We’re at that point in summer when airy, comfortable attire is all we can stand. Shorts and tanks? Essential. Activewear outfits? Obsessed. But summer dresses consistently rank high with their effortless, throw-on-and-go nature—especially styles that pull away from your body for maximum breeziness.
By now, you surely have some good ones in your closet, but the very best kind for when you want to make a statement is a cheap summer dress. We can find every excuse to rationalize a new one. For example, when you find a new style you love, you're likely to wear it on repeat for weeks to work, run errands, and Sunday brunch. Cost per wear, people: It’s simple math. Or for that occasion you want to dress well for without shelling out all your going-out money, you can absolutely look like a million bucks while spending less than $50. Proof ahead.
We know the term "affordable" rings different for everyone. Because of this, in the edit below we’ve rounded up 33 options for a range of budgets—we’re talking day dresses under $40, date-ready designs under $70, and a few wow-worthy numbers hovering around the $150 mark from sustainable, small-batch, and emerging labels. Okay, let’s get shopping: read on for the best cheap summer dresses to shop now, so you can look your best all season long without breaking the bank.
Quick fact: Gingham is basically summer 2021’s official print, so embrace it in a cheerful shade of green that's perfect for picnics or filming TikToks.
We love a keyhole back to up the ante of sweet buds and frills—creating a style that works equally as well for day or night.
Paired with platform flip flops, this cheap summer dress is throwback perfection.
This poplin midi is a cool-in-the-heat way to try out the smocked dress trend.
Side cutouts and puffed shoulders level up the fashion effect of a T-shirt dress.
Give florals and stripes a break in favor of some mermaid magic.
A cheap summer dress that pulls away from your body is all that will do on the hottest days, and it's even better if it has an open back.
Say hello to the perfect white summer midi dress, which strikes a charming balance between put-together style and easy comfort.
Another ’90s trend ruling summer 2021? Terry cloth. This halter dress is an incredible way to get into it, and it looks great whether you're on or off the beach.
This sweet, strapless mini will make a confident impression on a first date.
You’ll quickly achieve carefree summer ease in this cheap summer dress in the sunniest shade of yellow tie-dye.
Whether layered over a tee or solo with sandals, this slime-green slip is deliciously bold.
This minimal halter neck mini is a fail-safe way to channel ’90s summer style.
Flutter sleeves are the perfect offset to a cut-out waist and open back.
No shame in the activewear outfit game—this cheap summer dress is so fun for day hangs or dressed up with heels for cocktails.
Daisies give the classic white shirtdress a darling feel for a look that stands out wherever you're headed this summer.
Liven up your tank dress game in this sweet, cherry-red style.
Sunny and sweet, this polka-dot dress is summer occasion-worthy—we’re thinking birthdays, parties, picnics, weddings, and beyond.
Animal print is always in style, and this sustainable design comes in sizes XS to 3XL.
This cheap summer dress may just be the most effortless summer LBD.
Did someone say dreamy? They sure will when you step out in this dress.
You’ll make a summer splash as a wedding guest in this peacock-printed maxi.
For sweet but bold moods, this cheap summer dress is ready for whatever adventures are in store.
Certain summer days call for an easy, ribbed tank dress.
Downplay this plunging halter with sporty extras like a visor and sneakers.
This printed maxi is begging for a tropical vacation moment.
What’s cooler than an breezy linen dress on the hottest days?
Lightweight and dainty, this frothy number gives us major margarita happy hour vibes.
Whether orange or green is your hue, this puff-sleeve mini has “post-vax summer night out” written all over it.
By the pool or the sea, this tied-waist mini epitomizes timeless elegance.
What’s a great collection of cheap summer dresses without a striped linen option?
Live your best ’90s life in this artistic satin mini—cowl neck and low back, to boot.
If a down-to-there neckline isn’t your taste, how about an ultra-low cowl back? Either way, you're sure to turn heads this summer.