Fashion: Six dress trends to get you through the end of summer
From crocheted minidresses to sultry cut-outs, these are the coolest styles of the season. By Prudence Wade...
IF YOU’VE spent all summer so far cycling through the same two or three dresses, you might be excited for colder weather and the opportunity to dig out your winter wardrobe again.
However, we’d argue now is the perfect time to really go all-in on warm-weather dressing. After all, when the sun disappears, we bet you’ll miss picnic dresses and sandal season – so you don’t want to waste it.
Some trends have been going strong all summer – such as prairie vibes and pastel colours – but new styles are also making a play for our attention. We’re normally taught to buy our summer clothes at the start of the season, to ‘make the most of them’ – but now is really the time we feel like we could use a wardrobe refresh. After all, you can always layer these outfits with tights and cardigans in the colder months, and whip them out triumphantly next year.
If you really want to celebrate the end of summer, these are the looks to get in on…
1. Crochet crazy
It would seem like the make-do-and-mend spirit of the first lockdown in 2020 lives on, and high fashion has really got on board with everyone’s favourite quarantine hobby: crocheting. After all, if it’s good enough for Olympic champion Tom Daley, it’s definitely good enough for us.
Loosely knitted dresses are everywhere, from the Valentino spring/summer catwalk to a yellow Salvatore Ferragamo minidress we instantly fell in love with. Knitwear and hot weather aren’t exactly a match made in heaven, but thanks to big stitches and strappy cuts, these dresses will keep you cool even when the mercury rises.
If you’re heading into the office, choose a chocolate-coloured midi, or for a picnic in the park go short, flirty and brightly coloured.
Oliver Bonas Crochet Black Knitted Mini Dress, £30 (was £59.50)
ASOS DESIGN One Shoulder Mini Dress in Zig Zag Multicoloured Crochet, £25; My Accessories London Square Sunglasses with Embellished Tinted Lens, £9.80 (was £14)
2. Feeling fuchsia
Sometimes the oppressive heat of this time of year can make you feel lethargic, and all you want to wear are muted tones fading into the background.
However, this August we’re advocating for bringing a bit of colour into your fashion: namely a vibrant shade of fuchsia. Whether you’re wearing a kicky minidress or floaty number, it’s an easy and immediate way to boost your mood.
Monsoon Kali Tie Dye Hanky Hem Dress Pink, £34 (was £49)
George Pink Textured Midi Dress, £18 (sandals out of stock)
This season’s most risque trend is all about showing a bit of skin – but in an unusual way. Instead of your classic slit skirt or low neckline, think of more unique ways to wear the cut-out trend.
Christopher Esber and Alexander McQueen were some of the fashion houses playing around with interesting panels – from scoops of fabric taken from the clavicle, to geometric side cut-outs. The best thing about this risque look is you can really show as much skin as you like – even just a sliver of flesh will be enough.
To really nail this trend, combine with other big looks from the season – for example, a crochet dress with panels cut out, or an unusual fuchsia number.
Zara Midi Dress With Cut Out Detail, £29.99
Pretty Little Thing Lime Rib Binding Detail Cold Shoulder Bodycon Dress, £25
4. Statement sleeves
Bigger really does seem to be better when it comes to sleeves. We’re talking puff shoulders, draped arms – anything bringing a bit of drama to your look.
The trend has even made its way into bridalwear – Lady Kitty Spencer recently got married in a Victorian-inspired Dolce & Gabbana gown with exaggerated shoulders, but you don’t have to go quite as far as her. For a more wearable take on the trend, draw upon the cottagecore vibe and lean into floaty materials and whimsical styles for the perfect picnic dress.
Chi Chi Curve Plus Size Puff Sleeve Mini Day Dress In Green, £55, Very
River Island Rust RI Studio Cotton Oversized Dress, £45 (was £60)
5. Disco fever
Sparkles and sequins tend to be reserved for December’s party season, but who said you can’t bring a bit of that fun to summertime? Designers including Celine, Balmain, Burberry and Ashish sent plenty of shine down the catwalk – and you can too.
Channel a bit of 1970s glamour in your summer outfit – you’d be surprised how well a sequinned or shimmery dress pairs with a relaxed denim jacket and fresh trainers.
ASOS Reclaimed Vintage Inspired Taffeta Mini Smock Dress in Silver, £15.75 (was £35; boots unavailable)
Oliver Bonas Wavy Sequin Stripe Pink Wrap Mini Dress, £35 (was £115)
6. Mix up your monochromes
If you just can’t bring yourself to go all-in on sequins this season, luckily there’s a trend to suit every style. Instagram’s fashion pack have also been investing heavily in monochromatic looks, meaning black and white everything.
You can very much tailor this trend to your personality: maybe you wear a busy pattern, or you want to keep things simple and geometric. If you’re starting to go back to the office and have forgotten how to dress, monochromatic dresses will help you stay cool and comfortable.
V by Very Tiered Jacquard Dress in Monochrome, £30, Very
Hobbs Clarice Dress, £69 (was £129), Kaleidoscope