For me, it’s always been a challenge to pack a bag and choose just one or two dresses that will be versatile enough to wear in different types of weather and various occasions for a single trip.

In fact, one thing I never let myself do was explore the different types of cool travel dresses out there, for women on the go. I’ve always packed a patterned maxi dress, layered it with a jean jacket, and called it a day. But I could be doing better!

I’ve learned that there are travel dresses out there made by great brands that have invented fabrics that zap moisture and sweat, minimize odors (who doesn’t get stinky on a plane?) and come with pockets.

In the list that follows, I’ve picked a few of the best dresses on the market for women travelers, so that you don’t have to do the work! Let’s dig in.

Bluffworks Threshold T-Shirt Dress

If there was ever a T-shirt dress that really rocked my world, it’s this new one from Bluffworks, the brand that builds great travel clothes for women. In the past, I’ve found T-shirt dresses to hit the wrong places on my body, but this one is both flattering and comfy. Plus, it has hidden POCKETS!

The Threshold T-shirt Dress is made from the Bluffworks proprietary Threshold fabric, which is moisture-wicking, wrinkle-resistant and of course, machine washable. It has UPF 50+ sun protection too, which is great for anyone who plans to spend sunny warm days exploring a new city or on a cool excursion.

My favorite part of this dress is that it comes in petite sizing and I actually feel great in it. I feel like I struck gold, because dresses often hit my legs too far down and look like I am drowning. It comes in regular sizes by default, and if you’re short like I am, opt for petite sizes!

I think this T-shirt travel dress is priced pretty affordable for all the versatility it provides. I could wear it from spring to fall, layered with scarves, cardigans or tights and boots for cool nights on a trip. In these photos, I’m wearing it with my Troubadour Momentum backpack.

Bluffworks Threshold T-Shirt Dress

Check out this stylish dress to wear on an upcoming trip!

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Aviator Chambray Travel Dress

This long-sleeve denim-look travel dress from Aviator is a new one of my travel finds. It’s a sturdy chambray and I can dress it up with sandals in spring or boots in the fall. What stands out to me about this dress is of course, the pockets, which even have Aviator’s signature YKK zippers. I like it so much I wrote this detailed review about it!

If you’ve seen my review of the Aviator jeans for travel in my list of the best travel pants for women, you could consider this the “dress version” of those.

This chambray dress has a waist tie for closure and flattery, and comes in sizes XS to 2XL, which I find really inclusive of the folks at Aviator. I prefer to wear it with the sleeves folded up, as I’m not one for the long-sleeve look.

I’ll note that for my Aviator travel dress, as I’m petite, I had to have it additionally altered and taken in at the shoulders and at the length because I’m short. Now it fits great! Most women say it fits between “to size” and “on the big side.”

If you’re looking for other layers from Aviator, check out my review of the merino wool hoodies for travel.

Aviator Chambray Travel Dress

Try out Aviator's newest travel product for women during your next trip.

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Free Fly Women’s Breeze Dress

If you’re taking a warm-weather trip that’s bound to get you into humidity, try out the Free Fly Women’s Breeze Dress. I own it in Baltic Amber and in size XS, and the feel of it is like nothing I’ve ever had in my closet before.

This dress folds up small in my packing cube and is made of a special material blend that’s meant to handle heat and humidity like a breeze. There’s an adjustable waistband at the waist, pockets on the sides (with a hidden zipper pocket - YAY!) and UPF 50+ sun protection for sunny days on vacation.

It also makes a perfect swimsuit coverup for the pool, the beach or a lake, because of the quick-dry fabric.

Free Fly Women's Breeze Dress

Embrace the breeze in this lightweight dress that handles heat and humidity.

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Quince European Linen Dress

I’m a fan of Quince, and can’t find much wrong with everything this company makes, especially at such affordable prices. The Quince European Linen Dress immediately makes me wish I was strolling the streets of Lisbon and about to take a quick photo with a hand-painted tile wall. Know what I mean?

It has a timeless style and it has pockets, so you have somewhere to put some (not too valuable) essentials while on the go and on vacation. For things that hold real value like your credit cards, I’d go with a travel fanny pack or belt bag, just because the pockets on this dress don’t have zippers like the Aviator dress does.

Nevertheless, the price can’t be beat for being made of linen, and I adore the color palette it comes in.

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Another note for short women: this one may hit too low on your leg, so check out Quince’s other dress options for a dress like the Quince Smocked Mini Dress that I can’t wait to try! I’m looking forward to putting them all in my Quince carry-on suitcase.

Quince European Linen Dress

Keep it chic and simple with the Quince European Linen Dress, a timeless piece for any season.

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Bluffworks Threshold Tie Waist T-Shirt Dress

The Threshold Tie-Waist T-Shirt Dress is the second dress from Bluffworks for women travelers that really packs a punch. It has a flattering look that is not too tight, and originally the tie-waist scared me off, but it works out really well. It can be worn in the front (my preference), or even the back. Check out the photos here.

