Skip To Content

    33 Clothing Items You’ll Want For Every Semi-Formal Event That's Coming Up This Summer

    Comfort 🤝 sophistication.

    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.

    Unless otherwise specified, all sizes in this post are listed in women's.

    1. A glamorous halter-neck maxi dress guaranteed to stop you in your tracks anytime you catch a glimpse of your reflection.

    2. High-waisted faux leather shorts, the style we predict will make you and everyone who lays eyes on them drool. Mark your calendars, because these babies will take up most of your June, July, and August evenings.

    the black high-waisted faux leather shorts

    3. A one-shoulder printed smock dress gifted with the good fortune of being lightweight and wrinkle-resistant. It's just a bonus that it comes in so many adorbs prints and patterns that would look just *stunning* for a destination wedding.

    reviewer wearing floral printed dress
    another reviewer wearing the black and purple floral printed dress

    Promising review: "This dress is true to size, the elastic is comfortable and doesn’t leave marks on your body. The fabric is light and cool andddddd it’s wrinkle-free!!" —Josephine Erhard

    Get it from Amazon for $40.99 (available in sizes S–2XL and 22 prints and patterns).

    And if you're looking for a similar smocked style that has two ruffly straps to disguise bra straps opt for this one from Amazon for $69.90 (available in sizes XXS–5X and five colors and patterns).

    4. A truly fabulous tulle skirt here to take the title as the perfect plus one. Birthdays? Engagement parties? Basically every occasion henceforth will now be a pictureworthy one, thanks to this showstopper.

    reviewer wearing the red tulle skirt

    5. High-waisted palazzo pants that exude "I have a second home in St. Tropez" vibes. This vintage-chic style is both breezy and yet fancy enough to accompany you on a date to that rooftop restaurant you've had reservations to since last year.

    reviewer wearing the ivory pants
    reviewer wearing the brown pants

    Promising review: "These pants as so comfortable and flowy! I stepped outside of my usual skinny jean outfit to try this style and I never want to take them off! They are great casual pants for work, and can be dressed up for the evening with a fancy shirt and heels. They are as comfortable as pajamas, without looking like it :)" —Nash

    Get them from Amazon for $32.99+ (available in sizes XS–2X, regular and short lengths, and 31 colors).

    6. A ruffly printed midi dress complete with a subtle slit, aka the answer you'll be giving in group chats when people ask you what you're wearing to all the upcoming baby and bridal showers.

    model wearing the navy and daisy printed dress

    Promising review: "Love this dress! My bust is 40DD and everything fit perfectly. The slit makes it so much cuter! The flutter sleeves are also incredible, I love how my arms look in this dress. I got the pink color since I don't own many bright colors and I'm so happy with it, I will be purchasing the other colors and keeping an eye out for the all black." —Target Customer

    Get it from Target for $35 (available in sizes X–4X and four prints and colors).

    7. An elegant satin shirt if you're sick of drowning under bulky layers. This silky number only *looks* three-dollar-signs fancy, and the moment you slip it on? You might just be mistaken for an influencer.

    reviewer wearing the black shirt
    reviewer wearing the deep green satin blouse

    Promising review: "Wow! I never write reviews and honestly I never got anything great on Amazon but this top is fantastic! It was inexpensive but does not look cheap; the golden color is beautiful. I could have gone down a size but it’s fine, I will be tucking in. Beautiful soft blouse. I’m very happy with this purchase!" —Alex Velez

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in sizes XS–5XL and 50 colors).

    8. An oversized boyfriend blazer to level up any outfit, like *clicks fingers* that. This falls perfectly beneath the hips to complement skinny pants, skirts, and dresses — aka it's the foolproof option for days that start at the office and end at the after-work event.

    Promising review: "I LOVE this blazer! Great quality and got many compliments the first day I wore it when I rolled up the sleeves, paired it with a pair of distressed skinny jeans, a deep V-neck white tee, and pointed flats. Very cute boyfriend blazer. I’m buying one in every color available!" —Sarah Compton

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in sizes S–2XL and in 19 colors)/patterns.

    9. And a chic colorblock double-breasted style that, once on your body, may elicit the feeling one might experience when winning the lottery — because in this, you'll look like a million bucks, baby!

    model wearing the white and black jacket
    Never Fully Dressed

    Never Fully Dressed is a woman-founded fashion business based in Essex, England.

    Get it from Never Fully Dressed for $145 (available in sizes 4–24).

    10. A cotton puff-sleeve dress with a sweetheart tie-up back that's giving me the sudden urge to scour Airbnb, grab my closest friends, and book a stay at a fancy farmhouse cottage.

