When your wardrobe is in need of a refresh, a trusty red dress comes to the rescue. And no, we’re not referring to the dull, overused red gowns of yesteryears. Modern red dresses have evolved into a broad spectrum of precisely-tailored, fluid, and inclusively-sized options that cater to every style preference.
While some come in a wrap style and others in A-line, it’s the same principle: Simply slip it on straight from the hanger and pair with complementary accessories, or use a contrasting scarf or belt for more precision. Whatever you do, it’s hard to go wrong, especially considering most red dresses are on the vibrant (but adaptable) side. If you’ve gone overboard with the accessories, you can always use a neutral cardigan or wrap to soften the look.
We scoured the internet for the top red dresses — 28 of them, to be exact — and they underwent a rigorous evaluation to find 10 that were the crème de la crème, so to speak. We judged the dresses on their design, length, and color vibrancy, then ranked them on a scale of five.
Keep scrolling for the best red dresses for your fashion preferences.
Spanx’s Perfect Sheath Dress is designed to smooth your silhouette and give you a flawless look, while still being breathable and comfortable.
With 4-way stretch fabric, this dress gives you the freedom of movement you’ve always wanted in a dress. It doesn’t pinch or dig into your skin—it just glides over it like water. The fabric is also made from premium ponte, so it has a little bit of stretch to it but also provides a lot of structure.
Plus, the dress features a zipper at the back, allowing you to easily pull it on without struggling with buttons or zippers.
“The fabric is amazing! It truly is the perfect sheath. The fit is easy, yet it hugs the body where it should,” explained one wearer.
When you’re going for a sleek, feminine look, Popilush’s Built-In Shapewear Slip Midi Lounge Dress is the perfect fit.
The dress is made from modal fabric and has an open gusset, which means it’s moisture-wicking and moves with you as you walk. It also has a built-in bra with removable bra pads and double-layer waist control, so it shapes your figure and sucks you in to create an hourglass shape.
The garment features adjustable straps, so you can customize the fit for a perfect silhouette. Not to mention, the bodysuit underneath helps smooth things out if you’re self-conscious about any bulges or areas that need some extra smoothing.
This dress looks great on its own or paired with high heels or booties—it’s versatile enough to be worn anywhere!
Amanda Uprichard’s Mindy Midi Dress is a strapless piece that you can wear for any occasion.
The smocking on the back provides a snug fit that accentuates your curves while also ensuring that it’s not too tight across your bust or shoulders. It also adds an element of femininity to an otherwise simple design.
This dress can be styled in a number of ways: pair it with heels and a clutch for cocktails at night, or throw on some sneakers and head out for a day at the beach!
“Absolutely love this dress! The fit is so flattering and sexy,” explained one reviewer. “The slit is definitely high, so you can’t wear any shapewear underneath. Great for a date night or as a guest at a wedding.”
Lulus’ red dress is a wardrobe staple you’ll be able to wear all year long.
The lightweight, textured woven fabric of this piece is made of a soft, gauzy weave that drapes nicely and feels so light on the skin. The flattering square neckline has wide straps that lay flat against your shoulders.
The high-fitted waist hits right at your natural waist, which means this dress will be very fitted on most bodies. The knee-grazing skirt ends with a double-tiered tassel hem that adds just the right amount of flare—not too much, but just enough!
We recommend styling this dress with ankle boots or sandals for daywear or strappy heels for nightwear.
Showpo’s Sophie Maxi Dress is a showstopper. This dress is not just for special occasions—it’s an absolute winner for any occasion, from weddings to formal cocktail parties to work meetings.
The cowl neckline and side cutouts give this maxi dress a sexy edge, while the high thigh split makes it easy to move around in. The adjustable cross-back straps make it comfortable to wear, and the elasticated band on the back ensures that you’ll be able to wear this dress again and again.
It’s partially lined in the bust, with padding in the bust for extra support. An invisible zipper on the center back allows you to easily slip into this gorgeous red dress.
Milla’s Tender Midi Dress is a beautiful number that will be the center of attention.
The A-line silhouette gives it a flattering shape, while the plunging neckline and open back add a bit of drama. All the more, the built-in cups and red underskirt make it easy to wear no matter what size you are, so you can feel confident in whatever size you choose.
This dress is ideal for an event where you want to be noticed, but it also works well for day-to-night wear as well. It’s versatile enough to wear to almost any occasion—from weddings to parties—and it will always look polished and elegant.
A dress that’s both sexy and comfortable, this GAUAGE81 piece is another great pick.
The lightweight, stretch mesh fabric makes it perfect for summer, while the ruched side seams help create a flattering fit that’s still easy to move around in. The thigh-high slit adds a little spice to the look, allowing you to show off your legs gracefully.
Moreover, the one-shoulder neckline creates a sophisticated feel that will make you feel like you’re ready for anything—even if you’ve only got twenty minutes before you have to run out the door.
When you’re looking to go from daytime to evening, with a dress that can take you from the office to the opera, there’s no better option than Marcella’s Manhattan One-Shoulder Gown.
