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    31 Dresses You Legally Have To Wear To The Beach

    Dresses to wear to the beach, on the boardwalk, on a boat, staring out at the Monterey coastline stoically contemplating the horrible events at trivia night, etc.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A striped racerback option to throw on while racing to get a prime spot in the sand.

    American Apparel

    Get it from American Apparel for $38 (available in sizes XS–XL and three colors).

    2. A spaghetti-strap midi with pockets just the right size to fit a couple of plane tickets.


    Promising review: "Get this dress. I am so pleased with the fit and the quality and can't wait to wear it out on vacation in a couple of weeks! There's a little bit of stretch so you could probably size down if you wanted to." —Kelli

    Get it from Amazon for $20.99 (available in sizes S–XXL and 29 designs).

    3. A polka dot smock because blob-like clothes are the perfect summer wardrobe staples.


    Get it from Asos for $32 (available in sizes 0–14).

    4. A flowy, backless gown to make it look like you're a mythical being that just slowly walked out of the ocean. Hello humans, bring me a pina colada.

    Promising review: "This is a beautiful beachy dress! I got lots of compliments on it, and it was very comfortable. Only issues were the fact that 1. You cannot wear a bra with this dress. 2. The top part of the dress runs large and unless you have massive boobs you risk a nip-slip situation. So I would recommend ordering a size down." —Lauren

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in sizes XS–XL and three colors).

    5. A bandana mini dress that'll stick with you like the sand on your feet.

    @ivonnealas_ / Forever 21

    Get it from Forever 21 for $15 (available in sizes 0X–3X).

    6. A patterned frock to help make vacation photos at least 110% better.

    @laurenvalliaz / Via,

    Promising review: "I love the print of this dress! It is a true wrap dress so you might want to wear something under it! It such a cute and fun print dress! Perfect for summer! I love this wrap dress." —Kyli @stylinghearts

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in sizes S–XXL and 10 colors).

    7. A printed jersey dress with flutter sleeves to give your shoulders a little breathing room on hot summer nights.


    Get it from Boden for $36+ (available in sizes 2–18 and four colors, along with petite and long sizes).

    8. A sweeping maxi that billows in the wind juuust right.,

    This dress has over 2,000 positive reviews! I've seen the blue one IRL a couple of times and can confirm it's cute.

    Promising review: "I am OBSESSED with this dress! I feel like a princess in it and am so happy with the fit, style and quality. This was everything I hoped it would be." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in sizes XS–XXL and 19 patterns).

    9. A printed maxi you'll never get tired of.

    Free People

    Get it from Free People for $128 (available in sizes XS–XL and five patterns).

    10. A skater dress with a striped top beachgoers will be ~lining~ up to admire.,

    Promising review: "The color is very pretty (I got the light blue). The skirt is a poly-blend and not see-through. The top is mostly cotton, and also not see-through. The biggest surprise (and something I wasn't sure about when I clicked buy) was that I could wear a regular bra with it. Yay! For those who are unsure due to the pictures, the dress is attached to the skirt in the front half, but is a bit open in the back. It's not super-revealing and I liked the way it looked. You could easily dress it down with flip flops or flats, or dress it up with accessories and heels. I wore it out on a date night, and felt fantastic. It's also comfortable to eat in, because the dress flares around the waist. I loved it so much I bought another one in coral red!" —S.A.

    Get it from Amazon for $11.35+ (available in sizes S–XXL and 18 styles).

    11. A wrap maxi so tropical, people are going to want to put your picture next to "vacation" in the dictionary.

    Forever 21

    Get it from Forever 21 for $29.90 (available in sizes 0X–3X).

    12. A striped maxi with just the right level of slumpiness for your casual trips to the water., @xosimplylo / Via

    Promising review: "I LOVE this dress!!! Wore it boating on my birthday and it was perfect. I wish there were more colors to buy. I would recommend knotting it for a more form fit. So comfortable." —Ashley

    Get it from Amazon for $8.79+ (available in sizes XS–XXL and three colors)

    13. A safari-themed button-down everyone at the beach will be fauna-ing over.

    Old Navy

    Get it from Old Navy for $44.99 (available in sizes XS–XXL, plus petite and tall sizes).

    14. A strappy shift dress that will ~leaf~ everyone speechless.,

    Promising review: "I wore this dress during vacation on the Finger Lakes on a super hot day and it was very comfortable. I love the fun straps, and the print is perfect for summer. Great dress to wear on a casual day or dress up with heels and accessories. I can't wait to wear it again with a denim jacket and Converse sneakers. I sized up for additional length and it worked out perfectly!" —Leslie Brinkley

    Get it from Amazon for $18.69+ (available in sizes XS–XL and three patterns).

    15. A midi dress with a sweetheart neckline and side slit for some "Rebecca Rabbit on vacation" vibes.


    All clothing from this brand comes from a sustainable factory in LA.

    Get it from Reformation for $218 (available in sizes 0–12 and six patterns including a fruit pattern!!!!).

    16. A deep plunge maxi that'll ask you "orange you glad you booked that last minute vacation?"


    Get it from Boohoo for $20 (available in sizes 12–20).

