With the summer 2023 wedding guest season commencing soon, now is a great time to shop for the perfect dress! Like many of you, I prefer splurging on clothing, especially on dresses that I know I won’t only wear once but will wear time and time again. I for one love cocktail dresses! They’re perfect for an evening out, a friend’s wedding, a special event, and that is just the beginning. This season there are quite a few gorgeous summer cocktail dresses to choose from in various styles!
When it comes to summer cocktail dresses, I’m head over heels in love with trendy halter dresses, slip dresses, and one shoulder dresses! They are ideal for outdoor celebrations this summer, and will also be a must come fall, winter, or the holidays with a chic blazer or faux fur coat! A gorgeous cocktail dress will look amazing with strappy heel sandals, block heels, pumps, and low heel mules and that’s just the beginning! You can dress them up or down easily with jewelry and accessories.
If you’re searching for a gorgeous elegant dress for a summer wedding or special event, you’re in luck! Today, I’m excited to share 20 of the best summer cocktail dresses you’ll love in various styles, colors, and price ranges! I categorized them by color in case you’re searching for a dress in a particular shade!
Updated January 18, 2023
Black Summer Cocktail Dresses
This beautiful ASTR the Label Cowl Slip Midi Dress is ideal for an evening out or for wedding guests. It’s available in five different colors including classic black.
I love the thin 90s-inspired straps, which are adjustable making it perfect for every woman regardless of height. You can’t go wrong with the timeless cowl neckline and the fabulous open back with straps that crisscross.
This gorgeous and affordable midi length dress is very affordable at just $53.40 with free shipping! It will look amazing paired with your favorite embellished handbag or solid color clutch and heeled sandals!
Reviewers shared that this dress is flattering, the quality is great, and at a phenomenal price point.
If there’s one style I’m excited about for summer, it’s definitely the cowl neckline! This was my favorite trend from the early 2000s and it’s back and better than ever! I’m a huge fan of cowl neck slip dresses! I stumbled on a particular slip dress that is giving me “Friends” vibes! Do you remember the episode where they all went to London for Ross and Emily’s wedding and Monica Geller wore a red cowl neck slip dress? Yes, that one! The only difference is this Susana Monaco Cowl Slip Maxi Dress is available in black. It is timeless, elegant, and so fabulous that you’ll wear it time and time again for years to come.
This gorgeous maxi dress is effortlessly chic! I love the thin straps, beautiful cowl neckline, and lightweight jersey material. This beauty will look amazing with strappy heeled sandals for a summer wedding. You can wear it with a blazer or a faux fur coat and pumps to a wedding this winter or a holiday party! There are so many options. The best part is it is currently on sale for only $89.10 with free shipping. Don’t miss out on this incredible deal on a black slip dress that will be a staple in your wardrobe!
Classic Black Strapless Cocktail Dresses
Strapless dresses are more popular than ever for wedding guests! This elegant Elliatt Reception Cascade Ruffle Strapless Cocktail Dress is perfection! It is available in the colors black, mustard yellow, blue, and white (for the bride-to-be). There is so much to love about this stunning lined dress, especially the beautiful and unique faux-wrap bodice, the peplum ruffled front, and the stunning buttons (with a hidden zipper) down the back.
This beauty will look fantastic with heeled sandals and a leather clutch this summer. You can accessorize it with a shawl on a cool summer night or a fall wedding. It will also look phenomenal with a cropped faux fur coat for a winter wedding, a holiday party, or New Year’s Eve!
This beautiful strapless dress has great 4.1 out of 5-star reviews. Reviewers have stated that it is very flattering, gorgeous and an absolute must. A few reviewers mentioned that the dress runs large, so you may want to size down.
Every woman needs a classic strapless black midi dress. This gorgeous Norma Kamali Strapless Sheath Dress is the perfect “basic” for every special occasion. You can wear it with a cape at an evening wedding or with a faux fur coat or blazer come winter!
This beauty is well made of stretchy 95% poly, and 5% spandex material. It will look great with heeled sandals, or pumps and can also be dressed down with a chic pair of designer flats.
This gorgeous dress has fantastic 4.2 out of 5-star reviews. Reviewers have shared that it exceeded their expectations, fits like a glove, is comfortable, classy, and of great quality and that is just the beginning! This stunning and affordable dress is begging for a spot in your wardrobe.
Gorgeous Black One Shoulder Cocktail Dresses
Elliatt is a brand that’s new to me, and I’m officially obsessed! They have so many gorgeous summer cocktail dresses to choose from in various styles and colors. Classic black dresses always remind me of Jennifer Aniston who has often worn them to premieres and award ceremonies.
