Colourful, light, and lovely: Wonderful budget-friendly summer dresses

Summer is just around the corner and therefore, it’s finally time to take out our most beautiful summer dresses. And if you are still searching for a pretty summer dress, I have some good news: You don’t have to spend a fortune on a lovely retro dress for summer! In the following, I’m going to show you budget-friendly summer dresses for less than 35 €, 50 €, and 100 €. Furthermore, I give you some advice on how to team and style your summer dresses.

This blogpost contains affiliate links (marked with *) and pr samples (marked with c/o)

The perfect Summer Dress for Retro Lovers

RetroCat in einem Wickelkleid für warme Sommertage

There are a few things to keep in mind when searching for a new summer dress:

  • Fabrics: For summer, I recommend natural fibres, as those feel great on the skin even when it’s very hot and do not smell that easily. Nowadays, there are some pretty good synthetic fibres available as well, however, I always prefer light cotton or crepe fabrics during the warm season.
  • Cuts: Floating cuts are perfect for warm days. Wrap dresses are especially suitable, as they offer enough freedom of movement and can easily be adjusted to your body. You can even wear pencil dresses in summer, though. Just make sure the fabric is light enough and the dress fits well.
  • Sleeves: Small sleeves look super cute and protect our shoulders from UV rays. But of course, sleeveless dresses are a wonderful option for summer as well! Just make sure to not forget your sunscreen, then. 😉
  • Colours and prints: Bright colours, sorbet shades, polka-dots, stripes, and novelty print – in summer, we definitely can choose something colourful and striking!

How to style retro Summer Dresses

Sommerkleider richtig kombinieren - erklärt von RetroCat

  • Cardigans: While it can be really hot during summer here in Germany, nights are usually still chilly. So I make sure I always have a pretty cardigan with me to wear over my dress when it gets cold. I personally prefer cardigans that end at about the waist, as those look better with my retro style dresses. You will find a lot of pretty retro cardigans for very fair prices at TopVintage*, for example.
  • Stockings: By now, it is too warm for opaque tights. But we don’t have to go out without our pretty hosiery. Just make sure to choose some very delicate nylons with maximum 15 den. (PS: If you don’t know what den exactly means, have a look at my stockings ABC.) I love to team my summer dresses with pastel-coloured nylons; beige ones with a subtle seam work as well. By the way: In this blogpost, I tell you more on how to wear nylon stockings on hot summer days.
  • Accessories: A straw hat and chic sunglasses not only look great in combination with summer dresses, they also protect us from the sun. Basket bags, by the way, are always my first choice to wear with summer dresses.
  • Shoes: Wedges, pretty sandals, comfy flats, or ballet flats go very well with retro style summer dresses.

Wear your Summer Dresses with:

*Affiliate links


Budget-friendly retro Summer Dresses for less than 35 €

Charming lemon-print Dresses

RetroCat in einem günstigen Sommerkleid mit Zitronen-Print

Lemon prints are simply perfect for summer, as they always have such a wonderful la dolce vita charme and really make me smile when wearing them. And such a lemon-print dress doesn’t even have to be expensive! Mine is by Lindy Bop but, unfortunately, no longer available. However, you will find some very similar ones for about 30 € at Amazon*, for example.

I like to wear lemon dresses with summery accessories such as straw hats, wedges and basket bags!

Outfit Details:

Lemon dress: c/o Lindy Bop, similar here* and here*

Hat: Vintage, similar here*

Earrings: Glitter Paradise*

Basket bag: Vintage, similar here*

Shoes: Miss L-Fire, very similar here*

Sunglasses: Dolce & Gabbana*

*Affiliate links


Lovely Jersey Dresses by Pussy Deluxe

Günstige Sommerkleider im Retro-Stil: RetroCat in einem Kleid mit Polka-Dots

Light jersey dresses are perfect companions for warm summer days. They don’t wrinkle easily, are super comfortable, and offer freedom of movement. Furthermore, they are perfect for travelling or long car trips. Pussy Deluxe* offers a lot of pretty jersey dresses for very fair prices – just have look here*.

A wonderful example for such a dress is the Dotties Dress by Pussy Deluxe*. It is on sale for only about 29,00 Euros and very versatile! You can wear it with stockings and a jacket in spring, with sunnies and sandals in summer, and with a warm cardigan in autumn.

Outfit Details:

Retro dress: c/o Pussy Deluxe*

Tights: similar here*

Pumps: Buffalo Girl*

Handbag: similar here*

Retro sunglasses: very similar here*

*Affiliate links


Budget-friendly retro Summer Dresses for less than 50 €

Sylvia by BlackButterfly

RetroCat mit dem Sommerkleid "Silvia" von BlackButterfly

“Sylvia” by BlackButterfly* is a wonderful, sassy retro dress with lovely details like fabric-covered buttons, and a super pretty neckline. The hemline is a bit shorter as the ones I usually wear and ends above the knees, but for warm summer days, I actually really like this length. Some accessories like comfy wedges, hairflowers, and maybe a straw bag finish this cheerful summer outfit.

