The best summer dresses from the UK high street, chosen by Holly’s stylist

27 Jul, 2023 | WYLDE Style Fashion

Words by Danielle Whiteman

3 Minute Read

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Don’t let these summer downpours put you off your summer dress stride!

Dresses offer a delightful combination of comfort, style, and elegance. Get the dress right and you’ll not only enhance your individual body shape, but you’ll also boost your confidence! With the various occasions that summer brings, we asked Holly’s personal stylist, Danielle, to put together her ultimate High Street summer dress guide to help you shop smart.

For me, wearing dresses in the summer means I can dress with ease and always look like I’ve made an effort. The High Street is literally bursting at the seams right now with pretty summer frocks from florals to linens and I think the key is to invest in hard-working pieces that will take you from season to season. Here are my current favourite dresses if you need some shopping inspiration this summer.

The WHITE Summer Dress

When it comes to summer dresses, the classic white dress is a must and I adore Zara’s, Shirt Dress with Belt, £79.99 (currently on sale at the time of writing, a steal at £9.99!). It’s a gorgeous throw-on piece that’s super flattering with a belt to nip you in at the waist. The white broderie anglaise fabric is perfect for the office but also casual enough for picnics in the park. When shopping for casual summer dresses, it’s important to keep asking yourself whether they are going to be easy to wear / something to ‘throw on’ when the sun is shining. I also love this New Look, White Linen-Look Tie Front Midi Dress, £12. With the cute knot detail on the bust, it’s a no brainer addition for my summer wardrobe!

The BLACK Summer Dress

Talking of easy ‘throw on’ dresses, don’t be afraid to add a darker colour to your summer wardrobe and black (yes black!) is really having a fashion moment. It might sound strange, but you can’t get chicer than a beautifully-cut, black summer dress. The absolute key to this is finding a black dress that is nipped in at the waist with an a-line skirt. I love Nobody’s Child, Black Bardot Amanda Midi Dress, £75, with its bardot top that flatters all body shapes. I also really like this Oasis, Rachel Stevens Taffeta Tie Front Midi Dress, £29 because the pretty tie detail at the bust softens the hard chocolate brown colour.

The FLORAL Summer Dress

Florals prints create the perfect summer occasion dress and are a completely timeless addition to your wardrobe as florals never out of style. My forever go-to for the perfect floral summer dress is & Other Stories as they produce perfectly cut dresses to to fit and flatter all body shapes. I absolutely love their square neck Puff Sleeve Midi Dresses, £120. Whilst they’re not cheap, they are such a timeless style, they bring them back every year, so I would highly recommend the investment.

For a great value dress in a similar style, have a look at on ASOS at this Influence, Puff Sleeve Square Neck Midi Dress in Green Floral Print, £24. Bargain!

And finally, if you’re looking for a fitted floral midi dress with a sexier edge, this House of CB, Elia, Blue Print Midi Sundress, £149 could be perfect for you.

The PRINTED Summer Dress

When I think summer dress, I think print and gingham is a summer wardrobe essential! I love the zesty green of Nobody’s Child Green Gingham Check Lucia Midi Dress, £55. It’s the perfect colour for dopamine dressing and a holiday essential, I might add. And let’s not forget mini dresses for this time of year! I love this New Look, Lilac Ditsy Floral Tie Back Mini Dress, £19.99. Not only is it purse friendly, but oh so flattering with its fit and flare shape. Pair with espadrilles for the perfect summer combo.

The Summer WEDDING GUEST Dress

If you’ve received an invitation to a balmy destination wedding or a pretty countryside venue, you really need to invest in a piece that can work for all occasions. For destination weddings, I would opt for warm metallic tones fabrics like golds, bronze etc. These colours will inject that little bit of glamour to take you from day to night. I love this soft gold & Other Stories, One-Shoulder Satin Midi Dress, £95 for that touch of glam! If, however, you are looking for a little more coverage, I love the pop of ‘Barbie pink’ (current obsession!) of this Warehouse, Animal Satin Jacquard Tie Front Dress, £62.30. Pair with simple accessories to let the dress do the talking.

The KAFTAN of Summer 2023

It seems like the kaftan is long gone, having been replaced with the crochet dresses or knitted beach cover ups that are everywhere now. For a very chic cover up, I would suggest going for one that’s ankle length. I love ASOS, Labelrail x Collyer Twins Crochet Deep v Maxi Dress in Cream with Scrunchie, £64 (just added to my basket!) But if cream feels a little too naked, there are lots of black cover ups that have slight sheerness to them like this & Other Stories Crochet Maxi Dress in Black, £76 with flared sleeves and tight knit crochet fabric…just perfect from beach to bar. And £12.99 in the sale, this Mango Geometric-Pattern Openwork Dress is an absolute bargain!

The VERSATILE Summer Dress

And now for the fun part (for me anyway)….holiday packing! The key to holiday packing is to pack small, versatile pieces. Think pieces that don’t take up much space; jerseys, linens and pieces you can re-wear day to night. I love this Zara, Linen Blend Halter Neck Midi Dress, £49.99 for a super-flattering day to night dress. Halternecks can seem scary but with the right underwear, you can’t go wrong with the exposure of a sun-kissed shoulder. H&M is a great one-stop-shop for easy summer dresses like this gorgeous Cream Ruched Dress, £39.99.

Enjoy soaking up all those glorious summer vibes – whatever you’re wearing x

Check out these other articles you may like…

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Danielle Whiteman


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