If I had to pick a mastermind topic, it would be dresses. They are the item I enjoy wearing the most, and writing about dresses is luckily part of my day job. With the UK slowly starting to reopen, many of us now have a reason to dress up again, whether it's a rescheduled wedding or just an outdoor picnic in a park.
If you are looking to invest in something special—a dress you know you’ll treasure summer after summer—below, I’m introducing you to the nine dress brands that I feature the most in my stories. These dresses are all over £200 and so require some careful consideration, but whether it’s down to quality or originality of design, I believe all of these dresses are worth spending a little extra on.
You'll find special, more formal dresses that you can wear to your first post-lockdown wedding or throw-on summer dresses that you can wear without needing an excuse to dress up. From Rixo to Aje, keep scrolling for the nine dress brands I love the most.
The real selling point of Aje is its focus on fit. These are throw-on summer dresses with real attention to detail and quality. This aesthetic is simple but plays with interesting silhouettes such as an unexpected cut-out at the waist or an exaggerated puff sleeve.
Faithfull the Brand is based in Indonesia and creates playful summer dresses designed for adventures. Travelling might be at the heart of the brand, but the midi and minis are just as suited for a summer spent on British beaches or in the countryside. The prints are the key to the success of the brand, as they play with jolly patterns and a happy colour palette.
Cecilie Bahnsen likely needs no introduction to Who What Wear readers. The Copenhagen-based brand is one of the most exciting new names in fashion and makes dresses that look like actual clouds with puff sleeves, tiers and oversize shapes.
Matteau is another Australian brand that has elevated resort wear with beautiful summer dresses that could be worn for a dinner in London or an evening at the beach. The bright-pink dress is destined for Instagram fame this year.
Rixo was founded by two close friends, Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey, who both bonded over a love of vintage. Rixo has built an empire from its colourful, vintage-inspired printed dresses and is largely responsible for the unstoppable midi-dress trend.
Sleeper started as a pyjama brand, but its now-iconic nighties are so beautiful you could wear them to a wedding. They now come in a rainbow of colours and have oversize sleeves, smocking at the waist and come with a piece of fabric to tie in your hair. We have one word for it: adorable.
Totême is all about providing women with a capsule of elevated basics, and so it has mastered the perfect tank top, coat and everyday summer dress. If you're looking for a beautiful knitted dress or perfect LBD, you can't go wrong with Totême.
And last but by no means least, we have Tove. This London-based brand is only a few years old but has already created a cult classic piece with its tie-front midi dress, the Ceres. It's a dress you really will have in your wardrobe forever and ever.