Smocked Dresses: The Summer Fashion Trend Embracing Comfort Over Everything

Between denim dresses for casual summer looks and the versatile slip dress trend, fashionistas are embracing what seems like every dress style in 2023, from retro to sexy to laid-back. Thus, it's no surprise that comfortable and stylish smocked dresses are having a moment. "The smocked dress is popular because it's such a versatile, flattering, and comfortable style. These are all major components that I look for in a dress. I love being able to dress it up or down, feel feminine and stylish, while also being comfortable," Nell Diamond, the founder slash CEO of Hill House Home, told Marie Claire. So, if you're looking for an adaptable dress that feels comfy while looking cute, you need a smocked dress in your wardrobe.

People enjoy flaunting their smocked dresses on social media. This includes TikTok user @livslovelist, who posted a video sharing appreciation for how cute and convenient smocked dresses are while posing in a flattering green midi style dressed down with white sneakers. Everyone should experiment with smocked dresses in 2023 for both comfort and style.

Short options are super fun for summer weather

Nothing screams summer quite like a playful minidress, so shorter smocked dresses are cute and comfortable for hot and sunny days. And, while smocked dresses are typically more wholesome-looking and cozy than sexy, shorter-than-usual garments add a touch of sex appeal to the sweet smocked look.

Long looks are lovely

On the other hand, longer smocked dresses can look very elegant. Smocked dresses that go past your ankles or even touch the floor are easy to dress up, making them attractive options for dressier spring and summer events and occasions. So, if you plan on wearing smocked dresses to semi-formal or fancier settings, we recommend looking for longer lengths.

Think about color and pattern

Not only does a smocked dress's length affect the vibe the garment gives off, but the color and pattern also significantly contribute to the energy the dress exudes. For instance, a white smocked dress with a red or pink polka dot or floral print presents a wholesome, playful look. Meanwhile, a monochromatic black smocked dress will display a more striking, dressy appearance.

Have fun with sleeve options

Sleeves are another factor to consider when shopping for a smocked dress. For example, sleeveless smocked dresses typically look super summery, flirty, or even sexy, and they totally fit the new "soft girl" aesthetic. On the other hand, long puffy sleeves are ideal for fall or spring and lean into the smocked dress's hyperfeminine energy, especially if they have frilly or lace details.

Don't be afraid to accessorize

Accessories can elevate any dress style, including smocked dresses. Try adding a necklace for a glamorous touch, a purse to hold onto your belongings while looking stylish, or matching — or contrasting — shoes for a unique ensemble. You may even want to add a sleek belt to add more structure to the dress.