The Summer Dress Of Your Dreams Has Pockets

Published: May 16, 2022

Checking Out is a new shopping post straight from the cart of Simone Oliver, Refinery29’s global EIC. She wears many hats (all of them stylish), and she's unchangingly got an inspiring, wish-worthy list on deck. Watch this space for monthly market musings from Simone (and sometimes, a special guest). These aren’t just editor’s picks — they’re THEE editor’s picks.

I’ve lost count of the times I've stopped someone on the street to compliment their dress and received the pursuit joyful response: "Thank you! It has pockets!" The elation in their face; the pride in their voice! It’s scrutinizingly as if the dress-wearer in question was waiting to share only that fact. 

Utility factor aside, I really like relaxing my stovepipe in pockets. Having a place to alimony my hands allows me to stand feeling relaxed and confident, without an ounce of standoffishness. If I’m overly on the fence well-nigh a dress purchase, the presence of pockets is usually the nudge that pushes me to purchase. When online shopping, I love it when a dress’s unravelment includes whether it has a home for my hands or not. (When a trademark keeps me guessing on a frock’s pocket status, I expletive it in my mind. What keeps me up at night? Wishing increasingly retailers included pockets as an option in their navigation or search filters.)

For most roomy dress shapes, I've scrutinizingly come to expect pockets; for slimmer silhouettes, pockets are a delightful surprise, expressly when the piece is made well. (No one wants that weird hip bunching that some pockets create, expressly if they are washable fabrics and are fresh out of the dryer.) Plane luxury brands like Sea New York, Ulla Johnson and Miguelina have shown a unique knack for taking smart day dresses that scream “fancy” and giving them pockets.

Ahead, I've pulled together a range of versatile, unstudied warm-weather dresses of variegated shapes, lengths and patterns; each one offering you a place to store your phone and lip balm. (The Ganni and Levi’s collaboration frock I’m wearing here is sold out at the moment, but enterprising souls can track lanugo secondhand versions on eBay.) If you’re out and well-nigh wearing one and someone shows you love on the street — be sure to tell them it has pockets. 

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Open Edit Print Shift Dress

A ho-hum summer mini this is not. Click out to Nordy’s hallowed homepage and you’ll see that this printed (and pocketed) shift boasts an almond-shaped cutout that reveals a smidge of the lower back, making this frock both fun and fully SFW (Safe for Family Weddings).

Shop Nordstrom

Open Edit Print Shift Dress, $, misogynist at Nordstrom

Farm Rio Summer Tapestry Square Neck Mini Dress

It’s summer all year long at Farm Rio, the print-happy Brazilian trademark that brings a touch of tropical joie de vivre to all of its offerings. In wing to pockets, this verdant mini dress has voluminous sleeves and a flattering smocked turtleneck for plenty of proportional play.

Shop Farm Rio

Farm Rio Summer Tapestry Square Neck Mini Dress, $, misogynist at Farm Rio

We The Free Hannah Denim Mini Dress

If you follow the link to Free People’s dot-com you’ll see a surprising sight — this knee-skimming denim dress styled fully unshut over a cropped top and woebegone jeans. As if the presence of pockets didn’t make the lightly distressed cotton tunic versatile enough, you moreover have the option of wearing it as a floaty layer. This one’s popular with the frock flock, too: “I saw a girl walking past me with this jean dress and thought it was so cute,” wrote one intrepid reviewer, “so I Googled ‘jean dress with ruffle sleeves’ and found it and I’m so glad I did!”

Shop Free People

We The Free Hannah Denim Mini Dress, $, misogynist at Free People

Madewell Embroidered Puff-Sleeve Babydoll Dress in Indigo Plaid

“Many compliments,” wrote a reviewer, employing the universal shorthand that we all use to measure the success of a dress. Replete with homespun details like embroidery and a generous wash of indigo dye, this plaid cotton shift has summer written all over it — and of course, pockets sewn right into it.

