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The 10 Best Beach Dresses for Fun in the Sun [2023]

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Erin Miller

Erin Miller

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Countries Visited: 26U.S. States Visited: 28

An experienced points hacker, Erin is Alex’s partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points with in-depth guides and relationship management. Erin’s work has been cited in multiple major publicat...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury

Keri Stooksbury


Countries Visited: 41U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Choosing a beach dress is an important component of your overall vacation experience, but it can be challenging given the variety of dresses and silhouettes available.

Though you know your body and preferences best, in this article, we’ll guide you through some of our top picks for beach dresses for summer. We’ll also tell you exactly what to look for in a beach dress to feel both beautiful and comfortable while lying in the sun and watching the waves.

Things To Consider When Buying a Beach Dress

A boho-style dress is a good choice to wear over your swimsuit. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Before deciding on a beach dress, there are a few important factors to consider. Perhaps deciding on a beach dress doesn’t sound very complex, but the fact that it will be worn on the beach doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put any thought into it.

When it comes to comfort, a lot of it depends on the fabric of the dress. It’s also important to know your preferred shape and size for the dress, as well as its main use.

If you are going to wear it while walking on the beach over your swimsuit, a boho-style dress is a good choice, but if you want maximum movement, you should opt for a mini beach dress.

Dress Materials

The best material for a beach dress is 100% cotton. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The material of a beach dress is a crucial factor to consider, as you’ll be wearing it outside in the summer.

Perhaps the best material to go with is 100% cotton, as it makes the dress breathable and allows you to stay cool, even in the hottest weather. Another good choice is linen, a material that’s very light and enables easy movement with a loose fit.

Finally, rayon and polyester beach dresses are great for getting a silk-like feeling and breathable comfort.

Dress Length

Midi dresses are great to wear on the beach. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

A mini dress and a floor-length dress won’t result in the same comfort or ease of movement. Different lengths are suitable for different activities, so you can start with a mini dress for high moveability and increased sun exposure while walking on the beach.

Midi dresses are a bit longer, as they go below the knee, while maxi dresses are floor-length options.

Hot Tip: In situations where sun exposure is a concern, you could use a maxi dress to cover and protect most of your skin.


Beach dress silhouettes help determine the shape of the dress and its practicality in terms of sun protection. Some are best for wearing on top of your bathing suit, while others double as great options for a night out. Some of the most popular beach dress silhouettes are A-line, empire waist, and off-the-shoulder.

The 10 Best Beach Dresses

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to get to our top picks for beach dresses. Based on the beach dress features we’ve already addressed, we’ll give you a list of your best options.

Of course, there are other factors worth mentioning beyond materials and length. We’ve also considered care instructions, closure types, and different styles of dresses ranging from casual to cocktail options for a night out on the town.

1. Casual Floor-length Beach Dress

BEST OVERALL: ANRABESS Women's Casual Loose Sundress Long Dress
This sleeveless dress is long and casual, making it perfect for a day at the beach. It's breathable as well and can be easily dressed up or dressed down if needed.

ANRABESS Women’s Casual Loose Sundress

This loose sundress by Anrabess is one of the best options to go with if you want a casual beach dress that you can handwash quickly. The 35% cotton and 65% polyester material allows for quick drying, so it will be ready for your next venture to the beach.

Additionally, the dress material includes 5% spandex to make it a bit more elastic and comfortable for wearing on the beach. It has a crew neck to protect your chest area from the sun during the hottest part of the day.

It’s a great choice for wearing over your bathing suit, and the floor-length of this maxi dress makes it flowy and casual.

What We Like:

  • Casual maxi-length

What We Don’t Like:

  • Only 35% cotton material

Hot Tip: If you are just covering up a swimsuit, you can also consider a beach wrap, sarong, cover-up, or beach kimono.

2. Great Maxi Beach Dress for a Night Out

UPGRADE PICK: ZESICA Women's Summer Bohemian Floral Printed Strapless Beach Party Long Maxi Dress
A strapless dress you can wear to any occasion. This summer dress can be thrown on over a bathing suit, but it can also be worn to more formal summer events.

ZESICA Women’s Summer Bohemian Floral Printed Dress

This boho maxi dress is a perfect blend of a beach dress and a party dress for a hot summer night out. It’s made of 100% rayon, which makes it elegant and comfortable to wear, but you will have to wash it inside a laundry bag while in a washing machine.

