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Spring is a season for dresses. From Easter to graduations, baby and bridal showers, spring weddings, and just wanting to let a bit of skin be exposed to air make dresses perfect for this time of year. Dresses are also a great way to incorporate current trends without doing a wardrobe overhaul, and most of the trends this year are wearable now and many seasons beyond. Below I share the best spring dresses for 2023 separated by trend and tips on how to wear them.
The Best Spring Dresses for 2023
As you prepare for the warm weather, consider adding some versatile pieces to your wardrobe, such as floral dresses, midi dresses, mini dresses, and slip dresses. These styles are perfect for spring and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. This is not an exhaustive list, but I hope that these collections of spring dresses for women get you thinking not just about what to add to your wardrobe this season, but what you already own that will feel fresh and modern due to already incorporating spring trends, or by styling slightly differently.
Before you start shopping, take a look at what you already own and see if there are any pieces that you can style in a new way to give them a fresh, modern feel. I always recommend shopping your closet before clicking a single link or driving to the store. By shopping your closet first, you can save money and reduce your environmental impact. So, whether you're looking to add some new pieces to your collection or simply want to refresh your existing wardrobe, start by exploring what you already have and get creative with your styling.
One Shoulder Dresses
Top row, left to right: one (00-28) | two (XS-L) | three (14-28) | four (XS-3X) | five (14-32)
Bottom row, left to right: one (XXS-3X) | two (0-18) | three (0-12) | four (12/14-28/30) | five (XS-L)
The one-shoulder trend may feel familiar; I know I had a one-shoulder dress from Express that I wore in the early 2000s. Well, this look is back, and it's a way to feel cool and look chic (and a bit sexy) without showing a lot of skin. From body-con styles to flowing trapeze styles, the one-shoulder dress look adds interest with ease.
I know you're thinking, but what sort of bra do you wear under a one-shoulder dress? Most strapless bras come with straps so you can wear one on the side of the shoulder. Depending on the neckline and how many loops on your bra, you may also be able to extend the strap to the other side and have it cross over and clasp on the opposite side. Multiway or convertible bras are essentially strapless bras with straps and loops designed for different configurations.
- For large busts with a larger band (up to 42), I like this strapless bra from Panache or this one from Curvy Kate.
- For large busts with a smaller to average band (works best up to 36), I like this bra from Cleo as well as this one from Wacoal. And this multiway bra from Soma is a bestseller for busts up to a C cup.
- Strapless wireless bras do exist and some are great. This one from Wacoal is great for mid-sized breasts. This one from Maidenform offers a smoothing shape for smaller breasts along with convertible straps.
- For more minimal dresses, this multiway bra from Marie Jo will stay hidden even with lower-cut backs, fronts, or armholes. This multiway bra from Dominique is available up to a 48 band and provides smooth support that won't show through the lightest jersey or silk frock.
Top row, from left to right: one (2/4-18 & petite) | two (14/16-30/32) | three (XS-XXL) | four (XS-4X & petite) | five (XXS-XXL & petite)
Bottom row, from left to right: one (XS-XL) | two (XS-XL) | three (XS-4X) | four (XS-XL & petite/tall) | five (XXS-XXL)
Another classic revisited, the tank dress is back, and what's great is this is a look you can get for less. From ribbed jersey to heavier ponte, this is a classic dress that can glam up or go casual with a change of shoes and accessories. Wear now with a denim jacket, or boyfriend blazer, or tie an oversized linen shirt over it. Come summer, it's the perfect travel piece (of course with some slip shorts) that can be everything from your beach coverup to your dinner attire.
Cutout armholes are a current trend for tank tops as well as tank dresses. While this look can make shoulders look fantastic, it can also cause bra straps to be exposed. Look for convertible bras, which have a clip that can connect the back of the straps to create a racerback effect. You can also achieve this with a gadget like this added to your favorite t-shirt bra.
Top row, from left to right: one (00-40) | two (00-24) | three (2-20/22 & petite) | four (2-20/22 & petite) | five (XS-4X & petite/tall)
Bottom row, from left to right: one (XXS-XXL & petite/tall) | two (14-20) | three (XXS-3X) | four (XS-4X & petite/tall) | five (2-20/22 & petite)
Linen is THE fabric for Summer 2023. Don't stress about wrinkles and creases, just be happy that a breathable natural fabric is on trend and plentiful at almost every price point, color, and style! I'm also grateful that so many of the linen dresses available this year are relaxed styles that catch the breeze while looking coastal chic.
