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Fall fashion may get a lot of hype, but spring's attire just may hold an even more special place in our hearts. Not only does the warmer weather bring with it plenty of fresh pastels and florals (For spring? Groundbreaking), it also signals the end of retirement for one of our favorite clothing items: spring dresses. The ultimate seasonal staple, the best spring dresses can be dressed up or down, layered with a denim or leather jacket or worn as a standalone piece. This year, we’re seeing a lot of midi and maxi lengths, satiny fabrics and detailed sleeves, but oftentimes, the thing that makes a good dress great comes down to its material.

The Best Materials for Spring Dresses

  • Cotton: Cotton is a great warm weather fabric because it's ultra-breathable, as it's woven in a way that allows plenty of air get into the fabric, and absorbs water (though it should be noted that if you sweat a lot, it may not be for you, since it takes a while to dry). The more cotton there is in a garment, the more it will shrink, so it’s best to air-dry anything in this material that isn’t pre-shrunk.

  • Viscose: Light, silky and buttery, viscose is a semi-synthetic fabric that's made from wood pulp. It gives the effect of silk without the price tag and is also ideal for warmer temperatures, since it feels cool against your skin. You'll want to note that it does needs special care when washing and drying, however: Hand-washing and air-drying are recommended to prevent shrinkage.

  • Polyester: This is a synthetic fabric that generally washes and dries well. While it isn’t as breathable as a light cotton or linen fabric, polyester is versatile and can be woven into both thicker clothing for winter or thinner fabric for spring and summer. Like viscose, polyester is relatively inexpensive.

  • Linen: This is a classic natural material for spring and summer that works well and always looks high-end and luxurious. Made from a flax plant, it's lightweight and breathable, making it a staple in regions with hot temperatures year-round. While it looks crisp and rich when ironed, be warned that linen wrinkles easily and must be cared for delicately.

Where to Buy Spring Dresses

Some of our favorite places to shop for spring dresses include Zara, J.Crew, Reformation, Nordstrom, Shopbop, Tuckernuck and Revolve. But don't sleep on Amazon, either: The mega-retailer carries a surprising amount of chic high-end brands (plus, Prime members can’t beat two-day shipping if there's an event to dress for that's right around the corner). Check out our favorite seasonal frocks below.

The Best Spring Dresses at a Glance

RELATED: A Fashion Editor’s Picks for the Best Spring Fashion

Amazon

1. Floerns Midi Dress

Best Button-Down Dress

This striped midi dress is the perfect dress to throw in your suitcase for your next vacation, since it’s fun, breezy and even "meet-the-parents" appropriate. Made of 100 percent polyester, it will hand-wash well after a day of picnicking, and its longer length means it will easily transition for chilly spring nights with a jean jacket thrown over your shoulders.

$40 at Amazon

Amazon

2. PRETTYGARDEN Maxi Dress

Best Casual Dress

This maxi dress is the one you’ll reach for every other day, since it's comfy and casual, but will still look great when throw on for a quick jaunt to the post office. It has adjustable straps, so you can make it fit your body just right, and the tiered bottom gives it that extra somethin' somethin'. It would also look great with a belt to change up the look.

$39 at Amazon

Tuckernuck

3. Tuckernuck Beachwood Callahan Dress

Best Shirt Dress

This is the perfect frock for nailing that "lunch in the Hamptons" look. It's 100 percent cotton, so it will billow nicely in the breeze, and it comes in four springy colorways that are perfect for the season. You can dress it down with some sandals and sunglasses for a day at the beach or elevate your style with some heels and gold jewelry for a fun night out.

Buy It ($128)

Amazon

4. Exlura A-Line Dress

Best A-Line Dress

Big fan of A-line dresses? Us too, and this one is our favorites. It has a hem that's wider than the shoulders (the signature mark of an A-line) that will look fantastic on a pear-shaped body, plus flowy, slightly puffed-out sleeves, the likes of which have been steadily gaining traction in popularity since 2020. It's also super versatile, since you can wear it on or off your shoulders.

