If there's one thing I know, it's dresses. My wardrobe is full of them, and I wear them 99.9% of the time. I've always struggled with casual dressing (long-time Who What Wear readers will have repeatedly read about my ongoing struggle with denim—sorry to be a bore!), so easy, good-looking frocks are my most trusted fashion staple.
I have affordable dresses that I wear each and every week. I have special, more expensive versions that come out for important occasions or big meetings. I have those in-between, mid-priced options that bridge the gap between casual and fancy days. I own styles that are ultra summery and best for heatwaves and holiday packing, but I've also got a fair number of clever, trans-seasonal styles that can work layered up and with tights in winter or with bare legs and sandals during warmer months. I even have dresses that I've made at home because I can't always find the exact colour, shape or fit I've been dreaming of. I have some It dresses, I suppose—although, I'm always very careful to buy dresses that really speak to my personal style and that I know I'll wear even when their cult status has worn off. I may own a lot of frocks, but entry into my wardrobe isn't easy. I'm a pretty discerning customer who values quality and longevity above all else.
Photo:Michaela Efford / WHO WHAT WEAR
On Hannah: Nobody's Child Esme Cut-Out Midi Dress (£55)
So who could be better positioned to bring you a very trustworthy edit of the best new-in dresses than a self-confessed frock obsessive with a very picky taste? No one! Here are the loveliest styles I've seen this month—all with a spring vibe.
Shop this month's best new-in dresses:
It's not just the fit on this that I really like; it's the crinkly gingham fabric. It feels more premium than your average high-street piece with the added bonus of being 29% recycled polyester alongside other sustainably sourced yarns.
I tried this on the other day and felt sad to leave it behind. It keeps coming into my mind, and I feel like I regret not buying it, so anything could happen in the next few minutes… This is such a perfect fit on my hourglass figure and can be easily jazzed up for a wedding or made casual for a holiday or heatwave day.
The lockdown summers of the past two years created the cottagecore aesthetic, and while life is moving on, our interest in this trend is not. I'm still here for all of the romantic prints and pretty silhouettes, with this being a particularly unique and lovely choice.
Shop last month's best new-in dresses:
The most timeless throw-it-on-and-go summer dress that will be completely sold out by the first glimpse of a new season. This would even look good creased up from being in a suitcase, and if anyone is desperate for a holiday after three years of no holidays, it's me!
I bought this dress after shopping editor Joy Montgomery recommended it to me via one of our many Slack groups, and she was right. It's so me! It has a simple, flattering shape with a cool bit of detailing in the form of a ruche-making waist brooch. The quality of the knit is what makes this look good on. It's not flimsy, and the roll-neck stands up well.
It's back! JW Anderson's ultra-popular knitted midi dress has returned for autumn, and in a different colour: cream. It's so elegant, comfy and easy to re-style with different shoes and boots.
Next up, these are the spring trends we're planning to wear.
This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.
Opening Images: @hannahalmassi