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4 Summer Dresses + 1 Swimsuit Coverup all under $25

Each summer I like to put together a seasonal fashion post with a handful of stylishly casual (and mom-friendly) outfits. I typically buy a few new pieces for these posts and pull the rest from my neutral closet.

Last summer, I ended up finding quite a few new items and since I steer toward classic cuts and neutral colors (and because our summers are fairly short and the clothes don’t get worn much) everything I bought last summer will still make up my wardrobe this year.

Because I really didn’t need any new shorts and am not a big fan of just adding more to my closet if I don’t really need or love it, I decided to stray from my regular summer fashion post this time around.

What I was looking for this year were easy summer dresses to throw on on warm summer days. I found a few and wanted to share them with you!

I do a most of our shopping online (which means Amazon Prime is my best friend) and kept seeing these inexpensive dresses pop up on my screen. After hearing an online friend talk about this great caftan she bought on Amazon, I decided to take a closer look at all those dresses and ordered a few to try.

When ordering off-brand clothes on Amazon for less than $25, you don’t really know what you’re going to get. The material could be terribly thin, the sizing could be completely off, the dress could be poorly made. I picked five dresses (well, four dresses and one coverup) and crossed my fingers that I would find at least one that I wanted to keep.

Turns out, I like all five!

Yesterday while the kids were swimming/paddle boarding/getting stung by jelly fish (oops), my friend Erica and I played photoshoot. I am not so sure about my modeling skills, but we had fun and hopefully it helps you see what the dresses look like in real life instead of the stock images you’ll find online.

Let me show you each one in a little more detail:

SHORT SLEEVE MAXI DRESS

This dress is my favorite of the bunch and probably the most flattering as it is slightly less voluminous than the others. The material is a great weight, it has pockets (yes!), and the length is long, but just right for my 5’7 height.

This one comes in seven different colors and they suggest sizing down, but I ordered my normal size small and it is just right.

The price is right at $20.99. Order here.

LOOSE SHIFT MAXI DRESS

When taking photos, Erica joked that this dress looked a little like a sleep sack. And she’s pretty right. It is super comfy and loose fitting, with a tapered bottom opening and is fairly wide right where the pockets are. Therefore, I can’t say it is the most figure-flattering dress of all times, but if you’re going for slouchy, casual, comfy, this one is it.

I like that the sleeves are just a little bit longer and I’m super in to this olive green color. If olive isn’t your thing, there are nine other colors.

You can order this dress here for $16.99.

CAMI MAXI DRESS

A simple cami maxi dress is the easiest thing to wear – so far I’ve worn it over a swimsuit or with a pretty bralette under (as shown). I suppose you could do a strapless bra under, but I’m not a big fan of strapless bras, so I opt for bralette.

Like the others, this dress also has pockets which makes me happy. The length is slightly shorter (it hits right above my ankles), but still works with flip flops or sandals.

Comes in 10 colors for $19.99. Order here.

BOHO CAFTAN

This dress surprised me. It is made of thick, stretchy fabric with a super weird cut, but I actually really love it. It’s the perfect throw-on dress, but still passable for wearing out and about. Again, maybe not totally flattering (and I can’t promise your husband will love it), but you will love how it feels on!

Grab this dress here for $23.99

BEACH COVER UP

The final dress is this extra-flowy beach coverup. What caught my eye were the stripes (of course!), and the light-weight fabric and easy to throw on style makes me excited to wear it all summer.

There are deep v’s in the front and back, with slits on the sides and the fabric is slightly sheer (but not see-through).

For $17.40, it’s a cover up you’ll want in your beach bag! Order it here.

*UPDATE* it looks like the cover up is out of stock. Keep checking back and hopefully they will restock it soon!

I’m happy I gave these dresses a try. They will be on regular rotation all summer long.

20 Responses to 4 Summer Dresses + 1 Swimsuit Coverup all under $25

  1. Melisa A July 27, 2018 at 6:16 pm #

    Thank you so much, Emily! I just got the stripped one in the mail and love it. In fact, I love it so much I just ordered another one with plans to make the top into a…top and the bottom into curtains. Sounds crazy, I know! But I’ve been searching for black and white curtains and this fabric is exactly what I’ve had in mind. :) Bet you never thought someone would get so much mileage out of a swim cover-up under $25. Thanks for finding this gem for me. :)

  2. Brenda July 3, 2018 at 12:06 am #

    Thanks, Emily! I love them all. Does the boho caftan fall off one shoulder as it does on some of the Amazon photos?

    • emily July 3, 2018 at 9:27 pm #

      It could, but it also does stay up.

  3. K June 29, 2018 at 4:33 am #

    Where do you typically buy swimming suits? Do you have any recommendations for those?

    • emily July 24, 2018 at 1:20 pm #

      I like one piece suits and have a long torso so it is always a little tricky to find a well-fitting suit. I have a cute one from Albion Fit (this one) that I love and another from Jessica Rey Swimwear (this one). Sometimes I’ll have luck at Marshalls and I have ordered from Athleta as well.

  4. Jessica June 28, 2018 at 9:31 am #

    The cover up link does not match the one you are wearing. Can you post the link to the one your wearing?

    • emily June 28, 2018 at 9:25 pm #

      Unfortunately it looks like the coverup is out of stock. Keep checking that same link and hopefully it will come back!

  5. Kyla June 27, 2018 at 10:20 pm #

    They’re all perfect! Do you happen to have a link or the info on your hat in the pictures as well? :)

    • Kristin June 30, 2018 at 7:41 am #

      I’d like to find out where you bought the hat as well. Very classy.

      • emily June 30, 2018 at 12:14 pm #

        The hat is from Nordstrom, called the Brixton Joanna: https://rstyle.me/~axs3D

  6. Gina June 27, 2018 at 5:56 pm #

    Thanks for this fun post and for trying out these dresses for us! You look awesome in all of them. I love that you don’t like strapless bras. I see so many adorable dresses on blogs and they say they’re the perfect casual dress but who wants to wear a strapless bra? Especially during the day! Also, you are hysterical- “and I cant promise your husband will love it” Ha!

    • Rebecca June 30, 2018 at 4:40 am #

      I love your clothing posts, and especially love that your ordered from Amazon since I always wonder about some of these pieces!

      I also want to know where your hat is from, I love it

  7. Danita June 27, 2018 at 4:09 pm #

    Why does the striped cover up at the end (super cute on you!) make me think of your beloved black and white stripe kitchen towels?!!

    • emily June 27, 2018 at 7:51 pm #

      Totally!

  8. Mo June 27, 2018 at 2:21 pm #

    I really like the last one…I am also a big fan of stripes. How does the sizing? True to size?

    • emily June 27, 2018 at 3:16 pm #

      The coverup is one size. It’s big, but works fine. The others I bought size small and they are true to size (roomy, but fine)

  9. Ella June 27, 2018 at 2:18 pm #

    You look so good in knit maxi dresses.
    And I agree, t-shirt dresses are my favorite since they are comfy and appropriate for work, errands, outdoor activities, etc.

  10. Heather June 27, 2018 at 2:04 pm #

    Wow, this post came at the perfect time for me! Thank you for taking the time and money to try these dresses and let us all know about them! I really like your style – in fashion, decor, and writing. And you make a lovely model. Thanks for sharing!!

    • emily June 27, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

      You’re welcome!

  11. Karen B June 27, 2018 at 1:38 pm #

    These slouchy ones are just my style. Thanks for the suggestions.

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