This maxi dress is defined by a halter neckline that continues to an elegant long sleeve. The open back is what makes this piece unique—it lets you show off your shoulders while still covering up any skin that might be exposed at the office.
The mid-stretch European ponte fabric gives it a soft mermaid-like cascade that won’t wrinkle or crease when you wear it for eight hours straight.
Our favorite way to accessorize this piece is with a chunky necklace and a pair of strappy heels (or even sandals if it’s warm out). You’ll look like you just stepped out of a magazine spread!
Reformation’s Isha Linen Dress is a wardrobe staple that you will love for years to come.
It’s fitted throughout the bodice, which means it’s form-fitting and flattering. The smocked back bodice adds an elegant touch, and the ties at the back neck are perfect for adjusting for your comfort level.
The garment also has an adjustable halter neckline and center back zipper, so it’s easy to get on and off. Moreover, the best part about this dress is that it has a relaxed feel while still looking put-together and sophisticated.
It looks great with wedges or sandals, or even flats if you’re feeling slightly more casual. You can also pair it with heels for an evening out with friends or family!
White Fox’s red mini dress is a stunner. It features a halter neck with tie design, plunging neckline, rosette, and ruffle detail. The backless design is lined and stretch fabric.
The dress is versatile enough to be worn on any occasion—from a day out in the city to a night with your best friends.
If you want to make this dress even more of an instant classic, pair it with heels and simple jewelry. Or try wearing it with wedges and a statement necklace—you’ll look like you’re ready for anything!
What to Look for in Red Dresses
Selecting the right fabric is paramount when it comes to shopping for dresses. The material should be comfortable, breathable, and suited to your intended occasion. For everyday wear, cotton or jersey knits offer casual comfort, while silk, chiffon, or velvet can elevate the look for formal events. Seasonality is important here too – lightweight linen is great for summer, while thicker fabrics like wool blends will keep you warm in winter.
Cut and Silhouette
The cut and silhouette of a dress can dramatically impact its overall look and feel. Do you love the classic and versatile appeal of a sheath dress, or does the feminine flair of an A-line or skater style appeal to you more? Maybe you love the dramatic silhouette of a maxi dress, or the casual comfort of a shirt dress. The silhouette you choose should not only be flattering for your body shape but should also align with your personal style.
In the world of dresses, details matter. Look for elements like embroidery, lace trims, ruffles, or statement buttons that can elevate a simple design to something special. These added features can express your personal style, make your dress stand out, and transform a basic dress into a statement piece.
The length of a dress can drastically alter its vibe. Mini dresses can be playful and fun, perfect for a night out, while midi lengths offer a versatile option that works for both casual and semi-formal settings. Maxi dresses, on the other hand, offer a more dramatic and elegant look that can be perfect for formal occasions. Remember, the length should not only suit the event but also be something you’re comfortable in. Whether you’re stepping out for a casual brunch or dressing up for an evening soiree, there’s a dress length that’s perfect for the occasion.
What color shoes should you wear with a red dress?
Shoe color selection for a red dress largely depends on the occasion and the look you want to achieve. For a classic, timeless look, opt for black or nude heels — these colors provide balance without competing with the dress. Metallic hues like gold or silver can offer a glamorous touch, especially for evening events. For a bolder, more modern aesthetic, you might choose white shoes, or even go for a monochromatic look with red shoes.
How do you style a red dress?
Styling a red dress requires thought, as the vibrant color is a statement in itself. For daytime, a red dress can be paired with a denim jacket and white sneakers for a casual, chic look. For an evening event, consider pairing your red dress with a faux fur shawl or a sleek black blazer. Footwear could range from strappy black or gold heels for formal occasions to flat sandals or even boots for more casual outings. Remember, the key is to let the red dress be the star of your outfit, so keep the rest of your look somewhat subdued.
What accessories should you wear with a red dress?
When accessorizing a red dress, less is often more. Gold or silver jewelry, depending on your preference, can add a touch of elegance without overpowering the dress. A delicate necklace, hoop earrings, or a simple bangle can be just the right touch. If the dress is for a more formal occasion, consider a clutch in a neutral or metallic shade. For everyday wear, a crossbody bag in tan or black can complement the red nicely. Belts can also be used to cinch in the waist and add an extra element to the outfit, choose a sleek black or brown belt for this purpose.
What color lipstick looks good with a red dress?
Choosing a lipstick for a red dress can be tricky, as the shades need to complement each other. If your dress is a true red, opt for a classic red lip in a similar shade. For a darker, burgundy dress, a deeper red or even a plum lipstick could work well. If your dress is a bright, orange-red, a coral or orange-based red lipstick would be flattering.
For a more understated look, a nude lip can balance out the boldness of the dress. Remember to take your skin tone into consideration when choosing your lip color. It’s also important to consider the rest of your makeup — when wearing red lipstick, a more muted eye makeup look generally works best, and vice versa.