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Many women love dresses for travel because they offer an all-in-one outfit without the need to mix and match tops and bottoms. In summer, they can be particularly practical keeping you cool in the heat, but not all dresses are made equal.

If you’re headed abroad, take a look at our carefully curated list of dresses that aren’t just pretty, they’ll actually help you stay fresh and cool, too.

 


Dresses for Traveling Europe


 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

Despite the fact that I’ve been to various parts of Europe in summer, the heat in certain cities seems to always catch me off guard. 

 

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Rome with a Gevomir Halter Neck Summer Dress with Packable Braided Straw Hat

 

As I’ve trudged through the hilly streets of Lisbon or sweated my way around the ancient sites in Rome, I always cursed myself at the fact that my dresses never seemed to be the right fabric. They were either pretty but not breathable because they were made from polyester or thin but clung to my body because they were made from a jersey blend.

 

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Rome with a Bravissimo Dress and Naot Sabrina Sandals

 

Below you’ll find a list of the dresses I wish I’d brought on all my past European summer travels. I’ve chosen classic, timeless, versatile styles in the most featherlight fabrics that would be perfect for Paris or just about any other hot summer destination!

 

 

What are the best lightweight, comfortable, and stylish dresses for summer in Europe? Here are our favorites!

 

 

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Shop Sizes XS-XL: Nordstrom | Zappos

 

Linen Midi Dress 

 

You can never go wrong with an LBD for a trip abroad, just make sure it’s in a light, breathable fabric such as this linen blend shift dress by Nic + Zoe, available in sizes XXS-XL.

Beautiful yet easy to wear, this is the perfect type of dress to take with you anywhere you go! Wear it with a pair of comfortable yet stylish black sandals for effortless European fashion flair.

 

 

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Shop Sizes XS-XL: Nordstrom

 

Chambray Midi Dress

 

Chambray is a lovely neutral fabric that’s elegant yet fresh in hot weather. The above longsleeve chambray midi dress by Karen Kane exudes chic casual comfort that you can wear for a summer vacation abroad, a cruise or at a resort, or on a hot day at home, too.

 

 

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Shop Sizes XS-XL: Nordstrom | Zappos

 

Long Sleeve Rayon Knee Length Dress 

 

Cities such as Barcelona and Venice get so hot in the summer so if you prefer sleeves, it’s essential to choose lightweight airy fabrics to keep you from overheating. The Karen Kane Rayon Dress won’t just help you pack carryon only, it will also keep you fresh on those long sightseeing days, too. Pair it with cute and comfortable strappy sandals to finish off your look.

 

 

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Shop on Madewell: Sizes XS-XXL | Sizes 1X-4X

 

Sleeveless Knee Length Dress with Secret Pockets

 

The ruffle strap tiered midi dress is one of a TFG editor picks. If you’re looking for a best dresses with pockets, well this one is for you. It has side pockets, square neckline, playful flutter sleeves and a cutout tie back. Available in sizes XS-XXL and 1X-4X!

 

 

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Shop on J.Crew: Sizes XXXS-3X | Petite XXXS-L | Tall XS-XL

 

Linen Shirt Dress

 

Whether you’re traveling for business or want to exude a sophisticated look while staying fresh in the heat, this J. Crew Linen Shirt Dress checks all the boxes. Available in four pretty colors and sizes regular, petite , and tall from 3XS – 3X. Don’t forget to bring a dual voltage travel steamer if your hotels don’t have an iron.

 

Pair with comfortable and chic tan sandals as pictured above.

 

 

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Shop Sizes XS-XL: Nordstrom

 

Teardrop Tiered Midi Dress

 

In the heat of summer, navy is the perfect alternative to black clothing and this airy cotton tiered midi dress by Beach Lunch Lounge is as comfy as it is classic. Dress it up with comfortable low wedges for outdoor dining in a Parisian cafe or wear it casually with secure slides for a seaside stroll in Dubrovnik. Wear with a cute, lightweight denim jacket for cooler days.

 

 

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Shop Sizes S-XL: Amazon

 

Rayon Wrap Dress

 

I have this featherlight Temofon dress in two colors. It’s inexpensive and the rayon fabric is the best for the summer heat – just the thing to keep you cool for a long day of exploration! It’s a true wrap dress and very flattering on a range of figures. Check the pictures in the reviews! 

Tip: Choose a neutral print for European cities for the most versatility vs a loud whimsical print, which is better suited for a cruise or beach resort.

 

If you prefer long dresses, take a look at the maxi version! I have both!

 

 

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Shop: Nordstrom Sizes XXS-XXL | Zappos 1X-3X

 

Linen Blend Short Sleeve Midi Dress 

 

Love the timelessness of this midi linen dress by Madewell. It skims the body without being overly fitted yet the structured design keeps it from looking too frumpy. The dress is both linen and viscose blend to keep you cool but modest. The ruffled and flared sleeve adds just the right amount of interest to this classic silhouette making it ideal for a trip to Europe in the summer. Available in sizes XXS-XXL and 1X-3X!

 

 

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Shop: Zappos Sizes XXS-XXL | Zappos Plus 1X-3X | Nordstrom XXS-XXL

 

Flutter Sleeve Midi Maxi Dress

 

If you want a bit more coverage for the legs but still have an airy feel, this Madewell midi maxi length dress has a slightly fitted bodice, with delicate flutter sleeves, and a flowing tiered skirt. So perfect for Europe, wear it during the day with cute and comfortable white sneakers as styled above or take take it out at night with some cushioned, stylish wedges and dangly jewelry. 

