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The 17 Best Stores for Your Summer Dress Fix

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You'll rarely encounter a day that warrants a summer dress in San Francisco, so it's not as if you can justify a closet full of warm weather frocks. If you're baring arms, you want the outfit you're wearing to be just as memorable as the weather that compelled you to shed that last layer. From crazy-affordable to crazy-splurgable, we've mapped 17 stores —organized roughly north to south— where you'll find inspiring dresses to see you through warm days. Think our readers should know about another spot? Share your tips in the comments!

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Bloomingdale's

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Bloomie's has seriously stepped up its dress game lately. Shop the many, many designer offerings, or save some money by making a beeline to the in-house Aqua label. [Photo]

BellJar

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This Mission boutique filled with "gorgeous little things" also has gorgeous little dresses to get you through your summer. While you're there, don't be surprised if you find yourself stocking up on the prettiest bath products ever. [Photo]

mira mira

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If you're looking for Mara Hoffman dresses, this is your spot. Mira Mira always has a great selection of the pattern-heavy brand, as well as a range of other conversation-worthy frocks. The shop is dog friendly, and typically stocked with treats, so bring Fido for your shopping venture. [Photo]

Covet Boutique

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While this Inner Sunset spot is more reliable for bags and accessories than dresses, there are a few, inexpensive options that you can dress up in a pinch. Additional locations on Union and Arguello. [Photo]
For plus-size dresses on a budget, head to Torrid in Stonestown Galleria. Bay Area blogger Chastity Valentine frequently relies on the brand for her headline-grabbing looks, so they're definitely doing something right. [Photo]

My Roommate's Closet

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From Parker and Haute Hippie to budget-friendly options from Eight Sixty, this boutique outlet is worth the trip. Just budget for time to dig through the racks. [Photo]

Ambiance

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The Union Street Ambiance seems to have more budget-friendly party dress options than this chain's other locations around town. If you only have time to stop at one store for a bachelorette party ensemble (or your wedding guest oufit), this is your best bet. Additional locations in Noe Valley, Upper Haight, and Inner Sunset. [Photo]

Alice and Olivia

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When you're in a dress emergency situation, head straight to Alice and Olivia. The selection skews more toward party and formalwear, but you'll find totally office-appropriate work dresses as well. [Photo]

Heidi Says Collections

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The variety of dresses at Heidi Says is simply outstanding. Imagine a highly-curated selection of your favorite labels from the contemporary floor at Saks or Neiman's or Barney's: that's what Heidi Says has achieved in its newly-renovated space, cutting through the department store noise with a selection of each season's greatest hits. [Photo]
Zara has a reputation for copying runway looks as soon they walk at fashion week. Depending on how you feel about that, you can scoop up the latest trends at a fraction of the price. (Especially during the epic summer sale!) If you only have time for one Zara stop in Union Square, opt for the Post Street location; it's larger and usually has a better selection. [Photo]

Banana Republic

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Banana Republic is looking a lot cooler in the Marissa Webb era, and the brand's easy summer dresses can be your way to bring home a bit of that Webb magic that you've spotted countless bloggers sporting on Instagram. To ensure that your size is waiting when you arrive, try the reserve in store option on the website. [Photo]
You're going to a festival. You want a fringe dress, but you don't want to spend a lot. H&M should be your first stop. Though there are three Union Square locations, the Powell flagship generally has the best selection. Make the Post Street store your second stop if you can't find your size at Powell. [Photo]

Azalea Boutique

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Azalea has a fancy new(er) location in the Mission, but the Hayes Valley original holds a special place in our hearts. Most of the dresses trend toward the more casual side, perfect for a weekend brunching in wine country. [Photo]

Cary Lane

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Cary Lane is another great discount option in the city. The store offers deals on designer apparel at up to 80% off the regular retail price, specializing in samples and past season apparel. You'll need an hour or so to peruse the racks and try on options, but there's always something fun waiting for you at the shop. Additional locations in the Inner Sunset and Mission. [Photo]

LE POINT

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A new concept store in the Mission, Le Point stocks lovely finds from brands like Opening Ceremony, Tibi, and SF-favorite Ryan Roche. Visit for everything you ever wanted to add to your cool-girl uniform. [Photo]

