Best Bets: The $45 Summer Dress

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Photo: Courtesy of AE

Some essentials are worth splurging on — a particularly thigh-slimming pair of jeans, a wear-everywhere pair of boots, a versatile weekend handbag. But when it comes to summer dresses, we’re all about affordability and variety. This lightweight chiffon number makes a colorful, breezy choice for sweltering summer days. The banded, gathered waist means it's comfortable without being shapeless, and the punchy print comes in shades of muted pink and violet or red and navy. Best of all, it’s affordable: For just over $40, it won’t put a dent in your spring-shopping budget.

Tribal Geometric Dress, $44.50 at American Eagle or online.