Let’s talk about the best garden party dresses for summer — and garden party dresses in general. Here’s the deal with garden party dresses. Back when I was right out of college, a friend and I would spend too much time sending each other links to dresses we couldn’t afford and certainly didn’t need for the types of Friday and Saturday night establishments we were frequenting. Yet we always seemed to justify the by saying, “Well, I could wear it if I went to a garden party.”
Spoiler: there were never garden parties.
Yet now, in my thirties, I feel like my garden party era has arrived. No, there still are not actual garden parties, but this is the type of dress I wear anytime an occasion arises. It could be a wedding, a shower, a Thursday night dinner with girl friends, a Saturday at a vineyard. Whatever it is, I’m wearing a garden party dress.
What is a Garden Party Dress?
But what is a garden party dress, you ask? There’s no true definition. It’s just a vibe. A midi, tea length, or maxi dress in a lightweight, floaty cotton or silk with a feminine, airy floral pattern. Generally, I don’t think of solids as garden party dresses, nor do I venture into bold color territory. It’s all about channeling your springtime Victorian era with a dash of tea party. Think back to that Laura Ashley dress you wanted in second grade. That’s where you want to be here.
The Best Garden Party Dresses for Summer
You’ll find all my favorite garden party dresses of the season below, but to call out a few…
The 1960s vibe of the color palette from this Ganni dress from Hampden Clothing immediately caught my eye, while this blue toile dress from Tuckernuck is, of course, a favorite (it’s making me nostalgic for a blue toile dress my mom sewed for me for Foxfield back in college). I’ve yet to try anything from Madison Mathews, but this feminine pink shirtdress is gorgeous. And, no surprise, I’m a sucker for the floral trellis print from this Boden dress.