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The Best Places to Buy Dresses Online for Every Occasion

best places to buy dresses online
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Updated October 25, 2023

Are you tired of spending hours scrolling through endless dress options online? With so many online stores to choose from, finding the perfect dress can be overwhelming. But don't worry, we've got you covered! 

Our comprehensive guide to the best places to buy dresses online has everything you need to know to find the perfect dress for any occasion. From wedding guest dresses to summer dresses and everything in between, we've scoured the internet to find the top online stores with the best prices, quality pieces, and the widest selection. 

Our top places to buy dresses online picks

Whether you're looking for a show-stopping formal gown or a casual summer sundress, these are our top picks for the best places to buy dresses online. 

Best place to buy dresses for any occasion: Amazon

orma Kamali Women's Diana Gown

It is not entirely surprising that the online retailer where you can buy anything from charging cables to couches with a click would have a great variety of clothing to buy, it did take a while for the selection to become as fashion-forward and diverse as it is now. “For a while, Amazon’s dresses were mostly casual or simple basics, but now you can find an impressive variety of dresses for any situation you can think of—whether it’s an on-trend sweater dress that’s perfect for the office and comes in 19 colors, a one-shoulder cocktail dress that works for any formal event, a flowy beach dress for your next vacation, an actual ball gown, or authentic high-end designer dresses from Oscar de la Renta and Chanel” says Brie Dyas, the editor of TIME Stamped Shopping. I honestly browse Amazon first whenever I am looking for a new dress or outfit, especially since nearly everything is available through Prime and arrives at my house in 1-2 days.”    

  • Shipping policy: Many dresses are Prime-eligible (free, 2-day shipping) with free returns or exchanges within 30 days of purchase. However, some dresses that aren’t available through Prime will have paid shipping costs, longer shipping windows, and other fine print. 
  • Return policy: Most unworn dresses are eligible for free returns or exchanges within 30 days, but always double-check the retailer details for return eligibility.
  • Sizes offered: XXS-8XL+, 00-36+; Amazon also carries Petite, Plus, and Tall sizes
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ - $ $ $ $
Best for any occasion
Amazon

Amazon

For a while, Amazon’s dresses were mostly casual or simple basics, but now you can find an impressive variety of dresses for any situation you can think of

Best place to buy wedding guest dresses: Lulus

lulus wedding guest dresses

Lulus is hands down one of the best places to buy wedding guest dresses online. With their huge selection of dresses, you're sure to find something that matches your style and budget.

Their dresses are trendy, stylish, and unique, so you're sure to stand out in a sea of wedding guests. Plus, Lulus offers dresses in a variety of colors and lengths—with plenty of filter options—so you can find something that works for any wedding theme or season.

Not only that, but their website is easy to navigate, with helpful suggestions and categories that make it simple to find exactly what you're looking for. The ease of search, frequent sales, and diversity of styles (and sizes) takes a lot of stress out of finding a wedding guest dress—especially if the dress code is very specific.

  • Shipping policy: Standard Shipping is a flat rate of $5, and orders over $50 shipped within the Continental United States qualify for Free Standard Shipping. Orders shipped via Standard Shipping are typically shipped within 1-2 days and arrive in 7 to 8 business days. Faster shipping options are available for an additional cost.
  • Return policy: Returns must be within 30 days of delivery. Returns postmarked more than 10 days after the delivery date will have a $4.99 shipping fee as well as a $1.49 restocking fee per item deducted from the refund amount.
  • Sizes offered: XXS-3X
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ - $ $ $ $
Best for wedding guest dresses
Lulus

Lulus

With their huge selection of dresses, you're sure to find something that matches your style and budget

Best places to buy prom dresses: ASOS

Best places to buy prom dresses

ASOS is the ultimate destination for finding the perfect prom dress online. They offer an extensive range of prom dresses in various colors, patterns, and materials, so you can find a dress that complements your personal style.