    17. A sleeveless scoop dress almost as good as a scoop of ice cream.

    Promising review: "This dress is really comfortable and made with a super stretchy material, which is great. It's exactly what I was looking for as part of my Halloween costume this year! It's so cute I might have to wear it again. :-)" —Kim Taylor

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99+ (available in sizes S–XXL and 43 colors).

    18. A halter maxi dress that won't feel quite right until it has a light dusting of salt water on it.

    Promising review: "I cannot say enough about how awesome this dress is! It fit absolutely perfectly! I wore this to my stepson's wedding and got sooo many compliments. I didn't have to do any alterations. The size fit true to how it was stated. I will gladly order different versions of this dress. Quality is fabulous. No wrinkles. Beautiful dress! Great purchase!!" —Saki7777

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in sizes XS–XXL and 15 patterns).

    19. A mini tube dress you can wear alone or over a swimsuit. No matter what, you're going to get complimented.


    Promising review: "Obsessed. I ordered this as a cover-up but I realized after I got it that it isn’t too see-through and I’d be able to wear it as a dress. It’s so comfortable and cute, and easy to just throw on. Definitely a good purchase and a great price. Just ordered a white one as well!" —Ciara Christie

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99+ (available in sizes XS–XL and 28 colors).

    20. A one-shouldered ruffle-fest that brings the beach party with it.

    Old Navy

    Get it from Old Navy for $42 (available in sizes 1X–4X and three patterns).

    21. An off-the-shoulder chiffon maxi that's the easy-breezy option you've been searching for.,

    Promising review: "THIS DRESS IS PERFECT! Super beautiful and absolutely stunning on almost every body type! I ordered a small and it fits perfectly!! You could literally wear this dress anywhere! The beach, a nice summer night, school/work, a wedding, a day out with the girls, anything! I’m wearing this to the lights festival next month and I’ve honestly never been more excited to wear a dress (I am not a dress person AT ALL so this is really saying something). The quality for the price is outstanding!!! I’m probably going to try to find excuses to wear this everywhere. Absolutely in love with this!!" —bobby queener

    Get it from Amazon for $23.99 (available in sizes S–XXL and three colors).

    22. A midi dress with a tie-waist for anyone who feel like they're tied to the beach all summer.

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in sizes S–XL and 10 colors).

    23. A cold shoulder maxi crafted by the vacation gods so you can look gorgeous on your next stroll on the beach.

    Promising review: "This dress.... LOVE! I went to the Bahamas and got so many compliments. The dress made me feel beautiful especially during our photoshoot. I highly recommend this dress!" —Katelyn

    Get it from Amazon for $27.99+ (available in sizes 0X–4X and 20 patterns).

    24. A breezy midi dress you'll definitely want in your wardrobe for the remaining boardwalk adventures you have on your calendar.,

    Promising review: "I am sooo surprised by this dress. Purchased as a last minute dress for a wedding this weekend. It’s super elegant and summery. Fits like a glove. Heads up, zipper in back and no stretch. Now I want to order more in other patterns." —Erin Thompson

    Get it from Amazon for $37.99+ (available in sizes XS–3XL and 22 patterns/colors).

    25. A palm leaf maxi with extra length for tall people who want a skirt that hides the fact they're barefoot basically always in the summer.


    Get it from Boohoo for $18 (available in tall sizes 4–12).

    26. A boho floral option that should honestly come with a plane ticket included. Just look at this vacation-ready piece!


    Promising review: "This was really beautiful and flowy for the summer. It came pretty wrinkled in the package, which tells me that this is a material that will need ironing depending how it’s dried. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, it’s just a nice to know for care. Otherwise, it’s super pretty and just right for the weather!" —Crystal N

    Get it from Amazon for $13.98+ (available in sizes 14–22 and seven patterns).

    27. A maxi with shorts underneath because beach winds can be really unforgiving.,

    Promising review: "My dress came today and I love it!! The shorts ride a little but it's still comfortable because they're covered by the rest of the dress." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99+ (available in sizes S–3XL and nine patterns).

    28. A lightweight number you can wear from the office to the beach.


    Promising review: "This dress is adorable. It's lightweight and a loose fitting style; it's great for summer. Love the color and sleeves. I added my own belt to bring in some more color." —Kristin-Marie

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99+ (available in sizes S–XXL and 14 styles).

    29. A flowy dress that will have you going, "oh, this old thing?" as you dramatically turn in circles so your fans can get a better look.

    Promising review: "This dress is really beautiful. Fit was true to size and it’s so comfortable and flowy. Its an easy pack for vacation. Ordering soon in all colors. I love this dress!!!" —Jbwa

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in sizes 0X–5X and 15 patterns)

    30. A patchwork mini for feeling like a beach nymph who has never felt stresses and responsibilities of real life.

    Promising review: "This is a very sexy and playful dress. Made of lightweight and flowing material, it is a must-have for your summer wardrobe. I love the multiple adjustment strings. My fiancé loves how comfortable and cool this dress is. It is long enough to not wear anything underneath, but short enough to still be cool, playful, and flirty. With the right accessories and heels or sandals, you will definitely turn heads everywhere that you go." —Of Brian Photography

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in sizes S–XL and 12 colors).

    31. A travel-ready fit and flare printed with a guideline for what your passport should look like.


    Get it from ModCloth for $39.99 (available in sizes XXS–4X and six other patterns for different prices).

    Get out there and enjoy the beach weather with all your friends/accomplices!


    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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