Last summer, the high street witnessed a sudden surge of ultra-pretty dresses hitting rails and promptly flying off again. There were certain pieces that appeared to capture the imaginations of Instagram's coolest up and down the country, resulting in many It frocks becoming almost instantly unavailable due to their popularity. Restocks couldn't happen fast enough for items like Topshop's polka-dot pinafore style or ASOS's green tea dress. Some of these items were such a retail smash over an extended period of time that you'll find new iterations are still being produced by many affordable brands today.
All of 2018's best high-street dresses still stand up as quality purchases this year, and we'd urge you to keep wearing them. However, if you're hunting for newness, we're here to provide that too. The past week or so has seen a new wave of expensive-looking high street dresses hit my feed, and the below edit shows the ones I believe will sell out faster than I can say "gimme those Chanel slides ASAP." Keep scrolling to see which affordable styles are piquing the interest of fashion's most discerning shoppers…
There are multiple dresses from & Other Stories taking off on Instagram right now, but this is the most distinctive and different. Many trending frocks feature midi hemlines but this is the shorter option girls are going for. The demure neckline, floral fabric and puffed sleeves balance out just how micro the mini is.
Oh, this is a goodie. Erica Davies was one of the first women we spotted IRL wearing the turquoise Warehouse dress the team had been eyeing up online. It is all demure and bohemian from the front and then the back is strappy and sassy. Many girls are wearing with bra tops underneath to avoid having to go braless—it works either way.
I've tried this on and can confirm it's a very nice thing to wear. I'd suggest sizing down unless you have a larger bust. I'm usually in between a 10 and a 12, but the elasticated waist and voluminous cut meant that a 10 was doable.
There's currently a waiting list for this beautiful picnic blanket-check midi, and we'd say it's worth being patient for. An impeccable fit with oodles of detail, this is so much value for money. It also comes in other colours if you can't wait for the cerise and white version…
You'd be forgiven for overlooking this with all of the more attention-grabbing printed dresses on Topshop's website right now, but there's something about this seemingly simple style that just isn't being offered elsewhere. Hence making it quite a special purchase…
I'm a big fan of Free People's summer dresses. They are often a little more expensive than your average high-street piece, but they never scrimp on fabric, cut or detailing. This belted button-through dress seems to be a holiday packing winner for many a girl, and with its universally easy-to-wear silhouette, I can see why. Although the cream appears to not be online at the moment, the Heart This dress by Free People does come in four other hues for you to pick from.
Okay, okay, I know it's naughty to have two dresses from & Other Stories in the same gallery, but I cannot stop what's trending! This ultra-minimal, strappy-backed LBD in linen is proving to be a hit among the Insta girls who we know favour clean lines and block colours. It's incredibly classic and will last you for many summers to come.
There are a few Zara dresses doing the rounds right now. One that's taking off IRL and not necessarily on social media is this roomy polka-dot number (we see it literally every day on our commutes), but the style that is proving to be popular in visible fashion circles online is this very elegant white fit-and-flare style. It has sold out, but another almost identical version has just landed.
This breezy beach kaftan from H&M's collab with Love Stories has been wholeheartedly adopted for the city by many a European girl, and definitely follows a current trend for loose-fitting dresses being favoured over anything remotely body-con.