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Girl, That's a Cute Dress: 15 Stores for Sundresses, Caftans, Shifts, and More

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Have you walked outside today? Then you know it's time to retire pants until September. The summer solstice is officially past us, so now we're looking to keep our clothing options as lightweight and hassle-free as possible—the less fabric that's touching skin, the better. To help you build out this wardrobe, we've rounded up Manhattan and Brooklyn's 15 best spots to buy summer dresses, whether you prefer flirty fit-and-flare styles from wallet-friendly hot spots or oversized-tee looks from high-end contemporary labels.

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Reformation

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The Los Angeles-based brand's signature dress style—deep v-necks, high slits, nipped waists, and flowing fabrics—make Reformation a no-brainer for hot months. And even though most dresses are at least a couple hundred bucks, their timeless cuts and patterns make them repeatable for seasons on ends. [Photo: Brian Harkin]
Want summer minimalism at its best? Look no further than Spring Street, where a COS tee-shirt dress that clocks in at just over $100 (unless it's on sale) will navigate you through steamy subway commutes and rooftop happy hours alike. [Photo]

Topshop

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No other store on this list has the variety you’ll find at the Brit fast-fashion chain, which ranges from trendy shorteralls, 70s denim dresses, beach-ready maxis, shapeless shirt dresses, boudoir-esque slips, and more. Plus, prices generally only exceed two digits on special occasion dresses or in Topshop’s Boutique collection. [Photo: Topshop]

& Other Stories

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COS and H&M's sister brand works for pretty much every clothing category—shoes, swimwear, jewelry—and summer dresses are no exception. Lots of their seasonal patterns are available in multiple styles, with mini-dresses often coming in at under $100. [Photo]

Cloak & Dagger

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The pink neon sign here that says “cute shit” tells you all you need to know: Cutesy, 60s-style dresses are the name of the game at this East Village boutique, which carries vintage dresses from the actual 1960s as well. Also included among the pineapple-papered walls? Schoolgirl dresses from L’Ecole des Femmes and Lauren Moffat frocks. [Photo: Driely S.]

American Two Shot

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If you're trying to get in on the ground floor with an up-and-coming indie label, stop by this Grand Street boutique to find unique dress options from Nomia, Nanushka, Dusen Dusen, and more. The price range is, well, up there compared to some other places mapped out here. [Photo: Driely S.]

La Garçonne

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The first real-life version of Kris Kim's successful e-commerce business contains plenty of her favorite dress form: Smocks. But shoppers can find structured and non-structured pieces alike from the likes of Isabel Marant, Maison Kitsuné, Rachel Comey, and Apiece Apart co-mingling on the racks. [Photo: La Garçonne]

SWORDS-SMITH

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Those looking to take the title of “coolest girl in the office” can count on this South Williamsburg boutique, where a husband-and-wife team keep a mix of under-the-radar, international designers like Finnish brand Samuji, German-based Vladimir Karaleev, and the Macedonian Risto. As one can deduce, prices are steep—most dresses are in the $300 to $500 range. [Photo: Driely S.]

Concrete + Water

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This Williamsburg boutique bills itself as a “gateway to fashion,” so it’s no surprise that Concrete + Water’s dress selection toes the line between sweet and daring. A recent run-through of the shop turned up bleach-splattered denim shirtdresses, inky floor-length styles with waist-high cut-outs, and laser-cut neoprene shifts that could take any drink spill. The stock is pretty evenly split between local designers (Samantha Pleet, Sea) and under-the-radar Euro labels (Ganni, Nanushka), with a few West Coast and Aussie brands thrown into the mix. [Photo: Driely S.]
Magdalena Jaworska fills her Prospect Heights boutique with on-trend merchandise from local designers like Ilana Kohn, and Samantha Pleet, along with a mix of affordable labels like BB Dakota. Be sure to stop in for Pizza, too—the store dog, not the food. [Photo: Driely S.]
Carven is French-girl dressing at its most fun. Meaning, you might not find any Breton striped dresses in the brand’s Mercer Street shop, but you will come across off-the-shoulder satin fit-and-flares, watercolor-print shifts, and drop-waist designs in super-saturated shades. Try to hit up Carven during its twice-yearly sales if you have a lot of fancy weddings on your agenda. [Photo: Tiffany Yannetta]

Trademark

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If “does not touch any part of my body” is the main quality you look for in a summer dress, then Trademark has you covered. Pookie and Louisa Burch (daughters of Chris Burch and former step-daughters of Tory Burch) brought their debut label to Soho last summer, and the Grand Street shop is full of minimalist trapeze dresses, sharp updates on the caftan, and knee-length sheaths in unexpected hues. [Photo: Trademark]

Electric Nest

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Electric Nest—the South Williamsburg shop that houses designer Leana Zuniga’s label, Electric Feathers—attracts a lot of dancers. Which isn’t surprising, since the pieces are designed to move. Zuniga is all about customization, and many of her breezy silk trapeze dresses, metallic halter maxis, and sunset-hued caftans can be draped, wrapped, and belted endless ways. [Photo: Driely S.]

