The 15 Best Gap Dresses For Every Summer Outing, From BBQs to Weddings

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Navigating Gap's vast online dress selection can feel overwhelming at first. As someone who delves into the store's new arrivals daily (it's my job!) I understand the feeling, which is why I've crafted the ultimate guide to Gap's best summer dresses, including flirty minis to elegant maxis, and even those with unexpected eyelet patterns or eye-catching details. Instead of feeling bogged down by the sheer variety of options, you can take comfort in knowing there's a perfect dress for every single occasion filling up your calendar. From casual summer family barbecues to beach vacations and garden party-themed weddings, Gap has a dress to align with your summer style — whether you prefer a minimalist look, something more maximalist, or somewhere in between.

Ahead, I've hand-selected 15 of the best dresses from Gap for summer, with options at various price points and styles ranging from casual to refined. Some standouts include a denim minidress that you can wear alone or layer over a T-Shirt; a floral number that can be worn with or without straps; and a breezy linen design guaranteed to turn heads. Keep scrolling to discover your new favorite summer dress.

Best Exercise Dress
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Best Exercise Dress

GapFit Power Exercise Dress ($34, originally $70)

We couldn't resist throwing an exercise dress into the mix. It remains one of the biggest activewear trends, and this Gap silhouette in particular comes highly rated. It's moisture-wicking, with built-in shorts, adjustable spaghetti straps, and thick fabric. Choose from five colors: green, black with white trim, pink (seen here), black, and white.

Best Knotted Dress
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Best Knotted Dress

Gap Tie-Knot Mini T-Shirt Dress ($35, originally $50)

This knotted T-Shirt dress is the perfect combination of casual and chic. According to reviews from shoppers, you can adjust the knot to your liking for a custom fit.

Best Mini Shirtdress
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Best Mini Shirtdress

Gap Organic Cotton Stripe Mini Shirtdress ($39, originally $80)

Your search for the perfect Fourth of July outfit stops here. Even so, don't limit yourself to just one day because this piece is bound to be a summer favorite. It's made from organic cotton and has a tie belt that cinches the waist for a flattering fit. Choose from three striped designs in all three colors of the American flag.

Best Slip Dress
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Best Slip Dress

Gap Slip Midi Dress ($39, originally $80)

Countless shoppers describe this slip as light, comfortable, and overall "easy" to wear and style. It's available in various patterns, such as this blue tie-dye option and a red floral print, as well as three solid-colored hues in pink, black, and charcoal.

Best Shift Dress
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Best Shift Dress

Gap Linen-Blend Shift Mini Dress ($39, originally $80)

A shift dress like this one is a wardrobe staple because there are endless ways to wear it. If you're not familiar with the style, it's known for its simple, straight silhouette and lack of a defined waist. This particular one hits above the knee and comes in two neutral hues: white (as shown) and black.

Best Denim Minidress
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Best Denim Minidress

Gap Denim Mini Dress ($55, originally $70)

"I purchased this dress in 1995 when I was 19 and the GAP sold this exact dress," wrote a reviewer who rated this one five stars. "It's the only item of clothing I still have from that time. Tried it on last night and it's still so cute and stylish (again). Imagine my surprise seeing it's been reissued." You can either wear it on its own, as pictured here, or over a Gap Organic Cotton Vintage Shrunken T-Shirt ($12, originally $25).

Best Smocked Dress
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Best Smocked Dress

Gap Smocked Mini Dress ($70)

The cottagecore trend is here to stay, and this smocked minidress is the perfect way to embrace the trend. It has romantic details like elbow puff sleeves and a delicate all-over floral print, and it comes in navy blue or green floral options.

Best Handkerchief-Hem Dress
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Best Handkerchief-Hem Dress

Gap Smocked Handkerchief Hem Midi Dress ($75, originally $98)

All eyes will be on you in this handkerchief-hem midi. It has a nearly-perfect five-star rating, and the reviews section is full of customers straight-up gushing over its flattering fit and colorful design. Hurry if you want it because it's selling fast, but don't worry too much; it also comes in a green ($75, originally $98) colorway if this one flies off the virtual shelves.

Best Eyelet Dress
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Best Eyelet Dress

Gap Eyelet Tiered Mini Dress ($80)

"This dress is an absolute must!" wrote a reviewer who gave the eyelet-detailed dress a perfect five-star rating. "There is a removable cotton under-slip that could actually be worn alone," they added, mentioning that they loved it so much that they immediately ordered it in black.

Best Pintuck Dress
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Best Pintuck Dress

Gap Pintuck Midi Dress ($80)

You need to zoom in on the delicate pintuck detailing surrounding the neckline of this floral midi dress. It's perfect for special occasions like garden party-themed weddings and other elegant events.

Best Tank Dress
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Best Tank Dress

Gap Rib Maxi Tank Dress ($80)

This ribbed tank dress radiates casual-cool vibes. It's perfect for any occasion, whether you're running errands in sneakers and a baseball cap or dressing it up with heels and chic accessories. It's crafted from soft and stretchy fabric and comes in two colors: the "smoked paprika" brown color pictured here, as well as classic black.

Best Crochet Dress
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Best Crochet Dress

Gap Textured Crinkle Crochet Mini Dress ($80)

Whether you're a bride-to-be building up your collection of white dresses or simply a fan of textured silhouettes, this one will impress. It features a neckline adorned in crochet detailing and a tiered skirt crafted from crinkle gauze fabric.

Best Lace Dress
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Best Lace Dress

Gap Lace Midi Dress ($90, originally $118)

Not to be overly dramatic, but this lace midi dress oozes sophistication. Multiple shoppers have noted that it looks and feels much more expensive than it is. "It's exactly what I've been looking for and expect to wear it all summer!" one customer wrote in the reviews section. "It's casual yet polished, super comfy yet flattering and feminine."

Best Vacation Dress
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Best Vacation Dress

Gap Linen-Blend Midi Dress ($98)

We're already daydreaming about slipping into this pretty midi on our next tropical escape. We love that it has removable straps so you can also wear it as a tube dress, depending on your vision. This black and brown floral design is our favorite, but it's also available in white and black floral, purple and red floral prints, and a chic monochrome beige hue.

Best Linen Dress
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Best Linen Dress

Gap Linen-Blend Midi Dress ($98)

On Gap's website, linen takes center stage, and this piece is undeniably one of its most coveted. This silhouette is the definition of versatility with its square neck, front seam detail, and flattering fit-and-flare silhouette. Choose from three stylish colors: black, white, and the eye-catching red featured here.

Worth noting: The midi version isn't the only one of Gap's linen dresses to consider. The brand's Linen-Blend Mini Dress ($34, originally $70) is another standout.

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Marisa Petrarca is a contributing editor for PS Shopping and has more than five years of experience writing and editing beauty, fashion, and lifestyle content. Her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Allure, and InStyle, among others