Summer vacations are all about soaking up the sun and capturing those Instagram-worthy moments. When packing for your upcoming trip, there’s one item that should be at the top of your list: the flowy sundress.
Flowy sundresses are the perfect warm weather vacation wardrobe essential. They’re lightweight, breezy, and effortlessly stylish. Plus, they easily transition from day to night activities with just a few minor accessorizing tweaks.
In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about choosing the best flowy sundress styles, fabrics, prints and patterns for your next getaway. Consider this your go-to guide for vacation sundress outfit inspiration!
Flowy Sundress Styles Perfect for Vacation
When it comes to flowy sundress styles, you’re spoiled for choice. Here are some of the most popular silhouettes that are ideal for tropical locales:
The Breezy Maxi Sundress
Maxi sundresses stop right at your ankles for that effortlessly boho chic look. These ankle-grazing dresses keep you cool with their floor-sweeping hemlines and are available in a variety of flattering styles.
Spaghetti strap maxi sundresses showcase your shoulders beautifully while still providing coverage for your arms. Strapless maxi styles are gorgeous too – just be sure to pack a strapless bra! For a bit more coverage, try a halterneck maxi sundress. The halter ties gracefully around your neck while still revealing a peek of back and shoulders.
Maxi sundresses are fantastic for throwing over your swimsuit as a beach cover-up. Their lightweight fabric billows beautifully in ocean breezes.
The Leg-Flaunting Midi Sundress
Midi sundress hemlines hit right around mid-calf, showing off just the right amount of leg. They manage to be demure yet sexy at the same time.
Midi sundress styles are fantastic for daytime sightseeing adventures and causal dinners out. The often sport whimsical prints and eye-catching colors or details like ruffles. Wrap a cotton midi sundress around you for morning museum explorations, then slip on some wedges for dinner on the patio.
Short and Flirty Mini Sundresses
Don’t be afraid to rock some leg on your next vacation with a fun mini sundress. Short sundresses keep you cool and highlight your gams.
Mini sundress styles range from retro polka dots to pretty off the shoulder ruffles. Look for flirty cold shoulder styles or delicate eyelet lace minis. Pair one of these beauties with sandal heels for a sizzling dinner look.
Sundresses with Sleeves for Sun Protection
Just because it’s a sundress doesn’t mean it can’t have sleeves! Sleeveless styles may be the norm, but more and more flowy sundresses are including sleeve options to protect your shoulders from sun exposure.
Off the shoulder sundresses have fluttery short sleeves that sit just below your shoulders in a flattering way. You’ll also find many boho style sundresses with elbow length bell sleeves or billowy gauze sleeves. They look pretty and still keep you covered.
The Universally Flattering Wrap Sundress
A wrap sundress is styled like a wrap top, with overlapping fabric that ties at the waist or side. This creates an incredibly figure-flattering silhouette. Wrap sundress styles look gorgeous on literally every body type.
The wrap design also allows you to adjust the fit as needed. Cinch it a bit tighter after a huge meal, or loosen the ties in the heat.
From floral printed wraps to short and sassy mini wraps, you’ll look confident and chic in this versatile style. Toss one on over your swimsuit for instant polish.
Romper Sundresses – Two Trends in One
Sundress meets romper – what’s not to love about the sundress romper? This style gives you a flattering one-piece outfit with the flowiness of a sundress. It’s also amazing for vacations filled with activity.
No worrying about flashing anyone mid zipline or hike! But the romper design still looks perfectly cute for grabbing drinks at the tiki bar after.
Pop one on over your suit for hitting the pool or beach club during the day. Then just add earrings and wedge sandals to make it dinner-worthy.
Choosing the Best Fabrics and Materials for Flowy Vacation Sundresses
Now that you’ve picked out some swoon-worthy sundress styles, it’s time to consider fabrics. The materials your flowy sundress is made from can affect the overall look, feel and functionality. Here are some of the top fabrics for breezy vacation wear:
Airy Cotton Sundresses
A flowy cotton sundress is a warm weather wardrobe staple. Cotton fabric is lightweight and breathable – ideal for humid tropical climates where you want airflow.
