From polka dots and smocks to back-baring midis and pops of print, the results of 2021's affordable dress deep dive are in, and I can confirm that we're experiencing a stellar year. With temperatures reaching a sweltering 31 degrees this week, it's fair to say that summer has finally arrived, and in turn, sent us scrambling in our wardrobes trying to dig out our favourite heatwave-proof frocks. Honestly, the British weather can be so hard to keep up with sometimes.
So what are we seeing from 2021's offering? Well, I can confirm that the oversized silhouette has returned, but this season, it comes with unexpected details, such as a cut-out back or an eye-popping print. While I love a good neutral, I am also welcoming in the mood-boosting appeal of colour and print. The pervading trends include '90s tie-dye (Weekday has a great selection), checks, graphic florals and the odd Breton stripe.
My personal fave? It would have to be COS' gathered dress, which looks far and above its £79 price tag. I am also enjoying the return of linen, a dress fabric which is perfect for those "I'm too hot to move" days. Just add sunnies and velcro sandals. I also recommend popping over to Monki and COS if you're in the market for a throw-on-and-go T-shirt dress—the latter has a particular oversized style this season that comes in black, pink and off-white, so all your bases are covered. Ready? Scroll down to see and shop the under-£100 dresses that have been given the editor seal of approval this year.