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.

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