Say hello to your new summer wardrobe

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woman on beach in a long dress
Credit: Getty Images

During the long, hot days of summer, lightweight, breathable clothing is a must. And among the few warm-weather wardrobe staples like shorts, skirts, and t-shirts is the maxi dress. In our opinion, it is the single most comfortable, practical, and stylish piece of clothing we have in our closets.

Maxi dresses — especially those in bold prints — are incredibly flattering and visually elongate the legs when worn with a pair of wedges or heels. And speaking of flattering, a maxi wrap dress is pretty much universally so, with a defined waistline and V-neckline. Bonus: they are so easy to wear and appropriate for a range of formal and informal events.

If you're looking for the perfect travel dress, opt for one made from linen, cotton, or rayon since these fabrics will keep your body cool whether you are on the beach or grabbing drinks at the hotel's rooftop bar. Pair it with this summer's must-have accessory, a straw bag, for a boho touch.

If you need something to wear this wedding season, opt for a simple design in a bright color or print or one with feminine details such as ruffles, an off-the-shoulder neckline, or lace paneling. Keep reading for our favorite maxi dresses you can shop online.

Billabong Baja Breeze Maxi Dress

Multi-colored striped maxi dress
Credit: Courtesy of Nordstrom

This colorful dress features elongating vertical stripes, a smocked top, as well as adjustable shoulder straps so you can find a comfortable, flattering fit.

To buy: nordstrom.com, $70

Reformation Ivie Dress

White tank maxi dress
Credit: Courtesy of Reformation

A little (or long) white dress is a must for summer, and this maxi dress from Reformation is the perfect example. It's made from 100 percent organically grown cotton with a textured gauze look that's perfect for any warm weather occasion.

To buy: thereformation.com, $278

Madewell Natalie Martin Virginia Maxi Dress

Navy and white maxi dress
Credit: Courtesy of Madewell

This beautiful navy and white striped dress features an ultra-flattering removable tie waist, so you can find just right fit.

To buy: madewell.com, $243

Coco Shop Tiered Dress

Woman wearing white and green patterned maxi dress
Credit: Courtesy of Coco Shop

It's all in the details with this stunning maxi dress from Coco Shop. From the high neckline to the tiered skirt to the soft yet structured cotton material, you can dress this piece up or down for any summer event.

To buy: cocoshopwi.com, $510

Universal Standard Emily Cupro Maxi Dress

Woman wearing black maxi dres
Credit: Courtesy of Universal Standard

This tiered v-neck dress is made from a lightweight blend of cupro, viscose, and spandex that will move with you. Plus, Universal Standard's clothing is available in sizes 00 to 40, so you'll be sure to find a comfortable, stylish fit.

To buy: universalstandard.com, $168

J.Crew Smocked-top Cotton Poplin Dress

Woman wearing pink tank maxi dress
Credit: Courtesy of J.crew

This smocked top dress features a stunning pink and white rose pattern that's sure to become as staple in your summer wardrobe.

To buy: jcrew.com, $118

Cuyana Asymmetrical Overlay Dress

Olive green tank maxi dress
Credit: Courtesy of Cuyana

This simple yet stunning dress is made from a sustainable blend of pima cotton, modal, and elastane, making it lightweight and breathable.

To buy: cuyana.com, $135

Amazon Essentials Tank Waisted Maxi Dress

Black tank maxi dress
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

With a classic tank silhouette with a defined waist, this viscose and elastane maxi dress is a summer essential you'll be wearing all season long.

To buy: amazon.com, $28

Milumia Button-up Split Maxi Dress

milumia maxi dress
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Get ready to receive a lot of compliments on this dress. It has a flowy A-line silhouette and a button-up closure with an elastic waist, and it comes in so many fun prints that are perfect for summer.

To buy: amazon.com, $38

Yidarton Women Summer Blue and White Porcelain Maxi Dress

Summer Maxi Dresses
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Playful ruffles and a side slit complement this boho-inspired strapless maxi. It's the ultimate vacation dress that you can pair with wedges and a wide-brim hat.

To buy: amazon.com, from $22

Riviera Sun Tie-dye Spaghetti Strap Maxi Dress

Summer Maxi Dresses
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Tie-dye prints are having a major fashion moment this summer so this loose-fitting maxi dress is the perfect trendy addition to your closet. Whether or not you accessorize it with a flower crown to channel your inner hippie is totally up to you.

To buy: amazon.com, $25

Betsey Johnson Women's Striped Maxi Dress

Summer Maxi Dresses
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

This flowy, ruffled number is so stylish — and flattering thanks to the vertical striped print — that we'd probably keep it for a more special occasion like a garden party or a barbecue at a friend's summer house.

To buy: amazon.com, $50

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