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It’s the season for easy breezy vacation style! We’ve got a round-up of beautiful summer maxi dresses – get ready to update your travel wardrobe with these versatile, pretty styles for your vacation summer dresses!
Vacation Maxi Dresses for Summer
Table Of Contents
When summer calls, you know what that means? It’s time for cute maxi dresses! While it may seem like they would be heavy in warm weather, as long as you’re choosing lightweight fabrics such as cotton, rayon, or linen then this type of dress is a versatile choice for a summer capsule wardrobe.
The best maxi dress can be worn day or night, and depending on the style, can even be used as a beach cover up (but we also feature some actual coverups here!).
The fun thing about a maxi dress summer pick is the numerous accessory possibilities, from flip-flops, strappy sandals, or wedges, to necklaces, earrings, and a sun hat—you always have wardrobe options and look great!
Where Do I Find Maxi Summer Dresses for Vacation?
You can certainly buy Amazon summer maxi dresses as economical options, but a number of other online retailers are starting to add their warm weather stock too. Overall, it’s recommended to stick to quality and more breathable fabrics, as they’ll hold up in the heat better and feel the most comfy!
What’s the Most Popular Maxi Dress According to Readers?
Shop Sizes SP-XLP and XS-XL: Nordstrom
Loveappella Jersey Flowy Maxi Dress
The readers’ top pick is this stylish Loveappella dress that has soft gathering at the hem, a flattering waistband, wide straps for extra comfort, and a V-neck that’s sexy yet still subtle! The rayon and spandex material is super soft as well.
This dress can take you anywhere during the hot season—vacation, a wedding, or summer fun! Pair with a lightweight denim jacket, sandals, or wedges.
This pretty piece comes in other lovely colors and in regular sizes (XS-XL) and petite sizes (SP-XLP) and also in plus sizes 1X-3X!
Wearing the Loveappella maxi dress in purple, with my Wallaroo Sun Hat and Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody
I ordered the Loveappella maxi dress petite small size and was shocked that it actually fit my 5’2” height without dragging on the floor. I bought the rich purple color, which is beautiful for the seaside.
I also wore this dress while I was pregnant and it worked well as maternity wear, due to the stretchy fabric and cut, another pleasant surprise! it’s clear why this dress is so popular with readers.
Find out why the Loveappella maxi dress is a must-pack for warm-weather travels in this review!
For even more elegant summer maxi dresses to maxi casual summer dresses, check out the rest of these highly recommended picks below!
Best Summer Floral Maxi Dresses
A roster of long summer dresses wouldn’t be complete without some flirty and fun patterns. These ladies floral maxi dresses are perfect for sun worshipping in style and comfort!
Shop Sizes XS-3XL Plus: Amazon
Floerns Floral Maxi Dress With Sleeves – Up to Sizes 3XL
This breezy maxi dress from Floerns is made of rayon; one of the best fabrics for hot weather vacations because it’s lightweight and breathable. It’s also versatile and would look lovely with sandals or dressier wedges.
Users have this to say, “It hits right at above my ankle and is very lightweight and looks beautiful.” These breezy summer dresses come in multiple colors and in sizes XS-3XL Plus.
Shop Sizes S-XXL: Amazon
ZESICA Cotton Floral Maxi Dress
A gorgeous floral maxi with sleeves like this can go from beachside to an evening dinner by just changing accessories such as sunglasses and a sun hat, to a clutch and wedge heels. And it’s available in sizes S-XXL.
The boho feel of this trendy long dress evokes sun, fun, and laughter. And others agree, with one review saying, “The fabric is so lightweight and soft. And I can adjust coverage because it’s a wrap style. An amazing dress!”
And guess what?! Our very own editor-in-chief owns the long version but also the short version of this dress too!
ZESICA Floral Dress with Vionic Clarisa Wedges
Alex says of this version, “The knee-length red print wrap dress is my absolute favorite! It’s hard for me to find a print I feel comfortable in, but I love everything about this! It has a flattering fit, the rayon-cotton fabric is perfect for the heat, and I can wear it casually and comfortably yet still feel polished.” If you want to know more about this dress, you can check it out, along with her full 2021 spring/summer haul in this article!
You’ll want to look your best when you travel! Read my travel tips to Pack Light Stylishly!
Shop Sizes S-XXL: Amazon
VintageClothing Short Sleeve Floral Maxi Dress
Seemingly like it floats on clouds, this floral print maxi dress with sleeves is described as “versatile and romantic,” And we’re apt to agree! The lightweight rayon fabric is best by a smocked bodice and a flowy tiered skirt, which is flattering on a variety of women.
