As someone who owns and wears a lot of dresses, I'm of the opinion that no dress trend is bad. Sure, there are some I wouldn't wear, but I genuinely believe there's a place for every frock, be it bodycon or oversize, subtle or saturated. This is something I'd like you to bear in mind when you read this story. Like every other piece of clothing or accessory, it's common for some dresses to lose their appeal over time, especially if they once tapped into a very specific fashion moment. For example, I love puff-sleeve dresses, which are intrinsic to the cottagecore aesthetic, and I'll always gravitate towards them. But as the saying goes, sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing. Although I know I'll loop back into wearing my puff-sleeve dresses in a couple of months, right now, I find myself exploring new dress trends that feel fresh for 2022 by way of new silhouettes, prints, textures and colours.
It occurred to me that some of my colleagues might feel the same about the dresses currently in their rotation, so I decided to ask them which "outdated" dress trends they were no longer excited about. We agreed on the eight below. Now, that's not to say we don't like them, think they hold no style value or, indeed, believe you shouldn't wear them—it's just that we fancy trying something a little different this summer. To counter them, I've listed the dress trends we think are breakout stars of the season. Scroll on to see the eight dress trends we're pausing on and the eight we're excited to wear instead.
Pause: Tulle Dresses
Wear: Tube Dresses
Style Notes: Last year was all about frothy, romantic dresses, but 2022 has taken a more streamlined turn as simple tube dresses continue to dominate new-in sections. Stick to block colours and no-fuss necklines to tap into the minimalistic aesthetic.
Pause: Plunge Dresses
Wear: Open-Back Dresses
Style Notes: While plunge necklines certainly aren't out, it would seem the fashion person’s preferred way to showcase skin this summer is via the back. Right now, there are so many beautiful open-back dresses to choose from. I—a woman with a 32G bust size—am currently on the hunt for the best backless bra to wear with them.
Pause: Midaxi Dresses
Wear: Maxi Dresses
Style Notes: Upon conferring with my colleagues, we all agree that midaxi hemlines are somewhat noncommittal—you should either opt for a midi dress or go all-out with a full-on maxi dress. I recommend the latter, seeing as it's one of 2022's most noteworthy trends.
Pause: One-Shoulder Puff-Sleeve Dresses
Wear: Asymmetric Strap Dresses
Style Notes: I am and will always be a fan of puff-sleeve dresses, but the shine is slowly coming off the puffy one-shoulder dresses that were all over social media last summer. Now, much like tube dresses, the focus is on simple, asymmetric straps.
Pause: Giant Cut-Out Dresses
Wear: Sliver Cut-Out Dresses
Style Notes: Although we absolutely appreciate the cut-out trend, my fellow editors agree that dresses with giant holes are often too restricting, particularly when it comes to finding suitable pants to wear underneath them. Instead, we're taken with the smaller cut-outs cropping up on all sorts of dresses.
Pause: Unoriginal Floral Dresses
Wear: Graphic Monochrome Dresses
Style Notes: Florals will always be a mainstay on dresses—some of my most favourite frocks involve ditsy blooms. However, if you're looking for a fresh print to try, might I suggest graphic monochrome? Be it swirls or blown-up shadow florals, this is a trend that's sure to catch the eye.
Pause: Rib-Knit Dresses
Wear: Crochet Dresses
Style Notes: Knitted dresses are one of my preferred pieces to wear when I work from home as they're so darn comfortable. But now, I'm switching out ribbed weaves in favour of trending crochet styles.
Pause: Sequin Dresses
Wear: Feathered Dresses
Style Notes: If looking glamorous is the goal, there are many dress trends that'll help you achieve it. Sparkle is an obvious one, as is embroidery, but the adornment that feels fresher than them all this summer is undoubtedly feathers. Taller Marmo dresses continue to be in demand, but there are plenty of frugal options out there to shop now, too.