A comprehensive guide to the BEST summer dresses

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  • The ultimate wardrobe essentials for a long hot season

    Summer dresses are without a doubt the easiest way to perfect your seasonal style. You don’t need to worry about coordinating complicated outfits, just throw it on, add a pair of shoes and a designer handbag – and you’re done.

    Whether you’re after something casual or a style that’s a bit fancier, a dress is a great way to ensure you feel confident, and we’ve looked around the web to find the prettiest ones, so you don’t have to.

    Summer dress trends

    This season, you’re in for a real treat, as there’s truly a summer trend to suit every taste. Minimalist linen is always a safe trend come the new season, and we like square necklines to add that sleek 90s touch. 

    Pastels and florals may not be anything new, but this season they’re getting an upgrade thanks to floaty fabrics, masculine shapes and tailoring.

    And don’t forget that big sleeves are back again, 80s style shoulders and billowing sleeves are everywhere at the moment. So find a dress that’s more cinched in at the waist and couple with a basket bag to complete the look. Cecilie Bahnsen does this well, or if you don’t want to invest, look to Zara and & Other Stories for high street alternatives.

    Summer maxi dress

    A maxi dress will always be a good idea, especially for those not keen to show off their legs. There is a plethora of romantic and bohemian styles in floaty fabrics and ditzy prints, however if you’re a 90s woman at heart, you’ll adore the slinky slip dresses taking over the high street right now. Shop the Asos maxi dress on the Marie Claire Edit now.

    White summer dress

    Thanks to the current heatwave, there’s never been a better time to own the LWD (that’s little white dress FYI). Shirt dresses are the perfect office-friendly option, though we’re loving the paired back linen dress too.

    Floral dresses

    You’ll never go wrong with a floral dress, think bold botanical prints in a green hue or try a lighter pastel colour like lilac, pink and lemon for a sugary summer look. This season, the trend has been updated in a sheer way, and we’ve seen some whimsical styles at Sezane and Rejina Pyo. Shop the latest Ted Baker floral styles on the Marie Claire Edit.

    Midi summer dress

    Another favourite style is the impossibly flattering midi dress. This demure-length is perfect for when the weather is a little changeable (thank you British summer time) as you can dress it up with tights (urgh) and light layers or down with simple sandals and your go-to gold Missoma necklace.

    Shop the latest midi dresses styles on Marie Claire Edit.

    Whatever your fancy, we’ve rounded up the best summer styles from designer to high street dresses so that you don’t have to go on a hunt to find what works for you. Check out the latest collection of Victoria Beckham, Alexander Wang and Ralph Lauren dresses here.

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