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Summertime and the living’s easy — and your wardrobe should be too. Whether you’re dressing for vacation, the office, or happy hour, there’s nothing easier than throwing on a summer dress, grabbing your go-to designer handbag and heading out the door. And if you want that effortless, breezy style, reach for one of the best linen dresses around.
“Linen is the perfect summer fabric, it has enduring appeal for its lightweight and relaxed attitude. It also happens to be biodegradable and very sustainable, and as we have so many designers exploring more sustainable sourcing, it is coming to the forefront,” says Lisa Aiken, former Fashion & Lifestyle Director at Neiman Marcus.
Not only do the best linen dresses capture the look and style of the warm-weather season, they also offer benefits that help you keep cool and comfortable on the hottest of days. Daniela Garcés, the Colombian designer and founder of the Miami-based brand Guadalupe Design, loves linen for its breathability, durability, and versatility. A moisture-wicking fabric, Garcés says, “linen helps you feel cool in the summer as it dries quicker than cotton.”
Another benefit of the summer-friendly fabric? “Linen clothes will not lose their shape after washing, so if they are looked after properly, it’s highly likely that your linen garments will still be in great condition for years to come,” Garcés says.
Check out our top picks below for the best linen dresses you can easily rock all summer long, including unique styles and classic lightweight options.
Top Linen Dresses of 2023
- Best Shirt Dress: J.Crew Long Beach Shirt in Linen-Cotton Blend
- Best Belted Dress: Matthew Bruch Safari Linen Minidress
- Best Size-Inclusive Dress: H&M Linen Blend Shirtdress
- Best Dress for Work: Officine Générale Nadia Striped Printed Linen-Blend Midi Shirt Dress
- Best Dress for a Bride: Zimmermann Wonderland Linen & Silk Corset Dress
- Best Caftan Dress: HIUPEB Long Sleeve Cotton Linen Split Kaftan
- Best Smocked Dress: Farm Rio Side Smocked Linen Blend Midi Sundress
- Best Wrap Dress: Babaton Dern Linen Dress
- Best Off-The-Shoulder Dress: Mara Hoffman Leonara Off-The-Shoulder Tencel Lyocell and Linen-Blend Midi Dress
- Best Cut-Out Dress: Staud Matteo Dress
- Best Affordable Dress: ASTR the Label Winley Dress
- Best Swim Cover-Up: Amazon The Drop Relaxed Linen Midi Shirtdress
- Best Everyday Dress: Faithfull the Brand Hielo Cut-Out Linen Dress
- Best Trendy Dress: Jacquemus Fuschia Linen Dress
- Best Casual Dress: Abacaxi Shisha Linen Dress
- Best Summer Dress: Reformation Tagliatelle Linen Dress
- Best Organic Dress: Deiji Studios The Knot Linen Midi Dress
- Best Going Out Dress: Agua by Agua Bendita Anturio Linen Mini Dress
- Best Patterened Dress: Johanna Ortiz Printed Linen Tunic
- Sir Linen Maxi Dress
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J.Crew Long Beach Shirt in Linen-Cotton Blend
Best Linen Shirt Dress
- Size range: XS-3X
- Colorways: white and Sheer Flax
- Material: 60% linen/40% cotton.
There’s nothing more timeless than a white linen shirt dress — but this style by J.Crew puts a fresh spin on a classic. Featuring a fitted silhouette and rollable cuffs, the streamlined shape is breezy and laidback with a touch of femininity. It’s made from cotton and linen, making it comfy and easy to style. You can throw it on over a bathing suit or belt it with kitten heels for a casual lunch in town.
What reviewers say: “I wore this to a women’s networking event over black cigarette pants, a black cami and some very pointy black leather heels. Added the Vienna Crossbody Bag in black patent leather to finish off the look. The ladies were falling over themselves. I live in Florida where linen is king. No one had ever seen anything like it! Kudos J. Crew.”
