Statement designer summer dresses are here! Perfect antidotes to the casual dressing of the last two years. Remember that? As ever, ready to wear collections are taking their cues directly from catwalk trends. Think bold colours, signature prints, embellishments, and plenty of longer length options. The thigh skimming variety is also available if that’s your preference.
You can find these coveted pieces from the comfort of your own home by shopping online. I tend to stick with my favourite designers but there is no greater pleasure than having a browse armed with a notepad. Got a posh summer event in your diary? Perhaps a postponed wedding? Now is the time to find your perfect dress because the most desirable pieces sell out. And if you buy well, you’ll have a dress that’s future proof, meaning you can bring it out season after season. As a guide, opt for classic shapes in flattering colours for maximum versatility. When looking for dresses to take you from day to evening look for simplicity – a dress you can switch up by changing accessories. And as temperatures rise, whether at home or abroad, natural fibres work best.
The most style savvy, know the shape and colour combos which suit them best – guaranteeing a confidence boost.
Most of us also have a favourite dress length. So here I include my pick of maxi, midi and short dresses, as well as dresses to suit all budgets.
Here’s what’s available now.
Statement Designer Summer Dresses
Summer Maxi Dresses
If you prefer a full length dress, this green, cold shoulder Jacquemus dress is sure to turn heads. Made from a semi sheer stretch knit viscose this is a dress which will cling to your curves and move beautifully. Available exclusively at Net-a-Porter. A shade reminiscent of a colour the Queen wore over the Jubilee weekend. Divine!
Another maxi dress is this Erdem Algarve floral print cotton and silk blend voile piece. Erdem is well known for its prints. This is another cold shoulder dress where the off the shoulder neckline has a flouncy ruff overlay. A charming dress to wear for a special occasion. Now reduced so be quick!
This Les Reveries dress in a green floral print is available exclusively at Net-a-Porter. Featuring a dramatic neckline and side split, it also has ruffles edging the neckline and skirt. Really lovely. I would team it with black accessories. Now in the sale. You’ll need to be quick!
Exclusive to Mytheresa is this stunning Dolce & Gabbana x Mytheresa lemon print maxi dress. Made in silk chiffon, with an empire waist, full skirt and open back this is a dress sure to turn heads wherever you wear it. Effortlessly glamorous, the print takes its inspiration from Sicily. Selling well. Don’t hang around!
This black and white dress from Raey is cut with the female form front and centre. Made from silk crepe, it is fitted through the shoulders, bust and waist with a generous skirt. A deep V neck and frills to the sleeves complete the look. A dramatic dress, in a good fabric, well priced. A day or evening dress.
Midi Designer Dresses for Summer Events
This Dolce & Gabbana ruched floral print silk dress is selling well, so if you fall in love with it, don’t hang around! Taking its cues from the designer’s archive, it’s made from the designers silk and elastane blend. The shoulder straps are adjustable. Ruched from top to bottom to flatter the body. The perfect dress for a dinner date. Shop around to find your size if stock is low.
Galvan designs beautiful dresses at good prices and this Atalanta dress is no exception. Looking deceptively simple it features a boned bodice and ruffled hem complimented by a flattering wide neckline. The fabric is a ribbed knit – a viscose, nylon and elastane blend and is even machine washable. This is a dress which will suit many different body shapes. I love it. Net-a-Porter has it available in a choice of colours. It’s sold out at some other stockists so don’t hang around.
How would you like a one-of-a-kind dress? This is the promise of By Walid, who rework vintage fabrics into unique dresses. The antithesis of mass produced fashion. The mid weight Clara dress is made from linen, the perfect summer fabric. No two dresses are alike which makes this dress all the more charming. Selling well.
Next, one of the dresses available on my site, A Good Frock. Deliciously still relevant. A Dolce & Gabbana orange tulle dress from the Summer 2020 collection. In a vibrant, still current, colour ,it’s the perfect dress for a summer event. It’s both womanly and feminine and tulle is one of Dolce & Gabbana’s best fabrics. Cleverly ruched, its designed to flatter your figure. Lined.
This Dolce & Gabbana vibrant geranium print dress from the Summer 2020 collection will easily take you from day to evening. A versatile dress like this is a holiday must have. Cleverly constructed, it’s flatteringly ruched with an asymmetrical hem. Positively no gaping here. Dolce & Gabbana is very partial to a bit of fringing. The fabric is a silk blend – one of Dolce & Gabbana’s best fabrics.
Short Designer Summer Dresses
Next is a perfect short summer day to evening dress by Three Graces available from Matches Fashion. The Three Graces cotton poplin Ellen dress features a simple design with a button front, fitted bodice and a flared, mid-thigh length skirt. Adjustable straps. Cotton poplin throughout. A classy design at a good price.
Looking for a denim dress? I rather like this black denim mini dress by Ganni X Ahluwalia. Cleverly created from ‘dead stock’ fabric and fashioned into an unusual dress with an asymmetrical neckline. Made from 95% cotton blended with polyester this will easily take you from day to evening.
If you are looking for a thrifty option, I think this black Trixy dress by Velvet is a bit of a steal. This super sexy cotton elastane blend dress is a classic shape at a good price. Made in the US from cotton jersey – this dress features a boat neckline and ruching throughout. Truly a dress for the ages and it won’t easily date. Machine washable. All for less than £200.
Exclusive to Mytheresa comes this Dolce & Gabbana sequinned lemon print mini dress. The lemon print fabric is inspired by the brand’s Sicilian roots. The sequinned lemons turn the glamour dial up a notch. The shoulder straps are reassuringly broad and adjustable. Gently ruched. The outer fabric is polyester, and the lining is a silk blend. I would team it with black accessories rather than white.
Up next is an Alaïa black off the shoulder mini dress made from one of the brands best known fabrics – a stretch pique jersey (a viscose polyester knit). Super stylish, this dress features an off the shoulder fitted bodice with an overlay and a flared skirt. The skirt features cut outs towards the hem, a popular design feature this summer. A brand well regarded for its cutting and fabrics.
My final selection is this Isabel Marant ‘Colbie’ midnight blue mini dress made from cotton-voile. Featuring embroidered motifs throughout, this design has one sleeve with an embroidered ruffle tracing the neckline. The skirt features an asymmetrical hem – a feature which balances the asymmetrical neckline. Elasticated at both the neckline and waist for a comfortable fit – the fabric itself has no stretch. A casual evening dress for warm summer evenings, now reduced in the Net-a-Porter sale.