At an affordable price point for the quality you get with Bluffworks, I think this one’s an easy decision. This type of dress can be totally casual for a day to day while traveling, and would look nice as a base layer for more business casual outfits if you have that use during your trip.

This one differs from the Bluffworks original T-shirt dress because it has the nice touch of cuffed sleeves, and I like this a lot. The Threshold fabric that you’ll also find in Bluffworks’ Threshold tees for women is great for travel because it’s moisture-wicking, odor-resistant, has UPF 50+ sun protection and is machine-washable.

What’s the best about this travel dress are the pockets, and you can expect great pockets in women’s attire from Bluffworks. There are six! Two are interior phone pockets, nested inside other pockets. Somehow this dress has almost as many pockets as my Bluffworks travel joggers.

One of the biggest benefits is that this tie-waist style is a classic, so if you put your budget toward a dress like this, it’ll last for years.

Bluffworks Threshold Tie Waist T-Shirt Dress

See why this travel dress makes a great wardrobe staple.

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Icebreaker Women’s Merino Granary Sleeveless Dress

I learned about the Icebreaker brand because Dan really likes his Icebreaker merino wool crew sweatshirt. I was glad to find out that Icebreaker makes great women’s apparel in their signature merino wool blend.

Merino wool is one of the best materials for travel, because it’s soft and strong, as well as lightweight and fine. The Granary Sleeveless Dress is 100% merino wool and is a minimalist travel dress with a subtle cap sleeve and a modest knee length.

A dress like this would be good if you plan to take a trip that involves some sightseeing that requires modest dress, like religious temples or sacred places — think Israel or Sri Lanka.

As for fit, it runs pretty long and overall, I think Icebreaker runs big in women’s sizes. If you are a pretty standard build and average height, you still might want to size down. I have Icebreaker’s merino tee for women, and that runs big, too. Check out my photos for a close-up on the fabric and for how small it folds up in your luggage!

Icebreaker Women's Merino Granary Sleeveless Dress

Stay cool and comfortable with the Icebreaker Women's Merino Granary Sleeveless Dress, a versatile piece for any wardrobe.

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Public Rec Go-To Tank Dress

I’m so glad that Public Rec has come out with some dresses! The cousin of the Public Rec Go-To Dress, the Go-To Tank Dress is a nice travel staple with a funky open back for style. It has a flirty fit and a top half that reminds me of the Public Rec muscle tank that I enjoy wearing as a travel shirt.

With a blend of Pima cotton (which I first discovered in the Public Rec Essential Tee) and spandex, it’s an athletic fit and the material is durable. This one is great for travel in pretty hot temperatures and could be paired with my Public Rec Adapt Belt Bag.

About the sizing: Public Rec typically runs true to size, as I’ve seen in my experience with the Public Rec Essential Tee, which is a true XS and fits like one. With the Go-To Tank Dress, it runs a bit wider than I’d like, so I have some fabric gaps at the side that will probably make this dress less of a “go” for me.

Keep this in mind about your build if you like this dress, because it’s good for larger-chested women (proportionally) as well as women who might feel like they have more of a standard (non-petite) body type.

Public Rec Go-To Tank Dress

Keep it simple and chic with the Public Rec Go-To Tank Dress, a perfect piece for any casual outing.

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Athleta Elation V-Neck Dress

I became familiar with Athleta via my Athleta leggings with pockets that I mention in my list of the best travel pants for women. They make dresses, too! The Elation V-Neck Hybrid Dress is a pretty and flattering summery dress that I can’t stop looking at because it’s so breezy and easy.

It’s an ultralightweight dress made of polyester and spandex that comes in inclusive sizes of XS to 3XL! It’s fitted at the torso and then flares out for keeping you cool.

Athleta Elation V-Neck Dress

Embrace comfort and elegance with the Athleta Elation V-Neck Dress, perfect for casual outings or dressier occasions.

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Toad & Co. Grom Tank Dress

This super casual v-neck dress from the brand Toad & Co. comes in both solids and stripes, and has hand pockets to boot! I’ll pair this one with sneakers or sandals for sure because it has a cool T-shirt vibe to it.

It’s made of hemp and organic cotton, so it dries fast, controls odors and is lightweight, making it a simple option to roll up into a packing cube for a tropical trip.

As a bonus, like with other products from Toas & Co., you can often find a few of the colors on sale at any given time.

Toad & Co. Grom Tank Dress

Bask in the summer sun with the Toad & Co. Grom Tank Dress, your ultimate casual style statement.

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Patagonia Regenerative Organic Certified™ Cotton Essential Dress

This long-sleeve casual dress from Patagonia caught my eye because it is super chill. And of course, I had to search for if it has pockets: it does! It has a totally relaxed fit, so think of pairing it with walking sneakers and a baseball cap. You could also wear it with leggings and boots in winter or fall.

