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Sundresses for Women: 5 Types and Trends to Sell in 2024

Lady in a light blue sundress in a grass field

Summer is not the season for thick garments. The hot climate often demands the highest comfort levels, and sundresses check all the boxes for the perfect summer dress. This casual style usually features lightweight fabrics, like linen or cotton, making them super comfy to wear (no matter how hot the sun gets).

Sundresses are an essential S/S piece, and they come in different styles for businesses to diversify their inventories. This article will explore five trendy options that will attract attention in 2024.

Table of Contents
A brief look at the dresses market in 2024
5 trendy sundresses to stock in 2024
3 mainstream updates retailers can see on sundresses this year
Bottom line

A brief look at the dresses market in 2024

According to Skyquest, the global dress market reached US $172.54 billion in 2023. The report suggests the market will cross US $358.8 billion by 2031, registering a 5.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the 2024–2031 forecast period. The market is growing fast due to the rising number of working women and increasing purchasing power. Asia-Pacific will also register the highest CAGR (5.7%), while Europe will contribute over 30% to the global dress market.

5 trendy sundresses to stock in 2024

1. Cut-out sundresses

Lady posing in a colorful cut-out sundress

Sundresses have a traditional structure, typically involving a fitted bodice with flowing bottoms. But designers have given them a more modern take with cut-outs. Usually, they place them strategically in different parts of the dress, and these cut-outs can be subtle, dramatic, geometric, or free-flowing.

However, cut-outs add more than just a modern appeal. Sundresses with cut-outs feel more playful and sensual, making ensembles more visually interesting than the classic silhouette. Plus, they can also offer increased breathability.

Woman taking a photo in a beautifully patterned blue sundress

Some popular cut-out placements for these dresses include the sides, back, midriff, shoulders, and under the bust. Remember that cut-out placement determines the sundress’s overall style, so choose options that match the customer’s preferences (flirty, sophisticated, edgy, etc.). Sundress cut-outs can also have different sizes and shapes, ranging from small peek-a-boo slits to large, statement-making options in circles, triangles, diamonds, and other abstract forms.

2. Smocked sundresses

Woman in a beautiful red smocked sundress

Some sundresses may also feature smocking on their bodice or other areas, and this style is gaining a lot of attention. Smocking is a decorative embroidery technique that creates visual interest with a honeycomb-like texture. It makes sundresses exude a vintage charm and romanticism while giving them a more comfortable and flexible fit.

Although designers often put smocking on the bodice, they can also feature these interesting designs on sleeves, waistlines, or full skirts. The smocking density can also vary. It can range from subtle, closely gathered smocking to bolder, more pronounced patterns. Some smocked sundresses come with contrasting thread colors for a more modern and playful look.

Lady modeling in a blue smocked sundress

Smocked dresses fit perfectly with the cottage-core trend, especially flowing options with puff sleeves and floral prints that embody this popular aesthetic. Full-length smocked sundresses with tiered skirts and romantic details also showcase the prairie chic trend. Mini-smocked dresses are also trending with their flirty and playful feel.

3. Sundresses with bold prints

Woman wearing blue printed sundresses

Sundresses typically feature floral prints, but what happens when manufacturers take them up a notch? Sundresses with bold prints. These dresses feature large-scale, eye-catching prints that make an attention-grabbing statement. Ladies who want confidence, playfulness, and a vibrant style will choose bold print sundresses.

Here’s a look at different bold prints that inject personality into the classic sundress:

Lady on the move in a colorful sundress
  • Tropical: These prints use palm leaves, exotic flowers, vibrant birds, and fruit motifs to evoke a vacation vibe.
  • Animal prints: These include classic leopard spots, zebra stripes, or snakeskin patterns in bold, even neon, colors.
  • Geometric: These are large-scale stripes, polka dots, checkerboard patterns, or abstract shapes to make a more graphic impact.
  • Retro-inspired: Think psychedelic swirls, pop art designs, or oversized florals reminiscent of specific decades.
  • Art-inspired: These prints resemble abstract paintings, textile patterns, or globally inspired motifs.

