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The warm weather season can mean more occasions for social events, especially the kind that call for a party dress. Whether it’s for a friend’s summer wedding, a sibling’s graduation or a date to go out dancing, why not opt for a garment that you can show off to the world and feel fashionable and comfortable?
The great thing is, there aren’t really any rules when it comes to party dresses. They come in all sorts of styles, silhouettes and textures. While party dresses do tend to have a shorter hemline, there are plenty of midi and maxi dresses that can be worn to both casual and formal festivities. And if you’re ever short on style inspiration, look no further than the streets of Cannes and the red carpets of the Met Gala and the Grammys, to name a few ideas.
Ahead, we’ve found 14 of the best party dresses that work for anything you might have on your calendar for spring and summer to early fall, from versatile slip dresses to embellished minis, and even a comfortable bodycon.
1. Dannijo Women’s Maxi Bias Slip Dress
A brand worn by celebs like Dakota Johnson and Addison Rae, Dannijo is known for its glam yet easy-to-wear slip dresses. This stunning sunset ombré dress is perfect for summer soirees.
Dannijo Women’s Maxi Bias Slip Dress
2. Morgan & Co. Brocade Fit & Flare Party Dress
This metallic fit-and-flare dress makes for a great party look, whether it’s a summer wedding or a friend’s birthday party. Pair it with silver platform heels and sparkly chandelier earrings and you’ll be ready to go.
Morgan & Co. Brocade Fit & Flare Party Dress
3. Ramy Brook Women’s Amina Dress
If you’re looking for something with some sparkle, you can’t go wrong with this sequin mini from Ramy Brook which features cut-out details. Jessica Alba, Elizabeth Hurley and Kate Beckinsale have all been seen in this NYC-based label.
Ramy Brook Women’s Amina Dress
4. BP Lace Cami Mesh Minidress
For a more casual affair, consider this fun, purple mini dress by BP. The lace trim and abstract print bring 2000s fashion to mind, making it something Jennifer Garner would have totally worn in 13 Going On 30.
BP Lace Cami Mesh Minidress
5. Norma Kamali Drop Shoulder Dress
For a sleek LBD fit for summer soirées, Norma Kamali’s drop shoulder dress will keep you chic and comfortable.
Norma Kamali Drop Shoulder Dress
6. Mara Hoffman Sloan Modal-Cloqué Midi Dress
Kim Kardashian, Mindy Kaling, Chrissy Teigen have all sported this cult-favorite brand, and one of its most popular designs is this Sloan dress, which goes up to a 3X. Made from birla-modal, a stretchy fabric derived from wood pulp, this dress is equal parts comfortable and stylish. It’s the type of garment you’ll keep in your closet for years to come.
Mara Hoffman Sloan Modal-Cloqué Midi Dress
7. Zimmerman Belted Floral-Print Plissé-Organza Mini Dress
From Zimmerman, a label seen on a slew of celebrities (including Beyoncé, Kendall Jenner, Margot Robbie and Laura Dern), this ruffled, plissé-organza mini dress is peachy-pink perfection. The gold belt it comes with makes it easy to accessorize with your favorite gold jewelry pieces.
Zimmerman Belted Floral-Print Plissé-Organza Mini Dress
8. Cynthia Rowley Crystal-Embellished Fitted Dress
With its dangling pink crystal embellishments, you won’t be able to resist the urge to hit the dance floor while wearing this Cynthia Rowley dress. The ombré pink hue adds an extra special touch to an already unique dress.
Cynthia Rowley Crystal-Embellished Fitted Dress
9. Who What Wear Collection Drew Cutout Twist Midi Dress
Who What Wear Collection’s best-selling backless midi dress comes in a floral print plissé fabric that won’t wrinkle, so you can easily throw it in your travel bag. It features a stylish textural twist and cutout sides, and it’s a versatile office-to-happy hour piece, too.
Who What Wear Collection Drew Cutout Twist Midi Dress
10. Knox Rose Flutter Short Sleeve Gauze A-Line Dress
For those casual afternoon affairs — perhaps a polo match or garden tea party? — pair this short-sleeved gauze A-line dress (from Target’s in-house brand Knox Rose) with comfy heels for the perfect laid-back luxe look.
Knox Rose Flutter Short Sleeve Gauze A-Line Dress
11. Oscar de la Renta Gathered Multicolor Floral Cotton Dress
The playful florals set against the perfect muted yellow make Oscar de la Renta’s cotton mini dress ideal for spring and summer celebrations. If you’re the type to imbibe, an Aperol Spritz makes a complementary accessory.
Oscar de la Renta Gathered Multicolor Floral Cotton Dress
12. Christopher Kane Psych Floral Mini Dress
A brand worn by everyone from FKA Twigs to Michelle Obama, Christopher Kane is known for his bold, feminine garments, like this floral halter dress that gives psychedelic ‘70s vibes.
Christopher Kane Psych Floral Mini Dress
13. Retrofête Zion Gathered Printed Silk-Chiffon Halterneck Maxi Dress
Between the flowy silk-chiffon, the plunging neckline, and the alluring thigh cut, you’ll feel red carpet-ready in this Retrofête gown. Fitting, as it’s a brand that’s been spotted on Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, and Heidi Klum. The vivid tropical print makes it suitable for celebrations overseas.
Retrofête Zion Gathered Printed Silk-Chiffon Halterneck Maxi Dress
14. Alex Perry Kennedy Cape-Effect Satin-Crepe Midi Dress
From Alex Perry, a designer worn by Lupita Nyong’o, Olivia Culpo, and Adriana Lima, this raspberry-hued midi dress is made from luxurious satin-crepe that moves like a dream. The cape-like sleeves might be more fit for fancier occasions, but will no doubt be a head-turner wherever you go.
Alex Perry Kennedy cape-effect satin-crepe midi dress (reg. $2,200)