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The Best Summer Dresses for the Urban Jetsetter

Summer doesn’t have to scream the beach. Big cities like Paris, New York, and London come alive in warmer months, delighting the senses with an abundance of culture, cuisine, and nightlife.

So, what to pack for a city getaway? Unlike a beach holiday, bikinis and flip flops aren’t the easy go-to. Read on for the best summer dresses for the urban Jetsetter.

Ulla Johnson Talin Dress
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Ulla Johnson Talin Dress

Ulla Johnson’s ‘Global Nomad’ aesthetic strikes the perfect balance between hip and chic.

Ideal for: Strolling the scenic walkway along  the river Seine in Paris.  

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H&M Dress with Ruffles
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H&M Dress with Ruffles

This ruffled number gives off a fun and flirty vibe.

Ideal for: Any beach city like Barcelona, Santa Monica, Sydney.  

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Saloni Fara Folded Bodice MidiDress
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Saloni Fara Folded Bodice MidiDress

Designer Saloni Lodha’s Indian heritage serves as inspiration for her collections. The flattering A-line on this midi, with hand-sewn embellishments at the waist, give it a fun, yet polished look.

Ideal For: Exotic cities like Marrakesh, Mumbai, Fez, Siem Reap. 

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Veronica Beard Dorado ruffle floral-print silk-chiffon mini dress
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Veronica Beard Dorado ruffle floral-print mini dress

The balloon sleeves balance the flounced mini, and silk rolls up nice and small to throw in a bag. Winner.  

Ideal For: A great pick for cities with more of a village vibe--Salzburg, Bruges, Ghent. 

RELATED: 5 Beach-Chic Outfits to Try Now

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H&M Crêped Wrap-front Dress
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H&M Crêped Wrap-front Dress

People just don't wear enough red. Go bold with this wrap-front dress to stand out from the crowd. 

Ideal for: Kicking back at sidewalk cafe in any sexy European city like Rome, Florence, Madrid... 

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Theory Muscle P Dress
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Theory Muscle P Dress

Stay, er, cool, in this sophisticated white cotton muscle tee dress. 
 
Ideal for: Sunday brunch or high tea in London. 
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Apiece Apart Caspia Braid Tank Dress
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Apiece Apart Caspia Braid Tank Dress

We love this braid tank dress for its hushed pink and orange stripes and sexy bare shoulders. 

Ideal for: A night tango dancing in Buenos Aires. 

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ACE & JIG Dusty Striped Cotton Maxi Dress
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ACE & JIG Dusty Striped Cotton Maxi Dress

Is it possible for rainbow stripes to be subtle? Apparently and this is how it’s done.

Ideal for: Exploring cities with textile-rich cultures like Oaxaca, Santa Fe, and Cusco. 

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H&M Dress with Buttons
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H&M Dress with Buttons

Everyone should have a yellow summer dress in their closet. We love the brown button detailing on this one, which perfectly offsets the yellow. 

Ideal for: Lunch in laid-back smaller cities like Portland, Maine or Savannah, Georgia.  

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Altuzarra Floral Print Flare Hem Silk Dress $
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Altuzarra Floral Print Flare Hem Silk Dress $

Cocktails and dinner? This is the pick. 

Ideal for: Dinner at that hard-to-book restaurant in a cosmopolitan city like Sao Paulo, Hong Kong, or Singapore. 

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Valencia + Vine Molly Poplin Wrap Dress
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Valencia + Vine Molly Poplin Wrap Dress

Midi length and tie waist balance out the flirty ruffle sleeves and a deep V. You’ll stand out in this eye catching gorgeous green number—one of the best summer dresses around IOHO. 
 
Ideal for: A southern night out with the ladies in Charleston.  
 
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Reformation Rou dress
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Reformation Rou dress

Would we stand in a 4 block-long line of people in 90 degree temps? Crazy perhaps, but Reformation’s devotees do, in search of the best summer dresses. And with dresses like this one, it’s not hard to understand why.
 
Ideal for: Colorful and sultry cities like Cartagena, Rio, and Miami. 
 
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Saloni Zoey Cut-out Stretch Poplin Dress
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Saloni Zoey Cut-out Stretch Poplin Dress

A feminine front button dress in summery lemon with cutouts in the back easily takes this from day to night. Another great packing option.

Ideal for: A Sunday picnic in Central Park, NYC. 

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Joie Briel Dress
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Joie Briel Dress

The structured bodice and full, swingy skirt silhouette are relaxed in this sandy-colored cotton. Summer city retro-chic.

Ideal for: Cities with a little edge: NYC, LA, Shanghai. 

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