This gorgeous satin Elliatt Cassini One-Shoulder Dress with elegant ruching is one that I could see Jen wearing. It is also ideal for every woman regardless of age! This beauty is classic, sophisticated, and timeless, and comes in a variety of colors. It will look great with strappy heeled sandals or pumps. It is ideal for a gala or a wedding guest and that’s just the beginning!
This beautiful dress has fantastic 4.2 out of 5-star reviews with reviewers stating that it is well made, gorgeous, great quality, comfortable, flattering, and looks much more expensive than it is.
Fab Black Body Con Cocktail Dress
If you’re searching for a stunning body con dress for your next event or a wedding you’re invited to, you’re in luck. This beautiful Dress the Population Nicole Sweetheart Neck Cocktail Dress is ideal! It is available in black, white (for the bride-to-be’s rehearsal dinner or an elopement), rouge, and more for 2023.
This gorgeous dress is made of crepe material, which is flattering and looks great on every body type. I love everything about it, especially the feminine sweetheart neckline, the figure-hugging sheath silhouette, the wide straps, and the midi length.
This beauty will look fabulous paired with black or metallic heels. You can accessorize it with a statement necklace or earrings and a classic clutch.
Reviewers have shared that the dress is flattering, perfect for every special occasion, classic, and well made.
Must Have Black Halter Cocktail Dresses For Every Summer Event
My love is strong for this elegant pleated A.L.C. Renzo Plissé Halter Midi Dress in black! This phenomenal halter dress is not only perfect for a special occasion, but it is so timeless that it can be passed down to the next generation!
I adore the mock neckline, chic plissèpleats, and asymmetric hemline. It is perfect for every body type, and will make a statement every time you wear it! This gorgeous dress will look amazing with platform pumps, or strappy heeled sandals. You can accessorize it on a chilly evening with a leather moto jacket, a classic blazer, or a camel coat to name a few.
If you’re searching for a style that will make a statement on its own, you can’t go wrong with a gorgeous embellished cocktail dress! This stunning Mac Duggal Halter Column Midi Dress has “metallic beads and an embellished collar.”
With rhinestones, sequins, and crystal embellishments as popular as ever, this is one dress that you can wear throughout the summer and will carry you into fall, the winter wedding season, and holiday parties as well. It will look stunning with a gorgeous pair of heels and a classic black clutch!
This beauty has stellar 5 out of 5-star reviews with reviewers sharing how gorgeous, well made, and flattering it is!
Neutral Cocktail Dresses For Summer
This fabulous Elliatt Posey One-Shoulder Dress hits at the knee and is perfect for spring, summer, and fall wedding guests! In fact, this gorgeous dress will look fabulous with a black or white faux fur coat come winter. It comes in black or in the shade nude, and is an absolute must! I love everything about it, especially the ruching, the asymmetrical neckline, and the hemline.
It will look fantastic with a nude pair of strappy heel sandals or pumps. You can accessorize this beauty with gold earrings, a metallic clutch, and a classic gold cuff bracelet.
This beautiful one shoulder dress has great reviews with reviewers sharing that they love the material, the flattering ruched detailing, the amazing quality, and just how gorgeous it is in general! This dress will make a statement every time you wear it and is sure to garner compliments for years to come.
Blue Summer Cocktail Dresses
The brand Eliza J has long been a favorite! The dresses, especially the summer cocktail dresses are gorgeous, classy, flattering, and at a great price point. They’re perfect for every occasion, especially weddings!
This gorgeous Eliza J Lace Asymmetric Cocktail Dress is an absolute must. I love the beautiful lace detailing, the embroidered yoke, and the asymmetric hemline. It comes in the colors navy blue and in light blue. This stunning dress can be dressed up or down easily and effortlessly with heels, jewelry, and accessories, and will be ideal for the next wedding you’re invited to.
It has amazing 4.6 out of 5-star reviews with reviewers sharing that it is flattering, true to size, great quality, well made, and comfortable.
This exquisite THEIA Candace Wrap Cocktail Dress is calling my name (and it’s spelled the right way too!). I love everything about the asymmetric Candace Dress, especially this magnificent shade of blue, the gathered front, the flattering sheath silhouette, and the side drape sash.
This gorgeous dress will look amazing with embellished heels, strappy heel sandals, or designer pumps! You can accessorize it with a solid color or jeweled clutch.
This beauty has fantastic 5 out of 5-star reviews. Reviewers have shared that it is perfect for a fall, winter, spring, or summer wedding. They also stated that it is flattering, easy to step into, gorgeous, and well made.
This beautiful wrap dress is currently available at Neiman Marcus and at Saks Fifth Avenue and is sure to be a staple in your wardrobe for years to come.