The flowers are whimsical and the versatility of this makes it a frontrunner for frequent rotation in your summer wardrobe. It can be dressed down with flip-flops or a more heel sandal, like wedges. This feminine floral piece comes in other exquisite colors and in sizes S-XXL.
Looking for the ultimate vacation packing list? Download our free checklist here!
Best Sleeveless Maxi Dresses
The biggest plus about cute long dresses for summer is the variety. A sleeveless maxi dress can be casual, all the way to dressier for a more formal occasion. Maybe one of these will catch your eye!
Shop Nordstrom: Sizes XXS-XXL | Plus Sizes 1X-3X
Treasure & Bond Long Sleeveless Maxi Dresses
Summer high low dresses like this pretty one by Treasure & Bond adds a bit of interest at the hem to an otherwise classic dress. This relaxed style can take you around the town, or exploring an entirely new place.
One wearer aptly says it’s the “Love this flowy dress!!! Great color and fabric, and it even has pockets!!!! ,” while another explains “I absolutely love this dress the perfect layer for the season and for multiple looks. I love the pockets and the ease. The fabric is so comfortable and elegant.” Comes in many other colors, and in a range of sizes, from XXS-XXL and Plus Sizes 1X-3X!
Just pair it with slide sandals or comfortable wedges to complete your look!
Shop Sizes XXS-XXL: Nordstrom
Caslon Long Wrap Maxi Dress
A highly versatile pick! A sleeveless wrap maxi dress like this subtly wraps at the torso and has a flattering waist and pretty pleating that trails into a flowy skirt. Comes in an incredible amount of colors/patterns and sizes S-XXL.
Users say this dress is perfect for casual days or a special occasion. One says, “Length of skirt is great, elastic waist is a bit high if you are long-waisted, but the fabric is well-gathered at the elastic so it sort of makes up for it. Nice, soft, thick fabric but not heavy. Vibrant color.”
We have rounded up our favorite convertible travel dresses that will help you pack light and stylishly!
Shop Sizes XS-XL: Quince
Quince Tank Top Maxi Dress
For long summer dresses cheap options that still hold up in feel and quality, this tank dress is simple yet versatile. The racerback style almost feels like you’re literally wearing underwear!
One reviewer says, I love this dress. I will use it for travel. Easy to dress up with sandals and scarf, easy to make casual with flip flops! It’s VERY flattering.” You can grab this in sizes XS-XL!
Here are comfortable walking sandals that are stylish, too!
Best Beach Maxi Dress for Swim Cover Ups
Part of summer is hitting coastal areas, so you’ll likely need a maxi dress for beach vacation, which could double as a swim cover up or be worn for exploring a seaside town. Comfort is key!
Shop One Size: Amazon
Bsubseach Kaftan Summer Beach Maxi Dresses
Kaftans are wildly popular as swimsuit cover ups and this Bsubseach floral maxi beach dress is lightweight due to the rayon fabric and pretty enough to double as a regular dress after your trip to the beach!
But don’t think this is the only pattern you can get, as this retailer has 20+ designs to suit your taste and the construction will accommodate a variety of women!
One beachgoer says, “Love this! I want to wear it for more than the beach! It’s so beautiful and the price was awesome. If you want it to be really flowy, go up a size. It’s not too long and won’t drag on the ground.”
Here are the best swimsuit coverups of the season!
Shop Sizes XS-XL: Nordstrom Also available in Gray Color
Elan Maxi Dresses Beach Cover Ups
Effortless ease comes to mind upon viewing this lovely piece! This vacation maxi dress is technically a swim cover but it can easily double for a normal dress. The straps are adjustable and the pockets are great to store small things.
A review raves about this, “Very cute! Can be used as a cover up or a more relaxed dress. Super comfortable, and I imagine it will be a summer beach staple!” The rayon is airy so you’ll feel comfortable and look wonderful at the beach!
Some wearers warn this can run big, so consider sizing down and be aware it’s a more billowy fit. It comes in sizes XS-XL and you can also grab this in gray color than the blue color pictured above, but note that the alternate is a lower v-neck.
Pair it with stylish dress sandals!