Cotton sundress styles range from casual T-shirt dresses to retro polka dot fit and flares. The fabric also picks up the slightest breeze, giving that effortless billowy look.
From sightseeing to sunset dinners, a cotton sundress keeps you cool while looking totally chic on vacation.
Wrinkle-Resistant Linen Sundresses
Don’t be afraid to pack a linen sundress – the relaxed, beachy fabric is perfect for vacation. Linen has a textured look that just screams boho vibes. While it does wrinkle more easily than other fabrics, it’s lightweight and also packs down well.
Once you slip into that comfy linen sundress, you’ll forget all about the wrinkles. Their casual charm is spot on for a tropical getaway. Pull your hair up and add some woven sandals or espadrilles.
Breezy Chiffon Sundress Coverups
On the hunt for a cute chiffon sundress coverup? Made from a lightweight polyester, chiffon fabric flows beautifully in the breeze. It’s also semi-transparent, making it the ideal beach coverup.
Look for chiffon sundresses with fun tropical prints or pretty lace trim. Toss one over your favorite swimsuit for a quick lunch break from the water. The free-flowing fabric keeps you cool while adding polish.
Just note chiffon can be delicate and requires gentle care. But that’s a small price to pay for such dreamy flow!
Luxurious Silk Sundresses
Feel gorgeous on your vacation by packing a luxurious silk sundress or two. The smooth, soft fabric simply drapes and flows. It’s ultra light and comfortable in warm weather.
From vivid florals to vibrant solids, silk sundresses make a vibrant statement. Be aware silk does require a bit of delicate care. Wash by hand or dry clean only. But it’s worth it for the lux factor!
Comfy Jersey Knit Sundress Styles
For travel days or sightseeing tours, slip on a jersey knit sundress. This t-shirt-like fabric is made from stretchy interlocked cotton, rayon or polyester fibers. It hugs your figure in all the right places but remains comfy.
Jersey knit sundresses don’t wrinkle easily, making them awesome for packing. Look for fun printed wraps and wiggle dresses in this carefree fabric. It works for both playful daytime adventures and drinks under the stars.
Denim Sundresses for Casual Cool
You don’t just have to wear denim in jean form! A chambray or lightweight denim sundress screams laidback cool. The casual fabric transitions seamlessly from day to night activities.
When choosing a denim sundress for your getaway, go for lighter washes and lightweight feels. Steer clear of thick stiff denim that can feel bulky in the heat.
Pair your denim sundress with chunky sneakers for strolling the streets or wedges for dinner. Effortless summer style!
Sundress Prints, Colors and Patterns That Pop
The vivid prints and bold colors of flowy sundresses really reflect that vacation state of mind. Here are some recommended patterns to infuse your getaway wardrobe with tropical flair:
Classic Solid Sundresses in Bright Hues
You can never go wrong with a solid color sundress – it makes for the perfect vibrant base to any outfit! Choose bold brights like ruby red, citrus orange, or aqua blue.
Solid sundresses in vivid colors look fantastic when paired with fun patterned accessories like woven handbags, printed espadrilles, or stacking bangle bracelets. Go for eye-popping color combos.
Tropical Print Sundresses
Channel tropical vibes in a flowy sundress splashed in exotic botanical prints. Floral sundresses bursting with palm leaves, hibiscus blooms, or anemone flowers speak to your island state of mind. Large scale tropical prints make the biggest statement.
In addition to floral prints, keep an eye out for sundresses with coconuts, pineapples, Hawaiian shirts or jungle vibes. You’ll feel like a tropical goddess!
Artsy Batik Printed Sundresses
Take your vacation style up a notch with an artisanal batik print sundress. The technique uses wax and dye to create colorful motifs and patterns by hand. You’ll find batik prints depicting all types of plants, birds, animals and cultural symbols.
No two are exactly alike, giving your look a super unique bohemian vibe. Slip one on over your swimsuit for an instant artisan flair.
