Thank you to Saks Fifth Avenue & ShopStyle Collective for sponsoring this post.
Gang, if I had to point to one summer staple that’s worth the splurge, it’s a dress made from natural fabrics: cotton, linen or silk. These dresses are the most comfortable in summer heat, they’re easier to care for, and they last. Dresses made of 100% cotton, linen or silk make up most of my go-to summer outfits, and they’re basically all I pack when traveling, too.
Even better, because summer dresses are, fundamentally, trend-proof (the only requirement is ‘pretty!’), I wear mine for years (and years and years). The key (at least for me) has been to simply narrow down my search only to dresses made from 100% cotton, linen or silk (no rayon, viscose or polyester blends), and then find something that makes me swoon.
It’s that swoon factor. Doesn’t really go away (even 5+ years later).
12 Swoon-Worthy Summer Dresses In 100% Cotton, Linen or Silk
The one downside of these types of dresses, unfortunately, is the price. Dresses made of 100% silk are pricey, as are 100% linen or cotton dresses! While the latter dress types can sometimes be found at lower price points, the construction often won’t go the distance, or the shapes are simpler. Which is fine, but I like I said: dresses that make me swoon are dresses I’ll wear for years.
One of my favorite places to find swoon-worthy summer dresses (in those natural fabrics I love so much) is Saks. I mean obviously. No one can debate that Saks has beautiful pieces, and I appreciate the sheer number of dresses they carry in those natural fabrics.
But what’s gotten me really excited, today, is the fact that Saks is having a sales event,(!!) which happens to include some seriously swoon-worthy summer dresses in 100% cotton, linen or silk. Here are my 12 favorites.
This list is in no particular order, but this dress does happen to be my top choice. I’m a HUGE fan of Faithfull the Brand, and bought one of their linen dresses for a trip to Berlin & Athens in 2018. Thanks to the stretchy back panel, I also wore that same dress last weekend. This brand is one that just does sundresses exactly right. They’re timeless (with a nod to vintage vibes), yet always feel fresh. I also love the longer length. Chic and easy. This dress would be a perfect piece to pack for a trip to the South of France.
Another Faithfull the Brand stunner. While this brand typically runs TTS, I personally would size up in this one, just to make sure the cut-outs don’t squeeze. (That said, I carry my weight in my middle. If that’s not you, your normal size should work great.) This is another dreamy choice, and one I’d pack on a trip to Italy.
Oh gosh — those sleeves. This is the kind of dress I pack for trips that include touring cathedrals or other religious sites where it’s appropriate to have shoulders covered. And the combination of the demure sleeve with the tiiiniest peek of skin at the waist is so good.
Oh man. This is a hot dress. This is the kind of thing I slip on for date nights, year-round. In the summer I’ll pair it with heeled sandals or little slides, and in the winter with tall boots and a cropped sweater layered over top. This style of dress also works with sneakers and a denim jacket. So sexy, so versatile.
I have a dress almost exactly like this one that I wore all over Sicily. It’s the combination of covered shoulders and a short hem that makes this one especially fun to wear.
If you can’t tell, this style of cutout — cinched in front, open on the sides — is my favorite. I find it to be the most flattering and the easiest to wear. Despite the cutouts, this midi is the kind of dress that doesn’t leave me feeling exposed, or like I can’t sit or eat or have to hold my stomach in. It’s just a really strategically designed dress, and I love it. (Also, this cheery print is making me so happy.)
Again with the demure + sexy combo. The conservative top, with a flirty little waist and twirly skirt? Wow. This dress is SO well-designed. If interested, it also comes in a pretty pattern, too.
This minidress is made from organic cotton (yay!), and all of the design details are perfect: the straps are fully adjustable, the dress does, in fact, unbutton (oh hey, nursing mamas!), and it has POCKETS. I love this print, too. I’ve never heard of this brand before, but now I’m intrigued. They also have a few dresses (also on sale) that are made from a cotton-silk blend. Check out this ruffly, flowy shift or this darker floral dress that looks like it has amazing drape, thanks to the little hit of silk.
Ahhhh this is an amazing price for a silk maxi dress!! Honestly, I’d wear this one the most with white sneakers or flat sandals. I’d also hand-wash it (or throw it into the delicate cycle of the machine) and hang to dry. Bottom line? This dress is NOT as precious as it looks. A gorgeous example of an everyday silk dress.
I have a Farm Rio dress try-on coming out soon, and this is one of the dresses featured. It’s seriously sexy on, but in a completely fun, playful way. The whole thing is ruched, but I appreciate that the ruching is comfortable, and doesn’t bunch up funny when I walk.
Another easy, everyday dress I’d wear with sneakers or tan, flat sandals. I like the subtle design details — the banded waist, the slight smocking, the elbow-length puff sleeves — that make it special.
In the summer, I’d wear this tiered babydoll dress with sneakers and flat sandals, but — as the photo clearly shows — this dress can easily be transitioned to fall with tall boots. The shape of this dress is great, especially on a really hot day: it’s plenty breezy, and the only place this dress really touches you is around your shoulders (and bust). It’s the dress equivalent of a fresh breeze. That said, I’d wear it with this underwear (in black). They look almost like little tiny shorts, in case the breeze turns into a gust.
Shop More 100% Cotton, Linen, or Silk Dresses At Saks
Since there are so many good dresses in this sale, I wanted to quickly highlight a few more that caught my eye…