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11 best black summer dresses for your chicest season yet

The black dresses we love for summer

Katie Giorgadze wearing a black dress in Paris
Carla Challis
Commerce Partnerships Editor
June 21, 2024
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Take it from me, a repeat black summer dress wearer - there's nothing chicer. If bright, bold colours, boho patterns or all-white is your jam, this is probably not the summer shopping article for you. But if you're someone who makes a black dress their entire summer aesthetic, then keep reading.

I have more black summer dresses in my wardrobe than I care to count. I find the notion of a black summer dress somewhat comforting when the temperatures are high. They stay true to my minimalist style, but can tap into the trends without trying too hard. 

I think they're perennially chic, eschewing the sometimes gaudy florals or designs that flood the shops come summer and stay stylish just by existing.

Even a black T-shirt jersey dress can be worn to more formal events with the right accessories, and I think a black cami dress with chunky sandals is about as cute a summer look as it gets. The high street seems to agree. A scroll of the new in sections of my favourite high street brands shows plenty of black dresses designed for summer, in lightweight fabrics, sleeveless looks and lengths from mini to maxi.

How to wear a black summer dress now

The key to a great black summer dress is choosing a 'stereotypical' summer dress - say a linen midi, or a prairie shirred bust dress - but in black. My social feeds are full of women wearing black summer dresses in milkmaid styles, smock silhouettes and black broderie anglaise. 

MIrthe MJ wearing black summer dress© Instagram / Mirthe_Mj
Influencer Mirthe_Mj wearing a sleek Dissh dress

Right now, its dropped waist dresses in black that are dominating, alongside clean-lined linen mini dresses and draped black maxi dresses.

Fashion stylish Sylvie Mus wearing a shopdoen dress in Paris with sunglasses© Instagram / Sylvie Mus
Fashion stylish Sylvie Mus wearing a shopdoen dress

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Go for all-black accessories, like black raffia bags, black sunnies and black thong sandals. You can always incorporate a touch of colour with brown tan additions, and nothing looks crisper than white shoes, white bags and chunky silver or gold jewellery.

How I chose the best black summer dresses

  • Style: These dresses are all classed as summer dresses, with their designs, styles or fabrics leaning into the warmer weather.
  • 2024 trends: As well as classic, timeless black dresses, there's more trend-led styles below including drop-waist and milkmaid.
  • Colour: It goes without saying, the dresses are all black - no prints, no patterns, not even a hint of white.
  • Inclusivity: The dresses span a wide range of sizing, including petite, plus size and tall and in sizes 4 - 24.

Shop the best black summer dresses for 2024


Brave Soul Strappy Maxi Dress in Black

Brave Soul Strappy Maxi Dress in Black

Editor's Note

I gasped when I saw this ASOS dress, with its ballerina aesthetic and dropped waist. It's giving elegance without being boring, and has a flattering shirred bust with poplin skirt.


H&M Frill Trimmed Cotton Dress

H&M Frill Trimmed Cotton Dress

Editor's Note:

H&M's simple slip dress has the addition of a frilled neckline, adding a touch of femininity. Wear with thong flat sandals or mesh ballerinas for day, and swap for heeled thongs for night. It's the dress you'd wear all summer long.


John Lewis ANYDAY Black Broderie Dress

John Lewis ANYDAY Black Broderie Dress

Editor's Note:

John Lewis has made a pretty broderie anglaise fabric cool, with the black colour and shift style shape. I love that elasticated waist, for adding definition, and who doesn't love a dress with pockets?


Boohoo Maxi Milkmaid Dress

Boohoo Black Milkmaid Dress

Editor's Note:

Milkmaid dresses are trending, and if you want the Bridgerton look without pastel colours, this Boohoo dress ticks the boxes. It's made from poplin, a great fabric for summer, and the exaggerated sleeves and maxi length are a stylish addition.


V by Very One Shoulder Cotton Midi Dress

V by Very One Shoulder Cotton Midi Dress

Editor's Note:

Very's take on the black summer dress is a smarter affair, with its dressy one-shoulder and pulled in waist. This style of Grecian dress is usually seen in white, so it's a welcome surprise to try it in black. Add gladiator sandals or gold heels to elevate the look.


Amazon Jersey V-Neck Tank Maxi-Length Dress

Amazon Jersey dress

Editor's Note:

Every wardrobe needs a black t-shirt dress, it really is ideal for seeing you through summer. Amazon's maxi length version is a great buy, with a flattering V-neck and soft, jersey material.


New Look Black Frill-Strap Midi Dress

New Look Black Frill-Strap Midi Dress

Editor's Note:

New Look's black maxi dress is giving boho vibes, with its frill trim straps and lace flashes on the hem and body.


M&S Pure Cotton Checked Midi Waisted Dress

Pure Cotton Checked Midi Waisted Dress

Editor's Note:

M&S has created a puff sleeve dress with a difference - note the subtle black on black grid pattern, adding depth to the classic black dress. I love the shape of this dress too, with its nipped in waist and larger sleeves.


Warehouse Broderie Drawstring Waist Midi Dress

Warehouse Broderie Anglaise Shirt Dress

Editor's Note:

Every wardrobe needs a shirt dress, and I think Warehouse has pulled it out of the bag with this luxe-looking broderie anglaise shirt dress. The dress features long sleeves, a maxi length and the lightweight cotton makes it ideal for summer.


& Other Stories Gathered Sleeveless Midi Dress

& Other Stories Gathered Sleeveless Midi Dress

Editor's Note:

Giving breezy summer dressing, this voluminous maxi has gathered straps and a shirred neckline that frame the shoulders.


Aligne Leah Linen Midi Dress

Aligne Black Linen Dress

Editor's Note:

If you haven't seen this mini dress from Aligne on your social feeds, trust me, you will. It's gone viral and I can see why; the simple, shift style, the linen fabric and the addition of buttons. Gorgeous.

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