How to Style Summer Dresses: The Best Summer Dresses Under $100 and How to Wear Them

Your go-to guide to the cutest summer dresses, with 11 stylish outfit ideas.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase through our links. Please read our full disclosure here.

How To Style Summer Dresses

This post will show you how to style summer dresses, with 11 outfit ideas and the best summer dresses under $100.

As soon as the summertime hits, out come the summer dresses. And for good reason!

I love summer dresses because they make getting dressed so easy—instead of worrying about what top matches with what bottoms, just throw a dress on, and you’re all set. Plus, even the most casual of dresses still make you look put-together (especially compared to shorts).

And let’s face it: the less time you need to spend on your outfit, the more time you can spend doing all the fun summer activities you’ve been waiting for all year!

So to make things easy for you, I’ve rounded up some of the cutest summer dresses under $100 and will be showing you how to style them, with 11 outfit ideas you can wear all season long.

How to Style a Floral Print Dress for Summer

Floral Dress Outfit Idea

Products: Dress, Necklace, Bag, Sneakers

What could be more summery than a floral print mini dress?

Now is the time to pull out your printed frocks and wear them as often as you like. That’s the great thing about summer dresses: you can wear them for day or night, whether you’re brunching, shopping, hanging out with friends, or going out.

This mini dress features feminine details like a lace trim and silky material, and its sweet floral print is perfect for the summer. You can wear it with flat or heeled sandals, but can also style it more casually with some low-top sneakers in a matching color like some trendy Adidas Gazelles or Sambas for a cool, sporty touch.

Accessorize the look with summer-ready accessories like a straw shoulder bag and a beaded seashell and faux pearl necklace.

How to Style a Leopard Print Dress for Summer

Leopard Dress Outfit

Products: Dress, Necklace, Bag, Rings, Sandals

While floral prints are a classic every year, in 2024, leopard print is making waves, and wearing a leopard print dress will give you maximum style impact.

Stand out from the crowd with a satin leopard print mini dress that has a flowy silhouette and a sexy lace-up back. Its wild print makes it ideal for wearing out at night, so dress it up with some kitten-heeled thong sandals for a retro effect.

Give the ensemble a pop of color with a structured red handbag — this coquettish bag features a cute bow detail that echoes the bow pendant on this velvet wrap necklace.

Add in some interlocking gold rings and get ready for a fun summer night out and about!

How to Style a Tube Dress for Summer

Strapless or “tube” dresses are trending this summer, and I love how effortless they are.

This tie-dye strapless dress has a super summery vibe thanks to its colorful print and eye-catching diagonal seam detailing. It would be perfect to bring along on a summer vacation!

Go for a beachy look by styling it with some raffia flatform slide sandals and beach-inspired jewelry like a shell bracelet and a charm necklace, another major trend this season.

Don’t forget a straw tote bag, like this chic option which matches the color palette of the dress.

How to Style a Crochet Dress for Summer

Crochet is arguably one of the best materials to wear as a swim cover-up, and luckily, it also happens to be a massive trend this season.

Embrace this summery fashion trend by wearing a striped crochet mini dress as your cover-up over your swimsuit, like this high-leg bikini set that comes in over 20 different colors.

Go the extra style mile with trendy accessories like a pair of slim oval sunglasses, a large woven tote bag to carry your sunscreen, towel, etc., plus some rubber slide sandals that are water-friendly, making them a must-have for the beach or pool.

How to Style a Going Out Dress for Summer

Going Out Dress Outfit

Products: Dress, Earrings, Necklace, Bag, Heels

If you want to have a Hot Girl Summer, you’re going to need a Hot Girl Dress, like this ruched cut-out bodycon mini dress with a multi-color abstract tie-dye print.

The cut-out detail is perfect for showing off your tan, while its side ruching will flatter your shape. Play up its bright color palette with a matching orange faux patent leather bag that is the perfect small size for going out with.

Since the bag has silver metal accents, accessorize with silver jewelry like some classic hoop earrings and a cute star necklace for a Y2K vibe.

For footwear, you can either opt for a bright pair of heels, or a neutral-colored pair like these lace-up sandals (which will likely be a bit more versatile in the long-run, yet still make a statement).

How to Style an Athletic Dress for Summer

Tennis Core Dress Outfit

Products: Dress, Hat, Bag, Socks, Sneakers

Not all dresses have to be girly, fancy, or reserved for dressy occasions: athletic dresses are perfect for everyday wear in the summer, even if you’re just running errands rather than hitting the court, gym, or trail.

