12. Walk This Way Midi Dress, $78 at Free People

Introducing: your new favorite date night dress.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

13. River Island Mini Dress, $73 at ASOS

In case you prefer your slip dresses form-fitting AF.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

14. Sweet Tooth Linen Mini Dress, $69 at Urban Outfitters

Fit for parties, birthday dinners and nights at the club, alike.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

15. Lovers + Friends Carson Mini Dress, $198 at Revolve

Outdoor party? No problem.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

16. Motel Maxine Flocked Animal Print Midi Slip Dress, $39.99 at Urban Outfitters

The aughts at their edgiest.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

17. All on Broderie Cut-Out Mini Dress, $50 at Nasty Gal

Never underestimate the power of a good cutout. Even when it’s adorned with flowers. And frills.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

18. Tularosa Rayo Dress, $178 at Revolve

Your favorite sexy summer tank top, rendered in midi dress form.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

19. L’Academie the Bianco Mini Dress, $198 at Revolve

Who said a puffy-sleeve dress wasn’t fit for summer bar wear? (Sport it to an outdoor biergarten and prove ’em wrong.)

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

20. Sabrina Gauze Smocked Mini Dress, $39 at Urban Outfitters

As comfy as it is cute—and it’s all kinds of cute.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

21. Adidas 3-Stripe Side-Slit Maxi Dress, $70 at Urban Outfitters

Throw on your favorite slides and layered on your favorite necklaces, and you’ll be in low-key cute business in no time.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

22. L’Academie the Annick Midi Dress, $188 at Revolve

You need something to wear to the cocktail bar before you go dancing.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

23. Sequin Wrap Dress, $49.90 at Zara

Be the extra AF style queen you wish to see in the world.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

24. h:ours Sybil Midi Dress, $168 at Revolve

Throw on your strappiest stilettos, and make summer sexy happen.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

25. Motel Datista Snake Print Slip Dress, $54 at Urban Outfitters

I mean, it’s a spaghetti-strap, snakeskin mini dress. It was practically designed with going out in mind.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

26. h:ours Agnor Midi Dress, $188 at Revolve

Sheer clothes are having a serious moment—and they lend themselves incredibly well to the going-out sphere.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

27. Frock Around Y-Neck Romper, $39 at Urban Outfitters

This mini doubles as a romper—which is basically the best of both all worlds ever.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

28. Lioness Despacito Metallic Open-Knit Maxi Dress, $49.99 at Urban Outfitters

Our collective obsession with crochet has paved the way for some seriously great naked dresses to enter the zeitgeist.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

29. Kailua Mesh Ruched Mini Dress, $69 at Urban Outfitters

Equal parts form-fitting and fun.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

30. Spaghetti-Strap Satin Dress, $49.90 at Zara

Layer on your favorite bohemian jewelry, slip into your comfiest sandals, and wear this everywhere.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

31. Hanna Scallop Babydoll Mini Dress, $49 at Urban Outfitters

Also available in white and cheetah print—because when you find a silhouette this good, you stock up.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

32. River Island Bodycon Snake Print Midi Dress, $60 at ASOS

Dressing like early aughts Paris Hilton has never been as easy as it is now.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

33. Capulet Camille Midi Dress, $172 at Revolve

Wear it dancing. Or to an outdoor party. Or to a nighttime barbecue. Or basically anywhere else that feels too casual for an over-the-top sexy mini, but too sleek for a sundress.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

34. Fringed Dress, $49.90 at Zara

Make. Summer. Fringe. Happen. (Because you can.)

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

35. All on Broderie Cut-Out Mini Dress, $50 at Nasty Gal

Your go-to summer dress, rendered bar-appropriate.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

36. Summer in Italy Off-the-Shoulder Mini Dress, $69 at Urban Outfitters

Let the haters know that nothing can stop you from wearing off-the-shoulder necklines literally everywhere you go this summer.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

37. The East Order Sahara Leopard Print Slip Dress, $169 at Urban Outfitters

Basically a high-fashion take on cavewoman fashion—but hey, cavewomen were hot.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

38. Amanda Uprichard Wintour Wrap Dress, $202 at Revolve

Because a boss bitch would wear a kelly green sleeveless blazer. As a dress. To a bar.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

39. Tie-Dye Dress, $29.90 at Zara

My friend owns this and has worn it to a party, so trust me when I say it’s fit for your next night out.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

40. Bronze Lace Satin Slip Dress, $52.50 at Topshop

A slinky slip dress with just enough lace detailing to keep things feeling fresh.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

41. Amanda Uprichard Catarina Dress, $273 at Revolve

Why shouldn’t your night-out wardrobe skew as maximalist as your day-to-day one does?

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

42. The Midnight Rambler Dress, $175 at Free People

Look, I don’t know your life, but if I owned this, I’d wear it to the bar tonight.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

43. Auguste x Revolve Olsen Love Midi Dress, $165 at Revolve

Throw on your favorite wedges and favorite layered jewelry and prove that you can make a sexy floral dress bar-appropriate. (Or at least, biergarten-appropriate.)

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

44. Finn Ribbed Tie-Shoulder Bodycon Mini Dress, $49 at Urban Outfitters

Practically begging to accompany you on the dance floor.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

45. Michael Stars Island Time Kaftan, $64 at Revolve

Because understated sexy is always a good look.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

46. Spaghetti-Strap Pleated Dress, $39.90 at Zara

OK, I couldn’t keep myself from including a few LBDs. But this one’s flouncy. And flouncy means fun.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

47. Printed Dress, $29.90 at Zara

Wear this, and you’ll undoubtedly be the most eye-catching member of your party posse.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

48. Bardot Floral Mesh Mini Dress, $20 at Nasty Gal

Off-the-shoulder florals, but make it sheer—and figure-hugging.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

49. Linen Strapless Midi Dress, $79 at Urban Outfitters

A dress that does casual fun as well as it does sleek sexy—just have fun with styling.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

50. With This O-Ring Dress, $15 at Nasty Gal

Because 2000 is the new 2019.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

51. Majorelle Quincy Midi Dress, $218 at Revolve

A little red lipstick and some chunky shoes could take this dress from dainty and delightful to seriously hot in a matter of minutes.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

52. Slip Dress, $49.90 at Zara

I mean, a classic.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

53. Tie-Dye Dress, $49.90 at Zara

A less obvious take on the summer going-out dress—but definitely one worth adding to your repertoire.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

54. Privacy Please Dakota Mini Dress, $148 at Revolve

A dress you can wear from 10 A.M. one day to 5 A.M. the next.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

55. Privacy Please Hanna Midi Dress, $158 at Revolve

You know that phrase, “It’s always the quiet ones”? Sweet sundresses are basically the sartorial equivalent of that. Chronically underestimated—always ready to deliver a surprisingly hot lewk.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

56. BCBGMAXAZRIA Floral Midi Dress, $398 at Revolve

For the next time you plan to post-game your date with dancing.

STYLECASTER | 57 Going-Out Dresses That Were Basically Made for Summer

57. Night to Remember Button-Front Midi Dress, $79 at Urban Outfitters

The kind of thing you wear to a bar when you want to seem effortlessly hot.

 

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale. 

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