This is available in sizes XXS-XXL and plus 2X-4X, And it’s also available at Nordstrom in sizes XXS-XXL.

 

 

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Shop: Amazon XXS-XXL | Zappos XS-XL

 

Moisture Wicking Short Sleeve Dress

 

The best balance of form and function is found with the Arc’teryx Contenta Dress. It’s perfect for hot weather because the technical fabric is moisture wicking, lightweight, and breathable yet it looks like a cute regular dress. Featuring four different colors, including the soft mauve color pictured above, this is also available in a pretty white and a teal color right here!

Shop all Arc’teryx dresses – they have some awesome designs for jetsetters!

 

 

What shoes should I wear with my dresses?

 

 

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Naot Sabrina Arch Support Flat Sandals

 

Pair Summer Dresses with Classic Leather Sandals

 

When visiting Paris in summer, you’ll want to be comfortable, so be sure to pick shoes that are both practical and fashionable. You can pair any of the above summer dresses with classic leather sandals like these above or even classic Superga style sneakers.

Dress for Europe with stylish and comfortable footwear!

 

See our list of comfortable walking sandals that are stylish, too!

 

 

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Taos Footwear Star Sneaker

 

White Sneakers for Summer Dresses

 

The canvas leather and removable footbed makes these easy to wash and keep them clean. With a lace-up closure, rubber outsole, and soft textile lining, you can be sure of having a flexible fit with traction for various landscapes. This Taos Footwear Star Sneaker also has a great arch support perfect for walking around.

One reader shared, “Taos are awesome. They’re comfy and have great support. My feet were never tired after a day in them.” Overall, these Taos sneakers are ranked as the number one seller with our readers!

 

Find out the top reader recommendations for the best white sneakers!

 

 

How do I pack my dresses?

 

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Compass Rose Travel Packing Cubes

 

Packing Cubes

 

Dresses are the easiest thing to pack for a warm weather trip. If you’re going on a seven-day trip, pack seven dresses and you’re good to go. It’s as easy as that! Then, use slim packing cubes to save space in your suitcase and travel carry-on only.

 

Learn how millions of women have traveled in a smaller suitcase using packing cubes!

 

 

Top Summer Dresses Comparison Chart

 

BRAND / MODEL REVIEW PRICE
Linen Midi Dress  You can never go wrong with an LBD for a trip abroad, just make sure it’s in a light, breathable fabric such as this linen button down dress by Tommy Bahama, Check Price
Chambray Midi Dress Chambray is a lovely neutral fabric that’s elegant yet fresh in hot weather. The above longsleeve chambray midi dress by Karen Kane exudes chic casual comfort that you can wear for a summer vacation abroad, a cruise or at a resort, or on a hot day at home, too. Check Price
Long Sleeve Rayon Knee Length Dress  Cities such as Barcelona and Venice get so hot in the summer so if you prefer sleeves, it’s essential to choose lightweight airy fabrics to keep you from overheating. Check Price
Teardrop Tiered Midi Dress In the heat of summer, navy is the perfect alternative to black clothing and this airy cotton tiered midi dress by Beach Lunch Lounge is as comfy as it is classic. Dress it up with comfortable low wedges for outdoor dining in a Parisian cafe or wear it casually with secure slides for a seaside stroll in Dubrovnik. Wear with a cute, lightweight denim jacket for cooler days. Check Price
Rayon Wrap Dress I have this featherlight Temofon dress in two colors. It’s inexpensive and the rayon fabric is the best for the summer heat - just the thing to keep you cool for a long day of exploration! It’s a true wrap dress and very flattering on a range of figures. Check the pictures in the reviews!  Check Price
Sleeveless Knee Length Dress with Secret Pockets The ruffle strap tiered midi dress is one of a TFG editor picks. If you're looking for a best dresses with pockets, well this one is for you. It has side pockets, square neckline, playful flutter sleeves and a cutout tie back. Available in sizes XS-XXL and 1X-4X! Check Price
Linen Shirt Dress Whether you’re traveling for business or want to exude a sophisticated look while staying fresh in the heat Check Price
Linen Blend Short Sleeve Midi Dress  The dress is both linen and viscose blend to keep you cool but modest. The ruffled and flared sleeve adds just the right amount of interest to this classic silhouette making it ideal for a trip to Europe in the summer. Available in sizes XXS-XXL and 1X-3X! Check Price
Flutter Sleeve Midi Maxi Dress If you want a bit more coverage for the legs but still have an airy feel, this Madewell midi maxi length dress has a slightly fitted bodice, with delicate flutter sleeves, and a flowing tiered skirt. So perfect for Europe, wear it during the day with cute and comfortable white sneakers as styled above or take take it out at night with some cushioned, stylish wedges and dangly jewelry.  Check Price
Moisture Wicking Short Sleeve Dress The best balance of form and function is found with the Arc’teryx Contenta Dress. It’s perfect for hot weather because the technical fabric is moisture wicking, lightweight, and breathable yet it looks like a cute regular dress. Featuring four different colors, including the soft mauve color pictured above, this is also available in a pretty white and a teal color right here! Check Price

 

 


What are your recommendations for top summer dresses for a trip abroad? Share in the comments below!


 

For more tips on travel dresses, please read these posts:

 


 

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