Our We Try Before You Buyseries aims to take the stress out of shopping and eliminate the number of post office visits you make each month to return failed online orders. We test new-season buys and styling ideas so you don't have to. Here, we're letting you know what is actually worth investing in.
If the Zara polka-dot dress has taught us anything, it's that British women love to get behind a printed dress. You might think that by now we've featured every single summer dress there is to see, but our editors have found nine more that deserve shouting about. For this month's We Try Before You Buy, we have returned to summer dresses—trying on floral, striped and checked midis and minis.
Topshop has really delivered on the dress front this year, and we were impressed by the green tea dress and patchwork sleeveless midi that are both less than £50. Also in our shortlist is a new cult Ganni dress and a Warehouse midi that truly defies its price tag. Keep scrolling to see and shop the nine printed dresses our team couldn't wait to try on this month.
Olivia von Halle
Who What Wear
"Since the start of my pregnancy, bias-cut skirts and dresses have been a reliable option for me. I've been buying items a size up in order to get plenty of wear out of them, and this delightful floral dress will still fit just as nicely next year sans bump. Bias cuts can work when they're both smaller and bigger because of the way they wrap around the body. The autumnal colours make for a great wedding-guest option for the next couple of months, but you could also wear this for smart work events and evening dos." — Hannah Almassi, editor in chief
"I like that this dress is both clingy but doesn't make me feel like I'm on display. It's got hidden sass—the ideal frock, really. Not everyone loves florals, but I think autumn/winter 2019's darker take on the print will win a lot of people over, especially when they're like this." — Elinor Block, assistant editor
On the hanger, I really wasn't fussed by this dress (I thought the ruffles and '80s shoulders would be way too frumpy), but it has a surprisingly flattering and modern silhouette, and the green print is really punchy.
"We Try Before You Buy? More like I try, I buy! This dress is now mine, and I'm very happy about it. From the offbeat colours to the slinky fabric, this is one of the coolest styles I've found to house my seven-month pregnancy bump. It'll work well in winter with a pair of suede knee-high boots (I've got some in the burgundy that's in this mix), but right now, it's just perfect with sandals." — Hannah
"I first saw this Ganni dress on Instagram and instantly fell in love. Green? Check. Checkered? Check. Mini (I'm loving a minidress all over again)? Check, check, check. I'd team this with boots (pictured here) for dinner and drinks out, or Birkenstocks for day-to-day wear." — Alyss Bowen, social media editor
This is one of those dresses I just felt really good in as soon as I put it on. If you like your dresses as pretty as can be, this is for you. The sheer sleeves with delicate buttons feel really premium, and the quality justifies the slightly higher price for Ghost.
"I didn't think I had left any stone unturned when it came to the best summer dresses on the high street, but then ASOS had to go and create this stunner, and now I can't stop thinking about it. Thanks, ASOS. The balloon sleeves and unusual colour-way are what makes this midi look so high-end. It's the sort of dress that will look cute now with chunky sandals, but come September will be even better with knee-high boots and a trench coat." — Joy Montgomery, acting assistant editor
"Full disclosure: I first tried this dress on in a panic when looking for a dress for my brother's wedding. In my flustered state, I decided against it, but looking back, I now have absolutely no idea why, as it's the perfect 'throw on and go' dress that would work for weddings, a day at the office or a picnic in the park! Go forth and try it on—you won't regret it!" — Alyss
"I wasn't totally sold on wearing something so formfitting, but I love Warehouse dresses. As usual, the brand didn't let me down. This is great to wear with white or black boots, and ideal if you've got a slightly larger bust." — Elinor