There are certain things that universally signify summer—the smell of barbecues in the evening air, ordering your first Pimm's, and the fact that it's light at 9 p.m. However, to us fashion types, nothing feels quite so summer-like as stepping out in a gorgeous dress (without the need for tights). And right now, as we delve deeper into the warmer months, we've started to see specific dress trends emerge as the stars of the season.
Below, I've listed the eight dress trends that I think you'll see throughout all the stages of the relaxing of lockdown restrictions. Long-sleeved, denim and knitted dresses are perfect for the next few months of daily walks, while the bright-pink dresses and fun minis I've found below have rescheduled weddings written all over them.
I've been sure to include a mix of classic, basic styles and more fashion-forward silhouettes and bolder options for those who want to just have fun with fashion again. So keep scrolling to see the new dress trends I really love for summer.
1. Long-Sleeved Dresses
Long-sleeved dresses are a perfect option for a British summer, as they are a little bit warmer for those days when it's still quite chilly. Either opt for an oversized, billowing sleeve or puff sleeve or something a little simpler.
2. Dresses With Collars
Statement ruffle collars have been popular for several seasons, and we largely have Ganni to thank for the revival of this Princess Diana trend. Whether it's a mini, midi, or maxi, a collar is a welcome addition to any dress.
4. Black Sundresses
Sometimes it's important to make sure you have the basics covered, and for summer, it doesn't get more useful than a black sundress.
5. Knitted Dresses
Knitted dresses soared in popularity in 2020 as the perfect option for those who want to find the perfect middle ground between getting dressed properly and still feeling comfortable. Either opt for a tunic style that you can layer over trousers or a more fitted silhouette that you can wear with simple sandals.
Over the past few years, it has been all about the midi dress. However, for summer 2021, designers such as Jacquemus, Miu Miu and Louis Vuitton all had several playful minis in their collections.
7. White Summer-Is-Coming Dresses
Fashion decrees that everyone should own at least one little black dress, but there's an equally viable case to be made for the little white dress. Whether you opt for something loose and relaxed in linen or cotton or something more formal with puff sleeves and lace embellishment, a white dress has long been a warm-weather staple.
8. Denim Dresses
Denim dresses aren't an obvious part of the season's top-line trends. However, if you look closely, this classic dress is featured in many of the collections from Gabriela Hearst to Wales Bonner. Who What Wear Editor in chief Hannah Almassi writes, "Perhaps its innate combination of practicality and sass puts it in a prime position to win when many day-to-day schedules now centre around being comfortable but smart and many wardrobes are leaning to well-curated, hard-working staples."