One of the best things about shopping at ASOS is their focus on inclusivity. They offer a wide range of sizes, including plus sizes, and have a helpful sizing guide to ensure you get the right fit. Plus, their affordable prices make it easy to find a dress that fits your budget.

ASOS also offers free shipping and returns, so you can shop confidently, knowing that you can easily return any dresses that don't work out. And with their user-friendly website and excellent customer service, shopping for a prom dress online has never been easier. From dresses to shoes, T-shirts, bags, and leggings, this online store offers a one-stop-shop for all your fashion needs.

  • Shipping policy: Standard Shipping in the US is free if your order is above $49.99. If your order is less than this, then it costs $7-$10. Delivery takes 4-7 business days (excluding weekends and public holidays).
  • Return policy: Refunds are available for up to 28 days after delivery. 
  • Sizes offered: US 0 - 20
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ - $ $ $
Best for prom dresses
Asos

Asos

offer an extensive range of prom dresses in various colors, patterns, and materials

Best places to buy formal dresses: Nordstrom

Nordstrom

If you're on the hunt for a formal dress online, look no further than Nordstrom. With a huge selection of designer brands and styles, Nordstrom offers a level of quality and sophistication that's hard to beat.

Whether you're looking for a classic floor-length gown or a chic cocktail dress, Nordstrom has something for everyone. Their collection of formal dresses features luxurious fabrics, intricate details, and impeccable tailoring that will make you feel like a million bucks.

In addition to their high-quality dresses, Nordstrom also offers excellent customer service and a generous return policy, making the shopping experience as stress-free as possible. And with their wide range of sizes, including plus sizes, Nordstrom truly has something for everybody.

  • Shipping policy: Free shipping for almost any items within the United States.
  • Return policy: Returns are handled on a case by case basis
  • Sizes offered: XS - 3X, US 2 - 20
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ $ - $ $ $ $
Best for formal dresses
Nordstorm

Nordstorm

Whether you're looking for a classic floor-length gown or a chic cocktail dress, Nordstrom has something for everyone

Best places to buy wedding dresses: David’s Bridal

If you're in the market for a stunning wedding dress without breaking the bank, David's Bridal is the perfect place to start your search. With over 60 years of experience in the wedding industry, David's Bridal is a trusted source for brides seeking high-quality wedding dresses at an affordable price.

Their wide range of styles, sizes, and price points makes it easy to find the perfect dress for any formal occasion. Plus, their virtual try-on feature and expert stylist assistance take the stress out of online wedding dress shopping.

  • Shipping policy: For orders less than $120, shipping fees range from $10 to $15. Free shipping is available for orders more than $120.
  • Return policy: Online orders can be returned for up to 7 days after delivery and will incur a $12.50 fee.
  • Sizes offered: 0 -18 and 14W - 30W
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ $ $ $

Best places to buy cocktail dresses: Revolve

Revolve cocktail dress

When it comes to finding the perfect cocktail dress, Revolve should be at the top of your list. Their online store offers an impressive collection of cocktail dresses from some of the most sought-after brands in the industry, including exclusive collaborations with top designers. From classic silhouettes to bold, trendy styles, you'll find a dress that fits your unique personality and style.

One of the best things about shopping at Revolve is their user-friendly website. You can easily search for dresses by color, brand, size, and even price point, making it easier to find the perfect dress for your next event. Plus, their website also features helpful customer reviews, allowing you to read about the fit and quality of each dress before making your purchase.

  • Shipping policy: 2-day shipping is free for all U.S. orders.
  • Return policy: Returns are accepted within 60 days for a full refund and within 90 days for an exchange.
  • Sizes offered: XXS - 4X
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ $ - $ $ $ $
Best for cocktail dresses
Revolve

Revolve

Their online store offers an impressive collection of cocktail dresses from some of the most sought-after brands in the industry

Best places to buy casual dresses: H&M

If you're looking for comfortable and stylish casual dresses, H&M is a great option. They offer a wide variety of dresses in different styles, materials, and sizes, so you're sure to find something that fits your needs. From basic t-shirt dresses to flowy maxi dresses, H&M has it all.

