Published on may 14, 2019

5 Dress Outfit Ideas That Will Make You Give Up Pants This Summer

written by Team thredUP

Put away the pants, it’s dress season, y’all! To MAXImize your summer fun and MINImize time spent styling (see what we did there?), we asked style extraordinaire, Jennifer, to share her go-to dress outfits and how she found them on thredUP. Read on for more, or find the dresses you need right now at our Dress Shop.

A stylish mama of two, Jennifer started her blog Pieces of Emerald as an outlet for her to share all things fashion, beauty, and motherhood. 


Hey friends! As a mom of two, summer can be super hectic. My kids are on summer vacation which means I’m on duty 24/7, ha! If I’m not taking them to meet playdates or take classes, I’m running errands, having quick catch-ups with friends, or attending the many, many summer weddings on my calendar. See? BUSY!

As much as I love styling new and fresh outfits, “me” time is rare. That’s why my spring-summer closet is ALL dresses. Dresses take less brainpower to style and they’re totally versatile. I can slip one on and just go! Read on for my favorite outfits for the weekend, work, weddings, and more.

For the Weekend

Maxi dresses are a favorite of mine because they can be dressed up with heels for a night out or dressed down with sandals for a day brunch. I styled this BCBGeneration maxi (just $15!) with sandals, because, as a mama, I like to be as comfortable as possible. If you’re a busy mom like me who needs to lug around toys, crayons and more keep-’em-busy necessities, reach for a stylish tote!


— I was tired of winter gloom and wanted something bright in my closet. I filtered by bright colors like red, yellow, and orange, to find the perfect statement.

— As a shorty, finding the right dress is super important to me. Maxis are great for lengthening your silhouette, so I filtered by maxi under “Style” and “Calf Length” under “Skirt Length”.

For Catching Up With Girlfriends

After a long week at work, Happy Hour with the girls is calling my name! Dinner and a night out with my best friends is the perfect chance to let my hair down. And what could be more fun than a pink lace dress? Hahaha. I LOVE the peek-a-boo effect of this A-line cocktail dress from Maje. The cinched waist accentuates my curves! I went for a tone-on-tone look by pairing the pale pink hue of this A-line cocktail dress from Maje with hot pink ankle strap sandals.


— Have you saved your sizes on thredUP? You really should! thredUP’s inventory is huge, so filtering by size is the easiest and fastest way to find stuff that fits.

— I’ve been looking for a lace cocktail dress, so I saved my search so I’d be notified of any new arrivals that match my search.

Here’s how I did it: I filtered by my size, my brands (Maje, Free People, and more), and the dress style (A-Line with lace details). I saved my search at the top right of the page to opt into getting alerts about arrivals matching my specifications (works for email and the app!). No long after, I was notified that this dress JUST arrived. I snagged it right away, and it was an AMAZING deal (the dress retails for $320, I got it for $35.99!).

For Catching Some Sun

Sun’s out, shoulders out! While my everyday mom uniform is a T-shirt-and-jeans combo, I feel like dressing up sometimes! This strappy ruffle dress is my top pick for a super easy outfit. The cinched waist adds shape and contrast to the ruffles along the neckline! Matched with sandals, I’d wear this out to casual days out with the kids. For an elevated outing, I’d pair it with nude block heels to elongate my legs (invest in a good pair!) and elevate a dressy but comfortable look. 


— The ruffle trend is going to be a big one this summer (isn’t it always?) so I knew I wanted a ruffle maxi dress. I filtered by ruffles under “Accents” to find exactly what I needed.

For Dancing It Up at Weddings

I love all things bohemian! This one-shoulder dress from C&T Costello Tagliapietr was such a great find (retails for $298, I got it for $54.99!), and I had a wedding coming up so it was sort of a no-brainer that this would my dress of choice. The bright color and dazzling print puts me in the right mood for a spring or summer wedding. I paired it with strappy heels and a cute chain crossbody bag for a great day-to-night party look.


— Did you know you can shop by the occasion on thredUP? If you’re looking for wedding guest dresses or bridesmaid dresses, thredUP makes it super easy to find the right style, color, and price (we all know how expensive wedding season can be, haha).

For Spicing Up Work


Going to work while my kids are on vacay is kind of a bummer, so I added some pep to my work outfit! I styled this super fun printed dress with a pair of kitten heels and cute backpack (stylish AND functional!).


— I knew I wanted to add some fun to my work look. So I filtered by work under “Occasion” and picked a couple of prints I like under “Pattern”. thredUP has SO many patterns to choose from, but my favorites will always be polka dots, stripes, animal print, and florals!

Ready to get dressed? We’ve got your back. From wedding season essentials to everyday summer looks, you’ll find all the dresses you need for summer at The Dress Shop. All up to 90% off. Tell us about your favorite dress finds from the shop in the comments below!