Shop Sizes XXS-XL: Banana Republic
Banana Republic Beach Maxi Dress With Sleeves
Talk about cute! This summer beach maxi dress will keep you covered at the beach but you could wear it as a walking-around dress. This shirtdress cover-up is made of a luxurious linen, with its incredible ability to stay cool and fresh, even in heat and humidity, make it stylish and boho-looking, which we love! The 100% linen fabric is lightweight, perfect for being in the sun.
Available in three beautiful colors and sizes XXS-XL!
Shop Sizes XXS-4X: Madewell
Madewell Theo Summer Beach Maxi Dress
Cute summer maxi dresses like the one above can do double-duty as a cover up and a normal piece of clothing. The material is 100% cotton, it’s airy and lightweight, so it’s totally ideal for beach travel or at home. It even features pockets. It’s available in sizes XXS-4X in this gorgeous white!
The pockets are wonderful for travel, being able to store small items like lipstick. One user gushes about this piece and its uses, “This dress is so pretty. It’s light and unlined, but the fabric is heavy enough that it is not thin (or see-through). The straps are adjustable. And the bodice is smocked in a flattering way. It has a nice structure so that, if you’re comfortable, you can wear it without bra. I purchased the antique purple color. It is very true to the color you see on the images. Definitely recommend this dress!”
Pair them with one of these lace-up sandals!
Best Maxi Dresses With Sleeves
From short to long sleeve summer dresses, there are occasions you may want extra coverage for the shoulders and forearm areas, whether you’re attending a work conference, or visiting a country where it’s vital to respect cultural practices such as covering up when visiting temples. Beautiful long dresses with sleeves are another option available to female travelers!
Shop Sizes XS-5X: Amazon
AUSELILY Maxi Dress Short Sleeved
The plus size summer maxi dresses from AUSELILY are highly recommended and apparently “fit perfectly and are flattering in all the right places,” according to one wearer.
Made of polyester and spandex, it comes in sizes XS-5X and has a flowing swing hem with a flattering fit. Looks fab with sandals—casual or dressy. Also, the various colors you can get in this dress make it versatile with your accessories.
Another reviewer says, “This fit perfect. The length was great. Hit right at the top of my feet. Thicker material, very comfortable.” ANother one adds, “This is my new favorite dress! It is modest, incredibly comfortable, and flattering.”
Here are some of the best sandals for travel in summer!
Shop Sizes S-XXL: Amazon
BTFBM Long Sleeve Floral Maxi Dress
For a more boho-feel, these long sleeve maxi dresses by BTFBM are an option to cover arms but still feel fun and fancy-free!
The flowy skirt, soft, rayon feel, and elastic waist make this piece flirty and comfy, all at the same time.
This contented user says, “It fits perfectly. I love the sleeves. They are light weight and not restricting at all, but give full coverage of my upper arms. I was comfortable and felt great all night.”
Shop Sizes S-XL: Amazon
PRETTYGARDEN Boho Semi Long Sleeve Maxi Dress
You can’t go wrong with long sleeve flowy maxi dresses like this one from PRETTYGARDEN. It’s a 100% viscose combination with a flare sleeves and vibrant color block floral print. It’s a piece that’s light, packable, and you can dress it up or down.
Just check out the heap of compliments by this satisfied wearer, “I’m very picky about dresses. This one is soft and smooth. The sleeves are loose and flowy, the neckline is flattering without being revealing. The waist clinching hits where it should and doesn’t dig in. It’s a good length and I love the pretty print!”
These ultra-versatile styles will keep you cool and comfortable on the go due to their moisture wicking fabrics!
Shop Sizes XS-XL: Faherty
Faherty Linen Short Sleeve Maxi Dresses
Short puff sleeves and an empire bodice give an effortlessly feminine feel to this Faherty dress. Perfect for spring and summer, this button-front silhouette is crafted in floral linen-blend fabric and features a maxi length that pairs well with heels, sneakers, or lace-up sandals.
This stylish and lightweight linen-viscose dress is a must-get summer addition! It’s offered in sizes XS-XL!
Best Maxi Dresses for Special Trips
Maybe you’re attending a destination wedding or embarking on a cruise and need something that can work for evening events, the key is to seek out light fabrics that are easier to pack but are versatile, so you can wear the item again and again. An elegant vacation maxi dress like these picks are tasteful and will look fab wherever you take them!
Shop Sizes XS-XL: Evereve | Michael Stars
Michael Stars Solange Maxi Dress for Beach Wedding
If you’re looking for maxi dresses for summer wedding ideas if you’re a guest, this side tie maxi dress from Michael Stars adds effortless style to your warm-weather wardrobe. A tie waist flatters this sleeveless silhouette crafted in lightweight jersey fabric with breezy side slits. Dress it up with a heeled sandal, or add a sun hat and slides. it’s available in sizes XS-XL and three colors.
