How to Find Your Perfect Spring Dress: A Shopping Guide

Ruby Redstone models sundresses for spring and summer.

It’s officially “no pants” weather outside, which roughly translates to “all I want to wear right now is a dress” weather for me personally. I want to feel the sun upon my kneecaps and the wind between my shins. I want to sit down at my desk without a trouser waistband digging into my unassuming belly button. I want a Marilyn Monroe moment on a subway grate, thank you very much.

I can’t be alone in these yearnings, can I? I think not. Actually, I know not, since Man Repeller’s market assistant/resident magician Elizabeth C. Tamkin proposed that we put forth a guide to some of springtime’s most enticing dress styles for your consumptive pleasure. Elizabeth also created shopping bars for each style, because we all know dress shopping is a very particular thing and one woman’s perfect match is another woman’s swipe left. Below, find a whole smorgasbord of spring dress styles and corresponding shopping opps ready and waiting for YOUR unassuming belly buttons to take advantage.

1.The Beach Dress

A good beach dress should be lightweight enough that you can feel various sea smells and breezes seeping into your pores, and loose enough that you can easily throw it on over a swimsuit and squish yourself in the back of a car with all your fun friends who agreed to play hooky with you on a Friday afternoon. It should also be comfortable enough that you can perform a cartwheel or two on the sand without feeling constrained — oh, and affordable enough that you won’t freak out if you happen to stain it with a little bit of French fry grease.

2.The “Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking!” Dress

You, like me, are probably sick of that Devil Wears Prada line, but I’ve never used it in a story and I’m cashing in my ticket okay?! I figure if I’m writing about spring dresses, it’s uniquely apropos. A floral spring dress is about as on the nose as things on noses can be, but remember what I said earlier about that? It still stands. Now is not the time for subtlety — now is the time for daisies and sunflowers and tulips and daffodils. And the best thing about these particular bouquets? They won’t give you allergies.

3.The Going-Out Dress

I’m much more inclined to go out at night in spring and summer as opposed to fall and winter for the obvious reason I’ll spell out for you anyways: W-E-A-T-H-E-R. Thus, I find myself in need of more going-out clothes in the warmer months, and a pair of spaghetti straps hooked up to a dress rendered in some delightful shade of pastel tends to fill that void.

4.The Transition-to-Fall Dress

Speaking of the F-word, a.k.a. fall, if you’re going to invest in a new dress come spring, it’s always nice when you can find something multi-seasonal because, before you know it, the leaves are going to turn orange even when you’re still in a dress-wearing state of mind and I don’t want you to suppress that! The answer to this potential conundrum is simply thinking ahead, which can mean all sorts of things but in this case it means buying a dress that would look just as great paired with loafers and a sweater as it does paired with sandals and a bangle.

5.The Picnic Dress

I appreciate the fact that any dress can be a picnic dress if you happen to attend a picnic in it, but why not embrace the literal and outfit yourself in what could conceivably be repurposed as a tablecloth for various cheeses and charcuteries? In my humble opinion, there’s no such thing as “too on the nose” when it comes to clothes that make you happy, and there’s nothing happier than a cheerful check.

6.The Casual Tea-Length Situation Dress

There are all sorts of occasions that might merit a casual tea-length situation dress: Mondays, Saturdays, hanging out with friends, eating ice cream, riding a bike but not super fast, sitting on a stoop, laying down on some grass, going to the drugstore to pick up your prescription plus some Fresca, attending a rooftop barbecue, etc. I’m sure you’re familiar with the wide-reaching utility of this kind of garment, so I’ll rest my case.

7.The Formal Tea-Length Situation Dress

There are also all sorts of occasions that might merit a formal tea-length situation dress, but right now I get the sense you just want to stop listening to me drone on about kneecaps and start shopping, so feel free to fill in this final mad lib yourself and get to it.

Styled by Elizabeth Tamkin; Photographed by Edith Young; Modeled by Ruby Redstone.

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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