With the warm months ahead, so many of us are looking to upgrade our wardrobes for the season. Even with the high temperatures and sticky humidity, I still like to look cute and put together while sweating around New York City. Because of this, I always turn to the ever-popular slip dress. Slip dresses are an easy and simple way to look stylish while keeping cool in warm weather, and there are so many options available to suit any personal style.
It’s no secret that there’s a seemingly endless number of slip dresses being sold by various retailers, so we’ve compiled the below list of the best ones that you need ahead of summertime. Let's not forget, though, that slip dresses are easy to layer with sweaters, turtlenecks, and boots for those chillier months, too, making them one of the most versatile dresses you'll have in your wardrobe.
For this piece, Byrdie consulted Stephanie Jang, a visual merchandiser who’s worked in styling and behind the scenes for various luxury brands. “A slip dress is a feminine dress worn either under a dress or worn as is,” Jang explains. “It’s a classic staple piece—one can dress it down or up.”
With that information in mind, read on for the best slip dress styles below and find the one that’s right for you.
Meet the Expert
Stephanie Jang is a visual merchandiser who has worked with brands like Kate Spade New York and Coach.
Best Overall: Silk Maison Red Desire Slit Bias Cut Silk Slip Dress
It’s almost a requirement that Silk Maison make a slip-dresses roundup. Not only do they make high-quality silk dresses, but they also have a wide range of sizes so that more people can access one of the most affordable silk slip dresses on the market (which are currently retailing for just over $200).
Color: Sapphire, Burgundy, Copper, Lime +more | Material: 100% mulberry silk | Size Range: XXS-3XL
Best Budget: VETIOR Adjustable Spaghetti Straps Long Cami Slip Dress
Amazon is a great marketplace to find good, affordable garments, and this Long Cami Slip Dress from VETIOR is one of them. Available for less than $25 and with thousands of high ratings, there’s no doubt how great this dress is.
Color: Black, Nude, White, Navy Blue | Material: 100% modal | Size Range: S-XXL
Best Designer: Christopher John Rogers Embroidered Crepe Halterneck Midi Dress
This halterneck dress from designer Christopher John Rogers puts a fun twist on the slip dress. With the rainbow threading and the almost corseted bodice, CJR takes the regular slip dress to another level with subtle features that completely elevate the look.
Color: Black | Material: 92% polyester, 8% polyurethane | Size Range: 0-14
Best Cowl Neck: Fleur du Mal Cowl Neck Slip Dress
Of course, a Fleur du Mal piece had to make this list. This is a go-to brand for exceptional detailing, and their Cowl Neck Slip Dress has one of the most delicate silk cowl drapings that highlights the decolletage of the wearer.
Colors: Black, White | Material: 100% silk | Size Range: XS-L
Best Bridal: Reformation Tullamore Silk Dress
Another silk piece, the Tullamore Silk Dress from Reformation, is the perfect wedding dress for the cool bride. Perfect for lowkey courthouse nuptials or an intimate beach ceremony, this dress’s fuss-free design allows for the silk fabrication and the bride to shine.
Color: Ivory | Material: 100% silk | Size Range: XS-XL
Best for Date Night: Zara Satin Lingerie Style Dress
If you’re wanting to step away from black for date night, then this is a great dress for you. A classic slip dress design is refreshed in a grass-green colorway with a strappy open-back detail. You’re sure to stand out and impress your date in this stunner.
Colors: Sea Green | Material: 100% viscose | Size Range: XS-XXL
Best Midi: J.Crew Gwyneth Cupro Slip Dress
J. Crew’s Gwyneth Cupro Slip Dress is one of the best options for a midi slip dress both for its price and design aspects. It has an affordable price point at $128, and it falls at a great midi length–somewhere between the knees and just above the ankle for a modest yet somewhat sultry appeal.
Colors: Faded Pistachio, Chimney, Pale Mocha, Fresh Peach, Black | Material: 100% cupro/viscose | Size Range: 00-24, 00P-12P, 2-16 Tall
Best Maxi: LEIMERE Hampton Maxi Slip Dress
The LEIMERE Hampton Maxi Slip Dress just kisses the floor, making it a perfect length that’s still practical to walk in. You’ll look extremely put together in the sheath style of this dress, and you won’t trip over your dress while you’re out and about.
Colors: Olive, Marshmallow | Material: 50% modal, 25% cotton, 15% nylon, 10% cashmere | Size Range: XS-L
Best Mini: Lurelly Cowl Silk Dress
One of the best ways to play around with slip dresses is with color. The hot pink colorway of the Lurelly Cowl Silk Dress standouts especially as a fun way to put a twist on a mini dress. This dress is a core piece for a party or celebration look.