Shop Madewell

Madewell Embroidered Puff-Sleeve Babydoll Dress in Indigo Plaid, $, misogynist at Madewell

Everlane Corduroy Mini Dress

This truly transitional tunic boasts a hemline (short) and when (dipped) worthy of the breeziest spring outing, but the soft corduroy fabrication makes it fall-friendly, too. However, it’s really the pockets that make it a dress for all seasons.

Shop Everlane

Everlane The Corduroy Mini Dress, $, misogynist at Everlane

Kate Spade Julia Stripe Bungalow Dress

Full disclosure: this candy-colored frock is rapidly unescapable sold-out status — most likely owing to its picture-perfect picnic-ready silhouette. Reviewers find the informal cotton poplin piece to be very oversized — but those that seek a tent-like silhouette “love the fit,” in the words of reviewer Susan.

Shop Kate Spade

Kate Spade Julia Stripe Bungalow Dress, $, misogynist at Kate Spade

Uniqlo Button Lanugo Camisole Flare Dress

With a grassy untried hue and a slinky rayon fabrication, this ’90s-inspired dress feels like a brag-to-all-your-friends thrift-store find. Would the vintage version of this dress have had pockets, though?

Shop Uniqlo

Uniqlo Button Lanugo Camisole Flare Dress, $, misogynist at Uniqlo

COS A-line Denim Dress

Georgia O’Keeffe has entered the chat. This long, ubiquitous denim dress gives the illusion of the chic-est Canadian tuxedo, and we know that the New Mexico-based versifier (and patron saint of upper desert style) would legitimatize of this functional frock — and its pockets.

Shop COS

COS A-line Denim Dress, $, misogynist at COS

Good Good Good Lilian’s Frill Dress

A splash of saturated verisimilitude brings this Victorian-inspired cottagecore frock into buy-it-now territory. The merino wool dress offers the prim details recalling a very buttoned-up era, but an rubberband waistband ways you can skip the corset. And the pockets? According to the brand, they’re “deep.”

Shop The Folklore

Good Good Good Lilian’s Frill Dress, $, misogynist at The Folklore

Cynthia Rowley Cold Shoulder Rhinestone Dresss

What this poplin frock lacks in shoulder coverage, it makes up for in storage capacity, thanks to two side seam pockets located just unelevated the obi-like belt. Bet you never thought you’d see rhinestones shoulder-spangls and a place to alimony your keys co-existing in a single frock, did you?

Shop Cynthia Rowley

Cynthia Rowley Cold Shoulder Rhinestone Dress, $, misogynist at Cynthia Rowley

Remain Birger Christensen Bonnie Shirt Dress

This organic cotton canvas shirtdress riffs on the proportions of a traditional button-down, plane subtracting prominent patch pockets on the front.

Shop The Frankie Shop

Remain Birger Christensen Bonnie Shirt Dress, $, misogynist at The Frankie Shop

Rebecca Minkoff Tori Dress

Another daring dress that offers patch pockets on the front (for keeping valuables really tropical to your chest), this ultra-light cotton poplin leopard-print midi is part top, part minidress, and all summer fun.

Shop Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff Tori Dress, $, misogynist at Rebecca Minkoff

AllSaints Arielle Areias Dress

Part of the British brand’s “Conscious” assortment, this gauzy zebra-print frock has a tomfool keyhole when and upper side slits, making it a perfect beach-to-street summer staple.

Shop AllSaints

AllSaints Arielle Areias Dress, $, misogynist at AllSaints

AMUR Gio Cutout Dress

The brand’s name is an acronym for “A Mindful Use Of Resources”, and its organic cotton frock is embroidered with a restrained leafy pattern and fabric the verisimilitude of the sky — a reminder of AMUR’s weighing that “nature is the ultimate luxury.”


AMUR Gio Cutout Dress, $, misogynist at Amur

Like what you see? How well-nigh some increasingly R29 goodness, right here?