Chic Spring Dresses to Shop from Small Designer Brands

Warm weather has returned and it's time to celebrate sartorially with dresses from small labels that you can shop online.
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Image via Cecilie Bahnsen

When temperatures start to rise and a sun icon appears in our weather forecast, we are almost innately wired to make a stark change in wardrobe. There is something quite celebratory and significant about putting away our winter coats and breaking out some spring dresses, shorts, or statement pieces on the first warm day of the year. Perhaps this means shedding some of your heavier fabrics for cotton and linens, swapping your all-black aesthetic for some optimistic pastel hues, or making your biggest "spring is here" statement by wearing your first spring dress of the year.

For those of us who struggle with the winter blues, we wait with bated breath for daylight savings in March, eagerly awaiting a couple more hours of sunlight. We probably have some of our new wardrobe lined up in our closets, including spring dresses in our saved folders and in our digital shopping carts. And while the start to this spring is turning out to be a bit different than we expected, the good news is it's still pretty easy to online shop, so you can fully plan out your look for whenever you're done passing the time of social distancing.

For both the overly prepared and those who welcome spring with hesitance and a bit of seasonal allergies, we could all use some fresh designer labels to update our style with some original spring dresses. Now more than ever, it's important to support small businesses, and there's no easier way to do that than online shopping for your next looks from some niche brands you're bound to be obsessed with. Check out 10 of our favorite spring dresses to shop this season, from our favorite small brands like Nanushka and Sandy Liang.

Naya Rea

If you've never heard of Siberian-born designer Naya Rea, you might want to check out the London-based label's website immediately. Full of sophisticated and modern takes on Siberian folklore, as well as whimsical silhouettes, Naya Rea's spring dresses are absolutely made for ringing in warm weather. 

Natalia Laser Dress, $760, Shopbop

Sandy Liang

If there is one print that screams spring dresses, it is a red gingham. Sandy Liang, the rising designer known for her effortlessly cool, downtown aesthetic, puts her own spin on the beloved classic with a smocked bodice and garter detail. 

Rainer Dress, $595, Sandy Liang


Known for making clothing that is equal parts stylish and comfortable, Sleeper has made a name for itself by making the most coveted and publicly worn pajamas you've most likely seen all over your Instagram feed. However, Sleeper is not a one-trick pony by any means. Their Atlanta dress style, which comes in multiple colors and patterns, is another top seller for the brand with a universally flattering fit that makes for the ultimate spring dress.

Atlanta Linen Dress, $320, Sleeper


If you're not familiar with young brand Meadows, you may have heard of its older sister line, L.F.Markey. Nonetheless, Meadows dresses embody spring to a T, as their dresses mostly embrace themes of prairie dressing, romanticism, and folklore. Guided by the ethical core values of slow fashion, every purchase from Meadows will make you feel like your dress was made especially for you.

Iris Dress, $266, Meadows


Budapest-based brand Nanushka is definitely a popular choice for discerning fashion-lovers. The brand is commited to craftsmanship, transparency, and of course, high design standards. With innovative fabrics like vegan leather and consistent dedication to detailing their sustainability efforts, Nanushka's minimal aesthetics make for a well-curated spring wardrobe addition.

Laced Back Slip Dress, $552, Farfetch


While Matteau is known widely for its impeccably well-designed swimsuits, the small label's warm-weather apparel focus transitions perfectly into their separates and spring dresses. With coveted, refined options like this rust dress, you will want to find ways to wear Matteau all year long.

Matteau Tiered Sundress, $475, The Frankie Shop

Simon Miller

Simon Miller is dedicated to making some of the most fun and whimsical clothing to wear every day of the year. The brand's particular taste for bright color palettes and bold patterns make it a go-to for revamping a wardrobe for a new season. This spring dress is versatile in styling, body hugging, and a vibrant orange that will be sure to radiate warmth.

Capo Dress, $150, Simon Miller

Maison Cléo

French brand Maison Cléo epitomizes Parisian slow fashion as designed by mother-daughter duo Marie and Cléo. Every piece is handmade, often with deadstock fabrics in signature romantic silhouttes. This sheer piece is perfect as a spring dress and beyond. Wear layered with a slip for a warm day, or with pants for a spring night. 

Maison Cléo Finola Dress, $385, Net-A-Porter

Cecilie Bahnsen

Copenhagen native Cecilie Bahnsen's bright and voluminous dresses are an absolute joy to wear. Known for their softness, puffed sleeves, and lots of ruffles, the simple and oversized silhouettes make for easy, effortless spring dresses. Striking a balance between couture and ready-to-wear, each piece aims to make the wearer feel like every day is a special occasion.

Beth Dress, $1170, Cecilie Bahnsen


The warm-weather essential of the slip dress, which is now so popular it is being styled to wear year-round, makes a return with this fun and easy-to-wear leopard print by Rixo. A slip dress makes for effortless styling options, and with so many options for layering on breezy days and cooler nights, you will find that this Rixo spring dress is a must-have.

Holly Dress, $350, Rixo



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