Here at Alla Moda we don’t talk about the ways in which you can wear the latest (some very unwearable) runway trends. Instead, we focus on the items your wardrobe actually needs, that are easy to wear and style – one of which being, a summer dress. Whilst nothing new and hardly groundbreaking, a summer dress should never be overlooked as on those 30 degree weather days last summer, staring at our wardrobes in despair, it was a dress that was turned to the most. Why? Ease, throwing on one item without having to think is a major advantage and makes summer dressing surprisingly stress free.
We advise that your wardrobe should contain a few different styles of summer dresses to give you options, as Buying Assistant at River Island Brianna Smith told us: It’s likely that the style of dress you wear in the evening on holiday will differ slightly to one you wear on a British summer weekend so it’s always good to have a few dresses you love in your wardrobe.” It’s not so much occasion wear summer dresses we’re talking about, but instead more casual styles that work for daytime and holiday.
When once there was either mini or maxi, the midi dress came along (mid way down the calf length) and changed dresses forever. So, which style/s should you opt for? Firstly, don’t automatically discount a mini dress as Freelance Journalist, Frankie Graddon explains: “I don’t agree with ageist style rules – if you like something and feel good in it, then wear it. There are so many forty/fifty/sixty and even seventy- something women in the public eye who are demonstrating that style doesn’t diminish as we get older – in fact, it gets better – and that fashion can be worn whatever age.”
This linen style by Isabel Marant Etoile with its ruffle-trim detail and bow side fastening will look chic paired with flat tan sandals either on holiday or at home. What’s particularly great about this one is that whilst your legs are out, the round neckline and sleeves on the top section ensures you are covered up so you don’t feel too bare.
For a fraction of the price and in a very similar style is this one by H&M, the perfect length that can be dressed up or down depending on day or night. And if you prefer a brighter colour with a print, Hush’s Lupin mini dress with its relaxed silhouette, dropped waist and ¾ length sleeves is ideal for the spring to summer transition. “I think that shorter lengths are best worn with flat shoes, which has a cooler and more contemporary look. A pair of ankle boots or plimsoles would be great for the summer.” Graddon adds.
If you prefer your legs to be slightly more covered up then a midi length is the dress for you. A style that has become incredibly popular and it’s not hard to see why, as they’re flattering whilst still being able to have just a little bit of leg on show. Look to this leopard pleated style from Whistles for the perfect shape and length, as well as a beautiful contrast between print and colour. This is a dress that will work hard in your wardrobe – as it’s appropriate for occasions but will also look just as good in the evening on holiday or on a warm British summers day paired with sandals and a leather jacket if required.
Another dress by Whistles too good not to mention is the Viole midi dress – if you buy one dress for summer, make it this. The 100% cotton fabric mean its breathable and light and therefore perfect for hot weather, with the ideal amount of skin on show which ensures you’ll look stylish either in the city or when going from beach to bar and beyond.
The maxi dress will always have its fans, and for good reason – it’s a way to wear a dress if you prefer not to showcase your legs. Whilst there are some more relaxed styles on the market, Smith advises, “maxi dresses look best on holiday or to a day event such as a garden party or bbq I think, as they can often be in danger of looking too ‘done’ in a more casual setting.” Hush’s Beatrix maxi dress in red, orange and pink feather print is floaty and relaxed ensuring its perfect for any occasion whether that’s a bbq with friends, a mooch around the shops or out for dinner on holiday. Me & Em’s polka dot print halter dress may not be true maxi length but in fact, could be more flattering with the dip hem and full frill skirt (which is longer at the back) detail. Not just a beautiful dress with the gorgeous colour way but cleverly designed too with the a-line body shape and drawstring waist that allows you to adjust the fit to suit your shape or desired effect.
Whether you buy a summer dress for holiday, the beach, work or weekend ensure that you love it and will wear it, and if you won’t, keep searching. Once you’ve found a dress style that suits you, you’ll be in it all summer long and truly get your pence per wear.