While the wide selection of styles is worth noting, H&M is a reliable option for finding dresses at affordable prices. They also frequently have sales and promotions, so you can score a great deal on a casual dress. And with their easy-to-use website and convenient shipping options, it's never been easier to shop for stylish and comfortable casual dresses.

  • Shipping policy: Standard shipping is 3-5 business days and is free with a $60+ order ($5.99 for less than $60).
  • Return policy: Refunds acceptable for most items within 30 days of purchase.
  • Sizes offered: XXS - 4X, US 0 - 30
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ $ $

Best places to buy summer dresses: Old Navy

old navy summer dress

When it comes to finding affordable and stylish summer dresses, Old Navy has got you covered. Their selection of summer dresses ranges from casual to dressy, with a variety of styles to suit every body type and personal preference. Whether you're looking for a breezy maxi dress, a flowy sundress, or a trendy midi dress, Old Navy has it all.

What sets Old Navy apart from other retailers is their growing emphasis on sustainability (such as using eco-friendly fabrics) and focus on size inclusivity—including petite, tall, and plus options that go up to size 30.

Frequent sales and a free member rewards program make it easy to stock up on multiple summer dresses without breaking the bank. With free shipping on orders over $50 and easy returns, shopping for summer dresses at Old Navy is a breeze.

  • Shipping policy: $7 for non members and member’s orders under $50. Free for member orders over $50.
  • Return policy: Free returns within 30 days of ship date.
  • Sizes offered: US 0 - 30
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ - $ $
Best for summer dresses
Old Navy

Old Navy

Their selection of summer dresses ranges from casual to dressy, with a variety of styles to suit every body type and personal preference

Best places to buy maternity dresses: PinkBlush Maternity

PinkBlush Maternity dress

Expectant mothers know that finding the perfect dress during pregnancy can be a challenge. Luckily, PinkBlush Maternity is here to solve that problem. This online store is a one-stop-shop for all of your maternity clothing needs, including stylish and comfortable dresses for any occasion.

PinkBlush Maternity offers a wide variety of dress styles, from casual maxi dresses to elegant evening gowns. Their dresses are designed to flatter your changing figure, with empire waistlines, stretchy fabrics, and other details that accommodate a growing belly. Plus, their dresses are available in a range of sizes, from XS to 3XL, so there's something for every mom-to-be.

In addition to their stylish options, PinkBlush Maternity also offers affordable prices and frequent sales, making it easy to find a great dress at a great price. And with their easy-to-use website, you can browse and buy from the comfort of your own home.

  • Shipping policy: Orders under $100 will incur a $6.95 shipping fee, otherwise free.
  • Return policy: Returns are accepted within 30 days of delivery date.
  • Sizes offered: XS - 3X
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ - $ $ $
Best for maternity dresses
PinkBlush Maternity

PinkBlush Maternity

This online store is a one-stop-shop for all of your maternity clothing needs, including stylish and comfortable dresses for any occasion

Best place to buy plus size dresses: Torrid

Torrid plus size dress

When it comes to finding dresses for plus sizes, it can often feel like slim pickings. However, Torrid is changing the game by offering a wide range of stylish and trendy dresses for plus size women. From maxi dresses to cocktail dresses, Torrid has options for all occasions.

What sets Torrid apart is their focus on designing clothes specifically for plus size women, rather than simply scaling up designs made for smaller sizes. They take the time to understand the unique needs and concerns of plus size shoppers, ensuring that their dresses flatter curves and offer comfortable fits.

Not only does Torrid offer a variety of sizes, but they also offer a range of styles to suit different tastes. Their dresses come in bold prints, trendy cuts, and classic silhouettes, making it easy for plus size women to find something that they feel confident and stylish in. With affordable prices and regular sales, Torrid is a top choice for anyone looking to build up their dress collection in sizes 10-30.

