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Best black summer dresses for 2023: from ASOS to M&S and Mango

Take it from me, a black summer dress repeat wearer - you can never go wrong with one...

best black summer dresses
Carla Challis
Commerce Partnerships Editor
Updated: August 3, 2023
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Black in summer? Well, with this weather it isn't so absurd and there's nothing more chic, in my opinion, than a black summer dress. Sure, white dresses in summer are standard and I do have a soft spot for gingham, but nothing hits the spot for me quite like a summer LBD. I have quite a few, including black T-shirt dresses (with gold hoops, a dream) and black smock dresses that I dress up or down on holiday.

In fact, a quick look through my summer wardrobe and it is mostly black and I'm not afraid to say it: I love a black summer dress! 

It's one of the cardinal rules of fashion: every woman should own a little black dress. Ever since Audrey Hepburn sauntered down 5th avenue at dawn, the LBD has become a universal symbol of elegance and class. A timeless shade that can be worn all year round, it's also ultra-flattering.

How to wear a black summer dress

The key to a great black summer dress is choosing a 'stereotypical' summer dress - say a linen midi, or a prairie style shirred bust dress - but in black.

Influencer Thaarani showcases a simple summer LBD
Influencer Thaarani showcases a simple summer LBD

Go for tan leather accessories and sandals, or embrace the dark side with all-black additions - have you seen a raffia bag in black? Ridiculously stylish. I also love black summer dresses paired with Aztec or floral print pieces, or black dresses in broderie anglaise.

Sam Preston Instagram
Instagram's Sam Preston makes a case for the summer LBD in a floaty, shirred maxi

How we chose the best black summer dresses

  • Summer style: These dresses are all classified as 'summer' dresses, either due to their style, design or fabric. You'll find breezy linens, broderie anglaise and cotton dresses all in black. 
  • Colour: It goes without saying they are all black. No prints or patterns included!
  • Inclusivity: I've included dresses to span a wide range of sizes and body shapes, including petite, plus size and tall.
  • Price: These are all from the high street and priced under £100. With the dismal summer weather, keeping cost per wear down is key.

Best black summer dresses for 2023

  • M&S black summer dress

    M&S Pure Cotton Midi Black Dress

    This is fresh in at M&S and expected to sell fast; the pure cotton material will make it lightweight and breezy, and the elegantly waisted shape will flatter all figures 

    The three-quarter length sleeve is ideal for those who aren't big fans of their upper arms, but want something cool enough to wear when it's hot.

  • Warehouse broderie anglaise black summer dress

    Warehouse Broderie Anglaise Black Dress

    Warehouse's summer black dress looks far more expensive than the £80 price tag; I love it with flat sandals but if you've got a summer event, add a pair of heels and you're good to go.

  • Seafolly Black Summer Dress

    Seafolly Black Summer Dress

    I'd pack this textured dress on holiday and wear to the beach, the bar and sightseeing too.

    Available in sizes small, medium and large.

  • NL black summer dress

    New Look Black Summer Dress

    One of New Look's most popular dresses right now is this easy to wear black puff sleeved summer dress. The square neckline is super flattering, especially for larger busts, and is available in sizes 6-22.

  • Nobody's Child Black Summer Dress

    From the square neckline to the wide straps, I think this pinafore-cut dress could deserve summer dress holy grail status.

    The crinkle texture sets it apart from cotton dresses and fitted waist adds a little definition.

  • Free People Black Summer Dress

    Free People Black Summer Dress

    Free People's summer dress has a vintage style and is seriously sexy - wear with as many buttons done up, or undone, as you are.

    Reviews suggest it runs small so size up.

  • ASOS Black Dress

    ASOS Black Dress

    A black t-shirt dress will rack up the wears throughout summer - trust me, I wear one all summer long. I've even been known to add a pair of heels for a night out or cowboy boots and worn to a festival. This ASOS one has a sexy split too.

  • Boden Linen Black Dress

    Boden Black Linen Summer Dress

    This simple shift dress by Boden is in linen, the perfect summer material to keep cool. I love the minimal style, and semi-fitted cut.

  • River Island Black Summer Dress

    River Island Black Summer Dress

    River Island has reimagined the classic prom style dress into a summer, breezy maxi dress - and it's so cool.

    The likes of Alexa Chung are wearing these casual bandeu dresses on their summer vacations, and River Island's is a great one to tap into the trend.

  • Arket dress

    Arket Black Summer Dress

    This stunning off-shoulder maxi dress is on my wish list; it's recommended to size down, as comes up large.


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