Matthew Bruch Safari Linen Minidress
Best Belted Linen Dress
- Size range: 1-5
- Colorways: Blue
- Material: 100% linen
Belts are having a moment this season, but Matthew Bruch’s Safari Linen Minidress takes the accessory to a new level. With a matching belted waist, split chest pockets, and front buttons, this practical linen dress is perfect to wear in a city, on a safari, or on a beach. Wear yours with gold jewelry and a designer tote bag for an easy day look.
H&M Linen Blend Shirtdress
Best Size-Inclusive Linen Dress
- Size range: XS-4XL
- Colorways: Light Blue, Green
- Material: Recycled Cotton and linen
H&M’s linen shirtdress is a favorite amongst shoppers for its flattering cut and stretch linen fabric, which gives a comfier fit. Available in two colors, the classic shirt dress style features long sleeves, a subtle slit, and a tie belt. The midi hemline makes this one easy to style with any footwear — from sandals to sneakers to your favorite summer heels.
What reviewers say: “I bought both colors because it’s a great versatile piece. Can be worn as a coverup, dress, lounge nightgown, and also open as a duster. I sized up to a 3x from my usual xxl for my 18/20 body. I wanted that casual oversized fit. Great spring color too.”
Officine Générale Nadia Striped Printed Linen-Blend Midi Shirt Dress
Best Workwear Linen Dress
- Size range: 2-12
- Material: 85% linen, 15% polyamide
If you work in an office, this polished shirt dress is calling your name. The structured silhouette is made of a lightweight blend of linen and polyamide and has a soft stripe design that’s reminiscent of tie-dye. Featuring a point collar and enlarged short sleeves, you can wear it on its own or layer it under a blazer for those days when the A/C is cranking in the office. Oh, and did I mention the fitted waist design that flatteringly and elegantly flows into a flared skirt?
Zimmermann Wonderland Linen & Silk Corset Dress
Best Linen Wedding Dress
- Size range: 00-4
- Colorways: White, Dusty Pink
- Materials: Linen and silk
If you’re a bride-to-be who is planning a seaside nuptial, this Zimmermann dress is for you. It features a corset bodice, flower tassel details, and a sweetheart neckline. It’s especially great for a no-frills ceremony because it feels simple and relaxed and won’t be dragged through the sand. Wear yours with delicate personal jewelry and a raffia clutch.
HIUPEB Long Sleeve Cotton Linen Split Kaftan
Best Linen Caftan Dress
- Size range: S-3XL
- Colorways: White, Blue, Beige
- Materials: 35% Linen and 65% Cotton
If you’re looking for a subtle statement-making linen dress, look no further than HIUPEB’s chic linen kaftan. Featuring a button-down design, side splits, two side pockets, and a mock neck, the maxi-length dress is perfect for pairing with heeled sandals for a summer night out. While it’s sure to make a style splash, reach for the light blue option since it taps into summer’s bright and bold color trend — and is great for styling with equally bright accessories.
Farm Rio Side Smocked Linen Blend Midi Sundress
Best Smocked Linen Dress
- Size range: XXS-XL
- Materials: 55% linen, 45% viscose
- Special features: Farmi Rio will plant one tree for every purchase of its product as a partner of the global reforestation nonprofit One Tree Planted.
This smocked, spaghetti-strap style by Farm Rio is worth adding to your collection for its soft silhouette that’s versatile enough to be worn just about anywhere and everywhere. With a smocked bodice and a breezy tiered skirt, it’s both flattering and comfortable on even the hottest of summer days. For an al fresco dinner, team it with a beige blazer and gladiator sandals. For a day spent shopping, style it with white sneakers and a straw tote bag.
Babaton Dern Linen Dress
Best Wrap Linen Dress
- Size range: 2XS-XL
- Colorways: Black, Daze Grey, White
- Materials: 55% linen, 45% LENZING™ ECOVERO™ viscose
Aritizia’s linen and viscose blend wrap dress is sure to become a staple in your summer wardrobe. It’s got a little bit of everything: a flattering wrap design, the perfect muted hues, and a V-neck for showing off a statement necklace. Pair it with lace-up sandals and gold jewelry, and you’ve got a ready-to-go summer look that can take you from lunch to dinner to vacation and beyond.
