I've Found 5 Easy Ways to Style Summer's Knitted-Dress Trend

Bianca Foley is an influencer and sustainable-fashion expert who we follow closely because she's super skilled at bringing together style and more conscious ways to consume. From amazing second-hand pieces and inspiring ways to rewear clothes through to her thoughts around rental, alterations and new sustainable brands, Foley is our go-to girl both via her Instagram (@biancaffoley) and the podcast she co-hosts, Sustainably Influenced. For the next three months, she'll be sharing her intel with you, starting with her journey from a self-confessed shopaholic to a more sensible shopper.

I have always loved knitted body-con dresses. They are incredibly versatile and easy to throw on. I appreciate that they can be worn in summer and winter alike and can be made to feel dressy or casual with the addition of a few key accessories and separates. In my eyes, it is the perfect item of clothing. I generally gravitate towards anything in dark tones, but as it's finally beginning to warm up, I have been leaning towards lighter, more neutral colours, which allow for quick styling with multiple items in my wardrobe. If you read my last piece, you will know that I believe in curating a wardrobe that is full of pieces that you will look forward to wearing time and again. I believe that buying things you really love and wearing them for a really long time is the first step towards making sustainable fashion choices.

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@biancaffoley

My favourite knitted dress is an older one from COS, which I grabbed from Depop last year. This lightweight body-con iteration is the perfect dress for every season. It’s no longer available, but there are a number of alternatives online that are just as beautiful. I’ve handpicked another COS option for you below. 

Now, let’s get to styling it in five different ways. 

1. Choose sporty separates for day.

Photo:

@biancaffoley for Who What Wear UK

Style Notes: I love the balance created between a really sporty item and something sleeker. This dress worn with different pieces can be quite chic, so I like to mix it up with a brightly coloured sweatshirt and plain white trainers for an everyday and comfortable way to wear a body-con.

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This knit is the perfect weight for styling in the warmer months. 

I rarely leave the house without putting hoop earrings in. 

The most versatile trainers you can own. 

2. Smarten it up with a blazer.

Photo:

@biancaffoley for Who What Wear UK

Style Notes: Adding a contrasting blazer will smarten up a simple dress in a flash. You could always swap out the sandals for flats or strappy heels to elevate the look even further.

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COS always delivers on tailoring.

Add gold jewellery and metallic accessories to make this dress feel even fancier. 

A shoe brand I’ve recently discovered and love. 

3. Go monochrome in similar tones.

Photo:

@biancaffoley for Who What Wear UK

Style Notes: It should be a scientific fact that dressing all in one colour—otherwise known as monochromatic dressing—immediately makes your outfit look more expensive. I love pairing a simple, boyfriend-style shirt with a fitted dress. Similar to the linen shirt up next, this shirt, however, is a slightly heavier weight in brushed cotton, providing the perfect cover-up on cooler summer days.

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The first thing I reach for when I’m heading out the door.

You could also layer this with a long-sleeve stripe top for even more coastal-grandmother appeal. 

4. Try layering an oversized shirt.

Photo:

@biancaffoley for Who What Wear UK

Style Notes: I love styling fitted, body-con pieces with oversized shirts. The contrast gives off serious cool-girl vibes, and the monochrome aesthetic is giving me all the laid-back summer vibes.

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This shirt will help you unlock so many easy outfits this summer. 

Look closely—the front darts add shape to this elevated staple.

Crossbodies make for a practical handbag choice. 

5. Add a splash of colour.

Photo:

@biancaffoley for Who What Wear UK

Style Notes: We live in Britain, we know how changeable the seasons can be, and we all know that even in June, we often need layers. I adore this vegan-leather trench from ethical brand Aligne; it is warm enough for chillier evenings, and the bold colour immediately transforms this into a summer-friendly look.

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I’m just so obsessed with this colour. 

I get so much use out of my Fendi bag; this preloved style is such a great price. 

I really can’t rate this dress highly enough at this point. 

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