The Best Smocked Dresses: Stylish Smocked Dresses for Every Occasion | Observer

Spring is in the air, and with rising temperatures sure to arrive before you know it, it’s time to start getting ready for warm weather dressing—or, at the very least, start embracing transitional attire. Sure, summer is still a ways away, but after a long, cold and grey winter, let’s put away those parkas, sweaters and pants until next year, and start pulling out your favorite frocks.

Right now, we’re all about a smocked dress, which combines the best of comfort, ease and style. While smocked dresses have been worn for decades, they’ve become even more relevant over the past few years, especially with the ongoing popularity of the cottagecore trend and the coastal grandmother aesthetic. Smocked dresses are stylish, flattering and, above all, comfortable, which is especially appealing after all those months so many of us spent at home in sweatsuits, hoodies and leggings, because there’s no reason we should have to give up comfort even though IRL events and obligations are back up and running. Off Shoulder Printed Dress

The Best Smocked Dresses: Stylish Smocked Dresses for Every Occasion | Observer

Smocked dresses are typically identified by stretchy gathered material, most often at the bodice or waist of the frock. The smocking adds a comfortable structure to the dress that’s flattering without being too constricting. Like any good wardrobe staple, smocked dresses are super versatile; you can dress them up or down depending on the occasion. They come in a plethora of silhouettes, whether you’re looking at a babydoll mini, a demure ankle-length frock or a long-sleeved bohemian-inspired style. They also work any time of year; wear one in a thicker fabric with tights when it’s cooler out, or a linen frock during summer. A silkier fabric is chic for a special occasion or dressier affair. Your outerwear choice can also change the feel of a smocked dress; layer with a leather jacket or denim topper if there’s a chill in the air, or perhaps a blazer, for a work-appropriate look.

Below, see the best smocked dress to shop now.

Subscribe to Observer’s Lifestyle Newsletter

All products featured are independently selected by Observer editors. When you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission that supports our work.

The stylish and comfortable smocked dresses for every occasion.

Hill House Home’s comfy yet sophisticated nap dresses have become a cool girl favorite for good reason; these smocked frocks are so adaptable for any occasion. The solid hues are super versatile, but why not branch out into a pretty floral that’s on point for spring, like this lilac number?

Embrace the cottagecore vibes in this short-sleeve midi frock, with a smocked bodice, ditsy floral pattern and delicate bow tie.

A classic black dress is key for any capsule wardrobe, like this sleeveless cotton midi dress with lovely eyelet detailing.

You can’t have too many black dresses, and we’re very into this Ciao Lucia cap-sleeved midi dress, which has a square neckline and flattering A-line silhouette, with a tied ruched bodice.

This adorable v-neck floral dress has a smocked waist and flowing flutter sleeves, and is just as suitable to wear as a beach cover-up as it is to sport as a summer sundress.

If you’re in the market for a smocked frock that’s suitable for a dressier occasion, look no further than this elegant La Ligne crepe midi dress, which has a sweetheart neckline and a gathered bodice that seamlessly transitions to a flowing skirt.

Spring is the perfect time of year to start trying out bold hues, like this bright red smocked mini. Pair it with platform sandals or slides during the summer, or accessorize with a denim jacket and loafers if it’s a little cooler.

Go for a whimsical babydoll look in this periwinkle blue long-sleeve mini dress, with an adorable ruffle hem.

This floaty and feminine ditsy floral print smocked dress features a flattering square neckline and subtle tiered skirt, for the ultimate breezy yet polished look.

For a preppier take on the trend, consider this short-sleeve, ultra-wearable smocked shirt dress, for a good everyday choice.

Love the corset look, but don’t actually want to wear a corset? That’s where this flirty ruffle dress from Staud comes into play; it’s a mini with accentuated cups and a smocked bodice, balanced out by a sweet flouncy hem.

This dreamy puff-sleeve tiered midi dress is comfortable yet polished, with a flowing skirt, square neckline and fun pink print.

Sleeper’s dreamy smocked long-sleeve midi dress has a laidback, boho vibe, and feels like it would surely be Sleeping Beauty-approved—it’s no surprise it’s a best-seller for the brand.

This lightweight smocked maxi dress is so effortlessly chic; wear it with sandals during the summer, or add a cardigan or denim jacket during transitional times of the year.

The earth tone shade of this feminine puff-sleeve smocked mini dress adds a more transitional note to the cotton frock.

You’ll live in this classic black smocked midi dress, with a square neck and bow-tie straps. Oh, and there are pockets!

If you’re in the market for a bodycon dress look that doesn’t feel dated, consider this slim-fitting yet flattering and ultra-comfy sleeveless floral smocked mini dress.

This floaty black dress has voluminous long sleeves and a subtle cut out in the back, for just a peek of skin.

En Saison’s high-necked, ruffle-trimmed dress has short sleeves and a modest below-knee hem, with a cottagecore meets ladies-who-lunch aesthetic that we’re very into right now.

This tiered gingham frock is demure yet flirty, with a long tiered skirt and ruffled sleeveless straps.

The puffed sleeves on this flowy floral maxi add a Victorian feel to the frock, while the tiered skirt and subtle slit keep the silhouette modern.

While the smocking on this colorblock maxi dress is more subtle than the traditional full bodice, it’s just as easy, chic and comfy, thanks to the ruched material at the v-neck, bust and short sleeves.

We get it: you like to have control of your own internet experience. But advertising revenue helps support our journalism. To read our full stories, please turn off your ad blocker. We'd really appreciate it.

Below are steps you can take in order to whitelist on your browser:

Click the AdBlock button on your browser and select Don't run on pages on this domain.

Click the AdBlock Plus button on your browser and select Enabled on this site.

The Best Smocked Dresses: Stylish Smocked Dresses for Every Occasion | Observer

Printed Loose Skirt Click the AdBlock Plus button on your browser and select Disable on