These Are the 16 Best Travel Dresses for Easy Outfitting While Away (2024)

These Are the 16 Best Travel Dresses for Easy Outfitting While Away (1)

The best travel dresses make it easy to throw together outfits while allowing you to pack fewer pieces. They can be dressed up or down for casual, fancy, and professional occasions. You can wear them on travel days and, depending on the material, potentially multiple times during your trip — even without access to a washing machine.

We scoured the internet and checked our own closets to compile options for every style, season, and activity. From sophisticated shirt dresses, sweater dresses, and wraps to breezy sundresses, maxis, and sporty athleisure numbers, you'll find the perfect frock here.

Our Top Picks

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Why We Love It

  • This endlessly versatile dress can be worn year-round, in any weather, and you can style it with various layers, outerwear, and shoes.

What to Consider

  • The brand recommends hand washing it and laying it flat to dry.

You can count on Quince for well-made wardrobe staples at accessible price points. The brand carries lots of high-quality, relatively low-maintenance cashmere pieces, like this travel-friendly dress. It features a sleeveless, midi-length cut and a fisherman sweater knitting pattern.

Suitable for all four seasons, this dress can be layered under a cardigan, blazer, jean jacket, or shawl, worn over a snug-fitting turtleneck or thin T-shirt, or rocked as-is in warm weather. It also pairs well with various shoe styles, including boots, sandals, flats, block heels, and wedges.

Since cashmere (a type of wool sourced from goats) is naturally odor-resistant, you can wear this dress more than once between washes — and pack fewer items for your trip. The soft, breathable material won't wrinkle or crease in your suitcase, either. But bear in mind hand washing is recommended.

The Details: XS to XL | Mongolian cashmere

Why We Love It

  • With a laidback athleisure style, this sweatshirt dress is great for daytime wear or hanging out at your rental.

What to Consider

  • It doesn't have pockets.

If you're on a budget, look no further than Amazon. This affordable frock features a classic crew neckline, long sleeves, and an above-the-knee cut. The laidback style is essentially a sweatshirt dress, so consider wearing it with sneakers, slides, or another sporty sandal style. You can wear it en route to your destination, out and about during the day, or while padding around your vacation rental. We wish it had pockets, but for this price, we're not complaining.

The Details: XS to 2XL | Cotton, polyester

Why We Love It

  • It comes in nine sizes, and the buttery fabric stretches to twice its size to ensure a fit every time.

What to Consider

  • Popular sizes and styles sell out frequently.

Skims is among today's most size-inclusive brands. Not only does this dress come in nine sizes (ranging from 2XS to 4X), but like other pieces from the Fits Everybody line, the unbelievably flexible, body-molding fabric stretches to double its size. Plus, it resists wrinkles and takes up minimal suitcase space. We also appreciate that the dress offers subtle shaping effects, cinching the waist and smoothing the arms and hips. Unfortunately, popular sizes and colors sell out frequently, but if you can snag this dress in your size, you won't regret it.

The Details: 2XS to 4X | Polyamide, elastane

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Why We Love It

  • The timeless, travel-ready Dream Dress can be dressed up or down and worn with several outerwear and footwear styles.

What to Consider

  • This style doesn't have pockets.

This timeless, elegant dress from Everlane is just the thing for your upcoming trip. It flaunts a mid-length A-line skirt, a semi-fitted bodice, and short sleeves that fall just above the elbows. You can dress it up or down, wear it day or night, and pair it with a wide range of outerwear and footwear styles — think loafers and a blazer, heeled boots and an overcoat, or flats and a denim jacket. This dress is also sustainably made with organic cotton and modal sourced from responsibly managed forests.

The Details: XS to XL | Organic cotton, modal, elastane

Why We Love It

  • This cozy, casual dress boasts a neoprene-like knit fabric that's warm but not overly heavy with wrinkle-resistant stretch.

What to Consider

  • It may not be as breathable as natural weaves.

We stand behind Nordstrom's own brand for high-quality pieces that aren't exorbitantly expensive. Case in point: this thoughtfully designed long-sleeve number. This dress features a relaxed shift silhouette, a jewel neckline, a midi-length cut with side slits, and handy pockets that are clutch for travel. The neoprene-like sweatshirt material is thick and cozy but not too heavy. And it has some stretch to it, which helps prevent wrinkles and enhances the overall comfort.

The Details: 2XS to 2XL | Polyester, rayon, spandex

Why We Love It

  • The aptly named Travel Dress is a layerable, three-season wardrobe basic that can be worn multiple times between washes.

What to Consider

  • The material may pill over time.

