6 Controversial Summer Dress Trends That Are Just Wow

·3 min read

For many, this is around the time each year when we stow away the winter coats and fleece things and start shopping for new summer dresses. Since we didn't really have anywhere to wear dresses last summer, many are predicting that revenge dressing and the subsequent return to dressing up will be the norm this summer. This explains why there have been more than a few dresses popping up on my Instagram feed, many of which are pretty risqué.

These controversial dress micro-trends may not be for the faint of heart, but they will get plenty of likes on Instagram (until they can actually be worn for a fun night out). Disclaimer: If skin-exposing dresses aren't your thing, these dresses may not be your thing. But if they are, you've come to the right place. Read on to find out which controversial dress trends are heating up for summer and to shop chic options for each style.


If it seems like sheer dresses are a thing every summer, you're certainly not wrong. Something as beautiful and breathable as a sheer dress is tailor-made for warm summer nights. Of note this summer, in particular, are sheer ruched dresses. Consider it a micro micro-trend.

Shop the trend:

Norma Kamali Diana Gown ($215)

Ganni Printed Mesh Dress ($325)

Dion Lee Powertulle Corset Dress ($890)


In case you haven't noticed, Y2K everything is everywhere right now, from jewelry to prints to jeans. When it comes to dresses, look out for butterflies, cowl necks, extreme cutouts, and bandage styles.

Shop the trend:

Urban Outfitters Mallory Cowl Neck Slip Dress ($49)

Area Twisted Cup Bias Mini Dress ($890)

Farai London Gaia Long Dress ($129)


The peekaboo styles that are trending may not be bar friendly or underwear friendly, but they're very popular right now nonetheless. Every single one that I come across is nearly sold out.

Shop the trend:

Bronx and Banco x Revolve Gaia Mini Dress ($380)

Louisa Ballou Tie-Dye Cut-Out Mini Dress ($574)

Poster Girl Miranda Dress ($124)

Lingerie Inspired

Given the popularity of bustiers and corsets, you may have noticed that lingerie-inspired clothing that's meant to be worn outdoors is having a moment. Just be sure to wear your dress with substantial accessories so that it isn't mistaken for actual lingerie.

Shop the trend:

La Perla Silk Short Slip Dress ($245)

Good American Corset Waist Dress ($149)

Bardot Lace Mini Slip Dress ($109)


The S/S 21 runways clued us in to the fact that mini lengths would be the 2021 hemline of choice. After a year spent in sweatpants, we can't really be surprised about this one.

Shop the trend:

Réalisation The Christy Dress ($180)

Zara Printed Dress With Matching Scrunchie ($50)

Reformation Steffi Dress ($118)

Low Back

The low-back dress is certainly one of the most beautiful of the controversial dress trends, and there are tons of options to choose from. I narrowed it down as best I could…

Shop the trend:

Jacquemus Bahia Draped Crepe Mini Dress ($625)

Reformation Kimia Dress ($148)

Endless Summer Meika Mini Dress ($68)

Next up, these are the best summer dresses from chic sustainable brands.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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