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Model wearing a red sundress.

A sundress or summer dress is an informal or casual dress intended to be worn in warm weather, typically in a lightweight fabric, most commonly cotton, and usually loose-fitting. It is commonly a bodice style sleeveless dress, typically with a wide neckline and thin shoulder straps, and may be backless. A sundress is typically worn without a layering top and is not usually worn over a blouse, sweater, or t-shirt, or with leggings.

While the word "sundress" was first used in the early 1940s, they really came into vogue in the 1950s and were especially popularized by Lilly Pulitzer in the 1960s.[1]

Current styles[edit]

The sundress is considered by many people to be both more practical and more comfortable than other varieties of dresses, particularly in warm or hot weather.

Sundresses can be of any neckline and hemline, ranging from mini to full length, though they are more often midi or maxi length. They are typically sleeveless and collarless, with a wide neckline and thin shoulder straps.

Sundresses can use a variety of closure types, including back zippers, side zippers, front buttons, back buttons, back ties, pullover or other closure styles. They may also be without any closures or fasteners and put on over the head or slipped on by pulling up from below.[2] A lot of sundresses have patterns on them, the most common being a floral pattern.

Since the 1940s, a sundress-like one-piece swimsuit appeared,[3] which is sometimes considered to be matronly or costumey nowadays.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Karen Nazor Hill (20 June 2008). "Chattanooga: Light clothes still heavy on style". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Archived from the original on 18 June 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  2. ^ "How to Dress and Undress Easily in Clothes with Back Zippers and Buttons". Wikihow. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
  3. ^ Booth, Jessica (July 14, 2021). "From the 1800s to now: Here's how swimsuits have changed over the years". Insider. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  4. ^ Lubitz, Rachel (August 9, 2021). "15 inexpensive Amazon swimsuits we tried (and actually loved)". CNN. Retrieved September 9, 2021. Swimsuits with skirts can either look matronly or costumey

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