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8 Perfect Fall Dresses That Will Make You Thankful for Cooler Weather


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When the temperature begins to drop and the air turns crisp and chilly, it’s time to start wearing our favorite fall dresses again. Because while we love pairing tights and cardigans with our summer sundresses to make the season last a little longer, what’s easier than pulling on a wrap dress, or cozying up in a sweater dress?

There are a few things we look for in fall dresses: pockets, for one. (Although to be fair, this is something we look for in dresses for all seasons.) Another is sleeves that can roll up or down, to accommodate fluctuating temperatures, and a muted color palette that says “autumn.” We love a seasonally-themed dress, as well (if Halloween candy is already on the store shelves in August, we say it’s acceptable to start wearing our witch and black-cat themed outfits.)

The best fall dresses can be styled up and down and worn to the office, on a night out, or just running errands, but sometimes you need a special dress — for example, if you’re invited to a fall wedding. To that end, we’ve rounded up a few picks that we think represent the best in fall dresses, at a variety of price points. Find your new favorite fall dress below! (And if you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to summer, check out our picks for the best sundresses, too!)

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Halogen Long Sleeve Sweater Dress

best sweater dress
sweater dress

Where to buy: $139, Nordstrom

Why we like it:

  • Figure-hugging fit
  • Comes in 4 rich colors for fall

Nothing says “fall” like a cozy sweater dress. But some can be too boxy, covering up our curves when we’d rather show them off. That’s just one of the reasons we like this sexy sweater dress, which skims your figure without being too tight. The bold red version here is eye-popping and perfect for a pre-holiday gathering (or any occasion where you want to stand out and make an impression), while the navy, gray, and black versions feature contrasting trim at the neck and wrists.

Luxe Cotton Seamed Tank Dress

best casual dress
best casual tank dress

Where to buy: $58, Everlane

Why we like it:

  • Can easily be dressed up or down
  • Made of thick cotton that never looks rumpled

We love a cotton tank dress, but finding one that looks polished isn’t easy — they tend to stretch out, wrinkle, and droop after being worn for a few hours. Not so with this Everlane dress, however! The smooth, sturdy cotton holds its shape while still feeling soft and comfortable. A square neckline and princess seams flatter your figure, and the mid-calf length is perfect for cooler days. Dress it up for the boardroom or wear it with sandals on those unseasonably hot autumn days. Comes in black, white, moss green, or the amber hue pictured here — and is affordable enough to pick up a couple of colors!

The Etsuko Dress

best work dress
best work dress
M.M. LaFleur

Where to buy: $135 (Originally $195), M.M. LaFleur

Why we like it:

  • Classic style
  • On sale now!

There are so many things to love about this dress (which comes in eight rich fall hues, including an ivory and blue geometric print, deep claret, and classic black), but what really sells us on it is that it’s made of a machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, stretchy material called WonderTex — which is as wonderful as it sounds. It’s also treated with an anti-odor finish, so it needs to be washed less often (even if you find yourself breaking out in a cold sweat at work now and then). M.M. LaFleur rarely puts their dresses on sale, so snap this one up now!

Alicia Mixed Media Midi Dress

best cocktail dress
best cocktail dress

Where to buy: $198, Nordstrom

Why we like it:

  • Swingy chiffon skirt contrasts with fitted crepe bodice
  • Available in three perfect fall colors

There’s more to this simple cocktail dress than meets the eye: Contrasting fabrics on the top and bottom offer visual interest that’s both fun and flattering. Choose from the burgundy shade pictured, a bright classic red, or a deep midnight blue, and be the best-dressed at your next party, drinks date, or any special occasion. Planning on dancing? You’ll love the way the chiffon skirt swirls! The deep V-neck means you might have to get a little creative with your undergarments, and on chilly nights, you’ll want a throw to keep you warm — but all-in-all, we’re in love with this pretty party dress.

Embroidered Dot Chambray Wrap Dress

best wrap dress
best wrap dress
Draper James

Where to buy: $83 (Originally $150), Draper James

Why we like it:

  • Adjustable waist makes it easy to fit
  • Transitions well from fall to spring

Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James line of clothing features classic American style with a touch of Southern charm, and this chambray wrap dress exemplifies her breezy yet tailored style. The belted waist makes it easy to adjust. Cinch it up on your “skinny” days, and let it out a little when you’ve indulged in a few too many fun-size Halloween candy bars. Speaking of sweets, the embroidered dot print is a sweet touch, and the three-quarter length sleeves and midi-length hem work equally well for spring as for fall.


best dress with pockets
best dress with pockets

Where to buy: From $19.99, Amazon

Why we like it:

  • Comes in 15 different colors and styles!
  • Hundreds of five-star Amazon reviews

This simple fall dress works equally well for school drop-off as it does for a dinner date, given the right accessories. Its stripes, round neck, and 3/4-length sleeves lend it a classic look we love — and so do hundreds of Amazon reviewers who rave about it! The polyester blend has a touch of spandex, so it’s got just enough stretch be be comfortable, but still holds shape beautifully. And, obviously — pockets! Choose from a wide variety of colors and patterns, including solids, short sleeves, and sleeveless (perfect for pairing with a sweater).

ModCloth Optimistic Effect Sleeveless Dress

best halloween dress
halloween dress

Where to buy: $59, ModCloth

Why we like it:

  • Spooky-yet-subtle skeleton cat pattern
  • Flattering fit-and-flare silhouette

Who says you can only wear a Halloween dress one day out of the year? We think this twist on the little black dress works well throughout September and October, with its subtle skeleton cat pattern and classic fit-and-flare cut. Princess seams, pockets, and a back panel with some stretch to it make for a practical and flattering fit, and the lack of sleeves means you can throw your favorite cardigan over the top, or go without on those fall days that are still hotter than they’re supposed to be. (Or are we just having hot flashes?) It also comes in a Halloween-themed print with a light purple background (hurry, that one’s selling out fast!), a blue wave pattern, and a green jungle cat print, in case spooky isn’t your thing.

Anthropologie Hutch Biscayne Dress

best fall wedding guest dress
best wedding guest dress

Where to buy: $275, Anthropologie

Why we like it:

  • Flowing, feminine lines
  • Plunging V-neck is sexy, yet still bra-friendly

We’re a little bit obsessed with this gorgeous wrap dress, which drapes like a dream and comes in an olive green that feels like autumn to us. A ruffle skirt adds a touch of feminine charm without looking too “girly” and the abstract pattern is reminiscent of camouflage (right on trend for fall), but somehow still fancy enough for a wedding or other black-tie occasion.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.

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