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Some fashion folk say that slipping on a simple summer dress is too easy. We say exactly. Whatever the occasion this summer—be it a wedding, graduation, barbecue, polo match, corn hole tournament, what have you—don't be a hero: keep it simple with the perfect, easy dress of your summer party dreams. After the jump, we present the seven best places to find it.
- Jensen Lace Dress at Need Supply Co., $78.00
- A-line sleeveless dress by Erin Fetherston, $65.00 (was $325.00)
- Sophie Dress by Peter Som for Anthropologie's Made in Kind series, $228.00
- Aragon dress by Joie, $318.00
- Below-The-Knee Slip Dress by T by Alexander Wang at Barney's Warehouse, $99 (was $345)
- Shallcross Dress at Joie, $248.00
- Mason Shift Dress by Need Supply Co., $52.00
- Meadowscape Dress by Tracy Reese at Anthropologie's Made in Kind, $348.00
- Cat Call Dress at Pixie Market, $54.00
- Fluted Sleeve Dress by Rebecca Taylor, $295.00
- Postcard Dress at Pixie Market, $47.00
- Peek a Boo Hem, $139 (was $695)
- ICB by Prabal Gurung at Barney's Warehouse, $109 (was $395)
- Sequined Halter Mini-Dress by Rebecca Taylor, $395.00
Anthropologie's Made In Kind: Best collaboration selection
Browsing Anthropologie's website is like getting lost in an occasion-wear wonderland. There are so. many. dresses. The biggest problem is how to narrow the selection so that you don't get lost. Ipso facto ergo, the Made in Kind series, which calls upon big-name designers alongside small to offer up to twelve pieces, is a great place to start. Peter Som and Tracy Reese each have a few frocks available this month, and more under-the-radar designers like Alexandra Grecco, Osei-Duro, and Byron Lars speak to different style preferences even though they still fall under the "whimsically pretty" banner that Anthro has on lock. Prices will fall under $250, for the most part, and if you don't find anything in this month's collaborations, there's always the dress shop and online exclusives.
Returns: Unlimited time returns, follow instructions provided
Shipping: $6.95 for orders of $49.99 or less, and more for larger purchases
Rebecca Taylor: Best for the classic little white dress
One of the most prominent designers to come out of New Zealand, Rebecca Taylor has built her brand around feminine, pretty apparel with a focus on dresses. She's popular among the prom set but also nails the cocktail dress that you can wear forever, for all summer's more formal occasions. At full price, the dresses hit that mid-range contemporary sweet spot of around $400.
Returns: Free within 30 days of the invoice date, except final sale, swim, and a few other categories. Follow instructions provided.
Shipping: $5 ground shipping
Need Supply Co. Best for the non-traditional little white dress
White dresses are big this year, so any way to stand out slightly and still look crisp and chic is a win-win. The Richmond-based boutique, a Racked Award winner and Indie 38 member, has curated a selection of summer dresses, with a strong ivory showing. Like this Topshop Unique shirtdress, or this lace number. As a final note, because Need layers in contemporary labels alongside high-street tags, there's something for every price point.
Returns: Within 30 days of receipt, $6.95 deducted from refund
Shipping: $7.95 for ground, free on purchases over $50
Joie: Best for cotton comfort
Joie trades in cotton and lace basics, which is a godsend on hot days in which lots of sitting outside is involved. The Soft Joie label offers more casual choices with even more casual price tags.
Returns: Within 30 days of package receipt, except final sale items. Free.
Pixie Market: Best for the you-do-you summer dress
NY-based Pixie Market, which is also an Indie 38 member, is always a first stop shop, thanks to the boutique's forward-thinking finds that fall under $100. That applies especially in the dress department. Many looks could be considered inappropriate for occasions like graduations and more formal weddings, but stylistically speaking, truly all bases are covered in the large and varied selection.
Returns: Within 14 days of receipt
Shipping: Dependent on delivery service, price and weight of item, insurance, and destination.
Erin Fetherston's Archive Sale: Best for whimsical dressing
Erin's pixie-like aesthetic—all lace overlays and chiffon skirts—makes her dresses a must-shop every year around this time—something about the warm weather making us all want to dress like fairies. And we can dress like fairies for a super reasonable price now: The archive sale offers a selection of dresses for discounts upwards of $300. As one would expect with an on-going sale that great, there's very limited sizing and occasionally you have to offer your email and wait to hear when an item is back in stock. If you have to have a dress and you have to have it now, the regular sale section has gorgeous springy frocks for a few dollars more.
Shipping: Free on all orders over $200. Otherwise, standard shipping is $14.50 for up to two items, and $18.50 on three or more items.
Barney's Warehouse: Best for designer goods on the cheap(ish)
You can count on one hand the number of dresses available for under $100, but if a Theyskens' Theory shift for $129 or a 3.1 Phillip Lim tank dress for $149 sounds good to you, head here first. You might also try Net-a-Porter's outlet site, The Outnet for designer digs, but dresses here tend to skew eithervery casual or very black-tie. Barney's Warehouse shows more of a range.
Returns: All sales are final.
Shipping: Free on orders over $150, otherwise it's $12.
· The 38 Best Places To Shop for Indie Designers on the Internet [Racked]
· 8 Places to Shop for the Perfect Swimsuit on the Internet [Racked]