Retro Polka Dot Sundress
Can you ever really go wrong with polka dots? This playful retro print screams sunshine and good vibes. It’s timeless yet always fun.
Look for both small ditsy polka dot sundress styles or oversized polka dot prints in bold contrasting colors. Red and white polka dots will have you feeling like an old Hollywood starlet on vacation.
Wrap a polka dot sundress over your suit and don’t forget the classic red lip!
Farmhouse Chic Gingham Sundresses
Breathe some farmhouse chic into your vacation vibe with a flowy gingham sundress. The laidback picnic check print reminds us of sweet sunny days outdoors. Both mini and maxi gingham sundresses capture that nostalgic mood.
Gingham sundresses pair perfectly with casual accessories like straw hats, woven sandals and wicker bags. A sweet off shoulder gingham sundress with ruffle sleeves is oh so darling!
Breezy Sundresses in Maritime Stripes
Nautical striped sundresses channel effortless seaside cool. Wide and narrow striped sundress styles evoke images of cabanas on the coastline. Look for shades of navy, red and white for classic maritime flair.
Vertical striped patterns help elongate your frame – bonus! For breezy beach nights, just toss on some hoop earrings and slide into your stripes. Uber chic!
Soft and Feminine Pastel Sundresses
If black makes you blue, embrace the lighter side of life! A pale pastel sundress instantly invokes images of spring and all things soft and feminine.
Pretty puff sleeves, lace trims and flirty ruffles all look dreamy in colors like pink, lavender, buttercream and seafoam green. Pair your pastel sundress with contrasting vibrant accessories for a pop – think citrus handbags or turquoise jewelry!
Tips for Styling Sundresses Just Right on Vacation
You’ve picked out your perfect flowy sundresses for the trip – now comes the fun part of styling them for both day and night! Here are some tips to take your vacation sundress outfits up a notch:
For cooler nights, layer with a denim or leather jacket. A chic coat adds warmth after sunset and gives your dress a more dressed up feel.
Cinch in the waist of your flowy sundress with a belt. Add definition to otherwise loose silhouettes. A braided belt or exotic metallic waist cincher makes a statement.
Shield your face and shoulders from the sun with a wide brim hat like a floppy sunhat. Baseball caps or straw fedoras work too.
Cover up when heading indoors to chillier restaurants or museums with a kimono, duster cardigan or pashmina wrap. Just drape over your shoulders for lightweight layering.
Kick things up a notch for dinners out by pairing your sundress with some strappy sandal heels or wedges. Metallic or cork wedges add vacation vibes. Rhinestone embellished sandal heels shine after dark!
Stick with flat sandals like gladiator or braided styles for all day sightseeing. They’ll keep you comfy while walking around. Basic flip flops work too!
Espadrilles or sneakers instantly dress down fancy sundresses for casual daytime wear. Throw on classic white Converse with a boho midi.
Don’t forget to lather on sunscreen! Many sundresses have spaghetti straps, halters or open backs that leave skin exposed. Stay safe in the sun.
If your sundress is super short or flowy, wear bike shorts or leggings underneath for peace of mind. This prevents any Marilyn Monroe moments!
Be prepared with the right undergarments. Pack strapless bras, stick-on cups, bandeaus or bralettes to accommodate tricky sundress silhouettes.
Add some dazzle with jewelry! Long pendants, stacks of bangle bracelets, and statement earrings all complement sundresses.
Stay hands-free while exploring with a crossbody bag. Seek out fun tropical prints and woven textures. Or go nautical with a classic canvas option.
Vacation Sundress FAQs: Your Top Questions Answered
We get a lot of questions on how to choose and style the perfect flowy sundresses. Here are answers to some of the most common FAQs:
How Many Sundresses Should I Pack for Vacation?
The number depends on length of trip, planned activities and your personal style preferences. For a 7 day tropical getaway, we recommend packing 2-3 sundresses per week. This allows you to mix and match while still leaving room for any souvenirs!
And don’t forget to account for possible spills, stains or other dress disasters!
What Shoes Work Best With Flowy Sundresses?