Colors: Black, Pink, White | Material: 100% silk charmeuse | Size Range: 2-16
Best Asymmetrical: Eloquii Asymmetrical Fringe Slip Dress
Asymmetrical features immediately add interest to clothing pieces, and the asymmetrical hem of this Eloquii dress is enhanced with a dramatic fringe that drops from the knee to just above the ankle. The slip dress silhouette gets an update with the added cut and texture, making this dress a showstopper.
Colors: High Risk Red | Material: 97% polyester, 3% spandex | Size Range: 14-20
Best Knee-Length: Universal Standard Foundation Tank Dress
If you prefer a bit more coverage than a mini dress, then a knee-length slip dress might be right for you. The Universal Standard Foundation Tank Dress still has the body-hugging appeal of a slip dress with some additional length that highlights your legs.
Colors: True Blue, Deep Sea, Black Cherry, Black | Material: 94% lenzing micromodal, 6% elastane | Size Range: 4XS-4XL
Best Wide Strap: Banana Republic Tank Midi Slip Dress
For more coverage on the shoulder besides spaghetti straps, the Banana Republic Tank Midi Slip Dress’s wide straps do just that. The thicker straps also provide additional support but don’t take away from the sheath silhouette of the dress.
Colors: Tate Olive, Berry Smoothie, Blue Seaglass, Snow Day | Material: 100% polyester | Size Range: XXS-XXL
Best LBD: Ciao Lucia Sabina Dress
It only makes sense to have a little black dress version of a slip dress in your closet. For spur-of-the-moment events, when you feel that you just don’t have anything to wear, this is a great option to wear by itself or with layers depending on the event or your mood.
Colors: Black | Material: 51% nylon, 49% lycra | Size Range: XS-XL
Best Patterned: ASTR The Label Gaia Floral Midi Dress
To shake up the ordinary slip dress, you should consider a dress with a pattern. The Gaia Floral Midi Dress comes in several patterns and colorways, so you can easily switch up your look while keeping the slip dress look and feel that you love.
Colors: Blush Orange Floral, Yellow Teal Multi, Blue Rust Floral, Sage Multi, Black-Gold Floral +more | Material: 100% polyester | Size Range: XS-XL
Best Silk: Silk Maison Lace Allure Silk Slip Dress
While this slip dress isn’t 100 percent silk, it’s one of the best dresses on this list. Composed of both silk and lace, this dress is bound to feel great against your skin and provide all the luxurious vibes.
Colors: Baby-Blue | Material: 92% mulberry silk, 8% spandex | Size Range: XXS-3XL
Best Workout-Ready: Girlfriend Collective Naomi Workout Dress
If you’re extra like me, you like to wear a dress or skirt any chance you can get, even while you’re working out or running errands. You can do just that in the ever-popular Girlfriend Collective Naomi Workout Dress. With the stretchy, breathable fabric that’s found in their leggings and sports bras, Girlfriend Collective made a mini dress similar to a slip-dress silhouette with built-in shorts, so you’re covered for anything.
Colors: Black, Midnight, Ivory, Zest | Material: 90% recycled plastic bottles (RPET), 10% spandex | Size Range: XXS-6X
Best Cutout: Dannijo Lace Cut Out Slip Dress
Cutouts are a fun addition that adds a little bit of spice to your slip dress. I like the Lace Cut Out Slip Dress from Dannijo because you still get the coverage from a slip dress, but there are peek-a-boo moments that make the style cheeky.
Colors: Mango | Material: Silk blend | Size Range: XS-XL
Best Casual: Numi Raven In & Out Dress
While this dress is $200, it is a great casual slip dress. Because of the durable fabric and relaxed silhouette, you’ll be able to wear this dress over and over again. The cost per wear is low, and you won’t have to fret over maintaining it between washes (yes, this silk-blend dress is machine washable).
Colors: Black, Navy, Chili Red, Moss | Material: 69% Naia acetate, 31% silk | Size Range: S-L
Best Formal: Hanifa Lola Gown
Hanifa is a brand that proves that formal wear doesn’t have to be boring. That’s why I had to add the Lola Gown. In an orange and white zebra print with an asymmetrical cowl neckline, this slip dress brings the drama and will make you the main event of the function.
Colors: Blaze/White | Material: Satin | Size Range: XS-3X
Best Shapewear: Skims Soft Lounge Long Slip Dress
It’s no surprise that this dress has a cult following. From reality star-turned-entrepreneur Kim Kardashian, the SKIMS Soft Lounge Long Slip Dress has thousands of five-star reviews raving on both its comfort and effortless style.