Unbound Merino's Travel Dress is crafted mostly from merino wool, with a touch of nylon and spandex for extra stretch and durability. As a naturally antimicrobial textile, wool repels bacteria that cause body odor, so you can wear it multiple times between washes. This makes it ideal for travel, as you can pack fewer outfits. Less frequent washing will also help prevent the material from pilling. Though the sleeveless style is a go-to for warm climates, you can also wear it in transitional weather with the right layers and accessories.

The Details: XS to XL | Merino wool, nylon, spandex

Why We Love It

  • The 1960s-esque Annalise Dress is flirty yet sophisticated and suitable for year-round wear.

What to Consider

  • Hand washing is recommended.

We love this flirty yet sophisticated dress from Maeve. Reminiscent of go-go dresses from the 1960s, the Annalise has a modish mock neck, nearly elbow-length sleeves, a simple shift silhouette, and patch pockets. Though it's a mini cut, the weighty, sweater-inspired material and structured shape make it suitable for year-round wear. Whether you style it with tights and an overcoat or go bare-legged with heeled sandals, you'll be dressed to impress. The fabric should resist wrinkling, but you might consider hand washing to prevent pilling or misshaping the garment.

The Details: 2XS to XL | Viscose, polyester, nylon

Why We Love It

  • This effortless T-shirt dress is super stretchy and exceptionally soft, not to mention versatile, layerable, and packable.

What to Consider

  • You'll want to wash it by hand with cold water.

Free People makes our favorite calf-length option. The Essential Slim Midi is lightweight and stretchy with a super-soft, airy feel. This semi-slim (but not too tight) T-shirt dress works as a swimsuit cover-up, resort wear, or a casual daytime outfit. The effortless design goes with sneakers, slides, wedges, platform sandals, or flats. It doesn't have pockets, but it's wrinkle-resistant and easy to pack. Just a heads up, the brand recommends hand washing this dress with cold water.

The Details: XS to XL | Polyester, viscose, elastane

Why We Love It

  • The easy-breezy Raya Dress is just the thing for beach days, hanging by the pool, going to lunch, or attending a music festival.

What to Consider

  • Since it's 100 percent cotton, it may shrink or wrinkle in the wash.

We also like Anthropologie's Raya Dress. This easy-breezy maxi is perfect for a day at the beach, pool, or resort, but you can also wear it out to lunch, while shopping, to the farmer's market, or to a music festival. Available in four pretty colorways, the colorblock design is modern and eye-catching without sacrificing versatility. This dress is 100 percent cotton, so you can bet it's breathable and moisture-wicking. That said, it might wrinkle or shrink slightly in the wash — Anthropologie recommends hand washing.

The Details: XS to 3XL | Cotton

Why We Love It

  • With a boxy silhouette and sporty details, the Anna Maxi has a casually cool vibe you'll reach for again and again while traveling.

What to Consider

  • It may shrink slightly the first time you wash it.

T-shirt dresses are excellent for travel, as they're easy to style and offer a casually cool streetwear appeal for daytime ensembles. We like this one from AllSaints. The Anna Maxi features a simple, slightly boxy silhouette, a sporty crew neckline, short cuffed sleeves, and side pockets, plus a longer cut, which makes it more seasonless. Since this dress is 100 percent cotton (of the organic variety), it might shrink a little the first time you wash it.

The Details: 00 to 12 | Organic cotton

Why We Love It

  • The modern design has sleek, pared-down details and a professional appeal that's still laidback enough for casual outings.

What to Consider

  • It's machine washable, but line drying is recommended.

This shirt dress from Aday will make you look put-together while minimizing your time curating outfits. It's made of what the brand calls "technical silk," a sumptuously smooth, stretchy, and wrinkle-proof blend of nylon and elastane. Instead of a traditional point collar and buttons, it features a simple Mandarin collar and hidden snap fastenings down the front for a sleeker, pared-down appeal — extra points for the pockets. Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, you won't regret packing this professional-looking yet easygoing piece.

The Details: XS to XL | Nylon, elastane

Why We Love It

  • Featuring a mid-weight knit fabric and preppy details, this sweater dress is soft, cozy, and suitable for multiple seasons.

What to Consider

  • Hand washing and air drying are recommended.

Faherty's Jackson Dress can be worn in the fall, winter, or spring. Balancing a laidback vibe with preppy details, the modest, collared design is suitable for business-casual settings and leisurely activities alike. It's soft and cozy, too, thanks to the mid-weight sweater-inspired knit material. Since the cotton is blended with synthetic yarns, this dress should resist wrinkling. Still, hand washing is recommended to preserve the material.

The Details: XS to 2XL | Cotton, polyester, nylon, elastane

Why We Love It

  • Made with travel in mind, this non-wrinkling dress has two side pockets and a hidden zipper section big enough to fit a smartphone or passport.

What to Consider

  • It'll fall below the knees on shorter people.