Linen can be sheer and slips defeat the purpose of the breathable fabric. I recommend in place of traditional underwear, find a pair of slip shorts in a color close to your skin tone. This doesn't mean they have to be beige or tan or brown; a maroon or terracotta will work with darker tones and a mauve or celadon with paler skin. It still will disappear under white and lighter colors. Choose a t-shirt bra again in a color close to your skin tone so the linen dress will steal the spotlight.
Puffed Shoulder Dresses
Top row, from left to right: one (XS-3X) | two (14-32) | three (XXS-3X w/ petite & tall) | four (2-20/22 w/ petite & long) | five (XXS-XXL w/ petite & tall)
Bottom row, from left to right: one (XXS-XXL w/ petite & tall) | two (14-24) | three (0-14) | four (XXS-3X & petite) | five (XXS-2XL)
Anne Shirley would love this trend for 2023. Puffed sleeves have been a trend for a while now, but this year there is so much variety you can rock the trend without looking like a toddler or a cupcake. In fact, if you have sworn off the puffed shoulder dress trend before, you may actually like it now.
I recommend balancing the volume of the sleeves with a fuller skirt. Puffed sleeves with a fitted dress may feel a bit linebacker, but with a fuller skirt, especially below the knee to below the calf, it can be breezy, romantic, and blending the cottage-core and coastal chic trends.
Shoes To Wear With Spring Dresses
If you've got your spring dresses all picked out, it's time to start thinking about the perfect shoes to complete your look. Whether you're looking for something casual or a little more fancy-schmancy, there are plenty of options to choose from. No longer is it required to wear a certain style of shoe with a certain style of dress. So slip on those sandals, slide into those mules, or tie up those sneakers and get ready to step out in style.
A canvas sneaker is breezier than leather and still on trend. As previously mentioned, don't discount black sandals which don't feel “dad” in 2023 and add a modern touch to floaty frocks. Teva sandals go beyond the beach and look great with cotton and linen dresses. Mules and slides are popular this year, whether they are flat or block heel. Espadrilles are always a classic, from flats to wedges. And you know I love a good pair of Birkenstocks!
Shop the 2023 collection of dresses for misses, petite, and plus-size women for spring:
The spring dresses for 2023 are here, and they are hotter than a jalapeño in a sauna! No matter your size or shape, these dresses are designed to accentuate all the right places. Whether you're sipping mimosas at a brunch or hitting up a music festival, these dresses will serve.
I bought the Target tank dress, thanks to your sister’s post. The fabric is thick, and the quality is really quite amazing considering the price point. I did what your sister did and bought two sizes. For reference, I have a large bust but am more or less an hourglass shape and wear plus sizes. The smaller of the two fits perfectly while the next larger is too big under the arms.
There’s something a bit odd about the fit on my body shape, though. No matter what kind of topper I put over it, it looks unbalanced and just not very attractive; it might be the length which is just below the knee on me. I’m not very comfortable wearing sleeveless tops or dresses, but, even if I choose not to wear it in public, it’ll be great on a super hot day when I’m trying to keep cool at home or running errands where practicality wins over “fashion.” It’s very comfortable. The best part? It was on sale for $16.
I have an old Eileen Fisher tank dress that doesn’t fit as well as it could. I’m thinking about replacing it even though I’d rather not pay that much. That dress has been a stalwart work horse for years; it can be worn almost year-round depending on what toppers and footwear I wear with it. It makes me feel good when I wear it even if I may not be at my best. I think I just answered my own question as I wrote this, and I’ll spring for a new one. Thanks for all you write, Alison. Being a grown-ass woman and feeling good about my clothing choices is where it’s at for me.
I love your blog! I can slowly feel myself coming alive again! Out of this pandemic slump! I am envisioning my Spring wardrobe, oh my goodness this blog is giving me LIFE!!!!….One caveat, it was hard to watch it on my cell phone the ads covered the content and the heart, share, and I guess chat feature also blocked pictures and words., Other than that I am loving it
Rachel Anne Krug says
That black & white Tanya Taylor dress is now on my wishlist, dang that is gorgeous!
I bought that linen J Crew belted tiered maxi dress you featured pre-COVID, but it’s been languishing in my closet ever since because it’s bright yellow (I believe you featured the white or pink version). Now might be the perfect time to break it out, provided we don’t go through another lockdown!