6 Summer Dress Trends I'm Beyond Excited to Wear This Year

If there's one thing we Who What Wear editors know about, it's where to find good dresses. It might not strike you as a mastermind subject, but nevertheless, it is something that we're asked about endlessly, and you, our readers, are always requesting more and more stories about dresses. In the summer, a dress is arguably the easiest thing to wear, as it can be light and comfortable yet requires little thought when it comes to styling.

This means that there are certain dress trends that peak in popularity every single summer, such as white linen or beach-style dresses. But this year, there are six dress trends, in particular, that are proving popular, and with restrictions lifted around international travel, we have plenty of styles in mind for a far-flung holiday.

All the dresses below have a classic feel. However, there are small tweaks that make them feel special or a little different, adding new elements to your existing summer wardrobe. There are cut-outs and backless details, plenty of colour and silhouettes so varied that there really is something for everyone. Keep scrolling to see the six summer dress trends we're excited to wear this year.

1. POLKA-DOT MAXIS

6 Summer Dress Trends I'm Beyond Excited to Wear This Year

Photo:

@alessandragl
 

Style Notes: It's official. We're still hot for the spot. No, not that dress, but since polka-dot mania swept the UK three summers ago, it's back and bigger than ever. That is, in dress form. Supersize your spots with a floor-sweeping maxi with a retro feel. (Just see Kate Middleton's recent Royal Ascot dress for inspiration.)

6 Summer Dress Trends I'm Beyond Excited to Wear This Year

Photo:

@brosiaaa

A gauzy, light dress (that's thankfully lined). 

An empire-line dress that flares out from the chest, giving you plenty of room to move. 

Whether it's because of the minty colour or the ruffled tiers (likely both), this dress is certainly a winner. 

2. FEATHERS GALORE

6 Summer Dress Trends I'm Beyond Excited to Wear This Year

Photo:

@emilisindlev

Style Notes: If there is a more exciting dress trend this year, I'm yet to see it. It might not be an outfit to run errands in, but feathered dresses seem to be everywhere right now. Before you RSVP to your next evening event, consider a feather-trimmed dress. It's always guaranteed to make an entrance. 

Photo:

@chasemarieee

Photo:

@chrissyford

There is simply no better party dress brand than 16 Arlington. 

A playful, bright mini designed to be seen on the dance floor. 

Brights like green, orange and pink are particularly popular with this trend, and keep a look out for extra details like cut-outs that will take party dresses up a notch. 

3. THE BIG RED DRESS 

Style Notes: Big, bold and voluminous, the supersized red dress can be full-skirted, puff-sleeved or maxi, but it's certainly never subtle. Wear with chunky sandals or a minimal ankle-tie pair, and let the dress do all of the talking. 

Photo:

@remyfarrell 

The ruffles, sleeves and oversized collar give this dress a retro spin. 

Kitri's sold-out Gianna Tie Back Red Cotton Maxi Dress is now back, available to pre-order. Fabric is limited, so act quickly to get this best seller. 

For formal occasions, switch cotton for organza. 

The plissé pleats make this dress look instantly more expensive. 

4. TWISTS AND TIES 

Photo:

@cassdimicco

Style Notes: It might be a micro-trend, but twisted and tied details are about to get major attention. Relatively similar to the cut-out by highlighting parts of the body, the finished effect is an elegantly draped and adjustable fit that we can't help but get behind. 

6 Summer Dress Trends I'm Beyond Excited to Wear This Year

Photo:

@lefevrediary

Ah, white cotton summer dresses, how we've missed you. We're stocking up on the easiest dress on the market, starting with this one. 

The king of tie details, Christopher Esber inspired the cut-out, knot and ruching trends that show no sign of slowing down. 

5. THE CROCHET COVER-UP 

Style Notes: Although a cover-up is technically its own category of clothing, wearing the sheer, crochet or large knit dress you would normally spot on the beach as an everyday dress is the most controversial dress trend we've seen this year. While it's perfect for holidays over a bikini, you can also layer it over a nude or black minidress for day dressing. 

Photo:

@deborabrosa
 
 

Photo:

@_jessicaskye

You can even wear this versatile dress as a one-shoulder or a halterneck. 

This affordable midi comes in four colours, so you can invest in one of each. 

With your arms covered, show some leg in a raw-hem mini. 

Double up on brights with an orange bikini underneath.

6. ACID-BRIGHT FLORALS 

Photo:

@polliani

Style Notes: Echo the vibrant colours of summer with the brightest florals you can find. Pastels and ditsy prints checked out with spring, so get tropical with zesty yellows, cobalt blues and apple greens in abstract floral prints. 

Photo:

@ciaracherise

You can always count on Ganni for a fresh take on graphic florals. 

This one-shoulder dress makes the weather feel brighter just by looking at it. 

Never Fully Dressed's sizing goes from 6 to 24, so even more shoppers will get to enjoy its happy, colourful prints. 

You needn't book a flight to a tropical island when this dress can evoke the same feeling. 

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