21 floaty maxi dresses to see you through the heatwave in style

The mercury is set to continue to soar for the next few weeks, and we don’t know about you, but we’re feeling the heat. We’re shedding the jogging bottoms and tees of early lockdown and slipping into something even looser and more comfortable: the humble maxi dress.

Whether you’re relaxing on the patio, going for your daily stroll around the block or meeting a friend for a socially distanced catch-up, few styles are as elegant and easy to wear as the maxi – and in fabrics like linen and cotton, they’ll help you to keep your cool too. So we’ve scoured the rails and found the best styles to order now to give your new season wardrobe that little extra lift. Sandals and sunglasses at the ready!

21 of the best maxi dresses to shop now, from £19.99

Floral Maxi Waisted Beach Dress, £28, Marks & Spencer

Technically a beach dress, but just as good for sunbathing in the garden.

Ruffled Poplin Dress, £59.99, Mango

A lightweight fabric and a seriously gorgeous colour.

Printed Dress, £49.99, Zara

Pretty enough to see you through summer wedding season, when they’re allowed to happen again.

Ione Pink Cotton Bardot Dress, £49 (was £125), Kitri

The ultimate way to tap into the tiered dress trend.

Cotton-Blend Maxi Dress, £29.99, H&M

Bring the beach to you with a piece from H&M’s Desmond & Dempsey collab.

Cotton Kaftan Dress, £19.99, H&M

Easy, breezy, beautiful – and definitely a bargain.

Check Dress, £49.99, Zara

Checks are timeless – this is a versatile maxi you’ll wear year after year.

Long Dress, £25.99, Zara

Simple doesn’t have to be boring; the sea green colour elevates this to a great basic.

Emma Willis Maxi Tiered Dress, £38, Next

Take a tip from Emma Willis in this tiered design. It also comes in black.

Gloria Dress, £55, Weekday

An eco-conscious pick made from recycled materials, with a cool oversized silhouette.

Maxi T-Shirt Dress, £25, Monki

This wear-everywhere staple comes in a choice of five different colours.

Harper Ochre Organic Cotton Maxi Dress, £47.60 (was £119), East

It’s basically impossible to resist a discount this good.

Ruffled Open-Work Dress, £49.99, Mango

Beat the heat in this Mango stunner, also available in black.

Apron Maxi Dress, £49.99, Gap

Yes you can wear denim in the summer – especially when it still has pockets.

Anjali Batik Maxi Dress, £59.99, Monsoon

Vera Printed Jacquard Maxi Dress, £185, Kitri

If there’s a better way to channel tropical, we’ve not found it yet.

Gathered Leopard Maxi Dress, £95, & Other Stories

Major Victoria Beckham on holiday vibes, with a fun leopard twist.

Elasticated Waist Maxi Dress, £95, & Other Stories

The elasticated waist makes this just as comfy as it is chic.

ASOS DESIGN Cami Wrap Maxi Dress in Linen with Wicker Belt in Spot, £24, ASOS

We don’t know how this is £24 – we just know you want to snap it up before everyone else does.

Linen Mix Maxi Dress with Short Puff Sleeves, £36.40, La Redoute

Need a sleeve? La Redoute maxi dresses have got you covered (literally).

Black Floral Open Back Maxi Dress, £46, River Island

The open back, the floral print, the puff sleeves – it doesn’t get much more feminine than this delicate design.