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Sprung over spring and summertime dresses

DesignAlison Baitz, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Nothing beats shedding the heavy layers and dark colors of winter for something a little more weather-appropriate come springtime. The ultimate piece? The spring-to-summer dress. A little flirty and a little fun, a spring frock ushers in the sunny seasons with aplomb and transitions easily into the hot-hot heat of summer, summer, summertime.

These dress picks will take you all the way through Labor Day, whether you're having fun in the sun or easing into evening.

Long days, light dresses

A stretch in the evenings means much-needed outside time once the quitting bell rings. For spring-casual morning-to-evening wear, try a relatively understated neckline with a fashion-forward and season-ready print: like the magnolia-patterned floral sleeveless midi dress from Banana Republic. Or snag a contemporary classic: the button-front crepe pocket dress, also at Banana Republic.

Weekend warriors

The keys to a great weekend dress: casual, comfortable, with an easy silhouette — yet something that retains some polish for maximum style points.

Speaking of maximum — there's nothing like a classic maxi to feel weekend-ready; Athleta's Ripple Maxi Dress is the ultimate all-day piece. The ankle-skimming hem, halter neckline, built-in support and pinched elastic waist make it next-level. And the secret weapon: pockets, perfect for stashing just the essentials during a quick errand run or stashing finds after a morning beachcomb. Or try Banana Republic's floral maxi dress, which makes as much sense browsing veggies at the farmers market or taking in a Saturday matinee.

Whether you're heading out for a beach getaway or relaxing at home, Athleta's Printed Molokai Maxi Dress, is both flowy and form-fitting in all the right places — plus, it can be worn with or without its removable straps. For an everyday piece with a stand-out detail, go with Athleta's In a Twist Dress. Made with live-in soft recycled MicroModal ® fiber, it has all the comfort of a classic T-shirt dress — but with a trendy detail: a front, adjustable tie that gives the piece a bit of oomph.

At Gap, you'll find a shift or a sheath for any weekend gathering. Available in a range of Gap's signature colors, these linen-cotton tie dresses and smock dresses live to be dressed up or dressed down — whatever the occasion calls for.

Picnic ready? Lose yourself in the range of printed cami dresses at Old Navy or a tried-and-true midi dress (in tank or T-shirt style).

Date night

For date night, a simple yet effective piece will dress you up just the right amount. One of our top picks? The stand-out silhouette and movement-ready flutter sleeves of Old Navy's Off-Shoulder Tie-Belt Dress. The romantic off-shoulder look make it a perfect piece for an afternoon date — finish it off with strappy sandals and statement dangling earrings.

Or maybe you want to look like a total goddess right out of the gates. If so, try Athleta's Martinique Dress. It has all the ease of a comfortable, everyday dress with a few details that make it date-ready: a pretty, high, gathered neckline, nipped-in waist and knee-skimming bottom hem.