4. Tiered sundresses

Lady striking a pose in a tiered sundress

Prints and embroidery are not the only ways to transform sundresses. Manufacturers also make these summer dresses with multiple horizontal layers (tiers) of fabric to create a flowing, voluminous silhouette. Tiered sundresses have a romantic, bohemian vibe, which also adds dimension and movement to the dress.

Woman in a pink, two-tiered sundress

Depending on the design, these sundresses can have a varying number of tiers. Retailers can offer two-tiered dresses for subtle volume or multiple tiers for those who love a more dramatic, full-skirted look. But there’s more. The tiers can come in equal sizes or various widths, creating different visual effects.

5. Asymmetrical sundresses

Lady outdoors in a green asymmetrical sundress

The main reason why asymmetrical sundresses are trending is because they project a daring sense of style. Depending on the asymmetry, they can look sophisticated or alluring (like long, single-strap dresses with flowing hemlines), bold or modern, playfully flirty, or effortlessly bohemian. However, the hem is one area that commonly gets the asymmetrical treatment.

Sundress hems can cascade dramatically longer on one side, making moving in them feel more elegant. They may also feature a sharp, high-low cut with an edgy, modern vibe. Additionally, some asymmetrical sundresses have softly served handkerchief hems to showcase a more whimsical feel.

Lady showcasing a blue, draping sundress with an asymmetrical hem

However, asymmetry doesn’t stop at hems—necklines are also getting the asymmetrical goodness. For instance, the classic, one-shoulder silhouette introduces a touch of Grecian goddess allure. Also, slanted, off-the-shoulder necklines play with geometric interest, while asymmetrical straps also make sundresses more visually appealing.

3 mainstream updates retailers can see on sundresses this year

Update 1: Statement necklines

Lady wearing a blue sundress with a statement neckline

Statement necklines have been gaining popularity in recent years, appearing in many female outfits, including sundresses. The best part is that many statement necklines exist, so there’s something for everyone. Women who want classic and elegant designs can choose sweetheart, square, or halter necklines. If they are into bold and modern designs, asymmetrical, one-shoulder, and cut-out styles will make more attractive offers.

Statement necklines instantly elevate the basic sundress, so it’s no surprise that the trend is catching on and becoming a must-have in many women’s wardrobes. Plus, major fashion publications and influencers increasingly feature sundresses with statement necklines, reinforcing the trend and fueling its mainstream adoption.

Update 2: Unexpected textures

Woman posing in a floral sundress with incredible textures

Fashion trends are becoming more adventurous in general. Textures have emerged as a way to add statements without being too overwhelming, and they are especially popular in the modern era that prioritizes personal expression. Textures like crochet, lace, eyelets, or unexpected materials (like velvet) are top picks because they offer visual and tactile appeal, making basic sundresses more interesting.

Update 3: Playful sleeves

A pink sundress with playful sleeves

With personal expression taking center stage, playful sleeves have pushed into mainstream updates for sundresses. They make sundresses feel more whimsical and romantic, all necessary aesthetics for capturing the lighthearted spirit of summer. And they can add balance to sundresses, especially those with simpler bodices or flowing skirts.

Even better, celebrities and influencers are often seen sporting playful sleeves on sundresses, which helped drive the trend further into the mainstream. This update ranges from flutter sleeves (for a delicate touch) to puff sleeves (for a more dramatic look) to complement various sundress silhouettes.

Bottom line

Sundresses are beautiful and comfortable. That is why many women make them their primary summer everyday wear. They come in various trendy styles, with some notable ones including cut-outs, smocks, bold prints, tiers, and asymmetrical details. Plus, these dresses are raking in high search numbers. According to Google data, sundresses attracted 673,000 searches in April 2024, jumping from 368,000 the previous month. So, stock them now to make the most of summer 2024.

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