$39 at Amazon

Lulus

5. Lulus Heart of Marigold Dress

Best Wrap Dress

Wrap dresses look good on just about everyone, and this one in particular has adjustable ties at the waist that make it even more flattering. Multiple shoppers noted that its sweeping floor length works for even tall women, and you can choose between several floral prints or a rich solids.

Buy It ($79)

Amazon

6. PRETTYGARDEN Halter Maxi Dress

Best Halter Dress

This halter dress is ultra-feminine thanks to the soft draping and flirty polka dot print (though it comes in nearly 30 others if you're not a fan of spots). It's 100 percent viscose, so it will feel silky-smooth and cool against your skin, and alternate options feature a sheer overlay on top of a shorter lining, depending on your desired vibe.

$41 at Amazon

Amazon

7. Romwe Belted Shirt Dress

Best Belted Dress

Dressing for the office can be tricky this time of year, since you want to stay cool and be comfortable without showing too much skin. The shirt dress is the answer to that never-ending conundrum, since it's shorter and sleeveless, but still entirely work-appropriate. It's also dual-purpose, since it will work just as well for lunch with a pal. Be sure to size up if you're on the taller side, however, as it tends to run short—you can always cinch it tighter with the included belt.

$33 at Amazon

Amazon

8. OUGES Floral Dress

Best Dress With Pockets

There's nothing better than a dress with pockets, are we right? This one's got a becoming wrap silhouette and comes in a soft cotton with a touch of spandex for stretch, which ladies with curves are sure to love. The material is a little thicker, too, making it a prime choice for your absolutely frigid cubicle. Don't like blue? No sweat—it comes in more than 30 shades.

$29 at Amazon

Rent the Runway

9. Madewell Sophia Mini Dress

Best Shirred Dress

This Madewell dress is equal parts flirty and trendy. The puff sleeves are offset perfectly by the fitted waist, and the buttons down the front give it jussst a bit of a retro feel. Its viscose fabric will also feel nice when you're walking through the park. It's sold out just about everywhere, but you can rent it for a special occasion or buy the rental for a slight discount from its typical $118 price tag.

Buy It ($115)

Abercrombie

10. Abercrombie Halter Mini Dress

Best Mini Dress

In case you haven’t noticed, Abercrombie has made an amazing comeback in 2022, and this darling halter mini makes it easy to see why. Not only is it insanely flattering for your figure (thank you, elasticized back panel), you can trust that the brand's wares won't be falling apart after one go-round in the washing machine (which, PS, this one's totally safe to throw in).

Buy It ($60)

J.Crew

11. J.Crew Maxi Dress

Best Maxi Dress

The only thing sexier than an open-back dress? A silk open-back dress! This ethereal maxi, which was made in collaboration with British fashion house Liberty, is made entirely of the luxe fabric and has a flowy fit that's guaranteed to keep you cool on those hot and humid May days. Did we mention it's also an extra 25 percent off through May 11 with coupon code 48HOURS?

Buy It $350 ($225)

Lulus

12. Lulus Next to You Dress

Best Tiered Dress

This tiered midi dress is guaranteed to turn heads with its Swiss dot texture and sweet ruffles. In other words? it's exactly the piece you'll want to grab for your next wedding. The plunging neckline and thigh slit keep it from being too conservative, and if Rusy Rose isn't your color, there are four other options for shoppers to choose from.

Buy It ($69)

Abercrombie

13. Abercrombie Cutout Dress

Best Cutout Dress

Side cutouts are the mature older sister of the crop top. This ribbed midi dress with side cutouts is simple, yet plenty fashion-forward and has an undeniably sophisticated vibe. It is made from Abercrombie’s elevated knit fabric (cotton/nylon/viscose/elastane blend), which is almost like a thin, soft sweater (read: cozy AF). It offers a bit of extra breathing room, too, so if you're looking for a more bodycon fit, it's recommended to size down.

