I love shopping for dresses. In part, it’s because they’re the easiest thing to wear and style up (especially when you’re looking to get ready quickly without compromising on style), but it’s also because it doesn’t matter where you are or if it’s during the busiest sale period when shops are bursting at the seams with last season’s dregs—without fail, you will always find a new dress to add to your collection. At this time of year, my agenda varies quite dramatically from business meetings to park dates with my 3-year-old all within the space of a few hours. I find a dress is always the easiest option no matter the schedule. I can throw on some earrings and heels for work then switch them out for more practical footwear.
The downside to dress shopping is there are so many styles to choose from. Knowing which pieces are worth your time and which key trends to buy into can feel overwhelming, but is also means there’s something for everyone to love—and if you need a hand, that’s where I come in. I’ve put together my top 31 dresses from the August drops to wear now and beyond. Scroll down below to take a look.
Don't be fooled. This dress isn't limited to your holiday wardrobe. Tie-dye has become a year-round staple. Simply style this dress with a pair of knee-high leather boots come autumn. We have been told this needs to be washed separately from any other pieces else the dye might run! You have been warned.
This bodice-style shirring isn't exactly groundbreaking, but there's a reason designers keep coming out with new iterations of it. The shoulder and ruffle details on this dress are super flattering on both small and large busts, and the midi length means it can be dressed up and down.
I haven't worn a babydoll dress since the late noughties, so I am thrilled to see them having a moment again.The key is to either not wear a bra or wear the most bust-flattening bra you have to minimise your torso and balance out the volume of the skirt. Pair with chunky platforms for a super-cool party look.
Kika Vargas is one of the hottest names to know right now. She is known for her voluminous dresses and proportion play. Many of her dresses are in vibrant colours, but something like this will work both in summer and throughout the year during the festive season.
Sika Designs has long been one of my favourite independent designers, as each piece is handmade to order in Ghana, and nothing beats supporting sustainable and independent designers. This one is my favourite. I gravitate to dresses like this with off-the-shoulder ruffles and a nipped-in waist. It's one of the most flattering dress formulas you can go for.
Self-Portrait made a name for itself as the go-to designer for affordable occasion-wear when it launched back in 2013, and to this day, it's pretty impossible to go on to its website without finding a wow-factor dress you can't live without. This kind of dress will work all year round so is worth the investment in my eyes.
Every now and then, Zara really pulls it out of the bag. This minimalist strapless dress is subtly embellished in sequins. Contrasted with the knitted fabric, it creates a super-cool look you could wear with a blazer and boots by day or with statement heels at night.