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36 One-and-Done Dresses for Every Warm-Weather Scenario

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There is a smug sense of triumph that comes with pulling on just the right dress for just the right occasion. In a good dress, you've conquered ease and comfort while simultaneously looking put together and confident, and all that magic happened in one simple piece. Finding that little wonder, however, is nothing of ease or simplicity. Dresses are a chase.


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In effort to guide you to a wardrobe of no-brainer dresses, we've collected 36 of the season's very best, organized by occasion (because what you wear to the office isn't the right pick for your friend's BBQ birthday, and vice versa). See all of our picks below, including a sophisticated kimono style from H&M, a bold floral mini by Equipment, and a slinky Helmut Lang for evening.

Street style photos by Driely S. for Racked

Office Cool

It may be sweltering outdoors, but the office A/C is cranked to "Minnesota January." These sharp styles provide enough coverage for a professional environment, pairing well with cardigans and blazers, without feeling stifling before 9 and after 5.

Tory Burch ‘Emilynn,’ $495 | Title A ‘Day,’ $370

Theory ‘Davah,’ $295 | Rebecca Minkoff 'Nadine,' $298

Striped midi dress, $69 at Pixie Market | Saloni ‘Ashley,’ $340

Outdoor Celebration

Stay breezy but polished at an outdoor graduation ceremony, baby shower, or afternoon wedding by diving into the best of the season's '70s trend. Linen-blends, natural hues, and elevated shibori dye jobs all do the trick, from mini to maxi.

Wilfred 'Sonore,' $195 | Topshop, $90

Upstate 'Amalfi,' $295The Odells 'Taro,' $198

Zara, $40 | Trademark, $398

Floor-Length Formal

Keep it classy—but comfy—at buttoned-up events by choosing summer-weight fabrics and just the right amount of skin.

FWSS 'Skeleton,' $326 | Carmella 'Vivienne,' $778

Madewell, $130 | Reformation 'Harper,' $368

Helmut Lang, $310 | Needle & Thread, $335

Arty Affair

For the hot parties when you need to look downright cool, kimono shapes and abstract patterns to the rescue.

Norma Kamali, $295 | H&M, $60

Raquel Allegra, $240Marc by Marc Jacobs, $300

Kenzo, $755 | COS, $135

Chill BBQ

Playful prints in easy shapes are the perfect one-two punch for low key BBQs, park hangs, and other 2pm-beers-because-it's-finally-summer gatherings.

Zoe Karssen, $110 | Myne 'Catalina,' $198

House of Holland, $410 | Equipment 'Mina,' $270

Pineapple-print dress, $44 at Pixie Market | Free People 'Everlong,' $108

The All-Purpose LWD

When in doubt, little white dress (barring, of course, a wedding where you are not playing the part of bride).

Oak, $446 | Alice McCall, $285

White net pocket dress, $70 at Pixie Market | River Island, $70

Otte, $446 | Serena & Lily 'Jane,' $325

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