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Now that Vax Girl Summer is in full swing (and the fact that we can actually go out this year), that means there are an endless amount of opportunities to refresh your dress collection. Sure, dresses are a wardrobe staple suitable for any season, but after a year where most of us were exclusively wearing sweatsuits and yoga pants, the thought of getting a bit more dressed up after being starved of fashion is extra appealing. If you’re like me, you may have found yourself recently browsing the web in search of the best places to buy dresses online — shopping IRL is cool and all, but who has the time and/or patience these days?
Plus, with in-person events back on track (I’m talking weddings, outdoor concerts, socially distanced birthday parties, you name it), there’s a laundry list of dress-appropriate occasions that make investing in a few new frocks completely justifiable. Naturally, buying dresses (or any apparel, for that matter) means you can’t try the garments on before buying them — but let’s face it — the return policies these days are pretty generous.
With all of that being said, with so many e-tailers on the market these days, it can be tough to find the right place to find the dress you’re looking for, based on sizing options available, the special occasion in question, or just one that aligns with your personal aesthetic. Because there’s really no one-size-fits-all dress shop, we’ve gone ahead and outlined the best places to buy dresses online, whether you’re looking for a retro frock or a classic LBD.
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We know, we know — Amazon probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you’re thinking about shopping for trendy clothes, but we’ve done some digging, and trust us, there are some serious gems to be found. In fact, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly nap dress or a designer dress dupe, you’ll be happy you stopped by (virtually, that is).
R. Vivimos Vintage-Inspired Floral Nap Dress
This gorgeous summer dress features a vintage-inspired floral print and smock detailing. There’s a reason it’s an Amazon best-seller!
Nufiwi Printed Knit Bodycon Dress
Our fashion editor found this stellar House of Sunny Hockney dress dupe.
Zara is basically our tried-and-true chic but budget-friendly apparel destination that never lets us down, and finding stellar dresses — whether, for a wedding or a first date with a promising Hinge match, they’re bound to have something that’s going to look amazing without leaving a dent in your wallet.
Satin Effect Printed Mini Dress
Is this not the perfect day-date dress you ever did see? Us too.
Crochet Midi Dress
This stunning crochet frock looks either authentic vintage or straight-up handmade, yet it’s still under $150. This is precisely why we love Zara.
Lulu’s has long been known for being the destination of choice for finding high-quality, yet affordable bridesmaids and wedding guest dresses, but while that still rings true, they have so much more to offer. From bohemian midi dresses to sexy going-out dresses, there are tons of options to choose from — and plenty of under $100 styles to boot.
Lulu’s French Countryside High-Low Midi Dress
Wear this to your cousin’s wedding, a boozy Sunday brunch with your besties, or an outdoor dinner date — this floral midi is perfect for almost any occasion, so you’ll definitely wear it more than just a handful of times.
Garden Bliss Cut-Out Maxi Dress
This maxi dress is living proof that maxi dresses are, in fact, sexy.
As the unofficial (but low-key quintessential) “cool girl” label, it comes as no surprise that LA-based Ref makes the list. Not only are their sustainable apparel equal parts sexy and timeless, but they’re also good for the earth, which means you don’t have to feel guilty for investing a dress or two or three.
I am swooning over this best-selling tea dress bearing one of Ref’s newest prints.
Butterfly Midi Dress
This sexy black dress proves that solids are definitely not boring. You could wear this number basically anywhere and it’d work beautifully.
We’re obsessed with basically everything that Revolve carries, from their selection of influencer-approved contemporary denim to their huge assortment of apparel by up-and-coming labels like Selkie, ASTR The Label, Cult Gaia and LPA. But with that being said, we’ve always been ~extra~ impressed by their sizable dress offerings. You’re not going to find uber-cheap dresses at Revolve, but there are plenty of reasonably priced contemporary styles to choose from if you’re down to make a slight splurge.
Selkie The Princess Dress
Revolve only recently started carrying the Internet-famous (and perpetually sold-out) label. Get your hands on one of these dreamy dresses while you still can (!!!).
Cult Gaia Alicia Knit Dress
Known for their size-inclusive retro-inspired apparel, ModCloth knows how to do a dress right. Whether it’s their eponymous, in-house collection of whimsical frocks or collections inspired by each decade (they’ve currently got the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s), there’s literally something for everyone and every dress-worthy occasion.
Let’s Go Boho Maxi Dress
I think I’ve found the perfect dress for Fall 2021 — thought let’s be honest — this dress will be chic AF during any season.
ModCloth x Barbie Retro Reprucussions Shift Dress
This classic 1960s shift dress was inspired by Barbie’s vintage style — and yes, I am ~way~ into it.