    11. A delightful vintage-inspired embroidered top perfect for the person who's been counting down the days to summer events. You've waited long enough to walk around without a jacket, so we suggest snagging this delightful layer to celebrate. You deserve it.

    model wearing the yellow puff-sleeve top
    Simple Retro

    Simple Retro is a small biz that feels like you're thrifting, but without the hassle. They sell a vast collection of vintage-inspired clothing and accessories, including a new release that drops every Wednesday, and have debuted a Vintage Map, which features a curated collection of jewelry that celebrates style from decades past.

    Promising review: "Lovely shirt and great color. The material is so soft, embroidered really well, a must-have staple item for your wardrobe, goes with everything, can dress up or down!" —mireia__arpa

    Get it from Simple Retro for $49.99 (originally $54.99; available in sizes XS–3XL and seven colors).

    12. A knot-front layered romper you won't have to worry about in windy conditions since the shorts will have you covered, and the romantic ruffles? Oh, they'll make this piece your perfect match for all warm-weather activities.

    reviewer wearing the white and black polka dot romper
    reviewer wearing the white and black dotted romper

    Promising review: "This is probably my favorite romper to date! You can dress it up with heels or wedges, or make it a more casual outfit with a cute jean jacket and white sneakers." —Farzad Ezami

    Get it from Amazon for $25.99 (available in sizes S–XL and in five colors).

    13. A satin spaghetti strap dress designed to be worn for both classy and casual affairs alike. We suggest adding a blazer and sweater for yet another fresh 'fit option that disguises itself as a skirt.

    14. A textured shift mini dress complete with an adorable bow that is just waiting for its birthday party debut. Rest assured you'll be the most fashionable person in line as you wait to make your way up to that rooftop you saw all over TikTok.

    model wearing ivory dress showing the bow detail
    model wearing the orange dress

    Promising review: "I have graduation photos coming up and this dress is perfect! I had seen this dress online along with a few others so I went in store to try some on. I decided to try on this one and I fell in love. It doesn’t cinch at the waist but I honestly love it because it makes it feel more vintage in a way. I usually hate strapless dresses but this stays up really well. Definitely recommend!" —Anthropologie Customer

    Get it from Anthropologie for $148 (ivory dress available in standard sizes 4–16, petite sizes 6–16, and plus sizes 16–26 and orange dress available in sizes 2–16).

    15. A lightweight jumpsuit constructed with the term "low maintenance" in mind. It's complete with an undeniably comfy drawstring waist — that you can either keep on show, or disguise with a high-waisted belt to really up the ante on a look that only *feels* like your fave PJs.

    Promising review: "I LOVE this outfit because as cliché as it sounds, you can dress it up or dress it down. I threw on a long necklace and some heels, ready for a night out. You could easily pair it with your favorite flats and a cute jacket. It’s soft, has pockets, and a nice jogger-style cut which makes pairing shoes a much easier task." —Amanda Schafer

    Get it from Amazon for $25+ (available in sizes S–3X and in 31 colors).

    16. A buttery-soft crossover top, a necessary staple for chilly evening soirees that start at sunset and end, well, let's just say once the sun is absolutely nowhere to be seen.

    model wearing ivory top
    another model showing the back view of the black top

    Get it from Reformation for $78 (available in sizes 1X–3X and two colors; also available in sizes XS–XL here).

    17. A sleeveless button-up belted romper for breathable comfort that also looks polished enough for upscale brunches and birthdays.

    reviewer wearing the beige romper

    18. An off-shoulder maxi dress ideal for when you have no clue what to wear to your S.O.'s best friend's girlfriend's birthday. Throw this on with some sandals and your favorite statement earrings and you've got a sophisticated 'fit that took you zero time to piece together.

    19. A silk midi skirt made from washable fabric that you're destined to become fast friends with — since this compliment magnet will be in attendance to happy hours and snazzy dinner parties. It's just a bonus that you can actually pop it in your washing machine and save on the dry cleaning bill, too.

    model wearing the light mint midi skirt

    Quince is a stylish brand with an ethos that sings the praises of fair pricing and sustainability within fashion — and they're able to do so by cutting out the middle man. AKA they're in charge of packaging and *gah* even transportation. So basically you can expect high-end, feels-so-good-on-the-skin fabrics without having to break up with your savings.

    Promising review: "Beautiful skirt, feels wonderful on skin! Wore to an outdoor wedding, it started to rain and skirt was soaked. After a quite short time the silk dried and was again beautifully flowing, wrinkle-free."—Quince Customer

    Get it from Quince for $59.90 (available in sizes XS–XL and six colors).

    20. A deep V-neck dress considered a staple by moi for its ability to go from ~meeting the parents~ to potlucks with your BFFs all in the same dang day.

    reviewer wearing blush colored dress with all over feather pattern

    21. A Bardot crop top that ties into a cutesy bow and is essentially like waving a magical wand that *poof* transforms you into a modern-day Disney princess.

    22. A tailored pair of split hem pants you're gonna want to add to your "want" list if you're due a re-up on some ~fancy pants~.

