The dress maketh the woman (or something to that effect) – so best make it a knockout, right? From serious to seductive and everything in between, we’ve rounded up summer’s highlight reel of frocks in demand.
The Baboushka Dress
A little folksy persona hints and a summer spent abroad, no plane ticket required. Look for belted styles that nip in at the waist (a billowy sleeve combines with this to create an hourglass silhouette in an instant) – save your caftan styles for the sand.
Stylist Tip: As this is enough of a conversation starter on its own, best keep your accessories simplified – a tan sandal or heel, a woven belt and a neutral or metallic clutch ticks all the right boxes.
Embroidered dress, $229 from Country Road
Shirred waist dress, $149.95 from Witchery
‘Fun In The Sun’ dress, $1,395 from Sarah J Curtis
We’ve seen the colour carousel spin from LBD to LWD last summer, now arriving at the LRD in 2016 (that’s little red dress – we’ve moving on from neutrals). Unless it’s a relatively formal occasion, keep your hemlines below the knee and above so as not to swathe yourself in the shade.
Stylist Tip: Colour-wise, fairer skin tones should steer towards blue-based shades, whereas olive and darker complexions pop against a yellow, slightly more citrus take. Nudes and dove grey work best against red (black is a little harsh in summer – save that for the cooler months), so lighten the mood in with neutral tailoring, a chic pump and structured clutch or tote.
Batwing wrap dress, £46.00 from Topshop
Georgette dress, $357 from Michael Michael Kors
Fitted dress, $595 from Lover
The Silky Slip
Whilst the ‘90s may or may not have represented ‘grunge’ to you, the slip dress was the icon of the era. This season a coming of age took place, growing up gracefully into a much more refined take on its younger years.
Stylist Tips: Perfect for the pear-shaped among us, it highlights those slender shoulders whilst skimming over a curvy hip. Given the simplicity of the slip, you’re free to go to town on your accessories – a clean-lined pop of colour or flash of metallic is always welcome. Outerwear-wise a long, lightweight silk duster jacket or belted option works best with this shape – steer clear of anything that hits you right on the hip, as that’ll visually amplify that area of your silhouette.
Satin slip dress, $189.95 from Witchery
Zara slip dress, $69.95, (02) 9376 7600
Slip dress, $572 from Protagonist
The Off-The-Shoulder Boatneck
Think of it as the strapless with a little added extra pizzaz – an all singing, all dancing cocktail dress for a bada-bing silhouette. Steer clear if you’re wide in the shoulder, as it’ll amplify the width; hourglass, pears and athletic narrow shapes benefit most from a boatneck.
Stylist Tip: Play it up in a nod to nautical with an espadrille and woven bag for day, or dress it up for night with a lace-up heel and block colour handbag – plus, those bare shoulders are begging for a drop earring on show.
Stripe off-the-shoulder dress, $179 from Country Road
Off-the-shoulder wrap dress, £46.00 from Topshop
Off-the-shoulder maxi dress, $129.95 from Seed
The Graphic Shift
Streamlined, classic, ladylike: all adjectives inherently applied to the shift dress time and time again, right? Whilst these may still be the case, the shift’s taken a sharp left turn and #TBT-ing it to it’s Mod heyday – all while streamlining your silhouette without breaking a sweat.
Stylist Tip: Bring it into the 21st century with a slight nod to athleticism in your accessories – think a sporty white strappy heel, a minimalistic clutch or tote and silver arm candy.
Printed silk shift dress, $289 from David Lawrence
Textured shift dress with peplum hem, $259 from Marcs
Textured shift dress by Boutique, £95.00 from Topshop
The Backless Dress
The mere utter of ‘backless’ amongst the bigger busted among us may send shivers down an exposed spine, but hear me out – it’s entirely wearable with a few clever styling tricks.
Stylist Tips: You can go the adhesive route (Bras & Things to a particularly great underbust and uplift combo), or a stick on bra (again, Bras & Things or Fashion Forms work wonders) – or use it as an opportunity to highlight a bra that needs to be on show in the first place. Being that it’s quite dramatic in silhouette, a simple array of accessories is all that’s needed – try a lace-up flat or open toe two strap heel depending on the occasion, paired back with a envelope clutch or small tote. Going sans jacket is preferred, but if you do need a little something over the shoulders a boyfriend blazer does the job without crushing your outfit (wear it over the shoulders for a little peek at what’s underneath).
Eyelet dress, $179.95 from Witchery
Backless halterneck twill wrap dress, $615 from Raey
The Slouchy Wrap
DVF has campaigned for years on the benefits of a wrap dress, with good reason – it really truly works universally on any body shape. Ticking boxes across the office and evening wear, it’s not often you see a casual take on the wrap – enter it’s slouchier, more relaxed sister, ready for summer in that louche attitude perfect for any beach to bar scenario.
Stylist Tip: A neutral heel elongates that silhouette even further, so look to a pump or strappy suede number to add extra centimetres to your frame.
Wrap dress, $179 from Country Road
‘Dee’ V-neck wrap dress, $269 from Melissa Odabash
feature image via zimbio