What reviewers say: “Linen material is very nice, soft and quality. The fit of the dress is perfect everywhere, bust, shoulders, waist (M, 34C, 28 waist). I was happy to see a dress with short sleeves and back covered so I jumped to order this dress and it was definitely good money spent. It survived the wash as well, held off really nicely. The blue colour is pretty and it is not sheer at all which is a must for me.”
Mara Hoffman Leonara Off-The-Shoulder Tencel Lyocell and Linen-Blend Midi Dress
Best Off-The-Shoulder Linen Dress
- Size range: 00-20
- Colorways: Black, Ivory
- Materials: 63% TENCEL™ Lyocell, 37% linen
“This Mara Hoffman dress is an easy and relaxed silhouette that can be adapted for different occasions,” Aiken says. Made of a lyocell linen blend, the dress features an off-the-shoulder neckline and elegantly curved sleeves. It’s perfect for those who prefer a linen dress that sits close to the body while offering movement and shape. Add a pair of heeled sandals and a clutch, and you’ve got an instant look ready for an upscale luncheon.
Staud Matteo Dress
Best Cut-Out Linen Dress
- Size range: 00-16
- Material: 100% linen
The cut-out dress trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and linen is the ideal fabric to try the look for even more breathability and ease. Staud’s take on the trend features a short-sleeve silhouette with interwoven ropes, an exposed zip at back, and a round neckline. The bold Barbie-pink color makes the look pop even more. Pair it with white accessories such as a top handle bag and kitten heels.
ASTR the Label Winley Dress
Best Affordable Linen Dress
- Size range: XS-XL
- Materials: 55% linen/45% viscose
Yes, puff sleeves are trending, and this linen midi dress from ASTR the Label is all the proof you need. The white breezy linen balances out the more structured details of the fitted silhouette, from the delicate puff sleeves to the ruched bodice with wraparound cutout and ruffle hemline. Add a pair of heels, and this is the perfect look for any summer parties, or style it with flat sandals for a more casual look. Saving money on an affordable linen dress makes it easier to splurge on a designer beach bag this season.
Amazon The Drop Relaxed Linen Midi Shirtdress
Best Linen Swim Cover-Up
- Size range: XXS-5X
- Colorways: white, black, red, and hummus colors
- Materials: 100% Linen
Thanks to its light, airy breathability, linen also makes a great swimsuit coverup fabric to layer over your favorite one-piece swimsuit or bikini, whether you’re going to the beach, sitting poolside, or sightseeing on a tropical vacation. This affordable style from Amazon’s The Drop line offers a midi length with breezy slide slits and can be buttoned up or left open over a swimsuit. It’s also available in black, a beige hummus, and red, if you prefer more of a statement color.
What reviewers say: “I’m surprised how much I like this dress. Works with or without a belt. It is quite sheer and I will wear it again with a slip. The slip defeats the purpose of a cool, long sleeve, summer dress. Highly recommend.”
Faithfull the Brand Hielo Cut-Out Linen Dress
Best Everyday Linen Dress
- Size range: XS-XL
- Materials: 100% linen
A subtle way to dive into summer’s cut-out dress trend is with side waist cut-outs. This linen dress from Faithfull the Brand offers a high neckline and midi length to balance out the elasticized waist-baring detail. The ultra-flattering silhouette can be styled with sandals or sneakers, making this the perfect everyday summer dress this season.
Jacquemus Fuschia Linen Dress
Best Trendy Linen Dress
- Size range: 00-14
- Colorways: fuschia, off white, and turquoise
- Material: Linen
Popping up everywhere from the runways to red carpets to Instagram, bright pink is undoubtedly one of the season’s hottest colors. This Jacquemus mini dress channels the fun, hotlink energy with another playful take on the classic shirtdress, this time in the form of a fitted mini dress. Featuring a double collar and top layer, the bodice offers a loose, undone style, while the bottom lends a fitted look across the waist and hips. With a pair of strappy-heeled sandals and some bold jewelry, you have this season’s go-to night-out look. But if pink isn’t your thing, it’s also available in a chic off-white color or bright turquoise.