As for specifics, this Patagonia travel dress is Fair Trade Certified™, and made from 100% Regenerative Organic Certified™ cotton. It has raglan-style sleeves, two slit pockets and that “Retro Fitz Roy Patagonia logo” that every traveler wants on their chest. What’s not to love?

Patagonia Cotton Essential Dress

This laid-back long-sleeve dress for chilled-out travelers has pockets and a cozy vibe.

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tentree Arden Dress

The Arden Dress from tentree has pockets — can you believe it? This travel dress is a blend of Lyocell, recycled polyester and organic cotton that has a two-way stretch knit. For now, it comes in the “core color” of Meteorite Black.

I like the gathered neck, hand pockets, elastic gathered waist and sleeveless look. I’d wear this one in Central America or Southeast Asia, or a summer in Europe. This dress is specifically meant for summer, and for keeping you cool with the gentle fabric. Lastly, it’s easily machine washable.

tentree Arden Dress

Embrace comfort and sustainability with the tentree Arden Dress, crafted from recycled fabrics.

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Free Fly Bamboo Heritage Midi Dress

Free Fly is an outdoorsy apparel brand made for life on the water, whether you are hanging at a lake or out on a boat. I slid this Free Fly dress on when I got it, and felt right at home in it! With a blend of cotton and bamboo viscose, it’s soft and airy.

It’s called a “midi” dress because it is supposed to fall at the mid-calf, but for me, at 5’2,” the hemline falls at my ankles in size XS. Keep this in mind!

The Heritage Midi Dress has UPF 50+ sun protection, and it is fitted at the top with a natural flow throughout the rest of the body. I like the flattering scoop neck and the hand pockets at the waist!

To see more products from Free Fly, check out my list of the best women’s travel shorts and you’ll find some recommendations there.

Free Fly Women's Bamboo Heritage Midi Dress

A breezy and comfortable cotton-bamboo viscose dress with a scoop neck.

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prAna Jewel Lake Summer Dress

prAna’s cool high-neck flare dress is stretchy with a detailed back. It’s the only one of its kind, in this entire list of travel dresses!

There are pockets in this travel dress, too (two hand slit pockets at the hips). It has a built-in shelf bra (with removable pads), so that you don’t need to wear one if you don’t need to! I also think it’s an ideal day-to-night dress to bring on a warm and tropical trip. In the black color, you could even dress it up a whole bit more.

prAna Jewel Lake Summer Dress

This high-neck relaxed dress is made for warm-weather holiday breaks.

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KUHL Vantage Dress

KUHL is an adventure and outdoors brand, so I was glad to see they have a dress available for women travelers. The Vantage dress comes in four bold colors, and is sized XS-XL.

As all KUHL products are created for being on the go and being active, the dress has moisture management, odor resistance, sun protection at UPF 50+ and a four-way fabric stretch. There are pockets right below the elastic waist!

This travel dress is fairly casual, so if your trip is active (I probably wouldn’t wear this dress for biking or climbing) like if you’re camping, doing a lot of walking or going on an easy hike, pack this dress in your bag.

KUHL Vantage Dress

Dress to impress with the KUHL Vantage Dress, a versatile piece that combines comfort with contemporary fashion.

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REI Co-op Trailmade Dress

Zipper pocket alert: the REI Co-op Trailmade Dress has one, for three pockets in total. It’s a dress that was actually designed for women who love to hike and be outdoors, with UPF 50+ sun protection.

As for the fabric, the REI Trailmade Dress is made of a lightweight nylon/spandex blend with 2-way stretch. It’s quick-drying and moisture-wicking, making it the ultimate dress for “roughing it.”

REI makes a point that this dress is geared toward women of all sizes, as it comes in sizes XS to 3XL.

REI Co-op Trailmade Dress

Travel in style and comfort with the REI Co-op Trailmade Dress, perfect for all types of trips.

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Peruvian Connection Le Marais Dress

Probably the most elegant dress in the list, this summery travel dress has a beautifully flattering neckline and a flare hem that will look pretty in photos. It’s a blend of pima cotton and spandex, so it has a slight stretch in its softness. It’s perfect as a go-anywhere dress that’ll pack up into a compression cube and be ready to go.

Peruvian Connection is a company founded from the love of Peruvian textiles, evolving into a global company. The brand’s mission is to support Andean artisans with luxurious fibers and to provide well-paying job opportunities locally.

Peruvian Connection Le Marais Dress

Travel elegantly in this timeless dress with pockets

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Why should you trust me?

I’ve been traveling on my own since 2009, and I know what makes a good piece of clothing to have in my suitcase!

I’ve been through items that have broken or ripped during trips, as well as clothes that have shown sweat, haven’t washed easily and haven’t stood the test of time.

The garments I recommend in this list are clothes I have personally tested already, or ones I plan to wear, and I’m happy with how they look and how they feel.

Also, the brands listed are ones from which I already own other travel clothes (check out my list of the best women’s pants for travel, as well as the best women’s shirts for travel).

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