When temps are sizzlin’ and you’re in full-blown beach bum mode, there’s something to be said for one-and-done pieces that’ll keep your style cred on lock with almost zero effort. Off-the-shoulder dresses do just that, taking you from laid-back picnics to swanky rooftop soirees in a snap. With an iCal already jam-packed with weddings, weekend getaways and festivals galore, now is the time to stock up on a few of these effortless style essentials. Teamed up with trendsetting footwear (think: mules, flatforms or strappy lace-up sandals) and a few It girl-approved accessories, off-the-shoulder dresses will fast become your new summer hero piece. Scroll on for 19 haute options to add to your summer wardrobe stat.
1. Zara Off-the-Shoulder Tunic ($70): This embroidered beauty brings all the timeless appeal of your favorite shirt dress, but with one major twist: an off-the-shoulder neckline that lands it in RN territory. Take it along to a backyard bash with simple leather slides and a messy topknot, or take it there for a night out on the town with bright block heels and a sassy red pout.
2. J. Crew Off-the-Shoulder Dress in Ratti into the Wild Print ($128): Cash in that ticket to paradise any day of the week (no expensive plane rides or passports necessary) with this tropical, shoulder-baring dress that makes us long for fruity umbrella drinks and leisurely strolls in the sand. Style it with bright raffia sandals and a tassel-trimmed straw bag for endless fun in the sun.
3. Soonsu 16ss Tied Off-Shoulder Shirt Dress Red ($249): Just like an LBD, a little red dress is a necessary component to every fashionable femme’s everyday wardrobe. Whether you’re sippin’ cocktails seaside or schmoozing with your crew at a backyard bash, this fiery number will see you through in style. Team with gold chandelier earrings and strappy flats for a #winning ensemble.
4. Reformation Rosa Dress ($218): Cue the flirty espadrilles and wide-brim hats — this botanical frock was made for carefree summer days and nights. Throw on a pair of futuristic cat eye shades and a bright circle bag for a lively street fair (bring on the food trucks!) or stroll along the boardwalk.
5. Wildfox Couture Grapefruit Dress ($167): This fun, fruity dress is guaranteed to become your main squeeze this season, thanks to its trend-right silhouette, peek-a-boo cutout and irresistible grapefruit motif. Swap it in for your go-to LWD for date night, then proceed to style with a glitzy ear crawler and pink suede steppers. Swoon.
6. Mango Off Shoulder Dress ($50): Looking for a beach-, barbecue- and getaway-ready dress you won’t want to take off? Found it! For an effortless ensemble that will take you from a.m. to p.m. like that, wear it with flatform sandals, geometric drop earrings and a vibrant crossbody-to-clutch bag.
7. MLM Label Essential Dress ($175): Sweet sundresses and tailored cropped trousers feel far too preppy for your envelope-pushing kind of style, and that’s totally cool. Get in on the gingham action with a next-level dress offering three of summer’s biggest trends — off-the-shoulder necklines, bell sleeves and ruffle details — all rolled into one Insta-worthy outfit. Pair it with menswear-inspired cutout kicks and a structured mini bag for a look with endless boy-meets-girl appeal.
8. Free People Dahlia Dress ($250): Oh, this old thing? We’re adding this crochet dream to our must-have list stat. Be it a rooftop party or a downtown wedding, this sunny yellow number will straight-up slay, especially when paired with strappy gold heels and a copper smoky eye.
9. Nightwalker Flirt Maxi Dress ($95): Meeting the S.O.’s parents this summer? Make sure you have this elegant chambray maxi on standby. Rack up the brownie points with classy minimalist slides and a vintage clutch that doubles as a conversation piece when you’re in a bind.
10. Club Monaco Nearta Off-the-Shoulder Dress ($198): Between its throw-on-and-go ease and fluttery party-ready sleeves, this striped show-stopper is a foolproof option that will take you from al fresco clam bakes to dressed-to-impress, no problem. Play it cool for a low-key event with pom-pom-flecked sandals and tortoiseshell sunnies.
11. Trina Turk Merci Floral Dress ($138): Owning the room ain’t no thang when you have a scene-stealing dress like this on hand. Stand out at your next barbecue or Sunday morning brunch with this tropical number paired with rainbow lace-up sandals.
12. ASOS Off Shoulder Mini Dress ($25): The grass is always greener on your side when you’re rockin’ this one-and-done dress. Consider this your new go-to alternative to your tried-and-true tank and cutoffs routine. Whether you wear it with fresh white sneakers and a perforated backpack or styled alongside platform sandals and a mini bucket bag, the result will be undeniably OOTD-worthy.
13. & Other Stories Asymmetric Off-Shoulder Dress ($115): Rehearsal dinner dress or the post-“I do” piece you’ll be donning non-stop for sunset strolls along the beach and casual dining under the stars — you get to decide. Whichever way you swing it, printed heels and bold lips are a must.
14. Rebecca Minkoff Mackenzie Off Shoulder Dress ($228): Bells and whistles? How about bows and an off-the-shoulder silhouette instead? Even if you’re a no-frills kind of girl, this pale blue beauty will win you over with its fashion-forward charm and understated styling. Channel your inner It girl for a laid-back coffee at that hot new spot with a sleek suede bag and a half-up topknot.
15. Keepsake Stand Still Dress ($190): Oversized florals and a clean-cut neckline that just barely shows off those stunning shoulders — pinch us, we must be dreaming. Usher in hot summer nights with an ultra modern frock that will put your arsenal of frilly sundresses to shame. With after-hours edge built right in, you’re ready for dinner, drinks and the dance floor in seconds — just add sassy black stilettos and a sleek ‘do.
16. Nasty Gal Striped Down Mini Dress ($72): Athleisure isn’t all t-shirts, joggers and track shorts. Enter the sporty striped dress that will change the way you do off-duty dressing all summer long. The only thing missing? Metallic-toe trainers and a satin bomber jacket.
17. Zara Off-the-Shoulder Embroidered Dress ($50): When it comes to garden parties and wine tasting at the vineyard, you need an elegant dress that requires zero effort (because you just don’t do fussy) on hand at all times. This pastel shift featuring tassel tie details and eyelet embroidery is no exception — style it with a lucite clutch and wedges for an out-on-the-town-approved look.
18. Whistles Lila Embroidered Bardot Dress ($230): You’re not quite ready to hop off that free-spirited ‘70s style train, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Channel your inner bohemian goddess with an embroidered chambray dress that kills it night or day with colorful clogs, metallic belts and leather wrap necklaces.
19. MLM Label Dash Midi Dress ($175): Spot on. As far as we’re concerned, this pretty paprika dress, which would be perfect for a stint on the Amalfi Coast, can do no wrong. Everything from the tie-front detail to the bohemian sleeves is worthy of a stylish getaway.
Follow us on Pinterest for more style inspo!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.