  • Shipping policy: Flat rate shipping fee of $6.
  • Return policy: Returns are accepted within 60 days of purchase date and will incur a $6 return shipping fee.
  • Sizes offered: US 10 - 6X
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ - $ $
Best for plus size dresses
Torrid

Torrid

With affordable prices and regular sales, Torrid is a top choice for anyone looking to build up their dress collection in sizes 10-30

Best variety: ShopBop

shopbop dress

Looking for a wide variety of dress styles from top designers? Look no further than ShopBop . As one of the largest online retailers of designer clothing, Shopbop offers an extensive selection of dresses from top brands like Self Portrait, Zimmermann, and Rachel Comey. Whether you're looking for a chic cocktail dress or a casual maxi dress, you're sure to find something to suit your style.

In addition to its impressive selection of dresses, Shopbop also offers a range of sizes, including plus sizes, so every shopper can find something that fits perfectly. The site's user-friendly interface makes it easy to filter by size, color, style, and price range, so you can quickly and easily find the perfect dress for any occasion.

What's more, Shopbop offers free shipping and returns on all orders, so you can shop with confidence knowing that you can easily return any item that doesn't meet your expectations (but do note that the return has to be completed within 15 days). 

  • Shipping policy: Free 1-3 day shipping within the U.S.
  • Return policy: Free if return is dropped off and scanned by the carrier within 15 days delivery date.
  • Sizes offered: XXS - XL
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ $ - $ $ $ $
Best variety
ShopBop

ShopBop

Whether you're looking for a chic cocktail dress or a casual maxi dress, you're sure to find something to suit your style

Best for work: Ann Taylor

ann tylor work dress

 

For those looking for stylish workwear, Ann Taylor is the go-to destination for work dresses. Their collection features a wide range of professional dresses that are versatile and practical, perfect for the modern working woman. From classic sheaths to midi dresses and shirt dresses, their selection is sure to have something to fit every work environment.

One of the reasons Ann Taylor is a top choice for work dresses is their attention to detail. Each dress is carefully designed to flatter the figure and provide comfort throughout the day. Many of their dresses also come in petite and tall sizes, ensuring that every woman can find the perfect fit. They use high-quality fabrics that are durable and easy to care for, making their dresses an investment in your professional wardrobe.

  • Shipping policy: Free shipping on order over $150.
  • Return policy: Returns accepted within 30 days of purchase date. 
  • Sizes offered: XXS - XXL
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ - $ $
Best for work
Ann Taylor

Ann Taylor

From classic sheaths to midi dresses and shirt dresses, their selection is sure to have something to fit every work environment

Best designer selection: Net-a-Porter 

If you're looking for the ultimate shopping experience to indulge in some high-end designer dresses, Net-a-Porter is the perfect place to start. With its vast selection of designer clothing, shoes, and accessories, you'll be able to find the perfect designer dress to suit your style.

You can browse through their curated selection of dresses from well-known designers such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Alexander McQueen, as well as emerging designers like Simone Rocha and Marine Serre.

Net-a-Porter’s extremely responsive and personalized approach to customer service also adds to the “luxury” experience. The team is always on hand to help you find the perfect dress, whether you need help with sizing or styling. Their online stylists can even help you put together a complete look, including accessories and shoes.

  • Shipping policy: Standard shipping is free for orders over $150. Orders under $150 will incur a $10 shipping fee.
  • Return policy: Returns and exchanges are accepted within 28 days of receiving order. 
  • Sizes offered: Varies based on designer
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ $ $ - $ $ $ $

Best place to find budget-friendly dresses: Target

Target has stepped up their fashion game big time in recent years. With a wide selection of dresses for every occasion, you're sure to find something that fits your style and budget.

One of the things we love about Target is their commitment to offering trendy and stylish clothing at prices that are accessible to everyone. You can find dresses for under $25, which is great if you're looking to build up your wardrobe without spending a lot of money.