Amour Vert

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With an eco-style mission and celebrity fans, Amour Vert has become a formidable force in the San Francisco fashion scene. Dresses from the label aren't particularly fashion-forward, but they're excellent, Earth-friendly alternative to the fast fashion pieces you might otherwise purchase. [Photo]

The Podolls SF

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Now that the Podolls have landed in the city with their Noe Valley store, you can head to 24th Street to find the duo's laidback pieces. The lightweight dresses and loose silhouettes for spring/summer are begging to be part of your vacation wardrobe. [Photo]

Bloomingdale's

Bloomie's has seriously stepped up its dress game lately. Shop the many, many designer offerings, or save some money by making a beeline to the in-house Aqua label. [Photo]

BellJar

This Mission boutique filled with "gorgeous little things" also has gorgeous little dresses to get you through your summer. While you're there, don't be surprised if you find yourself stocking up on the prettiest bath products ever. [Photo]

mira mira

If you're looking for Mara Hoffman dresses, this is your spot. Mira Mira always has a great selection of the pattern-heavy brand, as well as a range of other conversation-worthy frocks. The shop is dog friendly, and typically stocked with treats, so bring Fido for your shopping venture. [Photo]

Covet Boutique

While this Inner Sunset spot is more reliable for bags and accessories than dresses, there are a few, inexpensive options that you can dress up in a pinch. Additional locations on Union and Arguello. [Photo]

Torrid

For plus-size dresses on a budget, head to Torrid in Stonestown Galleria. Bay Area blogger Chastity Valentine frequently relies on the brand for her headline-grabbing looks, so they're definitely doing something right. [Photo]

My Roommate's Closet

From Parker and Haute Hippie to budget-friendly options from Eight Sixty, this boutique outlet is worth the trip. Just budget for time to dig through the racks. [Photo]

Ambiance

The Union Street Ambiance seems to have more budget-friendly party dress options than this chain's other locations around town. If you only have time to stop at one store for a bachelorette party ensemble (or your wedding guest oufit), this is your best bet. Additional locations in Noe Valley, Upper Haight, and Inner Sunset. [Photo]

Alice and Olivia

When you're in a dress emergency situation, head straight to Alice and Olivia. The selection skews more toward party and formalwear, but you'll find totally office-appropriate work dresses as well. [Photo]

Heidi Says Collections

The variety of dresses at Heidi Says is simply outstanding. Imagine a highly-curated selection of your favorite labels from the contemporary floor at Saks or Neiman's or Barney's: that's what Heidi Says has achieved in its newly-renovated space, cutting through the department store noise with a selection of each season's greatest hits. [Photo]

Zara

Zara has a reputation for copying runway looks as soon they walk at fashion week. Depending on how you feel about that, you can scoop up the latest trends at a fraction of the price. (Especially during the epic summer sale!) If you only have time for one Zara stop in Union Square, opt for the Post Street location; it's larger and usually has a better selection. [Photo]

Banana Republic

Banana Republic is looking a lot cooler in the Marissa Webb era, and the brand's easy summer dresses can be your way to bring home a bit of that Webb magic that you've spotted countless bloggers sporting on Instagram. To ensure that your size is waiting when you arrive, try the reserve in store option on the website. [Photo]

H&M

You're going to a festival. You want a fringe dress, but you don't want to spend a lot. H&M should be your first stop. Though there are three Union Square locations, the Powell flagship generally has the best selection. Make the Post Street store your second stop if you can't find your size at Powell. [Photo]

Azalea Boutique

Azalea has a fancy new(er) location in the Mission, but the Hayes Valley original holds a special place in our hearts. Most of the dresses trend toward the more casual side, perfect for a weekend brunching in wine country. [Photo]

Cary Lane

Cary Lane is another great discount option in the city. The store offers deals on designer apparel at up to 80% off the regular retail price, specializing in samples and past season apparel. You'll need an hour or so to peruse the racks and try on options, but there's always something fun waiting for you at the shop. Additional locations in the Inner Sunset and Mission. [Photo]

LE POINT

A new concept store in the Mission, Le Point stocks lovely finds from brands like Opening Ceremony, Tibi, and SF-favorite Ryan Roche. Visit for everything you ever wanted to add to your cool-girl uniform. [Photo]

Amour Vert