Babel Fair

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Owner Erica Kiang specializes in finding international labels that typically don't have a stateside presence, and the pieces are often more budget-friendly than what you'd find elsewhere on Elizabeth Street. Summer dresses you'll find here range in occasion from block-party BBQ to casual wedding. [Photo: Driely S.]
Take advantage of their major summer sale to stock up on cute dresses that run the gamut in length, material, color, occasion, and more. Fifth Avenue is your best bet for the biggest selection, as it's the city's biggest store—for now. [Photo: Brian Harkin]

Reformation

The Los Angeles-based brand's signature dress style—deep v-necks, high slits, nipped waists, and flowing fabrics—make Reformation a no-brainer for hot months. And even though most dresses are at least a couple hundred bucks, their timeless cuts and patterns make them repeatable for seasons on ends. [Photo: Brian Harkin]

COS

Want summer minimalism at its best? Look no further than Spring Street, where a COS tee-shirt dress that clocks in at just over $100 (unless it's on sale) will navigate you through steamy subway commutes and rooftop happy hours alike. [Photo]

Topshop

No other store on this list has the variety you’ll find at the Brit fast-fashion chain, which ranges from trendy shorteralls, 70s denim dresses, beach-ready maxis, shapeless shirt dresses, boudoir-esque slips, and more. Plus, prices generally only exceed two digits on special occasion dresses or in Topshop’s Boutique collection. [Photo: Topshop]

& Other Stories

COS and H&M's sister brand works for pretty much every clothing category—shoes, swimwear, jewelry—and summer dresses are no exception. Lots of their seasonal patterns are available in multiple styles, with mini-dresses often coming in at under $100. [Photo]

Cloak & Dagger

The pink neon sign here that says “cute shit” tells you all you need to know: Cutesy, 60s-style dresses are the name of the game at this East Village boutique, which carries vintage dresses from the actual 1960s as well. Also included among the pineapple-papered walls? Schoolgirl dresses from L’Ecole des Femmes and Lauren Moffat frocks. [Photo: Driely S.]

American Two Shot

If you're trying to get in on the ground floor with an up-and-coming indie label, stop by this Grand Street boutique to find unique dress options from Nomia, Nanushka, Dusen Dusen, and more. The price range is, well, up there compared to some other places mapped out here. [Photo: Driely S.]

La Garçonne

The first real-life version of Kris Kim's successful e-commerce business contains plenty of her favorite dress form: Smocks. But shoppers can find structured and non-structured pieces alike from the likes of Isabel Marant, Maison Kitsuné, Rachel Comey, and Apiece Apart co-mingling on the racks. [Photo: La Garçonne]

SWORDS-SMITH

Those looking to take the title of “coolest girl in the office” can count on this South Williamsburg boutique, where a husband-and-wife team keep a mix of under-the-radar, international designers like Finnish brand Samuji, German-based Vladimir Karaleev, and the Macedonian Risto. As one can deduce, prices are steep—most dresses are in the $300 to $500 range. [Photo: Driely S.]

Concrete + Water

This Williamsburg boutique bills itself as a “gateway to fashion,” so it’s no surprise that Concrete + Water’s dress selection toes the line between sweet and daring. A recent run-through of the shop turned up bleach-splattered denim shirtdresses, inky floor-length styles with waist-high cut-outs, and laser-cut neoprene shifts that could take any drink spill. The stock is pretty evenly split between local designers (Samantha Pleet, Sea) and under-the-radar Euro labels (Ganni, Nanushka), with a few West Coast and Aussie brands thrown into the mix. [Photo: Driely S.]

O.N.A

Magdalena Jaworska fills her Prospect Heights boutique with on-trend merchandise from local designers like Ilana Kohn, and Samantha Pleet, along with a mix of affordable labels like BB Dakota. Be sure to stop in for Pizza, too—the store dog, not the food. [Photo: Driely S.]

Carven

Carven is French-girl dressing at its most fun. Meaning, you might not find any Breton striped dresses in the brand’s Mercer Street shop, but you will come across off-the-shoulder satin fit-and-flares, watercolor-print shifts, and drop-waist designs in super-saturated shades. Try to hit up Carven during its twice-yearly sales if you have a lot of fancy weddings on your agenda. [Photo: Tiffany Yannetta]

Trademark

If “does not touch any part of my body” is the main quality you look for in a summer dress, then Trademark has you covered. Pookie and Louisa Burch (daughters of Chris Burch and former step-daughters of Tory Burch) brought their debut label to Soho last summer, and the Grand Street shop is full of minimalist trapeze dresses, sharp updates on the caftan, and knee-length sheaths in unexpected hues. [Photo: Trademark]

Electric Nest

Electric Nest—the South Williamsburg shop that houses designer Leana Zuniga’s label, Electric Feathers—attracts a lot of dancers. Which isn’t surprising, since the pieces are designed to move. Zuniga is all about customization, and many of her breezy silk trapeze dresses, metallic halter maxis, and sunset-hued caftans can be draped, wrapped, and belted endless ways. [Photo: Driely S.]

Babel Fair

Owner Erica Kiang specializes in finding international labels that typically don't have a stateside presence, and the pieces are often more budget-friendly than what you'd find elsewhere on Elizabeth Street. Summer dresses you'll find here range in occasion from block-party BBQ to casual wedding. [Photo: Driely S.]

Zara

Take advantage of their major summer sale to stock up on cute dresses that run the gamut in length, material, color, occasion, and more. Fifth Avenue is your best bet for the biggest selection, as it's the city's biggest store—for now. [Photo: Brian Harkin]