20 Summer Cocktail Dresses Perfect for Those Outdoor Soirées


Photo: Courtesy of Batsheva

What does the perfect summer cocktail dress look like? It’s a question we’re pondering as invites to seasonal celebrations and soirées land in our inbox. Unlike the year-round after-five frock, summer cocktail dresses prioritize comfort and ease, which is crucial for those scorching outdoor festivities. Instead of glitzy sequins, voluminous tulle, and luxe velvets, think enchanting florals, twirl-worthy pleats, and airy cottons.

If you’re in need of inspiration, look to Batsheva’s latest resort lookbook. It shines a light on a return to normalcy and features New York City women dolled up for long-awaited alfresco celebrations. A strapless number decorated with florals seems to embody the essence of a summer cocktail dress. Christopher John Rogers’s latest collection is also a great place to take notes from too; there, you’ll find a nautical pinstripe dress turned into a party-worthy gown.

To make the search easier, we’ve shopped out some of the festive summer cocktail dresses below. So if you’re ready to RSVP yes, read on to discover the most delightful collection of frocks around.

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