This dress is feminine, soft, and doesn’t break the bank! One review says, “Love this dress- super flattering and a great light weight for summer days”
Shop Sizes XS-XL: Nordstrom
Loveappella Tiered Jersey Maxi Dress
If you’re hitting a resort and want something airy but covers the legs, this classy sleeveless jersey maxi dress is gorgeous enough for such a trip, but also versatile enough to be used for other purposes too!
It’s all in the accessories, as you can pair with dangle crystal earrings, a sequined clutch, and low heels, and then dress it down with sandals. The flowy tiered maxi dress fashioned with a high halter neckline and tie-belted waist give off an air of easy elegance and others agree! “This dress was everything I wanted. Soft vibrant color and fit perfect. Got lots of compliments”
It’s available in sizes XS-XL.
Shop Sizes XS-XL: Amazon
IWEMEK Convertible Maxi Dress
This Grecian-inspired long wrap maxi dress is multi-way and can be worn in 24 different styles! Ideal for a cruise where you may want to pack a bit less and have several looks at your fingertips. Users describe the material as “stretchy,” and that it has a “good, solid feel.”
Another user says, “Loved the dress, I got so many compliments all night. The material is very nice and heavy it drapes well and the top is super versatile because you can wear it many different ways. The tube top that matches is great to wear over a strapless bra and under where you twist and tie the top.”
Maxi Dresses Summer Product Comparison Chart
Here’s a quick overview of each of the vacation maxi dresses for summer featured above:
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|Most Popular Maxi Dress According to Readers|
|Loveappella Jersey Flowy Maxi Dress||READER'S FAVORITE Loveappella’s maxi dress offers effortless elegance and style. It’s easy to dress up and down, and looks great with everything from flip flops to sneakers to dressy wedges.||Check Price|
|Best Summer Floral Maxi Dresses|
|Floerns Floral Maxi Dress With Sleeves||“It hits right at above my ankle and is very lightweight and looks beautiful.”||Check Price|
|ZESICA Cotton Floral Maxi Dress||The fabric is so lightweight and soft. And I can adjust coverage because it’s a wrap style. An amazing dress!”||Check Price|
|VintageClothing Short Sleeve Floral Maxi Dress||“versatile and romantic”||Check Price|
|Best Sleeveless Maxi Dresses|
|Treasure & Bond Long Sleeveless Maxi Dresses||“Love this flowy dress!!! Great color and fabric, and it even has pockets!!!!||Regular Sizes Plus Sizes|
|Caslon Long Wrap Maxi Dress||Length of skirt is great, elastic waist is a bit high if you are long-waisted, but the fabric is well-gathered at the elastic so it sort of makes up for it. Nice, soft, thick fabric but not heavy. Vibrant color.”||Check Price|
|Quince Tank Top Maxi Dress||"I love this dress. I will use it for travel. Easy to dress up with sandals and scarf, easy to make casual with flip flops! It’s VERY flattering."||Check Price|
|Best Beach Maxi Dress for Swim Cover Ups|
|Bsubseach Kaftan Summer Beach Maxi Dresses||“Love this! I want to wear it for more than the beach! It's so beautiful and the price was awesome. If you want it to be really flowy, go up a size. It's not too long and won't drag on the ground.”||Check Price|
|Elan Maxi Dresses Beach Cover Ups||“Very cute! Can be used as a cover up or a more relaxed dress. Super comfortable, and I imagine it will be a summer beach staple!”||Check Price|
|Banana Republic Beach Maxi Dress With Sleeves||This shirtdress cover-up is made of a luxurious linen, with its incredible ability to stay cool and fresh, even in heat and humidity, make it stylish and boho-looking, which we love!||Regular Sizes Plus Sizes|
|Madewell Theo Summer Beach Maxi Dress||“This dress is so pretty. It's light and unlined, but the fabric is heavy enough that it is not thin (or see-through). The straps are adjustable. And the bodice is smocked in a flattering way. It has a nice structure so that, if you're comfortable, you can wear it without bra. I purchased the antique purple color. It is very true to the color you see on the images. Definitely recommend this dress!”||Check Price|
|Best Maxi Dresses With Sleeves|
|AUSELILY Maxi Dress Short Sleeved||"This fit perfect. The length was great. Hit right at the top of my feet. Thicker material, very comfortable."||Check Price|
|BTFBM Long Sleeve Floral Maxi Dress||It fits perfectly. I love the sleeves. They are light weight and not restricting at all, but give full coverage of my upper arms. I was comfortable and felt great all night.”||Check Price|
