We’re only halfway through February, but visions of wildflowers, green grass and life without hat hair are already overpowering. Until March 20th, console yourself with one of these bright, cheerful dresses that scream “spring” but won’t break the bank. – Chelsea Karnash
Crepe Tie Belt Dresses – Anjou Pear (Yellow) or Sea Salt (Cream)
For just under $40, you can score this gorg floral frock in one of two colors. And while the “sea salt” version is colorful, the yellow one will literally put a smile on your face. And both colors would be pretty paired with plum tights while the weather is still decidedly un-spring like.
Orange Circle Dress
Cozy up to Don Draper—mentally, that is—in this old school orange circle dress. The cut is super feminine, and the color is super-springy. FYI: It also comes in a pretty kelly green.
One Shoulder Floral Ruffle Dress
Okay, so this one is not remotely work-appropriate, but it’s ideal for the weekend or a first date with someone special. And while the one-shoulder neckline, ruffles and floral motif are beyond girly, the black background saves this dress from becoming infantilizing.
Colorblock Broomstick Dress
This lightweight dress is fun, cheery and forgiving. The high-cut neck keeps you covered, and the solid colors (though, um, loud) don’t add any bulk. Plus, the pleats in the skirt are seriously on-trend for spring.
Until the mercury rises, wear this one with black tights and a black cardigan, and switch out the belt with a skinny black or gold one.
Spring Daffodil Shirtdress
What says “spring” better than daffodils? That’s right, nada. Don this ladylike frock, and you’ll feel like Kevin Arnold’s mother on “The Wonder Years”. And she was hot.
Too Much Fun Dress in Blossoms
Modcloth’s “Too Much Fun” dress comes in multiple colors and patterns, but this one is my favorite. The colors and the cut are flattering on just about anyone, and the watercolor pattern is bold without being overwhelming. Whether you’re going to work or a wedding, this one fits the bill.
Rosey Posey Tee Dress
This dress might be a little pricey, but it’s the ultimate transitional piece: perfect for the dead of winter (along with tights or leggings, a long cardigan and boots) or a cool summer night (with espadrilles or flat sandals). And while the color (black) definitely isn’t “fun,” per se, the wreath-like floral motif is. A worthwhile buy—trust me.
Morning Stroll 2-fer Dress
Classic and vaguely nautical, this dress looks like JCrew but costs less than some of their headbands. Even better? What at first appears to be three separate items (top, skirt, belt) actually comes as one, making it completely effortless to look put-together.
Stone Spot Pleat Dress
Polka dots are so irresistible, especially when they’re done in unexpected color combinations. And while this dress looks über-demure from the front, the large keyhole opening in the back adds a touch of intrigue. Wear with a chignon and your highest heels for maximum effect.
Printed Pleated Chiffon Maxi Dress – Pink Icing Neon or Almond Butter
Honestly, Old Navy has so many lovely, inexpensive dresses for spring that it was hard to pick only a few. I chose this one for its pastel shades, lightweight fabric and narrow pleats (read: flattering). Take your pick of “pink icing” or “almond butter,” then go make a flower crown or lie in a field or something…this one inspires those sorts of whimsical activities.