Buy It ($79)

ASTR

14. ASTR Pemberley Dress

Best Floral Dress

If you love romance, this one is for you. It features a swoon-worthy purple floral pattern and a ruffle trim along the neckline and sleeves. The straps are adjustable, and the peekaboo shoulders show off just the right amount. The gauzy, semi-sheer polyester fabric will need to be dry-cleaned, but for a gown this gorge, we're willing to deal.

Buy It ($138)

Revolve

15. L*Space Sandpiper Dress

Best Tank Dress

A tank dress is a staple in any wardrobe. Loved for its simplicity, this style is usually pretty straight-forward, and this one stays true to its roots, albeit with a little added flair. It features adjustable side ruching that allows you to shorten or elongate it, and the super-soft, stretchy tencel material (a form of rayon) with added spandex isn't too shabby, either.

Buy it ($121)

Zara

16. Zara Tiered Dress

Best Puff-Sleeve Dress

Like a yummy cupcake, but make it fashion! This confection of a dress comes in three bold colors: fuchsia, deep black and oyster white. Pair it with the puff sleeves and tiered hem, and you've got a serious style statement in 100 percent cotton.

Buy It ($36)

J.Crew

17. J.Crew Half-Zip Sports Dress

Best Tennis Dress

Yes, this is a tennis dress that's made for physical activity, but honestly? It's cute enough to wear just for fun. The brand's new CloudStretch fabric is J.Crew's softest activewear fabric yet—and it's made of recycled materials. It will wick away moisture on your next HGW, and we're in love with the powder blue shade that flatters just about any skin tone. Even our Assigning Commerce Editor Nicole Briese (who is, by her own admission, the least sporty human alive), is a fan. Use code 48HOURS through May 11 to get it for an extra 25 percent off its already-discounted price.

Buy It $95 ($48)

Ted Baker

18. Ted Baker Camily Dress

Best Satin Dress

This satin mini dress combines a cowl neck and a cold shoulder for the ultimate party dress. It's both alluring and tasteful, with adjustable straps for a tighter or looser fit, depending on your preference. Plus, it comes in an eye-catching floral pastel print that's the literal embodiment of springtime.

Buy It ($325)

Amazon

19. The Drop Yasmin Dress

Best Sweater Dress

Warning: This is not your grandma’s sweater dress. This figure-flaunting number will highlight all your curves in the best way possible. There's a scoop neckline at the front and the back, and it comes in a variety of colors to flatter tons of skin tones. When you're done, it's easy to clean, too, since this one's machine-friendly.

Buy It ($50)

Reformation

20. Reformation Ariele Dress

Best Off-the-Shoulder Dress

Reformation can do no wrong, and this dress should convince anyone who doesn’t yet agree. The gorgeous sweater-like material has a fitted bodice and a relaxed midi skirt, but it's the collarbone-baring neckline that really shines here. As with all Reformation dresses, it's also sustainably made, so it will make you look and feel good.

Buy It ($178)

Frame

21. Frame Gathered Seam Dress

Best Midi Dress

Fashion girls will recognize this best-selling dress with an asymmetric hem, and those who don't will be whispering, “Who's that girl?” (cue Madonna). Its 100 cotton seersucker fabric is as lightweight as they come, and the bright Orange Crush hue has us practically salivating for the sunny days ahead.

Buy It ($459)

Mango

22. Mango Printed Dress

Best Printed Dress

We stan a vintage-inspired dress that still checks all of the modern fashion boxes, and this little floral number does just that with its gathered bodice and hip balloon sleeves. Even the classic floral pattern, reimagined in a bold hue, breathes a breath of fresh air into an old favorite. It's also made of 100 percent viscose—i.e., it's perfect for an idyllic spring day.

Buy It ($120)

RELATED: 20 Dresses With Pockets That Are the Perfect Mix of Fashion and Function

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