A Buyer’s Guide for Dresses in the US

A Buyer’s Guide for Dresses in the US
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As soon as the weather gets warmer, many women start thinking about the season ahead. Not spring, not summer—sundress season.

Although you can wear dresses all year round thanks to tights and layering, there’s something so special about wearing a dress during warmer weather. Whether you’re wearing a flirty sundress that has the perfect cottage core vibes or an evening gown that is designed to stun, wearing a dress on a warm evening is the perfect way to feel just like a princess!

You may think dresses are easy to style because they’re just one garment, but that means that there’s even less room to avoid a fashion faux pas. You don’t want to fall victim to one of the many ugly dresses out there, or step out in a gown from several seasons ago.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to helping you shop for dresses. When in doubt, look at real reviews from other customers on US-Reviews!

What’s In This Blog?

Shopping for dresses is surprisingly complex considering that you’re buying just one garment. Here are some of the areas we will cover in this blog.

The Evolving Style of Dresses for Women

The Best Day Dresses

  • Overall Dresses

  • Smocked Dresses

  • Crochet Dresses

  • Pinafore Dresses

The Best Dresses for Evening Wear

  • Chiffon Dresses

  • Feather Dresses

Where to Find Amazing Dresses

  • Lulu’s

  • Old Navy

  • Milla

  • Von Maur

  • Lularoe

  • Chicos

  • Hollister

  • NG

  • ING

The Evolving Style of Dresses for Women

Throughout history, dresses were practically mandatory for women all over the world, at least until the mid-20th century when pants became more acceptable. However, to understand the position of dresses for women today, we don’t have to go quite so far back in history.

Even though dresses are no longer mandatory for women in most situations, they are still a fun way for ladies to show off their personal styles. Dresses have also gone through an extensive style evolution in the 21st century alone.

In the early 2000s, the ultra-feminine look was in. Women wore ultra-tight bandage dresses, flowy bubble dresses, and dresses with bodices that were ruched and frilled. For a few years, early 2000s fashion was the stuff of ridicule, but today these retro-style dresses are becoming popular again thanks to the y2k nostalgia trend among Tik-Tok teens. Online shopping in the US is evolving to reflect this trend.

Fashion became more democratized in the 2010s and was even more heavily influenced by the Internet and various subcultures on social media. Dresses became less popular as athleisure took over, but there were still some popular dress styles, including dresses popularized by Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, and blocky streetwear-inspired dresses.

It’s too early to say what dress trends will define the 2020s. However, we can already see that fashion is evolving even faster in this decade. Today’s hot trends mix inspiration from several different decades, innovative silhouettes, and materials you wouldn’t think belong on dresses.

The Best Day Dresses

If you’re looking for a dress to wear while running errands or getting coffee with a friend, here are some of the hottest dress trends for the day.

Overall Dresses

The overall dress is a throwback from the 1990s (and your favorite childhood outfit). These knee-length dresses have overall-like bibs that go over your chest and a shorter, fitted skirt. They’re usually made out of denim or corduroy.

The beauty of overall dresses is that you can wear them during any season. Put them on over a turtleneck and chunky tights for the fall, or wear them over a light T-shirt in the spring.

Smocked Dresses

Always a staple of the kids’ section, the smocked dress is becoming more and more popular among women. These dresses have accordion-like pleats around the sleeves, neckline, and skirt. They can be any length or color. Smocked dresses are a great way to add a boho, 1970s-inspired, romantic flair to your wardrobe.

Crochet Dresses

The crochet dress has taken Gen Z by storm, inspired in part by Tik-Tok influencers. A crochet dress is just what it sounds like: a dress made from crocheted fabric, not from pieces of fabric sewn together. They come in a variety of lengths, styles, and colors. The most popular have applique crochet details such as flowers.

This trend became more popular after lockdowns when people turned to crochet and other crafts as a way to pass the time. Retailers capitalized on the growing trend.

Pinafore Dresses

Like the overall dress, the pinafore dress is inspired by a retro classic. It also has a bodice that goes over an undershirt and a knee-length skirt. The difference is that the pinafore dress’s bodice is more structured, like a pinafore.

The Best Dresses for Evening Wear

Even though evening wear is coming back in 2022, it’s still returning in a more casual form. Women are more free to express themselves instead of following predetermined styles. Dresses inspired by favorite characters, such as Mal dresses, are taking the fashion world by storm.

Here are some popular evening dress styles.

Chiffon Dresses

The chiffon dress is a breezy, romantic choice for a formal vacation. This dress, like the famous “strawberry dress,” is made of lightweight, slightly sheer chiffon fabric. The cut is usually flowing and loose to show off the fabric.

Feather Dresses

Party like it’s 1922 in 2022 with a feather dress! This flapper-inspired cocktail dress style uses fringe and feathers to create a swinging silhouette.

Where to Find Amazing Dresses

Now that you know which trends are hot, here are some of the best places to get dresses in the US. Before you shop online, be sure to check out fashion webshop reviews.


Lulu is one of the best online retailers for more formal dresses that are still affordable. Whether you’re looking for office-party appropriate nude dresses or something more flirty, Lulu dresses have you covered.

Old Navy

Old Navy is one of the most popular stores for gorgeous yet cheap sundresses! They have all the latest trends in dresses, including pinafore dresses, smocked dresses, and more. Plus, Old Navy dresses have inclusive sizing.


For years, Milla has been the undisputed queen of prom and other formal events. Milla dresses stand out at all fancy evening occasions. You can find modern styles, such as the popular feathered cocktail dress, or classic ball gown silhouettes on the website.

Von Maur

This is another popular name when it comes to formal evening wear. Von Maur dresses are more adult than Milla, with stately silhouettes and cuts from top designers resold at affordable prices. They even have chiffon prom-style dresses.


Most people know LuLaRoe for their leggings, but the popular retailer has other garments including dresses. Their smocked dresses, which come in all fabrics and colors for year-round wear, stand out.


Chico’s is a popular retailer for more mature clothing, including dresses that are perfect for office work and family parties. Chico’s dresses come in a variety of classic silhouettes, including shift, smock, and flowing maxi dresses.


For decades, Hollister has been the dictator of style among American teenagers. Hollister dresses continue to be at the forefront of latest trends, featuring popular styles such as crochet dresses.


For shoppers looking for more modest wear, NG dresses can’t be beat. They have modern silhouettes, including romantic ruched looks, that also offer comfortable coverage.


ING is a great place to go for dresses that can easily transition from day to evening wear. ING dresses have gorgeous feminine silhouettes including pinafore and slip dresses.

The Final Word on Dresses

During any season, wearing a dress is a great way to express yourself and look put together with little effort. Now that you’re up-to-date on the latest trends and retailers, you can look your best!

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