It's the one item of clothing we're sure to see throughout the summer.
That's if summer ever gets here.
Why are dresses such a good fit for the streets of Sacramento -- or any town, for that matter?
That's easy: There's a style, silhouette and length for every woman. Fabric choices range from cotton and gauze to metallic and silk. There are solids and prints. Most designers included dresses in their spring/summer collections, so there's plenty to pick from.
Prices vary from high-end couture frocks to bargain-basement sheaths.
A dress is easy to throw on, easy to accessorize.
"That's why guys are so jealous (of women)," says Marshall Cohen, chief analyst for the NPD Group, a market-research firm. "We can't go out in just pants or just a shirt. But women can wear just a dress.
"Both retailers and designers tapped into the trend because this is when we start migrating toward a fun season.
"Dresses make life simple."
Some of the more popular looks this season are the trapeze dress, the mini, the shift, the sheath, the shirtdress and the smock.
And yes, there are plenty of fashion-police types out there who say a woman of a certain age (read: over 30) shouldn't wear a mini-dress. But we say: Most women feel comfortable with something that hits just above the knee or at tea-length. Or try wearing a mini with leggings.
For an added spark, look to accessories. And shoes. All different kinds of `em.
"The most important thing a woman can do to update her choice of dress is to wear each silhouette with the correct footwear," says Avril Graham, executive fashion and beauty editor at Harper's Bazaar magazine.
It doesn't matter if you're shopping at the luxury end of the market or on a budget.
"The great thing about it is you can buy a Lanvin flat for $500 or a flat from the Gap for $12," Graham says, speaking on the phone from New York.
"And what really updates your look are the chunky styles -- the platforms or wedges -- and, for those who prefer a more relaxed style, the ballerina flat is the perfect choice."
Designer Chloe Dao, the Season 2 winner of the hit show "Project Runway," agrees that now is the time to "dress to impress."
Dao says she's lining the racks of her Houston store with a wide variety of dress options, from mod versions with a `60s flair to sweet sundresses.
"Dresses are my favorite thing to design, and I like to give customers plenty of styles to choose from," Dao says during a recent phone interview.
Some of Dao's shorter designs receive balance from a smaller sleeve; longer versions are either sleeveless or have cap sleeves.
"I even created a dress I call `Sunny,' which is modeled after one worn by Elizabeth Taylor in the movie `Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,'" Dao says.
For summer, Dao relies on lightweight fabrics, including cotton, silk chiffon and tulle. However, her version of the classic babydoll dress comes in both a dainty eyelet and a risque gold lame.
"Dresses can take you from daytime to evening because they're so versatile," Dao says.
Her tips for evening: remove a jacket or cardigan to reveal a sleeveless dress or halter-top.
And don't forget about those shoes.
"In my opinion, the biggest transition from day to evening is in the shoes," Dao says. "Glamour is in direct proportion to the height of the heels.
"And, I love clutches because they are small and compact."
Because women have taken on more responsibilities in their day-to-evening lives, Cohen says, it's easy to "throw on a dress and go."
(The NPD Group reports that sales of dresses increased about 7 percent last year, from $4 billion to about $4.3 billion.)
"A dress shouldn't take a lot of brainpower to figure out because the dress of today can look different from week to week," Cohen says.
Besides, in the end, our love of dresses might just go back to our history with it, Cohen says. The dress figures strongly in our pop culture.
"June Cleaver wore a dress almost every day," Cohen says. "She cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner in a dress, greeted the boys after school in a dress, and waited for Ward to come home in a dress."
But let's not forget Lucy Ricardo. Like us, she loved to play dress-up.