The Best Travel Dresses
There is something so wonderfully easy about a dress. No really, slip one garment over your head, add shoes, and you’re out the door. Plus, you can pack a bunch without taking up too much room in your suitcase (good for those of us who tend to get a little souvenir-happy. After all, more packing space = more room for that vintage tea set unearthed at a weekend flea market). More importantly, one dress can be worn multiple ways: dolled up with accessories, dressed down with sneakers, or belted with a cardigan to create the illusion of a skirt and top. Three looks from one item—now that’s just smart packing. In that spirit, we’ve found 10 dresses that make trip-packing a total breeze.
The Sweater Dress
When temperatures get cool, the way to stay cozy and comfortable is with a sweater dress. This teal number from ASOS DESIGN combines drop shoulders, a relaxed fit, and a midi silhouette to create a casual vibe that’s perfect for a day on the plane or the town.
The Smocked Dress
The smocked bodice and pullover style of this made-in-Bali linen dress make it ideal for traveling. The former means you can throw it in a suitcase or bag without any noticeable crushing, while the latter means no buttons or zippers (yay! More treats.).
The beauty of the fit-and-flare is its simultaneous comfort and polish. This choice from Banana Republic features a universally flattering skirt whose gentle flare allows for easy movement. Best of all: the soft knit fabric is less likely to crease when tossed in your case.
The Day-to-Night Dress
This lightweight, pure-silk dress from Madewell pulls double duty for day and night. Wear it with sneakers and a denim jacket during the day, or add some statement earrings and heels for going out. Layer it over (or under) a T-shirt for more coverage. On that note, please amend earlier count to three looks in one.
The A-Line Tank
Is there anything more simple and elegant than a tank dress? This particular one from Everlane is made from pure cotton—which some might describe as the queen of travel-friendly fabrics—and features a breezy A-line shape. The relaxed cut and drapey fabric are perfect for easy movement and relaxation.
The Denim Shift
There’s a reason that denim has been a go-to fabric for decades. It’s classic, tough, and, depending on the weight, comfortable. That’s why our next pick is this mock-neck shift dress from Gap. As with many travel-friendly styles, it showcases a slightly oversized fit that’s great for mobility. And because we believe in getting the most out of an outfit, you can also pair this style with a T-shirt, turtleneck, or tunic.
The Almost All-in-One Dress
Leading the game in fashion-meets-function is the SKÜLPT DRESS by KÜHL. This sleeveless dress is made from an ultra-soft knit and is styled with slender spaghetti straps and a slightly flared skirt. The comfortable design also includes a built-in bra for extra support without added bulk. Our favorite part? The dress is UPF50, meaning it protects against 50 percent of harmful UV rays.
The Statement Dress
Walk on the wild side in this fun leopard-print dress from Mango. Its light material and soft draping are perfect for comfortable day-to-night wear. And we can all agree that leopard is essentially a neutral at this point, right?
Babydoll dresses are deceptively versatile. Worn alone, they look like the simple pieces they are; worn as a shirt over skinny jeans (to counteract the volume on top) and a cardigan, and poof! You’re Berger-era Carrie Bradshaw. Urban Outfitter’s Alexa version is cut from an ultra-soft knit and comes in a variety of colors, from pastel purple to Coachella-ready marigold. Couple with a bomber or oversized work jacket, and you’ve got a look that’s at once sweet and tough.
The Shirt Dress
This long-sleeve shirt dress from Zara is perfect for a number of reasons, the first being that it’s cozy in cooler climates. (For extra warmth, wear it as an oversized top and pair with denim.) Added awesomeness comes from the sturdy corduroy fabric that is strong enough to weather any journey and remains crease-free. Please hold, we’re booking our next flight.