Feel-good dresses are my ticket out of my sartorial slump

Follow fashion editor Penny Goldstone's monthly fashion musings in this column...

Follow fashion editor Penny Goldstone's monthly fashion musings in this column...

fLast month, I confessed that the lockdown had stolen my fashion identity, leaving me in a permanent loungewear rut. But finally, finally, I feel like I'm coming out of it.

I suspect timing is everything. Boris announced his roadmap yesterday, the sun is finally shining, giving us a hint that spring is on the way, and crucially, the spring/summer collections are starting to drop.

I've always been a summer woman at heart, I am never happier than when I can wear as little as possible (no not that kind of little, get your mind out of the gutter).

You just can't the ease of a throw-on dress, paired with sandals and a cute bag. You really don't need anything else to be put together in summer - plus the lazy person is me loves the fact that there is no outfit planning required.

Now I can the new collections appearing on my favourite sites (RIP physical stores), and it's gotten me super hopeful and excited.

It's no surprise really, as feel-good dresses were one of the biggest summer fashion trends to come off the virtual catwalk last season.

Weirdly foreshadowing our loungewear/lockdown fatigue, designers such as Molly Goddard, Rodarte, Christopher John Rogers, Simone Rocha and Jacquemus are serving up some dreamy, extravagant dresses that scream escapism. Think over-the-top tulle ballgowns, acid-hued florals, ribbon detailing, feel-good colours and puff sleeves galore.

Here are three extravagant frocks I've got my eye on for summer.

Tove Phoebe Midi Dress, £750.91 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Tove Phoebe Midi Dress, £750.91 at Saks Fifth Avenue
I fell in love with this dress big time when I saw it crop up on Tove's Instagram feed last month. I actually already own the cotton version of it in white and can confirm it's the most flattering thing ever. It hasn't launched in the UK yet as it's an exclusive with Saks at the moment, but once it does, I'll be adding it to my basket. It's an investment, yes, however the fabric (100% recycled taffeta) and joyful fuchsia colour will be more than worth it.

RIXO Jennifer paneled printed silk-crepe midi dress, £295 at Net-A-Porter

RIXO Jennifer paneled printed silk-crepe midi dress, £295 at Net-A-Porter
RIXO has always been my go-to brand for any summer occasion, thanks to its vintage-inspired prints and fabulous colours. The Jennifer dress has been on my wishlist for a few weeks now, ready for me to purchase. I love the patchwork design, merging gingham with pastel florals. I can see myself wearing it with my trust The Row flip flops from last summer.


You can't beat Zara for that affordable fashion fix. Ok, so this dress is a lot. I'm not normally a fan of animal print truth be told, but there's something quite nostalgic and uplifting about it. Imagine it teamed with strappy sandals on a balmy summer evening. Right?

Needless to say, it doesn't matter what you invite me to come 21st June. Whether it's a casual BBQ or a pub lunch, rest assured I'll be turning up in my glad rags, and I won't be feeling the slightest bit overdressed.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.