The best summer dress brands to have on your radar

Posted by for Fashion

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. 

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.  

Rhode 

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. 

  • Rhode

    Rhode floral print maxi dress
    Best summer dress brands: Rhode

    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. 

    Shop dress, £435, Rhode

  • Rhode

    Rhode tie dye rope mini dress
    Best summer dress brands: Rhode

    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. 

    Shop dress, £234, Rhode 

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

    Pink cIty Prints blue gingham rah rah dress
    Best summer dress brands: Pink City Prints

    Bring this picnic-inspired gingham blue dress to life with tan sandals and chunky gold hoops. 

    Shop dress, £160, Pink City Prints 

  • Pink City Prints

    Pink City Prints sorbet wrap dress with frill
    Best summer dress brands: 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. 

    Shop dress, £160, Pink City Prints 

Míe

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. 

  • Míe

    Míe red off the shoulder dress
    Best summer dress brands: Míe

    Does it get more glamorous that an off-the-shoulder red dress? (No, it doesn’t). 

    Shop dress, £175, Míe

  • Míe

    Míe one shoulder white dress
    Best summer dress brands: Míe

    Style up this simple white dress with layers of fine gold jewellery and simple sandals for an elegant look. 

    Shop dress, £167, 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. 

Dôen 

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. 

  • Dôen

    Dôen dress
    Best summer dress brand: Dôen

    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

    Dôen nightdress
    Best summer dress brands: 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 

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

    Evarae yellow off-the-shoulder dress
    Best summer dress brands: Evarae

    Evarae’s sunshine yellow dress is sartorial serotonin. The perfect pick-me-up for guaranteed to make you feel as good as you look. 

    Shop dress, £375, Evarae 

  • Evarae

    Evarae yellow sundress
    Best summer dress brands: Evarae

    Evarae give back to nature with every item, by planting a tree for every purchase sold, including this tiered sundress. 

    Shop dress, £450, Evarae 

A.AU 

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. 

  • A.Au

    A.Au green ruffled dress
    Best summer dress brands: A.Au

    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. 

    Shop dress, £222, A.Au 

  • A.Au

    A.Au
    Best summer dress brands: A.Au

    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 

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. 

  • Ciao Lucia

    Ciao Lucia white dress
    Best summer dress brands: Ciao Lucia

    Finish off this perfect white dress with simple slides and a basket bag for an effortless French Riviera look. 

    Shop dress, £279, Ciao Lucia 

  • Ciao Lucia

    Ciao Lucia yellow dress
    Best summer dress brands: Ciao Lucia

    Ciao Lucia’s midi slip dress has a nostalgic feel, complete your look with box fresh trainers and a 90s-inspired shoulder bag. 

    Shop dress, £251, Ciao Lucia

Images: Courtesy of brands 

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