Women’s adventure clothing has come far in the last few years. Dresses are no longer reserved for just fancy events or casual outings. A lot of outdoor retail brands have recognized the rise in solo female travel and have designed travel dresses specifically for outdoor high-energy activities.
Personally, I’m a big fan of rocking tennis dresses for day hikes or boppin’ around a new city. Not only are they made of breathable, stretchy fabric, but they come with shorts!
But not all dresses are made equal: some make better travel dresses than others. This list of the best travel dresses available right now contains my top picks for flattering, comfy, stylish dresses that travel well.
So, ready to match your style with your spirit for adventure?
Best Travel Dresses at a Glance
What Makes For a Good Travel Dress?
My criteria for a great travel dress is: packs down small, stays wrinkle free, doesn’t show dirt easily, and fits true and comfortably.
I prefer cap sleeves or long sleeves and a high scoop neck to stay protected from the sun, and I like a jersey dress or other simple, durable t-shirt material with some stretch. I’m also a fan of shorter dresses as opposed to maxi-length, because I don’t want it catching on stuff or getting between my legs while I’m walking.
As with all travel clothes, I also personally think that the best travel dresses come without stuff like halter necks, buttons, zippers, ties, or complicated styles. Those things always end up getting in the way, digging uncomfortably into your shoulders under backpack straps, or making it difficult to hike, climb, run, or just get errands done.
And if a dress has pockets, it’s a must have!
Best Casual Travel Dresses for Style & Comfort
Let’s take a look at some of the best travel dresses on the market right now.
Toad&Co Cue Wrap Short-Sleeve Shirt Dress
The Toad&Co Cue Wrap Short-Sleeve Shirt dress checks all my boxes for the perfect travel dress: short, simple style, cap sleeves, no frills or buttons or additional parts. It’s a fit and flare dress that accentuates your figure by cutting in at the waist and flaring around the knees, so it’s also cute and stylish.
But wait, there’s more! It has pockets! It’s also made of a moisture-wicking material that keeps you cool and dry and repels dirt and stains. I love this dress for long haul flights and days I plan to explore or do a lot of walking.
MoFiz Tennis & Golf Dress
What I absolutely love about the MoFiz tennis dress is that it comes with shorts that are separate from the dress. Unlike other adventure dresses that have shorts sewn-into the dress, the MoFiz dress shorts are unattached so you don’t have to remove the whole top half of your dress in order to get your pants down when going to the bathroom.
The shorts also add a layer of protection and warmth for your bum, and help ensure you don’t accidentally flash anyone your private bits!
This dress is also fantastic for activities ranging from (obviously) tennis, pickleball, golf, casual hiking, and even bicycling. I wore this dress while walking miles around Athens, Greece in the hot summer afternoon and it kept me comfortable and cool!
Toad&Co Cue Wrap Dress
The Cue Wrap Dress is another winner from Toad&Co – a long-sleeve version of the wrap dress. Perfect for hot days where you need to stay cool and stay protected from the sun. The cut of this dress is slightly different, accentuating the “wrap” and with a v neck instead of a scoop neck.
The material is a cotton blend that’s breathable and lightweight. It also scrunches down small, and because it’s a shift dress with a lot of flow and give, wrinkles don’t stand out. This one is always on my packing list for summer, and it makes great resort wear.
Patagonia Fleetwith Dress
Although they are on the pricey side, Patagonia’s clothes are always worth the investment, in my opinion. The Fleetwith Dress is a sporty cover-up that’s a fan favorite for its soft, casual, easy-to-wear style. Plus, the quality is top notch, it comes with a lifetime repair warranty, and Patagonia is a super ethical company who strive to use your money to better the planet.
The material is a polyester blend that repels water and has a good amount of stretch. The cinched waist accentuates your figure in a cute and stylish way, and, last but certainly not least: pockets! You may want to review body measurements and sizing before ordering one, though–some reviewers note that the top runs big and the bottom runs small.
Outdoor Voices Doing Things Dress
If you’re looking for a dress that can go from the gym to the club without missing a beat, check out Outdoor Voices’ Doing Things dress. It’s sporty and casual when paired with hiking sandals or sneakers, but after sundown, throw on a pair of boots and a cute jacket and scarf, and you’re ready for the town.
The dress has a built-in shelf bra and built in shorts (with pockets!) for ease of motion and tons of support. It’s made of cool-to-the-touch TechSweat fabric, designed to hold up to sweat, and is ideal for high-intensity activities like running, hiking or yoga.
Cugoao Collared Tennis Dress
The Cugoao Collared tennis dress also comes with separate matching shorts like the MoFiz dress and boasts the same athletic, breathable, spandex material. The biggest difference between the two dresses is simply how they look! Are you more of fancy collared v-neck kinda gal, or a simple swooping neckline gal like the MoFiz rocks?
I’ve actually paired this red dress with a cute collared blazer and wore it as a work dress. Proof that it’s so versatile, you can dress it down for activities or dress it up for more professional occasions.
Merokeety Short-Sleeve T-Shirt Dress
The Merokeety Short-Sleeve Summer dress is the perfect combination of chic and comfortable. With a wide crew neck, rolled sleeves, a belt, and pockets, it’s comfortable enough for errands and travel but classy enough for a business meeting.
The dress is made of soft, stretchy t-shirt material that stays mostly wrinkle free and doesn’t show wrinkles if it does get scrunched. It’s flattering on any body shape, and a must have for my packing list.
Mountain Hardware Summit Grid Dress
Looking for something a little warmer? The Mountain Hardware Summit Grid dress is made of a thick fleece and polyester blend that keeps you warm without overheating you. The cowl neck converts into a hood that can be cinched around the face with a drawstring to keep out drafts, and the long sleeves keep you cozy in the cold.
Paired with leggings or thick tights, this is the ultimate cold weather dress for the outdoors. It packs down small and stays wrinkle free even after a long flight.
What’s Your Casual Travel Dress Style?
Whether you prefer a sportier look, a shift dress, or a jersey dress, there’s no shortage of travel dresses out there for you. My advice? Buy a couple of different styles and toss them in with your regular travel clothes to see what works best for you. Once you start wearing travel dresses, you’ll never want to stop!