Outfit Details:

Dress „Sylvia“: c/o BlackButterfly*

Petticoat: similar here*

Earrings: Glitter Paradise*

Hairflower: similar here*


Polka-Dot Dresses

RetroCat in einem Sommerkleid mit Polka-Dots im Retro-Stil

I like to wear polka-dots in summer as much as I enjoy lemon prints. They always remind me of Pretty Woman and warm summer days. And you definitely don’t have to spend a fortune for pretty polka-dot dresses! In the picture, you can see “Penny” by Black Butterfly*. The dress only is available in a few sizes, but you will find a lovely alternative here*.

Outfit Details:

Dress „Penny“: c/o BlackButterfly* (similar here*)

Sunglasses: Dolce & Gabbana*

Wedges:  Miss L-Fire, similar here*

Earrings: Glitter Paradise*

Handbag: Woody Ellen*


Budget-friendly Summer Dresses: Red Pencil Dress

RetroCat in einem schicken roten Bleistiftkleid für den Sommer

Although on warm days, I usually prefer wearing light swing dresses, I still absolutely love a wonderful pencil dress with a perfect cut – because is there anything more elegant? And you know what: Of course we can wear pencil dresses is summer as well! Just make sure the fabric of the dress is not too thick and and the dress not too tight. You will find some wonderful summery red pencil dresses for less than 50 € here* and here*, for example. To make the look less formal and more summery, I like to team pencil dresses with wedges, huge earrings, and basket bags during the warm season.

Outfit Details:

Red pencil dress: very similar here* and here*

Basket bag: Vintage, similar here*

Earrings: Glitter Paradise*

Shoes: Miss L-Fire, similar here*


The coral-coloured Pencil Dress by Von 50′

Günstige Sommerkleider im Retro-Stil: RetroCat in einem Bleistiftkleid von Von 50'

Pencil dresses can often be a bit uncomfortable and might make you feel kind of narrowed. Not the wonderful pencil dress by Von 50′*, though, as this is made of a very comfortable and streching jersey fabric. The thin jersey fabric and the summery coral colour* make it a wonderful companion for warm summer days. The dress is available for less than 45 € on Etsy. And as there is only a limited number of dresses in stock, I recommend to buy one as long as it is possible!

Outfit Details:

Dress: Von 50‘*

Shoes: Miss L-Fire, similar here*

Earrings: similar here*


“Pepper” by Joanie Clothing

RetroCat in dem Retro-Kleid "Pepper" von Joanie Clothing im Sommer

“Pepper” by Joanie Clothing is a so called shirt dress and made of cotton, so it feels great on the skin, even when it is very warm outside. The dress has some pockets and a very lovely collar. “Pepper” is available in a lot of different colours and patterns, the coral-coloured one you can see in the picture, though, is no longer available. But you will find a similar one for about 70 € here*.

Outfit Details:

Summer dress „Pepper“ (available in different colours): c/o Joanie Clothing

Belt: Collectif Clothing, similar here*

Straw bag: similar here*

Earrings: Stella & Dot, similar here*

Shoes: Miss L-Fire, similar here*

Sunglasses: Dolce & Gabbana*


Budget-friendly retro Summer Dresses for less than 100 €

Peggy Wrap Dress by The Seamstress of Bloomsbury

In summer, there is nothing more comfortable than a light wrap dress, in my opinion. Such dresses offer so much freedom of movement and the best: You can eat as much ice-cream and pasta as you want, just wrap the dress a bit looser, afterwards. 😉 One of my favourite wrap dresses is “Peggy” by The Seamstress of Bloomsbury*. It is made of a lovely crepe de chine fabric and feels great on the skin! Summery wrap dresses look gorgeous in combination with straw hats, basket bags, wedges, and chic retro sunnies.

Outfit Details:

Wrap dress “Peggy”: c/o The Seamstress of Bloomsbury*

Sunglasses: Dolce & Gabbana*

Hat (picture on the left): Vintage, similar here*

Basket bag (picture on the left): Vintage, similar here*

*Affiliate links


Iris Dress by The Seamstress of Bloomsbury

Günstige Sommerkleider: RetroCat in einem schwarz-weißen Kleid im Park

„Iris“ by The Seamstress of Bloomsbury* is such a charming dress for many different occasions in summer! The light crêpe de chine fabric flatters wonderfully in the wind, the dress is about knee long, and the black and white pattern makes it super easy to combine with different accessories. “Iris” also has some wonderful details like square buttons at the top and bows at the short sleeves that add that certain something to the dress. I absolutely love to wear this dress for a walk in nature, a visit at the café, when meeting my family, or just for a day in the garden/on my balcony.

Outfit Details:

Summer dress “Iris”: c/o The Seamstress of Bloomsbury*

Handbag: Vintage, similar here*


Lisa Dress by The Seamstress of Bloomsbury

Günstige Sommerkleider im Vintage-Stil: RetroCat mit "Lisa" von The Seamstress of Bloomsbury

“Lisa” by The Seamstress of Bloomsbury* is a dream for summer! The light fabric feels great on the skin and the lovely details such as the buttons or the belt make it a wonderful and chic companion for everyday life.

Outfit Details:

Dress „Lisa“ (available in „Blue Hawaii“): c/o The Seamstress of Bloomsbury*

Shoes: Petite Jolie, similar here*

Handbag: similar here*

Earrings: Swarovski, similar here*


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