    Model wearing full teal occasionwear outfit

    23. A square-neck jumpsuit, which *gasp* ties at le back for an extra detail you can show off at your next ~aesthetic~ picnic party.

    24. An asymmetrical high-slit maxi dress that proves heaven is in fact a place on Earth — and when you're visiting said place, you're going to want to do it stylishly dressed in something that pairs well with comfort *and* a cocktail.

    model wearing the red dress

    Rebdolls is a WOC-owned business that sells all the fashion items your closet could possibly need.

    Get it from Rebdolls for $119.90 (available in sizes M–4X).

    25. A pleated off-shoulder midi dress designed with flouncy bouncy fabric that moves with you and will never feel constricting. We predict this being your go-to uniform for weddings, summertime dates, or maybe even just to run errands in — you do you!

    26. A velvet cami soon to be THE "nice top" in question when your BFF texts and asks you what you're going to wear with your ~going out jeans~ now that it's warmer out.

    A reviewer wearing the cami in pink, styled with jeans and a leather jacket

    27. A two-piece ruffle cami and skirt ready to be all aboard at the postponed boat party you've been waiting for since early 2020. Prosecco in hand and a toast to an amazing summer ahead will pair beautifully with this.

    28. A leopard print wrap skirt that's a) adorable with any and every top — seriously, crisp linen shirt, crop top, cardigan, you name it — and b) perfect if you're in between sizes since it has a tailorable tie-up waist.

    Reviewer wearing white leopard print wrap skirt

    29. A puff-sleeve top voted most likely to turn heads at every occasion you have on deck this season. Mesh ruffled sleeves, a high neck, and stretchy, not-too-tight fabric will easily make it the star of your summertime outings.

    a reviewer wearing the black polk dot puff-sleeved top

    30. A tie-front T-shirt dress complete with pockets, if casual meets chic is your aesthetic for any outdoor endeavor. Throw on some block heels and flashy jewels for a quick upgrade on a basic — because if pandemic fashion taught us anything, it's that comfort is *queen*.

    reviewer wearing the pink and white striped dress
    another reviewer wearing the black and white striped dress

    Promising review: "The go-to dress. With a nice-weight fabric and a front tie, this very comfortable T-shirt dress is kicked up a notch into a decent-looking outfit. I love how I can just throw it on, add earrings and a pair of flats or heels, and I get compliments for being nicely dressed. I love the pockets! Whenever I take a trip, this easily packable dress comes with me. I bought grey and blue, and then this year I bought green. All are true to color." —PAM

    Get it from Amazon for $26.99+ (available in sizes S–XL and 24 colors).

    31. A Hackwith Design House shirt, a highly-rated top that's built to be worn more than five different ways — and with both casual and dressy bottoms. If "adaptability" is your love language this summer, this bb matches that criteria. So if you reeeally think about it — it's like paying less than 25 bucks each for five or six different tops 🤷‍♀️. We don't make the rules.

    a model wearing the black long-sleeved wrap top in three ways: off the shoulder, tied in the front with a square neck, and tied in the back with a V-neck in front
    the dark blue top being worn with dressy high-waisted pants
    Hackwith Design House

    Hackwith Design House is a woman-owned small business that creates made-to-order apparel. This shirt can be worn as a V-neck, off-the-shoulder, boatneck, V-back, and even open as a jacket. And the color is simple, which means it can be paired well with many different bottoms. 

    BuzzFeed Shopping editor Chelsea Stuart says: "I have this shirt and I *love* it. All credit for its discovery goes to TikToker @jennifer.bianca who I happened to stumble across on my FYP. It checks all my boxes: black, comfortable, versatile, and durable. My initial worry was that I wouldn't feel secure in it (I have a 38DDD chest and most wrap tops/dresses I've tried haven't stayed where they're supposed to), but I haven't had an issue with this! I've worn it tied in the front giving me a square neck (like the middle picture) and tied in the back giving me a V-neck up front (just like the photo on the right) — both were super comfortable, and I didn't have to adjust myself at all. As someone whose weight fluctuates, I also appreciate that this piece can handle pounds gained and lost. The fabric is medium weight, so I'll be wearing it season to season, and there's just enough elasticity in the arms that if you roll up your sleeves, they won't fall back down. All that is to say trust that I will be buying additional colors!"

    Get it from Hackwith Design House for $125 (available in sizes XS–4X and in five colors). 

    32. A gloriously shaggy cardigan that *checks dictionary* seems to be the definition of "snazzy" — aka it's time to toss that boring denim jacket that you've been rockin' for the past 200 years. Throw this over your going-out 'fit instead and bless the world with your outstanding style, bb.

    close up of model wearing the gray shaggy parka over a white tee and distressed jeans

    33. A T-shirt dress just begging to be added to your comfy cute collection. And I spy a crisscross hem, aka the kind of sophistication that pulls through when you've got somewhere to be but "nothing to wear."

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    illustrated gift guide banner