11 Ultra-Packable Dresses for Summer Travel

By Caroline Morse

Dresses: They’re easy to pack, a fashion no-brainer, and they can go from casual to fancy even more easily than pants. That’s why they’re our absolute favorite type of clothing for travel. But you have to pack the right dresses for travel—versatile, wrinkle-free, and odor-resistant pieces that rock a travel wardrobe. Here are our favorite travel-friendly dresses for everyone—petite to plus size—this summer season.

Patagonia Bandha Dress

Photo: Patagonia

Made from fabric that was originally developed for rugged climbing tights, you can bet this dress is resilient. No matter what you put it through, the Patagonia Bandha Dress will keep its shape and lose the wrinkles and dust.


Photo: eShakti

Don’t you hate it when you find a dress off the rack that’s great—except it fits weird? That will never be the case at online retailer eShakti, where you can customize clothing to your specifications—and tailor the items to fit you. Best of all, it’s shockingly cheap—check out the Drape Neck Dress, which is perfect for travel thanks to its cotton/spandex jersey knit fabric.
First time buyers: Customizing is free (after that, it’s $7.50 extra to have this dress made to your exact size measurements and you can have the dress custom styled to change the sleeve type or the dress length, add or remove pockets, and make other changes). And we love that even if you customize your dress, you can still return it if it doesn’t end up fitting.

White Sierra Dailey Duty II Dress

Photo: Amazon

White Sierra’s Dailey Duty II Dress is made from a very cool bamboo rayon/spandex knit fabric that’s wrinkle-resistant and moisture-wicking. Get this in basic black and you can easily go from the plane to dinner without changing.

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Patagonia Margot Dress

Photo: Patagonia

Patagonia has a great reputation for outdoorsy active-lifestyle clothing. But if you’ve always imagined its clothes as more high-country than high-fashion, you might be surprised by its awesome women’s collection, which is packed with cute options like this Margot dress. It’s made from Fair Trade Certified organic cotton (with a little bit of spandex added in for extra stretch) and it comes in great patterns and colors.

Aventura Mavis Dress

Photo: Aventura

Aventura’s Mavis Dress refuses to wrinkle, no matter what you do to it—thanks to its eco-friendly rayon fabric made from bamboo. The classy crossover design adds a bit of style while still keeping you covered.

TravelSmith Short-Sleeved Basic Indispensable Travel Dress

Photo: TravelSmith

The name says it all: The Short-Sleeved Basic Indispensable Travel Dress from TravelSmith is just that. It’s available in plus size and petite, and is made from a wrinkle-resistant, lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric.

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Ojai Clothing Comfy Sundress

Photo: Ojai

The super lightweight rayon batik Ojai Clothing Comfy Sundress is perfect for beach or cruise vacations. The fabric is soft and airy, and the patterns and colors are tropical and vibrant.

Downeast Striped Long Maxi T-Shirt Dress

Photo: Amazon

Going someplace where you need to be a little more covered up? The Downeast Long Maxi T-Shirt Dress is light enough to keep you cool, and modest enough to get you into any religious or cultural site where you’d need to have shoulders and legs covered. And, it’s available in plus sizes!

TravelSmith Samantha Brown Short-Sleeve Reversible Wrap Dress

Photo: TravelSmith

Pack one dress and get double the outfits with the Merrell Finley Reversible . Made from Supima cotton, this dress is soft and easy to take care of — and offers built-in sun protection.

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ExOfficio Women’s Cross-Front Dress

Photo: Amazon

The ExOfficio Go-To Cross-Front Dress has a secret: a hidden security zip pocket located in the hem where you can stash your cash or credit cards. It’s also tagless for your comfort, and wrinkle-resistant, moisture-wicking, and odor-resistant.

Lands’ End Sleeveless Maxi Dresses

Photo: Lands’ End

Maxi dresses can be great for travel, as they keep you covered but cool and comfortable. But if you’re anything but model-sized, it can be hard to find one that fits you right. That’s why we like this Lands’ End maxi dress, which comes in petite, regular, tall, and plus sizes.

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