There is much to love about summer. Cool swims after a hot day, fruity cocktails at rooftop bars, summer barbecues with the whole family or relaxing days in the park.
Of course, another summer love affair that burns bright is the one we have with the simple summer dress. Always in style, yet forever evolving, the summer dress is a much-loved summer wardrobe staple.
Say goodbye to that warm, comfy but very frumpy jumper you promise to throw out every year but never do because it's time to slip on that easy, breezy summer dress and head outside to soak up some sun.
These are our top picks for the best summer dress patterns, prints and styles this season.
Wearing a quality linen dress on a hot, summery day feels like luxury. Wonderfully soft against the skin, breathable and without holding moisture, linen looks chic and effortlessly cool even when crumpled and wrinkled.
Because of these great cooling and comfort qualities, linen dresses remains very 'in' this summer. They proved particularly popular last year, and their relaxed, fashionably breezy look is likely to continue for years to come.
This timeless appeal makes a linen dress a fantastic addition to a wardrobe. To maximise the latest fashion trends, match a stylish linen dress with a tan belt, sandals, a big sunhat and bigger sunglasses for a chic summer look. Linen is also quick-drying so it's perfect to wear over swimwear to and from the beach or pool.
Float through your day with a flowy maxi summer dress Offering style, comfort and coverage, a maxi dress is a fantastic option when you want to hide unshaven legs, while still looking absolutely gorgeous.
This year's maxi dress trends are all about the colour, especially beautifully bold marigold and sumptuously soft ice-cream pastels. Hot off being featured prominently at New York Fashion Week, marigold.
These colours form our latest range of maxi dresses, which also feature some of last year’s buzzy trends, like edgy leg slits, innovative collars, elastic empire waists and more ruffles, especially in the trimmings.
Wear a light pastel-coloured maxi dress with some chic sneakers while out and about, or wear a marigold maxi dress with your favourite strappy sandals and accessories for a beach or city friendly look.
Floral summer dresses are beautiful, timeless and completely accessible. There is something about a lush, colourful floral print that inspires and delights.
Even though floral dresses are a summer wardrobe essential every year, designers are still finding new ways to remix the summer classic with bold cuts, fabrics and contemporary 3 styles. This year has a lot of elegant waist ties, chic neck bands and elegant ruffle panels. And the preference is for floral prints that go from head-to-toe in maxi dress varieties.
Floral dresses are great because they're appropriate for almost all occasions. For work, simply pair one with a smart linen blazer. When running errands, pop on some white sneakers and you're good to go. Or to wear it for a special event, add some pizzazz with jewellery that matches the colours in the pattern, and some bright heels.
Why is lace so romantic? Is it that the intricacies and the delicate nature of lace remind us of our own hearts? Maybe. Either way, a romantic lace summer dress is a must-have.
This year's lace dresses, with their fluted sleeves, scalloped hems and modern ruche waists and trimmings, are sure to turn heads.
A lace dress is perfect for date nights, long walks on the beach and love affairs on remote tropical islands. Gladiator sandals and a floppy sunhat are recommended for a casual look, or throw on some pumps and head out for a night on the town.
Are you afraid of bold prints, bright colours and standing out in a crowd? Then shield your eyes, because these eclectic, summer-ready patterns and prints are not for you.
From snakes to leopards, cheetahs to zebras, animal prints are this season’s main fashion trend. So prevalent are animal prints this year, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the fashion runways for zoos. But fear not, botanical prints of all varieties remain in fashion, as mentioned above.
This season combines these stylish animal and floral prints with an emphasis on fit and flare: to fit the waist and flare out at the hem, as well as other practical design elements that look to ensure maximum comfort without sacrificing style.
If you're keen to make a summer fashion statement at your next event, go wild with a bold animal print dress and try accessorising it with juxtaposing colours. A bright pink patterned dress can look amazing with a bright yellow clutch and emerald green heels.
Check and gingham dresses are very versatile, so whether your fashion influence is a sweet girl next door or punk rocker look, these dresses will work for you.
A lot of the check dress trends this year revolve around colour. And it seems that designers have chosen the in-vogue check dress colours to be primarily neutral. The benefit of this is how easy it is to find a matching sweater or accessories.
For sweet summer styles, pair a check dress with neutral ballet flats and a colourful cardigan. Or go rocker chic, with a black waist belt and some black studded sandals.
Looking for a summer dress you can wear to work, to the beach and out to brunch? The chic shirt dress is for you!
As with previous seasons, the latest shirt dresses are all about maximum versatility and breathability. Style-wise, they're very eclectic this summer, available in a range of stripes, chambray, colourblocks, checks and patterns.
It's not often a dress is absolutely work-appropriate but also comfortable enough to have an afternoon snooze in. But a shirt dress is just that. Light, breathable, and gorgeously chic, and able to be paired well with almost anything.
You may still have a polka dot dress left over from the last time it was on trend. If not, time to invest in the pattern that returns every few years to amaze with its sweet retro style.
The latest polka dot dresses may maintain the classic cuts and styles, but there are also a lot of polka dot dresses with playful, interesting polka dot sizes and with modern cuts and frills too.
A white polka dot on a dark background is vintage, and pairs well with some bright red shoes and vibrant red lipstick.
We all need to worry less, and that's what the carefree, casual summer dress is all about. It's not about any particular style, colour or pattern.
For this dress to be your carefree, casual dress, it needs to be just two things: comfortable and entirely you. This is a dress that you throw on after you've sat in front of your wardrobe wondering what to wear for 15 minutes.
There's a big emphasis on carefree fashion this summer, on dresses you can put on, breathe a big sigh of relief and go about the rest of your day. Because you look good and feel good, confidence is what makes the casual dress so hip.
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