If you're suddenly finding yourself thinking ahead to summer dresses, you’re in luck. One of the best places for affordable but expensive-looking dresses is H&M, and I recently took a deep dive into its new-in section to filter it down to the very best ones on offer right now. I test-drove a lot of them, but six styles that I tried were really impressive. You know, the kind of dresses that someone stops you on the street to ask you where it’s from.
Pretty, throw-on styles are H&M’s MO, and that just so happens to be my favourite kind of dress too. (Who has time for anything complicated or uncomfortable these days?) So, of course, these six dresses are easy to wear but also incredibly versatile. I tried them all with flat, chunky sandalsand my white heeled sandals that I often wear to weddings, and they all worked both dressed-up and -down. And most would fit right in poolside or on a beach but also for city heatwaves.
The only thing to note about good H&M dresses is they tend to sell out pretty quickly, so I can't guarantee that my six top choices below will be around for long. Just in case, I’ve also added a thorough shopping edit below with more of the best styles I’ve spotted in its new-in section lately. Highlights across the board include some beautiful embroidered numbers, relaxed linen styles and delicate florals—all of which the brand is obviously leaning into for summer 2022.
Keep scrolling to see my edit of the best H&M dresses to buy for this summer and beyond.
This is one of H&M's hero styles this season, and ever since I saw Gigi Hadid wearing it in the recent campaign, I've been wanting to try it. Light, airy, and comfy but still flattering, it didn't disappoint. I'm 5'2", so it was more like a maxi on me, but I'm not bothered about that, and I can imagine this being a style I turn to again and again for all occasions. It comes in a few different colours too. The best thing is that you can wear a bra with it.
I don't usually opt for strappy sundresses, but it's clear they're a huge trend for this summer, and I actually loved how pretty this classic fit-and-flare shape felt on. It has a shirred, stretchy panel at the back and adjustable straps, so it's really comfortable, and I was impressed with the quality of the slightly thicker linen and cotton-blend fabric. It worked with my flat sandals too, but the heels make it summer-occasion appropriate.
Last year's version of this dress was a sellout, and so I had to try this new flounce-detail dress when I saw it. It's perfect for heatwaves or beach days and so easy to throw on and go. There was only a large available when I was shopping in-store, and I would usually buy a small, but because of the adjustable straps and elasticated back, it actually fit fine.
I'm a sucker for an easy floral dress, and this one certainly fits the bill. You can choose to wear it on or off the shoulder, which was cute, and the pretty puff sleeves really make it. It does fit a little small, so I would probably switch this for a medium and would suggest sizing up in general to get that floaty feeling.
You can't go wrong with a white cotton dress in summer, and I personally love a mini style like this. The puff sleeves and broderie anglaise details added something a little special, and again, it would be a great throw-on option for warmer days in the UK (or the perfect holiday dress).
I completely fell in love with this dress when I walked past it in-store, and it's definitely one of those I'd ask someone about if I saw them wearing it in the street. I thought the contrast embroidery and button cuffs could easily pass for designer. Sadly, after I got it home, I realised this particular style is not online yet (but don't worry—I'll keep my eyes out and let you know the second it is). The good news is a very similar version is available with the same cuffs and easy shape that impressed me, and it comes in inclusive plus sizes too. Because it's on the looser side, I sized down, and it was perfect.