A Guide to the Best Spring and Summer Formal Dress Trends This Year

A Guide to the Best Spring and Summer Formal Dress Trends This Year

Formals are pretty much the event of the season in the collegiate world. The beautiful dresses, perfect weather, and romantic, springtime vibe makes this event one to remember. So it’s only fitting that your dress for this evening is one to remember, too. Even if your school doesn’t have a formal, there are still so many occasions during this time of year that lend to a fancier dress code — from themed parties to summer weddings. With formal season right around the corner, the stress and anxiety over finding the perfect look is totally picking up. To avoid these nerves, and have the hottest look of the night, read on to see what formal dress styles are the hottest right now!

01. Bold Colors

This season, stray away from bland, pastel colors and instead strive for a bright, bold colored dress. These looks will make sure that you stand out in every picture and on the dance floor!

Photo via Reformation.

Reformation Marguerite Silk Dress

Available in multiple colors. $298.

Photo via Urban Outfitters.

Urban Outfitters Stephy Satin Tiered Mini Dress


Photo via Zara.

Zara Satin Effect Dress With Lace


02. Fun Prints

While a bright color is bound to attract attention, a fun print will absolutely have the same effect! A funky print is always a unique option and, chances are, no one will be wearing the same look as you!

Photo via With Jéan.

With Jéan Juniper Dress


Photo via For Love and Lemons.

For Love and Lemons June Bell Sleeve Mini Dress


Photo via Zara.

Zara Satin Effect Print Dress


03. Funky Cutouts

This season, funky cutouts have been all the rage. Whether it’s a cute keyhole at the neck, triangular side cutouts, or a full backless moment, they can add so much to a look! 

Photo via Abercrombie.

Abercrombie Knotted Halter Cutout Maxi Dress

Also available in Terracotta Red. $80.

Photo via White Fox Boutique.

White Fox Boutique Bend The Rules Midi Dress

Also available in Blue. $70.

Photo via Free People.

Free People Jessa Maxi

Also available in Mocha. $168.

04. Unique Cuts

Unique cuts are a great way to emphasize your body type, and add a totally unexpected vibe to a formal look! Whether it’s a funky jumpsuit, a high low situation, or a super fun mini-train, a distinctive cut or hemline will always make you stand out in a crowd!

Photo via Revolve.

Katie May Chasing Dawn Gown


Photo via Revolve.

Elliatt X REVOLVE Times Dress

Also available in Blue Multi. $279.

Photo via Zara.

Zara Double Breasted Blazer Dress


05. Romantic Styles

If you are totally into the ultra-feminine looks that have been trending everywhere lately, maybe a romantic look is for you! Spring is the perfect time to experiment with a beautiful, girly look, and these dresses are great for a spring formal!

Photo via LoveShackFancy.

LoveShackFancy Thressey Mini Dress


Photo via Revolve.

Bronx and Banco Eva Midi Dress


Photo via Urban Outfitters.

For Love & Lemons Tatiana Lace Sheer Mini Dress


06. LBD’s

The little black dress is probably the most versatile dress and, while the color itself won’t stand out on its own, the cut you choose and the way you accessorize can make this a totally unique look! If you are in a crunch to find the perfect dress, a trusty LBD may be the perfect dress for you!

Photo via Lulus.

Lulus Drinks On Me Black Sleeveless Pleated Bodycon Dress

Also available in White and Mauve. $59.

Photo via ASOS.

Miss Selfridge Sweetheart Neck Contour Ribbed Knit Mini Dress


Photo via Zara.

Zara Asymmetric Draped Dress Limited Edition


07. Little White Dresses

If black doesn’t quite scream spring to you, maybe a little white dress is more up your alley. White always looks beautiful, and as an added bonus, it gives your skin a beautiful tanned glow. The LWD is also a perfect look to experiment with accessories! From bright colored jewelry, to a funky belt, the little white dress can be the perfect springtime look!

Photo via Express.

Rachel Zoe Puff Sleeve Handkerchief Hem Midi Dress


Photo via Princess Polly.

Princess Polly Novella Mini Dress

Also available in Pink, Red, and Black. $55.

Photo via Anthropologie.

Anthropologie Textured Shift Mini Dress

Also available in petite and plus sizes. $148.

Spring Formal, or any formal event for that matter, can certainly be stressful, but finding a dress that you feel amazing in shouldn’t be. From a funky print, to a simple LBD, there are so many looks you can go with! Spring Formal’s are the perfect time to experiment with your look, and with the variety of looks you can choose, there is no way you won’t find a perfect dress!

Featured image contains photos from Zara, With Jéan, and Urban Outfitters. Design by Her Campus Media.