The strapless shirred design and floor-length create a memorable look that will make up for the inconvenience. The sundress-style floral print and breezy skirt only amplify the summery appeal.

What We Like:

  • Floral beach dress with strapless neckline

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not a great fit on a busty figure

3. T-shirt-Style Tie-waist Beach Dress

MEROKEETY Women's Summer Striped Short Sleeve T Shirt Dress
The comfort of a t-shirt and the ease of a dress. This dress can be tied around the waist, so it's adjustable enough to be flattering on most body types.

MEROKEETY Women’s Summer Striped Short Sleeve T-Shirt Dress

If you are looking for a unique blend of a beach dress and a casual summer dress for all occasions, the Merokeety striped short-sleeve dress is the one. It can be used as a dress for a night out, on the beach, or for traveling in general.

Because of the 65% rayon material, it reduces sweating and offers maximum comfort for the summer weather. The crew neck and pull-on closure make it a bold yet attractive asset for your summer wardrobe.

The knee-length style allows you to show off your summer tan while providing freedom of movement. You can also handwash it – always a bonus while on vacation when you might not have access to a washing machine.

What We Like:

  • Crew neck classy summer dress with pockets

What We Don’t Like:

  • Doesn’t come in an XS size

4. Sleeveless Beach Dress With Tie Waist

LILLUSORY Women's Summer Casual Sleeveless Beach Tank Dress
This dress will help you look put together effortlessly. You can just throw it on and head out. It's breathable and easy to wash. You can also forgo ironing this bodycon dress.

LILLUSORY Women’s Summer Casual Sleeveless Beach Tank Dress

If you’re looking for a mini bodycon dress that looks classy but can still be used as a beach dress, Lillusory’s beach tank dress is a great choice. This dress is sleeveless and falls above the knee, so it’s perfect for tanning while walking on the beach.

It can be worn over your bathing suit, and the care instructions allow for it to be handwashed. It has a crew-style neckline to protect your chest from the sun at its peak, and it’s made of 65% polyester and 35% rayon for a sensual silk-like feeling on the skin.

What We Like:

  • Great for chest protection while tanning arms and legs

What We Don’t Like:

  • More polyester material than rayon

5. A-line Beach Mini Dress

EXLURA Women's Lantern Sleeve Tie Back Summer Dress
This is a great day-to-night dress option. It has puffy sleeves and a flattering neckline that isn't too revealing, so you can wear it to the beach or to brunch.

EXLURA Women’s Lantern Sleeve Tie Back Dress

One of the best dresses for any beach occasion is the A-line Exlura dress. It’s perfect for summer as it comes with an open back, lantern sleeves, and a mini length. It provides enough coverage to protect your shoulders from sunburn, and you can wear a bikini under it.

The elastic-smocked waist, optional off-the-shoulder look, and adjustable bowknot create a pretty silhouette that hugs your body in just the right way. The style is versatile, so you can wear it out for cocktails after the sun goes down.

What We Like:

  • A-line beach dress with open back

What We Don’t Like:

  • Adjustable self-tie bowknot can be tricky to tie on your own

6. V-neck Cross-wrap Beach Dress

MSBASIC Hawaiian Dresses
The perfect dress to wear on a tropical vacation. The cut of the dress suits the pattern perfectly, and you can simply slip it on over a swimming suit as a cover-up.

MSBASIC Women’s Deep V Neck Short-Sleeve Unique Cross Wrap

Made with some of the best natural materials with elastic properties, this short-sleeve, cross-wrap dress is 95% cotton and 5% spandex for the solid color options, which we consider to be a perfect beach dress combination. The cotton makes it comfortable and gentle on your skin. On the other hand, the spandex addition gives it a nice elasticity.

It’s classy enough for a night out, with an exotic touch suitable for the beach. This dress is the perfect combination of a cocktail dress and a beach dress that you can wear over your bikini.

What We Like:

  • Offers natural-material comfort with additional stretch

What We Don’t Like:

  • Doesn’t come in XS size

7. Midi Dress With Gorgeous Floral Prints

OURS Women Summer Sleeveless Floral Print Racerback Midi Sun Dresses
A casual dress for the on-the-go. Since this dress has pockets, you don't even need a bag. Just grab your keys and your phone and head out on your adventure.

OURS Women Summer Sleeveless Floral Print Racerback Midi Sun Dress

If you’re looking for a versatile dress for your beach vacation, consider this summer sleeveless dress. It’s a midi dress with a floral print and convenient pockets sure to come in handy while on the beach.

