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The 17 best drop waist dresses to add to your summer wardrobe

This feminine silhouette has taken the fashion world by storm for 2024

Chloe Gallacher
Style Writer
May 17, 2024
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As we begin to stow away our winter warmers and switch to our transitional wardrobe, we can’t help but dream about summer as we welcome the warmer weather. 

Every summer wardrobe consists of cult classics like linen fabrics, strappy sandals, raffia bags and floaty white dresses, we’ve seen a fresh contender emerge this season: the drop-waist dress.

Hannah Lewis was spotted at New York Fashion Week in an all-white drop-waist ensemble© Jeremy Moeller
Hannah Lewis was spotted at New York Fashion Week in an all-white drop-waist ensemble

What do you call a dress with a low waist?

A dress with a low waist called a drop-waist or dropped waist dress. It's also known as the flapper dress. According to The Joy of Fashion, it "is characterised by its low waistband which usually falls more in line with the hips than at the natural level of the waist."

What body type does a drop waist look good on?

The drop-waist dress elongates the body to enhance the silhouette and is cut off much lower at the hips, rather than the usual style of the waist. This creates the illusion of a longer torso and generally a more hourglass figure.

Are drop waist dresses in fashion?

Spearheaded by the likes of Molly Goddard, Khiate and Proenza Schouler, we’ve seen an increase in low-rise styles and a decline in higher waisted items, also a correlation with the rise of the Y2K style. This is definitely a more minimalistic style and one for a quiet luxury lover, predominantly available in neutral tones. We’ve not yet seen many eclectic print iterations.

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After seeing it on the likes of Ariana Grande, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber and Lady Gaga, it gets a definite yes from us and is going straight to the top of our wishlist. 

Scroll on for our 17 favourite drop-waist dresses to shop now...

  1. 1/17

    White Maxi Cut Out Detail Bandeau Dress

    4th & Reckless

    With it's shirred detailing, sweetheart strapless neckline and cut-out front, this its the epitome of sophistication. We've not seen many drop-waist styles with a cut-out front, so this adds an extra interesting element.

  2. 2/17

    Linen Drop Waist Dress


    Most styles of drop-waist dresses we've seen have been fitted, however we love this loose iteration from Albaray. And what's better than a dress with pockets?!

  3. 3/17

    Gathered Organic Cotton And Silk-Blend Midi Dress


    Matteau is our ultimate go-to when it comes to a new dress for summer. This one oozes elegance and the shirred bodice with floaty skirt is oh, so flattering.

  4. 4/17

    Jersey Poplin Sleeveless Maxi Dress


    We love this two-tone number with pleated finish on the skirt from NA-KD. We'd style it with strappy gladiator sandals and a pair of dark, oversized sunglasses. 

  5. 5/17

    Ysabella White Posy Print Cotton Maxi Sundress

    House of CB

    This dress is giving us serious Bridgerton vibes, and with the new season out now we're adding it straight into our basket. 

  6. 6/17

    Asymmetric Tank Midi Dress

    & Other Stories

    Perfect for an evening out for drinks with the girls, this asymmetric hem and voluminous skirt would look great paired with strappy heeled sandals and a bright coloured clutch bag.

  7. 7/17

    Shirring Check Bandeau Maxi Dress


    We've not come across many printed options for this style, but you can't go wrong with gingham. The modern style of the dress gives the classic print a new lease of life. Style with lighter accessories to keep the fresh feel.

  8. 8/17

    Dropped-Waist Maxi Dress


    Made from two different fabrics, the linen blend bodice is perfect for summer for an airy feel, whilst the ramie skirt with its subtle gathers gives a floaty finish.

  9. 9/17

    Oda Strapless Stretch-Jersey Maxi Dress


    This Eres number is going straight into our basket ready for our summer holiday. It's the perfect piece to slip on over a bikini, or as the brand suggests, can also be worn as a maxi skirt due to its stretch-jersey fabric - we love the versatility.

  10. 10/17

    Flared-Skirt Dress


    The tank element of this H&M piece gives a more casual feel, however the flared linen-blend skirt makes it that bit more dressy to be able to easily wear to an afternoon event.

  11. 11/17

    Onda Drop-Waist Tube Midi

    Free People

    Most of the styles we've seen have been more neutral toned, so we love the bright sunshine hue of this Free People number. We'd style it with tan-coloured sandals and a raffia bag for a real summery feel.

  12. 12/17

    Smocked Asymmetric Midi Dress

    & Other Stories

    This & Other Stories piece is so different to all the other styles of the drop-waist dress we've seen so far. With its puffed sleeves, asymmetric hem and contrasting smocked panels, it will be perfect for a transitional wardrobe.

  13. 13/17

    Tank Dress


    The jersey tank top is complimented by the voluminous taffeta skirt and is an effortlessly stylish addition to any wardrobe. 

  14. 14/17

    Contrast Balloon Midi Dress


    The balloon skirt on this Zara number gives a girly feel to the trend. A white dress in a summer wardrobe is a must-have for a crisp, clean feel and looks great with your tan.

  15. 15/17

    Laana Gathered Cotton-Blend Poplin Midi Dress


    This dress is such a stylish addition to any wardrobe. With its gathered bodice, floaty skirt and asymmetric spaghetti straps, it gives such a luxury feel. 

  16. 16/17

    Midi Tank Dress


    Cult high-street favourite store Arket never misses the mark. Stylist and influencer Hannah Crosskey posted to her 123K Insta followers that this piece is great whilst pregnant too.

  17. 17/17

    Amore Vintage Cream Dropped Waist Midi Dress

    House of CB

    This cream iteration is the perfect piece for a summer garden party. The skirt has a tulle underlay, giving a floaty finish and has a flattering scooped neckline.

How we chose:

  • Style: The drop-waist dress has a timeless quality. Our selections vary in design but they are united by the fact that they have a certain lasting appeal and can be styled in multiple ways.
  • Price: Variety is key, and therefore alongside pieces by some of our favourite designer labels, we've included some stylish picks from the high street if you're looking to save.
  • Brand: Everything on this list is from a range of brands, from high-street to designer.

Why you should trust me:

I am Hello! Fashion’s Style Writer, with seven years of experience within the fashion journalism industry. I have a love for fashion and spotting upcoming trends, coveted pieces and scouring online for irresistible new-in finds.

HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.

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