|PRETTYGARDEN Boho Semi Long Sleeve Maxi Dress||"I'm very picky about dresses. This one is soft and smooth. The sleeves are loose and flowy, the neckline is flattering without being revealing. The waist clinching hits where it should and doesn't dig in. It's a good length and I love the pretty print!"||Check Price|
|Faherty Linen Short Sleeve Maxi Dresses||Perfect for spring and summer, this button-front silhouette is crafted in floral linen-blend fabric and features a maxi length that pairs well with heels, sneakers, or lace-up sandals.||Check Price|
|Best Maxi Dresses for Special Trips|
|Michael Stars Solange Maxi Dress for Beach Wedding||“Love this dress- super flattering and a great light weight for summer days”||Check Price|
|Loveappella Tiered Jersey Maxi Dress||“This dress was everything I wanted. Soft vibrant color and fit perfect. Got lots of compliments”||Check Price|
|IWEMEK Convertible Maxi Dress||“Loved the dress, I got so many compliments all night. The material is very nice and heavy it drapes well and the top is super versatile because you can wear it many different ways. The tube top that matches is great to wear over a strapless bra and under where you twist and tie the top.”||Check Price|
TFG’s Editor’s Favorite Travel Maxi Dress
Toad&Co Sunkissed Maxi Dress | Sizes XS-XL
The Sunkissed is equipped with 50+ UPF protection that makes it an ideal companion for those beach-bound adventures. This functional yet feminine dress from Toad&Co is perfect for travel! It’s lightweight, easy to wear, comfortable, and pretty, too.
View this post on Instagram
Beautiful summer days with a breezy sundress and plenty of sights to see. Who else is ALL for this combination? ? Wearing my favorite @toadandcoclothing Sunkissed Maxi Dress and @rebeccaminkoff Julian backpack. Huge thanks to @theromanguy for helping me tour this beautiful city! #TravelFashionGirl #TFGonthego #VeniceCityWorld
It offers an effortless look thanks to its tulip-inspired front detailing, while the stretch woven fabric lends a technical hand to ensure that the fabric wicks away moisture and dries quickly. Bra-friendly straps ensure adaptive wearability, and the peak-a-boo cutout in the back provides a subtly flirty feel. Also available on Amazon.
Read her review on this brand to find out more of the dresses she recommends!
How to Make Any Dress Versatile For Travel
Dresses are multi-purpose making them the perfect staple in your travel wardrobe. Not only are they a one-piece outfit, but if layered and accessorized strategically, they can take you in between seasons and accommodate changes in weather.
Read this post or watch this video to find out how to turn any one of your dresses into versatile dresses!
How to Pack Summer Dresses
Packing dresses are the perfect way to create a fresh outfit every day. If you’re going on a seven-day trip, pack seven dresses. It’s as easy as that!
Then, use slim packing cubes to save space in your suitcase and travel carry-on only.
Learn our hacks with packing cubes in the video above!
We put together a five-part YouTube series showing the different methods to use packing cubes for travel. If you use this specific packing strategy, packing cubes can also compress your belongings. This is the secret to traveling carry-on only!
Buy Compass Rose Packing Cubes here!
What’s your favorite from our list of summer maxi dresses for vacation? Share and comment below!
For more ideas on travel dresses, please read:
- Best White Dresses
- How to Wear One Dress, Many Ways
- Top Summer Dresses for Traveling Abroad
- Cute Summer Dresses for Women
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I clearly need to shop on Amazon more.
Can you show looks for women in their 60s?
Hi Katy, thanks for reaching out! All of our product roundups are based on our readers tried and tested recommendations with a few of our top picks featured too! We try to feature a range of reader recommended products to reflect different price points, sizes and different audiences. Sorry we could not have been of more help in your search.
Great article with a lot of interesting maxi styles. I love an Australian brand called Leina and Fleur that have sizes from an Australian 8 to 24, which really suit curvy women. https://leinaandfleur.com.au (They ship overseas, but maybe not now due to covid.)
Hi Cynthia, thank you for sharing your recommendation with us! We always love seeing our readers favorite brands and products. ?
I love maxi dresses! Thanks, Alex, these are BEAUTIFUL!
You’re welcome Linda 🙂 Glad you like them!