You can use the hidden pockets for seashells, sunglasses, or your phone. The best thing is that you can handwash this pull-on dress, and it’s ready to wear again. It’s also 65% cotton, which makes it both naturally comfortable and lightweight.

If you want to get the most out of this dress’s versatility, simply pair it with high heels, and you’re ready for a night out.

What We Like:

  • High-waisted beach dress with hidden pockets

What We Don’t Like:

  • Doesn’t have an open back

8. Perfect for Summer Festivals

Naggoo Women's Short Sleeve Split Maxi Dress
A casual dress for comfort and style. The dress is flowy and soft, which means that it won't irritate your skin or feel too stuffy. It's also breathable and perfect for humid days.

Naggoo Women’s Short Sleeve Split Maxi Dress

In searching for a breathable and soft beach dress, you shouldn’t overlook Naggoo’s short-sleeve maxi dress. It’s an impressive option that allows easy movement and reduces sweating to a minimum, which is crucial in hot weather.

The summer prints are yet another reason why this dress makes it onto our shortlist, and the T-shirt-style sleeves make it casual and summery. With a round neck and closed back, this dress is a top choice for wearing over a bikini. The hidden pockets only add to its appeal.

What We Like:

  • Closed maxi dress with pockets

What We Don’t Like:

  • Some prints might be too plain for some

9. Floaty and Fun Boho Dress

PRETTYGARDEN Women's Summer Casual Boho Dress
This dress is a nice option if you prefer to dress a little more conservatively. The dress is mid-calf in length, and it has slightly longer sleeves and a high neck.

PRETTYGARDEN Women’s Summer Casual Boho Dress

The extremely soft fabric makes this dress a comfortable fit for the beach. It’s made of a combination of polyester and spandex, making it high-stretch to fit your form. On hot days spent under the sun, you will love the comfort and softness of this dress.

It’s a midi dress, so it doesn’t hit the floor, providing additional airflow around the legs and ankles. Make sure you check the size chart to see if it will fit your frame, as it only comes in 4 sizes. Even so, the fit is loose enough for some wiggle room, with puff sleeves and cute prints to boot.

What We Like:

  • The puff sleeves

What We Don’t Like:

  • Made of 97% polyester

10. Sensual Open-back A-line Mini Dress

Floerns Women's Ditsy Floral Plunge Neck Knot Front A Line Short Dress
If you need something to throw on quickly when you're heading to the beach, this is the dress for you. It fits over any swimming suit without bunching, and you can also adjust the fit.

Floerns Women’s Ditsy Floral Plunge Neck Knot Dress

If you are looking for a beach dress that doubles perfectly as a tropical cocktail dress for a night out, this might be the one. The floral plunge-neck knot dress has an open back with an adjustable self-tie knot, and it’s comfy, light, and beautiful.

The floral and tropical pattern options make it great for the beach, but the style makes it perhaps better suited for evening wear. As a mini dress, it lets you soak up some vitamin D while lying on the beach or taking a walk along the shore.

What We Like:

  • Beautiful beach dress for a night out

What We Don’t Like:

  • 100% made of polyester

Final Thoughts

These beach dresses cover a range of summertime styles, from casual dresses for wearing over your bikini to party and cocktail dresses, and all with silhouettes suitable for the beach. Look for the style you like with the highest percentage of natural materials for maximum comfort while wearing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What beach dress material is best for summer?

If you want to have maximum comfort and movement while wearing a beach dress, you should go for linen, cotton, or rayon. Of course, a little bit of stretch from spandex couldn’t hurt. A 100% cotton dress should be breathable and comfortable enough for a sunny day on the beach.

What silhouette should I pick?

An A-line silhouette might be your top pick if you want something more structured. On the other hand, go for an empire waist or loose fit if you want a breathable dress that’s not too tight to move in.

What is casual beach dress?

A casual dress for the beach covers a variety of styles. For example, it covers everything from a maxi dress with a crew neck to protect you from sunburn to a floral-print sleeveless sundress. Any style of casual beach dress can be paired with different kinds of sun hats for a slightly different look.

Can a beach dress also be formal?

You can always opt for a combo dress that serves as beachwear while also looking appropriate for dinner and cocktails. These dresses are most often maxi dresses that go well with high heels and fashionable accessories.

About Erin Miller

An experienced points hacker, Erin is Alex’s partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points with in-depth guides and relationship management. Erin’s work has been cited in multiple major publications.


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