The past year may have been all about the trouser, but I believe dresses are still the most reliable wardrobe mainstay around. They can take you from working week to weekend fun and be styled in a multitude of ways for myriad occasions. After all, it's not like you could repurpose your jeans for a wedding guest outfit, but you can absolutely alter the aesthetic of a dress with the addition of a belt or the switch of a shoe.
The reason I always look forward to the start of a new season is the prospect of unearthing the trends that await for it. I've already begun charting the need-to-know jewellery, boots and jeans for the year ahead; now, it's time to turn our attention to the overarching dress trends of 2023. I've scoured the runways—everywhere from Prada to Coperni—to bring you the most noteworthy frocks.
From the cool take on prints to an ingenious way to wear florals (it's not what you think), breathtaking embellishments to hem and neckline updates, scroll on to discover the 10 dress trends set to take over summer 2023.
1. Asymmetric Sleeves
Photo:Courtesy of Rejina Pyo
Style Notes: A recurring dress trend on the summer 2023 runways was asymmetry; there were step hemlines aplenty, but perhaps the chicest interpretation is asymmetric sleeves, as seen at Rejina Pyo.
2. Bouquets of Corsages
Photo:Courtesy of Carolina Herrera
Style Notes: If you thought the only way to wear florals was by way of prints, think again; designers such as Carolina Herrera opted to adorn everything from tops and necklaces to, yes, dresses with pretty corsages.
3. Dramatic Drapery
Photo:Courtesy of Coperni
Style Notes: Draping was a major dress trend last year, and designers continued their exploration of these dramatic silhouettes into 2023 by way of dresses. Look for dresses with cascading trains, as seen at Coperni, or opt for statement sleeves on minis.
4. Refined Nighties
Photo:Courtesy of Adam Lippes
Style Notes: Slip dresses have proven themselves to be pretty timeless over the past few years and, for 2023, a subtle update keeps them feeling fresh; additions of pretty, delicate lace.
5. Bubble Hems
Photo:Courtesy of Ulla Johnson
Style Notes: This season sees the return of countless, '80s-inspired fashion trends—think lamé fabrications and neon hues—but the most stylish interpretation has to be puffball hems, which were prevalent on skirts and dresses alike.
6. Sheer Delights
Photo:Courtesy of AMI
Style Notes: Sheer dresses were perhaps the biggest trend on the S/S 23 runways, with everyone from Bottega Veneta, ACNE Studios and Prada showcasing transparent frocks of their own. Me? I'm partial to the black and white styles, akin to this look from AMI.
7. Blurred Lines
Photo:Courtesy of Zimmermann
Style Notes: Ombré or tie-dye, call it what you will; the important thing is that you consider investing in the blurred, watercoloured pieces that will no doubt dominate the market this year thanks to the likes of Zimmermann, Jonathan Simkhai and Ferragamo.
8. Bare Shoulders
Photo:Courtesy of Erdem
Style Notes: Although they never really go out of style, it would be fair to say that off-the-shoulder necklines haven't been as predominant as they were a few seasons ago. However, that's that's all about to change, as some of the sleekest 2023 dresses have a full view of the décolletage.
9. Liquid Shimmer
Photo:Courtesy of 16Arlington
Style Notes: While sparkly dresses make a comeback every party season, their shelf life has been extended significantly, with more designers presenting embellished, sequinned pieces year-round. The key to making this trend feel fresh is all in the finish of the sequins; the more liquid-looking the shine, the better.
10. Take the Tube
Photo:Courtesy of Prada
Style Notes: The '90s aesthetic is still going strong, with tube dresses becoming something of a hero item for those who subscribe to it. Look for tube dresses with next to no detailing to channel the runway mood.