The Wrap Me Up Dress was designed with travel in mind. It's made of a durable, wrinkle-resistant blend of Tencel and polyester, so you won't have to worry about creases when packing it in a suitcase. The material is also breathable, soft, and slightly drapey, which complements the subtly flowy, A-line silhouette. Best of all, it has pockets: two on the sides and one hidden zipper pocket on the front seam where you can stash your phone, ID, passport, room key, cash, or cards.

The Details: XS to 2XL | Tencel, polyester

Why We Love It

  • Made of a thick, stretchy material with thumb-hole sleeves and zippered pockets, the Coaster Luxe Dress has a practical, athletic appeal.

What to Consider

  • If you prefer a slightly longer cut, consider getting the tall fit.

Athleisure was once brushed off as a passing trend of the early aughts, but the practical, non-restricting clothing style is here to stay — and it's a go-to among travelers. Athleta's Coaster Luxe Dress is made of an ultra-soft and supremely stretchy brushed sweatshirt material that'll keep you cozy while resisting wrinkles and wicking away moisture. The zippered pockets are a much-appreciated detail. You can wear this sporty frock to and from your destination, to brunch, on daily walks, while sightseeing, out shopping, or just hanging out at your hotel or vacation rental.

The Details: 2XS to 3XL | Lyocell, polyester, lycra

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Why We Love It

  • This seasonless little black dress can be layered, accessorized, and styled many ways, no matter the weather.

What to Consider

  • It only comes in one color and doesn't have pockets.

The little black dress – but make it seasonless. Marine Layer reimagined its best-selling Lexi Dress (a midi-length, sleeveless style) with a slightly thicker fabric, then added a mock neck and above-the-elbow sleeves. The result is an incredibly versatile piece you can wear in winter, spring, summer, or fall. It's a stellar evening dress for warm climates and can be layered and accessorized for transitional weather. In the cold months, wear it with tights, boots, a cardigan, and a warm overcoat.

The Details: XS to XL | Tencel lyocell, spandex

Why We Love It

  • This wrap-inspired dress can be worn all day, whether you have brunch, shopping, a work meeting, or a networking event on your itinerary.

What to Consider

  • You can machine wash it on a delicate cycle, but let it air dry.

During the day, the Yimei Dress can be worn with sandals or flats while shopping, out to lunch, or to a work meeting. Then throw on heels and a blazer to transition your look to evening attire for happy hour, a dinner reservation, or a networking event. It's professional and elegant but not so fancy that you'll look out of place at more casual outings. We like that it looks like a wrap dress but doesn't require any wrapping, tying, or retightening throughout the day. What's more, the soft, stretchy fabric won't wrinkle in your suitcase or on your body.

The Details: XS to 2XL | Hemp, cotton, spandex

Tips for Buying Travel Dresses

Consider versatility

The best travel dresses are versatile. This means they can be worn in multiple seasons in different climates, layered with other pieces, easily accessorized, and styled many ways. Ideally, you'll be able to wear the dress more than once on your trip (or at least day and night), so you don't have to pack as many outfits. With this in mind, look for mid-weight fabrics, medium lengths, odor-resistant materials, and neutral hues.

Think about care instructions

You should also consider the care requirements of your travel dresses. A machine washable design is ideal, especially if you'll have access to a washing machine on your trip. But even if a dress calls for hand washing, you can clean it in your hotel room (or anywhere with a sink) and let it air dry.

Sweat-wicking and odor-resistant materials like wool, cashmere, and some performance fabrics don't need to be washed after every use. This is great for travel dresses, as you can wear them multiple times and pack fewer clothing items in your suitcase.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's the best way to pack a dress?

    A wrinkle-resistant dress made of a stretchy, durable material can be folded or rolled up compactly in a suitcase. However, more delicate pieces should be carefully folded and placed on top of your other items. In some cases, a garment bag might be necessary to protect the fabric and prevent a dress from wrinkling en route.

  • What materials are best for a travel dress?

    The best materials for travel dresses are stretchy, wrinkle-resistant, breathable, and sweat-wicking. Many fabrics and textile blends have these qualities. Natural materials like wool, cotton, and viscose tend to be the most breathable, and they keep odor-causing bacteria at bay. But they're not always as durable or flexible as their synthetic counterparts.

    Tencel lyocell and modal are exceptions, as they're naturally derived and inherently stretchy. Travel-friendly synthetic fibers include polyester, polyamide, elastane, nylon, lycra, and spandex.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure contributor Theresa Holland is a seasoned commerce writer specializing in travel, apparel, lifestyle, and shopping. She knows how to find the best pieces for any season and occasion and has personally tried items from several brands featured here. Some of her favorites include Quince, Athleta, Everlane, Skims, Nordstrom, Aday, and Unbound Merino.

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These Are the 16 Best Travel Dresses for Easy Outfitting While Away (2024)


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