October 3, 2022

Hualienrainbow

We Bring Good Things to Life

6 Tropical Dresses That Belong In Your Suitcase

If you plan on sipping an ice-cold drink out of a coconut this summer, this one’s for you. The island aesthetic—palm trees, bold florals, and open-weave knits—is taking over this summer, but it’s not only relegated to vacation. Tropical dresses, while great for any upcoming visits you have planned to a white sand beach, also happen to embrace a bold summer vibe that works just as well for occasions at home. And, thanks to brands like Louisa Ballou and Johanna Ortiz which create collections focused specifically on vacation wares it’s easy to find the look that’s right for the type of trip you consider ideal—whether its beachside with a Mai Tai, or turning it up on the dance floor.

When it comes to the dress fitting for a trip somewhere close to the equator, there are a few key conditions to keep in mind. Firstly, you want lightweight materials—mesh, cotton, and linen—that will stop you from getting sweaty, even in the most humid of locales. You’ll also want to consider roomier silhouettes (perhaps even a caftan), that don’t hug so snugly to the skin, ideal for throwing on over a swimsuit or dressing up for a formal beachside occasion. Lastly, playing into the aesthetic means embracing the tropical vibe by way of bold prints and colors. This summer you won’t be playing it safe. Ahead, shop six tropical dress styles to help you embrace the aesthetic, whether you’re on island time, or still sticking to your city schedule.

Hot Nights

For those summer evenings when it stays sticky well past midnight, you need a dress that can handle a few hours of sweaty dancing. These lightweight options, both mini and mid-length, feel right at home on the dance floor.

Louisa Ballou Helios embellished floral-print stretch-mesh mini dress

Emma Mulholland on Holiday Happy Hawaii vacation slip dress

$151

EMMA MULHOLLAND ON HOLIDAY

Brandon Maxwell silk mini bubble dress

Bottega Veneta banana print one-shoulder crinkle knit minidress

Roomy Caftans

Want to embrace the luxuriously loungy lifestyle? There’s nothing like the caftan to help you pull it off. These roomy dresses make a great beach cover-up and allow your skin to feel that summer breeze whenever it arrives.

Studio 189 cotton day dress

La DoubleJ Flying placed-print poplin maxi dress

Tirunesh stripe cotton blend cover-up minidress

Tory Burch printed long caftan

Tropical Wedding Guest

If you’ve RSVP’d yes to a destination wedding somewhere warm, you need a dress that fits the dress code for the ceremony and celebration but still has a tropical feel. Look for longer silhouettes with playful tropical prints.

L’Agence Selena one-shoulder maxi dress

LoveShackFancy Karalie cotton-silk maxi dress

Saloni Ayla-B ruffle floral silk midi-dress

PatBo cut-out ruffled floral-print chiffon maxi dress

Comfy Cotton Dresses

Cotton is an ideal material for a trip to the tropics because it’s breathable and will dry quickly if you happen to get a little sweaty. You can opt for polished silhouettes and fun colors while still maintaining a relaxed air.

Mara Hoffman Rita Dramatic wing-ruffle midi-dress

Johanna Ortiz Serenity of the Heart poplin maxi dress

Ulla Johnson Sloane puff-sleeve keyhole-back mini dress

Breezy Crochet

Let a little air in by way of a luxe crochet design. These dresses make for ideal swimsuit cover-ups if you’re planning to grab a drink post-beach. They’re playful and show just the right amount of skin.

Vince cotton lace crochet midi-dress

LoveShackFancy Shelburne crocheted cotton midi-dress

Farm Rio striped crocheted cotton maxi dress

Akoia Swim Esme crocheted cotton midi-dress

White Hot

When you’re not feeling the look of a bold print, the best alternative to pulling off the tropical aesthetic is with a white look — be it lacy, cutout, or cropped. A lightweight white dress is the versatile vacation piece that you can easily dress up or down.

Ulla Johnson Bianca printed long balloon-sleeve shift dress

Christopher Esber ruched cut-out satin maxi dress

Faithfull the Brand Coralia tie-detailed crinkled linen-blend mini dress