The Prairie-Dress Trend Is Here to Stay for Summer 2022

where to buy affordable dresses online
Photographed by Sean Thomas, Vogue, June 2018.

Have you ever walked through the knee-high grasses of the American prairie? Odds are likely not, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting in on summer’s romantic trend and wearing one of the best prairie dresses. The year 2020 marked the rise of cottagecore, a craft-centric trend that applied to both dreamy dresses and a desire for a life filled with at-home DIYs. But in 2022 the lens is shifting. With the rise of Victorian-era dramas like HBO’s The Gilded Age and epic westerns like The Power Of The Dog, there’s a cultural pull toward the wistful appeal of the vintage aesthetic.

Traditionally the prairie dress is defined by a few key details: ruffles, a high neckline, voluminous sleeves, and a billowy body. Generally they’re fabricated in light cotton or linen, ideal for time outside in warmer temperatures. But this season brands are incorporating fresh twists to the classic, choosing thin shoulder straps or an oversized collar as alternatives to the traditional (and often constrictive) neckline. With the rise of shorter hemlines, you’ll also find a number of options that hit above the knee this year.

For more established iterations, try a light white dress with a billowy bottom. Or go for a pastel floral-print dress—an ideal option for dressy daytime occasions.