Luckily, tennis core is a major trend this season, so you’ll look right on trend in an active mini dress with a built-in sports bra and built-in shorts (and hidden pockets that are majorly convenient).

Play up its tennis aesthetic by styling it with some vintage-inspired sneakers like Reebok’s Club C 85 sneakers, plus white ankle socks. This large cotton tote bag is giving total country club vibes thanks to its Kelly green hue and cute embroidered logo, making it the perfect accessory.

Not only is a white and green graphic print trucker hat going to bring the look together (and save you from any bad hair day), but it’s going to shield your face from the sun if you’ll be outside, and we all know how crucial that is (in addition to SPF, of course).

How to Style a Dress for Summer Vacation

Got summer vacation plans?

If you’re heading somewhere beachy, lightweight dresses will be your BFF. They’re easy to pack and will hardly add any weight to your luggage. Plus, they can be dressed up or down, making them ultra-versatile.

Thanks to its flowy, tiered A-line silhouette, side and back cut-out, and breezy cotton and linen blend, this mini dress was practically made for summer vacation.

By bringing a pair of water-friendly sandals with you, like this neutral pair with an elevated design, you’ll easily be able to go from the beach to dinner without worrying about changing your shoes — they’re so versatile and will match almost everything else in your suitcase.

Add in beachy necklaces like this multi-layered necklace with starfish and shells, plus some sunglasses, of course. A straw crossbody bag is also going to add to the summery vibe, while also being functional.

How to Style a Western-Inspired Dress for Summer

Products: Dress, Necklace, Hat, Boots

Western-inspired fashion is still going strong this season, now that we have Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter as our summer soundtrack.

Get in on the trend with a white flare mini dress with a corseted bodice and flared skirt that will make you want to twirl around.

While this dress would also look adorable with sandals, go the cowgirl route with some white western boots and a straw cowboy hat. This cowboy hat features a beaded seashell trim, making it extra summery.

Accentuate the dress’s feminine ruched bust with a chunky heart pendant necklace with contrasting chains for an eye-catching element.

P.S. — this outfit would be perfect for a summer concert!

How to Style a Summer Wedding Guest Dress

Wedding Guest Dress Outfit

Products: Dress, Earrings, Necklace, Bag, Heels

Heading to a wedding this summer? You’ll want to pick a pretty yet lightweight dress to beat the heat!

Consider a silky or satin dress, like this floral print satin midi dress. Its warm-toned floral print gives it a summery look (and most importantly, it’s not white).

Style it with some neutral-colored block-heel sandals; a block heel is usually more comfortable than a stiletto, which is key if you’re hitting the dance floor.

Add in a stone pendant necklace, round drop earrings and a chic, structured mini bag with a beaded handle that will make you the best-dressed wedding guest.

How to Style a Maxi Dress for Summer

You can’t go wrong with a maxi dress in the summertime—especially a flowy maxi dress in a bright color like red.

This summer, Tomato Girl is a must-have aesthetic, and this maxi totally fits the vibe: I could definitely picture this dress being perfect for a coastal Italian vacation.

Whether you’re headed abroad or just headed to a local backyard BBQ, give this dress the Tomato Girl treatment with cute straw accessories like some strappy raffia sandals and straw bag; I am completely obsessed with this mini-sized straw bag featuring red handles and a cherry bag charm (plus cherry print interior!).

Opt for gold jewelry including a dainty heart pendant necklace, abstract hoop earrings, and luxe-looking gold metal sunglasses.

How to Style a Denim Dress

This summer, it’s all about denim, denim, denim!

Get in on the trend with a denim dress, which is a fun alternative to classic denim shorts or overalls.

This cute denim mini dress has buttons down the front for a retro vibe. It works for daytime or nighttime wear (depending on where you’re headed), making it a versatile option.

You can go the casual route by wearing it with sneakers, or dress it up a bit with some raffia flatform sandals and cute accessories like silver hoop earrings and some cobalt blue square sunglasses for a pop of color.

This knotted straw shoulder bag matches the natural material of the sandals, bringing the look together.

What do you think of our summer dress styling guide?

Which outfit is your favorite? What kind of dresses will you be wearing this summer? Leave a comment and let us know!

Leave a Comment