Pink Summer Cocktail Dresses
While cocktail dresses are traditionally midi length, I for one love mini dresses, which are more flattering on my petite stature. This stunning Elliatt Camo Asymmetric Satin Cocktail Dress with its halter neckline and asymmetrical hemline/off-center hemline is a mini/midi length combination!
It is available in quite a few different colors including this beautiful vibrant shade of Fuchsia! This beautiful dress will look great with silver, clear, or nude strappy heel sandals. You can accessorize it with a blazer, leather jacket, or a classic black coat on a chilly night.
This beauty has great 4.4 out of 5-star reviews with reviewers sharing that it fits true to size, is flattering on all body types, is perfect for a variety of occasions – from a friend’s wedding to date night, is comfortable, and is beautiful!
I love that bright and beautiful shades of pink are increasing in popularity! The Barbiecore trend is an absolute must in 2023. This elegant pink Vince Camuto Capelet Sleeve Cocktail Sheath Dress is an absolute showstopper! The cape really elevates the look and feel of this classic sheath dress.
It will look great with a gorgeous pair of nude heeled sandals or pointy-toe pumps. You can accessorize this beauty with a gold necklace, your favorite pair of earrings, and a chic clutch.
Rose pink which is often called “blush pink” is one of the most popular and gorgeous colors on the planet! This beautiful sustainably sourced Shona Joy Cutout Twist Front Cocktail Dress in rose pink is perfect for the trendsetter!
Cutout dresses are incredibly popular for spring and summer 2023, and this bestselling satin dress with skinny adjustable straps is perfection.
It comes in a few different colors and will make a statement every time you wear it! This beauty will look fabulous paired with classic heeled sandals (in the color of your choice) and minimalistic jewelry.
The elegant one shoulder Norma Kamali Diana Gown has long been a favorite. It is elegant, chic, and comes in an array of colors every season. This summer’s available in the most gorgeous shade called “papaya”, which is ideal for wedding guests, an outdoor gala, an anniversary party, and that’s just the beginning!
It has fantastic reviews with reviewers sharing that it is very flattering, beautiful, and hugs your curves. The best part is this beautiful dress is currently on sale for a limited time! Don’t miss out on this fantastic deal.
I can’t get enough of this beautiful and affordable BCBGeneration Midi Dress in the color “deep peach”! Not only is it stunning, but the draped front detailing is flattering on every body type. It will look great accessorized with your favorite necklace, earrings, an embellished clutch, and heeled sandals!
This beautiful dress has great reviews with reviewers sharing that the style, cut and color are very flattering. The best part is it is currently on sale and is only $50 with free shipping!
Give me all the bright and beautiful summer cocktail dresses with ruffled detailing, and I’m happy! This fab Kay Unger Nellie Sleeveless Cocktail Dress in the color “Peony Pink” is exquisite! I love the side slit, beautiful square neckline, and statement-making ruffle.
It will look amazing paired with nude strappy heels or your favorite pair of pumps and a clutch for an evening out. The best part is it is currently on sale for a limited time and 70% off for a limited time.
Lovely Lavender Summer Cocktail Dresses
Lavender is one of my favorite shades and is an absolute must for summer! This gorgeous color is beautiful, unique, and always makes a statement. I’m head over heels in love with this bestselling Likely Illy Dress in the color “lavender luster”.
It is perfect for the bridesmaid or the wedding guest! Don’t you love the halter-inspired braided adjustable straps? I do, too, especially since the straps are adjustable.
This beauty has phenomenal 4.8 out of 5-star reviews with reviewers sharing that it is gorgeous, well made, and perfect for a variety of special events and occasions including a friend’s wedding. The best part is it is currently deeply discounted and is only $60 with free shipping.
Like many of you, I love wearing beautiful floral prints throughout the year. This magnificent midi-length Veronica Beard Leia Dress is perfection. I simply adore the hint of lavender, the asymmetrical hem, sleeveless mockneck, the gathered waist, and the sheer elegance it exudes!
This stunning floral print dress will look amazing with your favorite pair of heels or heeled sandals or nude pumps. It is currently on sale and deeply discounted for a limited time.
Best Red Summer Cocktail Dresses
For years I avoided wearing the color red, and I’m not quite sure why. Lately, I find wearing it more often, whether it’s a basic red top and jeans, a red floral print dress, and more. I guess wearing red Hunter boots really brightened my horizons and made me more comfortable wearing this beautiful and flattering shade!
I fell in love with this Eliza J Floral Lace Asymmetric Cocktail Dress in red recently and have been obsessed with it ever since. I adore the lace detailing and uneven hem. It is perfection! This gorgeous dress will look great with nude heels and will garner compliments every time you wear it.
It has phenomenal 5 out of 5-star reviews with reviewers sharing that it is beautiful, flattering, comfortable, and of great quality.