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Ordinarily, I would firmly place myself in the minimalist camp, with occasional diversions into the boho and quirky categories, but I’ve always found clothing, and particularly dresses, as the perfect physical manifestations of my mood, effectively portraying the ‘character’ I feel like playing on any given day. Dresses are really the ultimate choice in no-brainer dressing. Once you find a style that suits you or a print that draws you in, then all there’s really left to do is add a pair of shoes, and voila, you’re ready to roll.

To cultivate and really nail a practical wardrobe, we need utilitarian pieces that can easily adapt to the ever-changing demands of our lives. Versatility is key, especially as we get older – and this doesn’t only help us in a financial sense, but also encourages us to make our shopping practices more sustainable (heard that word enough yet?).

Dresses have always been a key wardrobe staple, no doubt, but their true power shouldn’t be underestimated. If you’re able to select print and silhouette with careful consideration, you’ll find that the majority of your dresses can be worn despite any dress code anxieties, be it for a casual day out with friends, at the office, or even for a nice dinner. Whether it’s interchanging between chunky boots and knitwear, to some dainty strappy heels and jewellery, it’s all about getting the most from your investment and accessorising smartly.

Comfort too has always been at the top of my list, but now that prerequisite is closely followed by finding pieces that are going to boost my mood and fill me with good vibes. The high street naturally seems to be echoing this sentiment at the moment, as it’s absolutely brimming with bright shades, playful patterns, and eye-catching silhouettes. So, whether you rediscover a love for those old favourites long-buried in the depths of your wardrobe, or discover a brand-new style this summer, there’s no better time than in the next few months, to explore the expansive world of dresses!

Versatility is key.

DETAILS

Not all trends are obvious at first glance; sometimes they consist of the smallest details, although by no means any less impactful. Enter my favourite micro trend: cut-out silhouettes. Whether it be an open back or waist-enhancing side keyholes, cut-outs seem to be everywhere at the moment. This one is ideal for me, as I think it appeared on the scene a few years back, so I actually have quite a few of them in my wardrobe already, waiting to be given a new lease of life. The best part about wearing cut-out details or a dress with any intricate design, is that you can keep the rest of your outfit relatively simple. Chuck on some sandals and team it up with a basket bag and some toned-down jewellery, and you’re good to go pretty much anywhere.

Another micro trend, and one that is actually having a mega impact on the high street this year, is the good old puff sleeve. While surely whimsical and feminine, this trend also has an evident chuck-on-and-go appeal; it can be thrown on at a moment’s notice with minimal effort, and adds something a little more special to your everyday simple dress, making it ideal for pretty much any occasion.

Their timeless appeal keep drawing us in.

Free People is one of my favourite brands and not only do they have a gorgeous selection of cut-out and puff-sleeve dresses this year, but they’re also committed to sustainability, making improvements to their business practices wherever possible. They use many environmentally-friendly materials such as certified linen and hemp, as well as plant-based dyes and recycled knitwear, not to mention their use of waterless processes in the production of their denim.

CLASSIC PRINTS

With pretty much every print from florals and checks to polka dots and animal prints being given the seal of approval by the fashion Gods this season, there are more options than ever right now. One of my favourite offerings of the print world, however, is a true classic. Sure, checks may not be ground-breaking, but their timeless appeal will undoubtedly keep drawing us in time and time again. Polka dots, as always, also remain a firm favourite. Classy yet playful, put-together yet unfussy, both of these prints possess a special ability to transcend occasion, age and season like no other.

The best part about wearing them is that you can keep the rest of your outfit relatively simple.

MATERIAL

Looking put-together in the scorching summer heat is never an easy feat, however, the one thing that always looks cool, (both literally and visually) is a linen dress. Aside from its purely aesthetic cool factor, linen is actually one of the most sustainable fabrics out there. Not only is it strong and naturally moth resistant (always a plus), but it’s made from flax plant fibres, so when untreated (meaning, not dyed – natural colours include ivory, tan and grey), it is fully biodegradable.

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