Abacaxi Shisha Linen Dress
Best Casual Linen Dress
- Size range: XS-XL
- Colorways: Green and black
- Materials: Cotton and linen
Founded by South Asian-American designer Sheena Sood, Abacaxi fuses traditional Indian textiles and design techniques with modern NYC style. The brand is a favorite for its rich colors, prints, and fabrics that pay homage to the designer’s Indian roots. This retro-inspired linen midi dress features a line of shisha mirrors (an embroidery technique tracing back to India that’s meant to ward off bad luck and evil spirits) and hand-beading down the front for a unique design detail. The adjustable straps, sweetheart neckline, and flared hem offer just the right amount of summer flair.
Reformation Tagliatelle Linen Dress
Best Summer Linen Dress
- Size range: 0-12
- Colorways: Black, white, a pink gingham print, and floral print
- Materials: 100% linen sheeting fabric printed and finished locally in LA.
It’s giving us Bridgerton vibes — and it’s giving it good. Reformation’s corset-inspired Tagliatelle linen dress offers a scalloped, corset bodice that would do Lady Whistledown proud, paired with the ease of lightweight, breathable linen. The relaxed skirt flares just slightly from the waist, lending more movement and shape in a midi length. You can choose between a gingham and floral print, or keep it simple with a white or black color.
Deiji Studios The Knot Linen Midi Dress
Best Sustainable Linen Dress
- Size range: XS-XL
- Materials: 100% linen
- Special features: Sustainably made
Deiji Studios is an Australian-based brand that’s mastered the art of minimalism, and this effortlessly chic linen maxi dress is no exception. Using breathable, OEKO-TEX-certified fabrics, Deiji Studios creates loungewear that’s inspired by simplicity and comfort. Its Knot dress works just as well out of the house as it does for bedtime. Pair it with luxurious slippers and fuzzy socks when hanging at home or with fisherman sandals and a crossbody bag for your next European summer getaway.
Agua by Agua Bendita Anturio Linen Mini Dress
Best Going Out Linen Dress
- Size range: XS-XL
- Materials: Linen
Agua Bendita is a Colombian-based brand, and they have fully mastered the art of prints. Ideal for a summer night out or a vacation look, this flirty A-line linen mini dress has a floral, botanic-inspired print. The tie halter straps and embroidered flare hemline add a touch of flirty, feminine details, perfect for pairing with sky-high heeled sandals.
Johanna Ortiz Printed Linen Tunic
Best Patterned Linen Dress
- Size range: 2-14
- Material: Linen
Johanna Ortiz is a Colombian designer whose garments conjure images of sun-kissed skin and the smell of sea and sand. Bright, breezy, and beautiful, this printed linen dress will prove on-repeat to be a staple for warm-weather days. It features a geometric motif, wide sleeves, a detachable belt, and tasseled self-ties. Pair with chunky wedges for days spent pounding the pavements, or slide into a strappy flat sandal for vacation dinners alfresco.
Sir Linen Maxi Dress
- Size range: XS-XL
- Material: Linen
Sir is an Australian-based brand that’s mastered the art of minimalism, and this effortlessly chic linen maxi dress is no exception. The black maxi features a bustier top, thick straps, and a slit hem for easy movement. Proving less is more, the super simple design looks luxe, sleek, and like something the Olsen twins would wear while running errands. Accessorize with fun thong sandals and a simple black shoulder bag for a sunset dinner with a loved one.
Top Linen Dress Trends for 2023
Yes, linen is a summer classic, but it’s also tapping into this season’s biggest trends. “Color, print, and a bohemian flair continue to resonate,” Aiken says of the season’s standout linen trends, “Cut-outs and lightweight knit bodycon dresses are trends that the customer is embracing in a bigger way.”
