Summer and dresses go hand in hand. Dresses not only feel feminine, but they also allow for an easy, breezy, yet polished look. In the hot and humid South, sometimes a dress is the only thing to keep you cool, calm and collected.

Dresses are great for a casual weekend look, for work or meetings, for church or Temple, or even for a special occasion like a wedding or baby shower. Basically, a dress is that one-and-done item that makes you feel confident and appropriately dressed for the occasion.

Over the years, it’s easy to curate a collection of dresses that you love, but that also makes it harder to part with ones that with time look well-loved or become dated. If it’s time to part with the outdated looks, that means it’s time for the fun part: shopping for new options. When you’re ready to add some new looks to your wardrobe, here’s my list of the top three styles to keep your dress game on point.

Tiered Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses have a tendency to come in and out of style. And while maxi dresses are back in style, the jersey maxi dresses that so many of us wore years ago are dated. These maxis can be identified by their jersey material, an often empire waist, spaghetti straps, and many times an elastic waistband. If you have one or more of these lingering in your closet, it’s time to say goodbye, and hello to this fresh maxi-style dress!

The new maxi dress is more bohemian but can work for most personal styles. We are seeing many with lovely tiered skirts and peasant or ruffled sleeves. The waist is still cinched, but it’s more often at the natural waist as opposed to an empire waist. These new maxis often have lace and other feminine details that can allow them to easily go from day to night. If you are more petite, it’s best to avoid this dress trend altogether, or at least rock a pair of 3-inch-plus block heel sandals with your maxi. Lastly, most of these maxis are more ankle-length than floor-grazing.

tiered maxi dress in yellow, on model with hat and jean jacket

This tiered maxi dress from Anthropologie is flowy but flattering! Image: Anthropologie

RELATED: Save or Splurge: Southern Trends

summer maxi dress with vertical and horizontal stripes

This option, which features horizontal and vertical stripes, is another fun and visually appealing option. Image: Anthropologie

ruffled summer maxi dress in orange

This ruffled maxi dress features a bright, summery print! Image: Anthropologie

Fit-and-Flare Midi Dress

Skirt and dress lengths are getting longer and look quite fresh, and I know many of us are thankful for the longer lengths! The fit-and-flare-style dress, meaning it is tailored through the bodice and cinched at the natural waist and then A-lines out over the hips, is especially fabulous and flattering on most body types. Many of these dresses land at midi length, which means they hit right above or below your calf muscle. If you are more petite, you can definitely wear the fit-and-flare-style dress, but instead of the midi length, opt for right below the knee. These midi dresses can be any color or print, just select the ones that most resonate with your personal style.

Additionally, we are definitely seeing the cold shoulder trend dying out (that means shirts and dresses with cutouts on the shoulders), so it’s time to consider retiring these items from your closet. This is especially important if your cold shoulder dress also happens to be a mini dress. With longer lengths, such as those on the maxi dress, in style, the cold shoulder plus the mini silhouette no longer looks fresh or modern.

midi dress

This floral midi dress accentuates the waist and makes the perfect summer statement. Image: Anthropologie

floral dress in green and white on model carrying purse

This floral dress is perfect for a summer day and is easy to dress up or down. Image: Anthropologie

midi dress gap

This dress from the Gap is a great work or play option, and the belt gives it great structure. Image: Gap

floral summer outfit on model wearing sunglasses

The bright and fun floral dress is a great summer option. Image: Anthropologie

In: Up-leveled T-shirt Dress

With athleisure taking center stage in the casual clothing world, I like helping my clients find “up-leveled” (aka more polished and stylish) versions of this trend. Instead of leggings or workout attire, consider a casual dress made out of comfy cotton or other t-shirt materials. It can be whatever length you feel most comfortable in, and it can even have a short sleeve if that feels best on you. Pair this dress with cute sneakers or a casual sandal, and your look is complete.

summer dress

This casual t-shirt dress from Gap is great for running around on hot summer days. Image: Gap

anthro tee dress

This dress has all the comfort of athleisure while giving you a cool and sophisticated look. Image: Anthropologie

RELATED: How to Dress for Work in the Summer Heat

striped ensemble on model with hat

This option is great for the beach or hanging at home. And it has pockets! Image: Anthropologie

light summer outfit

This light dress is both comfy and sophisticated. Image: Anthropologie

I love giving my clients Style Action Steps. These next steps keep you accountable and get you amazing results with your wardrobe. If you need a little help deciding which summer dress style is most flattering for your body, check out my free guide — click HERE.

Now, get into your closet this week and remove any of the clothes you’re no longer wearing to make room for some of these fun new styles we’re loving!

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