Some top footwear pairings include:
- Sandals (gladiator, strappy, braided, etc.)
- Sneakers like Converse or slip on styles
- Wedge heels or sandal heels for evenings out
- Dressy flats, loafers or oxfords
Maxi sundresses can be paired with almost any shoe type since the long hemline keeps your legs hidden. But shorter hemlines call for shoes that visually elongate – so stick with sandals or neutral heels.
Any Tips for Washing Sundresses on Vacation?
It’s wise to wash sundresses in a laundry bag to prevent stretching, tearing or twisting. Check clothing labels and opt for cool gentle cycles.
Once washed, refreshen sundresses by hanging or laying flat to air dry. The breeze will relax any wrinkles. If needed, use a travel steamer to touch up wrinkles and creases before re-wearing.
How to Handle Flowy Sundresses on Windy Days?
Sudden breezes can lead to wardrobe malfunctions! Some tips to prevent over-exposure on windy days:
- Wear shorts under your sundress for backup coverage
- Tie a lightweight scarf around the neckline for quick coverups
- Hold down flyaway skirt hems discreetly with one hand
- Add a crossbody bag to weigh down fluttery hems
What Bag Styles Work Best With Sundresses?
Crossbody bags are ideal for pairing with flowy sundresses. With your hands free, you can wrangle kids or easily snap photos. Backpacks also leave you hands-free for activities.
Look for bags with adjustable longer straps to wear comfortably over bare shoulders. Be sure your bag is big enough to hold essentials like sunscreen, hat, coverup, etc.
Can Little Girls Wear Sundresses Too?
Absolutely! Sundresses are just as charming on little ladies. For girls, look for sundresses with:
- Fun whimsical prints and colors
- Easy pull-on styles without tricky fastenings
- Wide straps for comfort and coverage
- Shorts or leggings paired underneath for active play
Ruffle trim, eyelet lace and big floral prints all add playful flair. The twirl factor provides endless entertainment!
What Are the Best Fabrics for Hot Humid Climates?
Light and breezy fabrics that allow airflow will keep you coolest. Recommended options include:
- Lightweight cotton
- Rayon or viscose
- Loose crochet knits
Steer clear of materials like velvet, corduroy and heavier denim that can feel heavy in sweltering temps.
How Do I Style Sundresses for Cocktails or Evenings Out?
Make your sundress affair-ready with these easy elevating tips:
- Add a denim jacket or leather moto jacket for instant cool aesthetic.
- Swap casual daytime sandals for some strappy heels or wedges.
- Accessorize with statement jewelry like pendant necklaces, dangly chandelier earrings, and cocktail rings.
- Carry a sleek clutch bag instead of everyday oversized totes.
- Wrap in a pashmina stole or lightweight shawl for chillier nights.
- Opt for darker, richer sundress colors and prints – try deep burgundy, navy or dark florals.
- Finish the look with bold lip color and lightly curled hair. Va va voom!
What Kinds of Materials Should I Avoid for Vacation Sundresses?
Steer clear of sundress fabrics that are heavy, restrict airflow and easily wrinkle, such as:
- Velvet – trapping in heat
- Corduroy – bulky seams
- Denim – standard jeans fabric is too heavy
- Acrylic knits – tend to cling and restrict
- Chinses – trapping heat
Stick to breezy lightweight natural fabrics. Always check clothing labels for recommended care instructions too. Some fabrics require delicate treatment not ideal for rugged vacay conditions!
We hope this guide has helped spotlight all of the amazing flowy sundress options for your upcoming sunny getaway!
From flirty short styles to breezy maxi dresses, sundresses encapsulate that effortless vacation vibe. They’re versatile, packable and easy to dress up or down.
Just be sure to choose lightweight fabrics in fun tropical prints or bright solids. Then accessorize with your favorite jewelry and footwear to add polish. Don’t be afraid to pair dressier heels with casual relaxed sundresses – it’s all about contrasting moods and textures.
Let us know if you have any other sundress tips or questions by leaving a comment below! And get ready to flaunt some flowy dress magic on your next adventure.