One (of the many) great things about the best linen dresses is that you can find beautiful options for every occasion, from casual, everyday wear to professional, office-worthy styles and even some of the best wedding guest dresses to wear this summer are made of linen or a hybrid fabric blend.
For this spring and summer, try these trendy linen dresses:
- Bright and bold colors: If the Spring/Summer 2023 runways suggested anything, it’s that there’s no better time to go bold when it comes to color. For example, bold lime green ruled Spring/Summer 2023 runways everywhere, from Jil Sander to Victoria Beckham and Brandon Maxwell, while colorful tie-dye-inspired patterns were seen at Altuzarra, Peter Do, and Prada. With its airy, textured look, linen is a great fabric to experiment with color in — from neon greens to colorful prints and beach-inspired stripes.
- Sheer: The sheer fashion trend is going strong, and it’s a sharp look to weave into a fabric that’s already loved for its breathability. Sheer was huge on spring/summer 2023 and fall/winter 2023 runways, with Heron Preston’s, Bottega Veneta’s, Jason Wu’s, Fendi’s, Coach’s, and Rodarte’s collections diving into intricate bodice silhouettes that bring on all the sex appeal. When done in a laidback fabric like linen, the look is the perfect hybrid of subtle and sexy.
- Prints on prints: From colorful florals to South American-inspired jungle patterns, there’s no shortage of prints to choose from this season. If you’re looking for a standout vacation or party dress, a printed linen style is an instant look that makes a statement all on its own.
- Linen maxi dresses: Mini dresses and skirts may have had their moments, but this year it’s all about flowing maxi dresses, which make for a chic, laid-back linen style. Think loose, airy silhouettes that graze the ankle and capture that summer ease. All you need is a pair of flat sandals and a straw hat to feel like you’re on vacation all summer long.
- The classic linen shirtdress: The shirtdress is a timeless wardrobe staple, but this season’s linen shirt dresses are available in a range of colors and silhouettes, from mini to maxi. A linen shirtdress gets even more versatility points because it can double as the perfect swimsuit coverup too. Two dresses in one? Win-win.
The Best Way to Clean Linen Dresses
So you finally found the linen dress of your dreams, now it’s time to make sure it lasts for many more seasons to come. Follow these step-by-step instructions to extend the lifespan of your linen dresses.
- First, read the care label on your individual garment. This is crucial.
- Every linen dress may slightly differ, but linen can typically be machine washed on a gentle cycle using lukewarm or cold water — never hot water!
- To prevent the fabric’s color from fading, use a mild detergent, regardless of whether you’re hand- or machine-washing.
- Finally, you should always turn the garment inside out before machine washing to further protect and preserve the linen fibers.
- For the super cautious among us, head to the dry cleaner, as most linen can be dry-cleaned (although this is where reading the care label first is key).
Meet the Experts
- Lisa Aiken is the former Fashion & Lifestyle Director at Neiman Marcus.
- Daniela Garcés is the Miami-based Creative Director and Founder of Guadalupe Design.
Meet the Authors
Lauren Alexis Fisher is a fashion writer and editor in New York with nearly a decade of experience in the fashion industry. She was previously the digital market editor at Harper’s Bazaar, where she researched and wrote fashion and trend piece stories on everything from accessories to the best dresses for your body type. Along with her own never-ending quest to find the summer dress, she currently contributes to publications including WWD, Cosmopolitan, and Bustle, where she highlights all the best fashion buys online. Fisher wrote the initial version of this linen dress story, which was published in 2022.
Nikki Chwatt is the Style Commerce Editor for Footwear News and WWD, where she writes and edits stories on the latest clothing and shoe trends. She is at the forefront of all consumer trends with a keen eye for the latest, greatest, and classics of what people wear, buy, and love. With the change of season in New York City, Chwatt is always searching for the best dresses because they can be worn with everything from sandals and ballet flats to sneakers and ankle boots. Chwatt has updated this best linen dress story with the latest product releases and more expert advice for spring and summer 2023.