Colors: Onyx, Heather Grey, Oxide, Marble, Camel | Material: 91% modal, 9% spandex | Size Range: XXS-4X
Best Knit: St. Agni ‘90s Knit Slip Dress
I love knit slip dresses for all-year wear. They’re great for layering over tights and a turtleneck in winter and ideal for summer nights at a bonfire on the beach. This one from St. Agni maintains the ’90s slip dress trend but is updated with a soft and sustainable fabric.
Colors: Black, Black/Cream | Material: 100% TENCEL Lyocell | Size Range: XS-XL
Best Leather: Free People Slip Into Something Mini Dress
There’s no other clothing treatment that adds edge to a garment like leather, and it makes the Free People Slip Into Something Mini Dress a must-have piece. The mini slip dress design is reinvigorated with a V-neck at the top and a matte, leather-like finish throughout.
Colors: Black | Material: Polyurethane blend | Size Range: XS-XL
Best for Layering: Blush Aura Maxi Slip Dress
Sheer dresses are another great option for layering year-round. I like to pair them with denim cutoffs for summer chillouts and layer them over pants and leggings in the cooler months. The Blush Aura Maxi Slip Dress is a versatile piece to have in your wardrobe when you think of how it can work for you.
Colors: Black | Material: 90% polyamide, 10% elastane | Size Range: XS-XXL
Best Festival-Ready: Maggie Marilyn Sheer Challenge Accepted Dress
Every year, I get excited about summer music festivals once Coachella kicks off, and I start planning outfits. If you’re dedicated to wearing a slip dress at festivals this year but want to add a twist to the silhouette, then this sheer, checkered-pattern dress is perfect.
Colors: Black | Material: 60% linen, 40% silk | Size Range: UK 2-16
Best Sustainable: Neu Nomads Bias Cut Lightweight TENCEL Modal Vegan Silk Slip Dress
Good news! You don’t have to sacrifice your commitment to slow fashion to buy slip dresses. Neu Nomads makes one of their slip dress styles with natural fibers for a sustainable yet fashionable option.
Colors: Terra, Black, Steel Grey, Soft White, Crimson +more | Material: 100% Satin TENCEL | Size Range: XS-XL
What to Look for When Buying Slip Dresses
While there are plenty of materials out there for slip dresses, Jang suggests choosing a silk dress if you're able to. “Silk will last longer and is worth the investment,” says Jang. Silk is also thermoregulating, so you can actually wear it year round, making the cost per wear even more approachable.
If a silk dress isn't in your budget, look into Tencel Lyocell, a material made from tree pulp. It can be a more eco-friendly option and, depending on the blend, can have the same look and feel as silk.
You might want to consider how you plan to wear your slip dress as well. Length, style, and any details will help to determine this. If you want to wear it as a layering piece, then it’s probably better to buy a style in a neutral color that goes with different pieces in your closet instead of something like a statement piece that isn’t as versatile.
What is a slip dress?
You can get an idea of what a slip dress is from its name alone. Like a slip that you’d wear under your outer clothes, a slip dress lightly skims your body and is often contoured to cling to your natural shape. Because of its slip origin, many brands continue to make slip dresses in thinner, breathable fabrics.
Are all slip dresses silky?
Not all slip dresses are silky. While silky and satiny fabrics are common materials used for slip dresses, they’re not a necessity. Plenty of slip dresses are made from crepe, leather, cotton, rayon, and even denim. If a silky texture doesn’t suit you, then have no worries. There are so many other fabric options within the slip dress realm.
Can you wear a slip dress on its own?
It’s up to you how you want to wear your slip dress. The style is so versatile that there are endless options and no wrong way to wear it. “The beauty of a slip dress is that it can be dressed up or down,” Jang says. “Whether it can be worn under another dress for layering purposes or on its own, it’s to the person’s preference.”
How do you style a slip dress for each season?
Slip dresses are a great investment because you can wear them year-round, depending on how you style them. Jang even broke down some styling ideas for your slip dresses by season below.
- Winter: A midi or maxi slip dress can be layered over a turtleneck and paired with knee-high boots and a long teddy coat.
- Spring: Pair a midi slip dress with a blazer and a classic white sneaker.
- Summer: Wear a mini slip dress with gold accessories and pair it with a strappy sandal.
- Fall: Slip into a midi slip dress, layer a cardigan and a long trench coat over it, and pair with knee-high boots.
Why Trust Byrdie
Byrdie contributor Mallori Albright has six years of experience writing fashion and beauty content. In addition to midi dresses, Mallori has her own capsule of slip dresses that she rotates through all year long, especially in the summer. You can check out more of Mallori’s work at Marie Claire and NYLON.