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Summer Dresses for Under 30 Dollars

Stylish Summer Dresses for Less


The closer we get to summer, the happier I am. Not because I love nice weather. No, in fact, anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a disaster in warmer temperatures. There is sweating, and occasionally cursing, and eventually I just sort of look for bodies of water to sit in until fall. It is the opposite of cute.

No, I love summer for one reason, and one reason only: Cheap summer dresses. Like, under $30 cheap. At those prices, you don't have to worry about getting sunscreen or ice cream on your new duds.

Here, I present you with some of my favorite summer dresses under $30.

1. Ruffled Star-Print Dress

Ruffled Star-Print Dress
Old Navy
This light-weight crepe dress has a drawstring waist, a sweetheart neckline, and ruffled flutter sleeves. I'm a big fan of a sleeve, so I'm happy whenever I can get 'em, especially on a summer dress. Comes in Navy Blue. Old Navy, $25.

2. Side Tab Ponte Dress

Side Tab Ponte Dress
The toughest sartorial challenge in the summer is finding something to wear at the office. This boat-necked, ponte dress with side tabs pairs wonderfully with a blazer. Comes in Black, Fresh Raspberry, and the awesomely named Blue Zonk, pictured. Target, $24.99.

3. Printed Tank Dress

Printed Tank Dress
American Eagle Outfitters
This dress has a printed flared skirt on the bottom and a ribbed tank on the top. Add a cardigan or blazer, and you can wear it to the office; wear as is, and you have a perfect, easy weekend outfit. Comes in True Black. American Eagle Outfitters, $29.50.

4. Sleeveless High-Low Dress

Sleeveless High-Low Dress
Can I tell you how funny I think it is that high-low hemlines are back in style? I mean, it's definitely proof that I'm getting old, as if seeing my high school wardrobe in vintage clothing stores wasn't proof enough. Anyway, I'm glad this trend is back, because it's flattering for just about everyone. High-low hems hide your lumps and bumps, but show a flash of leg. The color of this dress is pretty sweet, too. Comes in Orange. Forever 21, $29.80.

5. Gored Ponte Dress

Do you ever wonder what Betty Draper would wear if she got in a time machine and arrived in the 21st century? No? OK, just me. Anyway, it's this dress. The belt is what totally sells it. Comes in Coral. Kohl's, $27.00.

6. Pastel Wrap Dress

Pastel Wrap Dress
A friend of mine who worked as a buyer said that pink clothes sell better than any other color. And that's during years when pastels aren't as big as they are this year. It makes sense to me: Pink looks good on almost every skin tone. Comes in Pink. ASOS, $28.65.

7. Striped Halter Sundress

Striped Halter Sundress
Old Navy
If I must sacrifice sleeves -- and at a certain point in the summer, I truly must -- I insist on an empire waist. Style people will argue endlessly about whether or not it's flattering, but all I care about is that it allows me to eat a huge lunch and not have anything cutting into my waist line. Comes in Blue Stripe or Pink Stripe. Old Navy, $25.

8. Ruffle Surplice Wrap Dress

Ruffle Surplice Wrap Dress
There's nothing more flattering than a wrap dress. This is the safe way to wear ruffles. (The unsafe way to wear ruffles: over your hips, if you are a grown woman, or on longer dresses, unless you're going as a dust ruffle for Halloween.) Comes in three colors: Estate Blue, Raspberry Rose, and Misted Yellow, pictured. Kohl's, $29.99.

9. Vero Moda Kapow Kimono Dress

Vero Moda Kapow Kimono Dress
I cannot tell you how long I stared at this dress before deciding to include it on this list. My thought process went something like this: "Is it cute? I think it's cute. But is it too loud? Or just loud enough? Brights are in. But is it too much?" In the end, obviously, I decided it was just enough. Comes in Multi, obviously. ASOS, $26.86.

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