Get to know these summer dress brands that are going to elevate your wardrobe well into this season and beyond.
Just a few months ago we would have considered summer as cancelled. With lockdown rules in place and holidays looking incredibly unlikely our wardrobe reflected how we felt: luxe loungewear, pyjamas we could fashion into daytime pieces, leggings and hoodies and throw-on dresses.
Now, as the restrictions are beginning to ease and we are able to venture outside of our homes there, coupled with some sunshine-filled days there is a renewed sense feeling of optimism. For some people that means the summer holiday they thought had been off the cards is back in the way of the British staycation, while others are taking the opportunity to travel to those countries without quarantine restrictions.
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With this news comes a change in wardrobe and a step away from the clothes that we have been cocooning ourselves in. Sure, we won’t be rushing to the high street to stack our baskets full of bikinis, kaftans and coverups, but we are looking to make some investment purchase in pieces that feel like a celebration of summer.
The amount of summer dresses on the market can feel overwhelming, where do you even begin? Well, as we have made a conscious effort to support independent brands we thought that’s where we should start. Consider this your get-to-know shopping list, a round-up of the best independent clothing brands that are raising the summer dress bar and bringing something special to your wardrobe.
The brainchild of Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, Rhode’s easily recognisable bohemian dresses with rope tied belts have reached cult status. From kaftans to slips and voluminous skater styles, Rhode’s dresses are here to make you’re on holiday whatever the destination.
Give your wardrobe an injection of true bohemia with Rhode’s halter neck flora maxi dress. The sweet ruffled neck and giant bow makes this dress even more special.
Try out the brand’s famous Ella dress in this summer tie-dye print. Wear yours with trainers and a cut basket bag for a holiday-esque hit.
Pink City Prints
Molly Russell, Glasgow School of Art graduate is the founder of Pink City Prints, a dress brand that use striking block-print patterns in easy-to-wear colours. Spending six months of the year in India, these pieces are made with only natural fibres and hand-crafted.
Pink City Prints
Bring this picnic-inspired gingham blue dress to life with tan sandals and chunky gold hoops.
Pink City Prints
This hand-printed wrap dress has got a big holiday feel to it, thanks to its Indian-inspired pattern. Team yours with heeled sandals for an occasion and trainers for an everyday look.
Crafted from artisans in Lagos, Míe creates stylish summer dresses made in 100% linen that will see you through the season in style and ease. From bold off-the-shoulder pieces to elegant slip dresses, even wardrobe purists will be able to get on board with the spirit of Míe.
A Perfect Nomad
A Perfect Nomad is a luxury resortwear collection that is inspired by the idea of bohemian travellers. British-born founder Frances Clark declares herself a nomad at heart and has taken on that notion in her collection of free-flowing dresses made from soft cottons and linens.
A Perfect Nomad
Give you wardrobe a taste of the island life in A Perfect Nomad’s deep v-neck dress. Available to by on the newly-launched Lars Labels, an e-commerce site dedicated to sustainable brands.
A Perfect Nomad
The delicate back details on this piece elevate it from slip dress to investment dress.
Founded by sisters Margaret and Katherine Kleveland in 2016, Dôen is all about a collective. Faithful to their feminist ethos, they wish to reduce the gender gap at all stages of design and clothing by working with carefully selected manufacturers who are committed to promoting women. This message is seen in the brand’s aesthetic of creating feminine but strong classic pieces.
The skirt brings the volume, the sleeves bring the fun and the pattern brings a summer feeling to this dress.
Shop dress, £205, Dôen
Dôen’s take on a nightdress is a dream to drift around in. For a city take on the dress wear yours with pearl hairclips and simple slides.
Shop dress, £197, Dôen
Evarae is inspired by founder and creative director Georgia Thompson’s childhood spent by the sea travelling with her parents searching for inspiration for the interiors of their yacht design business. Evarae is the name of a small boat she spent many summers on as a child, exploring hidden beaches, falling in love with travel and being in the water. Each mood-boosting dress is either made from 100% cotton or 100% silk and is the perfect companion for a summer at home or abroad.
Evarae’s sunshine yellow dress is sartorial serotonin. The perfect pick-me-up for guaranteed to make you feel as good as you look.
Evarae give back to nature with every item, by planting a tree for every purchase sold, including this tiered sundress.
Loosely translated as ‘family wealth’, A.Au founded by Asiyami Gold, aims to empower women to embrace their history, culture, identity and to stay connected to their roots. Each piece is sourced and made in Nigeria by artisans, with 10% of every sale going to building an education bursary that will fund the next generation of young people from Gold’s hometown of Abua to go to university.
Whether the occasion is just a dinner at your favourite restaurant, A.Au will make you feel like you are dress for celebration in this green ruffled dress.
A.Au’s silk off-the-shoulder dress is all out glamour, and we are here for it. Finish your look with fine gold hoops and simple barely there sandals.
Shop dress, £179, A.Au
Ciao Lucia is a California based label created and designed by Lucy Akin and launched in June 2017. The idea of Ciao Lucia, which is garnering plenty of attention with your favourite Instagram influencers, is the girl on eternally seeking sun – lots of light pieces you would want to wear at the beach, by the pool or just to enjoy that summer sun. With limited runs of product and slower pace of production, Ciao Lucia is made to last.
Finish off this perfect white dress with simple slides and a basket bag for an effortless French Riviera look.
Ciao Lucia’s midi slip dress has a nostalgic feel, complete your look with box fresh trainers and a 90s-inspired shoulder bag.
Images: Courtesy of brands