Target also offers a great selection of sizes, including plus sizes, so you can find a dress that fits and flatters your figure. They have a range of styles, from casual to dressy, so you can find a dress for any occasion. Plus, their website is easy to navigate, making it simple to find exactly what you're looking for. Depending on an item’s availability, you can select in-person pickup at your local Target store instead of waiting for shipping.

  • Shipping policy: Free 2-day shipping when you spend $35 or use your Target RedCard.
  • Return policy: Returns for a full refund are accepted within 90 days of purchase date. RedCard holders have an extra 30 days. 
  • Sizes offered: XS - 4X
  • Styles: All varieties
  • Pricing: $ - $ $

What to look for when buying dresses online

When it comes to buying dresses online, there are a few key factors to consider to ensure that you get a dress you love and that fits well. 

Here are some tips on what to look for when buying dresses online:

What material is used?

Consider the material of the dress you're interested in. Does it have any stretch? Is it lightweight or heavy? Does it wrinkle easily? Pay attention to reviews of the fabric, along with details provided by the retailer.

What undergarments do I need to wear this dress?

The cut of a dress (or fabric used) can mean that you’ll need to factor in specialty undergarments, like a strapless or backless bra, a slip, or simply nude-colored underwear. Take these into account when choosing a dress style, and make sure to check the dress's details to see if it will work with your undergarments.

What is the shipping policy?

Before you make a purchase, check the store's shipping policy. How long will it take to get your dress? Will you have to pay for shipping? Make sure you know what to expect so that you're not caught off guard.

What does the return policy look like?

It's important to read the store's return policy before making a purchase. What is the time frame for returns? Will you get a full refund or store credit? Knowing the return policy can save you headaches down the line if the dress doesn't work out.

What do the customer reviews have to say?

Take advantage of customer reviews to get an idea of how the dress fits and looks on real people. Look for reviews that are specific about sizing, quality, and comfort.

Does it feature clothing within my price point?

Consider your budget when shopping for a dress online. Look for stores with a range of price points and compare prices to make sure you're getting a good deal. Remember that higher price doesn't always mean better quality, so read reviews and check the material to determine the value of the dress.

How we tested and selected the best places to buy dresses online

As fashion fanatics and shopping addicts, we know the thrill of finding that perfect dress online. So, we put our expertise to use and scoured the depths of the internet to bring you the ultimate list of the best places to buy dresses online.

We considered everything from the variety of dress styles and sizes, to the prices and shipping policies offered by each store. And we didn't stop there. 

We also took a deep dive into the customer reviews and ratings to make sure that our top picks were crowd favorites. No stone was left unturned in our quest to find the best online dress stores out there.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Where can you get the best maxi dresses?

Some of the best places to find maxi dresses online include Nordstrom, ASOS, and Revolve. These stores offer a wide variety of styles, sizes, and price points, along with easy-to-use filters, making it easy to find the perfect maxi dress for any occasion.

What shoes look best with midi dresses?

The best shoes to pair with midi dresses include ankle boots, strappy sandals, and sneakers. Depending on the occasion, you can dress up or dress down your midi dress with the right pair of shoes. Just make sure they complement the length and style of the dress.

What dresses look best on plus size?

Whatever type of dress makes a person feel their best, is one that will look best. Generally speaking, though, the best dresses are ones that fit comfortably. Consider dresses with wider straps to accommodate bra straps, wrap-style dresses that can allow you to adjust the fit (or even the silhouette of the dress, depending on how you tie it), and A-line dresses that can move with your body instead of feeling constricting. Make sure to read reviews and retailer sizing charts to see if particular styles run small or large. 

Which brand has the best dresses?

While style is in the eye of the beholder, some brands offer more options to choose from—which is a key determining factor of who offers the “best dresses.” In that respect, Lulus, Free People, ASOS and Revolve stand out. Whether you're looking for a statement piece or a classic staple, these brands have got you covered.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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