The milkmaid dress is here to stay – 16 of the best styles to invest in

Posted by
Harriet Davey
Midi dresses

2019’s ‘it’ dress will work for summer through to autumn, and there’s one to suit all styles and budgets…

While new season is dropping in, there’s one particular dress style that’s been at the forefront of our wardrobes for summer and will be continuing into autumn. 

Whether you’re shopping with beach days in mind, BBQs with friends, wedding guest looks or you’re looking for a general throw-on-everyday frock , we’ve found “the one”.  And it’s those puffy sleeves that make the milkmaid dress one of 2019’s top buys. 

We’ve already told you about our love for the statement sleeve tops, but now they’re here in dress form. The neckline is also key to why this style is super flattering – go for a square, sweetheart or V-neck that’ll flatter all chest sizes. And lastly, the waist. A style that nips in slightly under the bust at the waist or has comfortable shirred (also a micro trend) stretchy detailing is what makes this dress flattering on every body. 

Celebrities including Holly Willoughby and influencers all over Instagram have been wearing the must-have style already this summer, and they’ll look just as good for autumn with boots and a leather jacket. 

From plus to petite, the high street and designer brands have created these dreamy dresses to suit us all this year. So, whether you opt for mini, midi or maxi length, we’ve rounded up the best milkmaid style dresses. Note: pigtails not needed. 

Stylist’s Billie Bhatia proves the puffy sleeved dress is the perfect wedding guest option. The Neon Rose Plus tea dress is selling out fast, but you can still get it in sizes 18-28 at Asos if you’re speedy. 

Stylist and influencer Monikh wears the DÔEN maxi dress and as a petite woman, Monikh shows how a longer length style works. Team with a Gossip Girl, Blair Waldrof-style headband and your look will be complete. 

  • Ganni shirred checked cotton and silk-blend mini dress

    Image of Ganni puff sleeve dress
    Milkmaid dresses: Ganni checked dress

    Combining of all of this season’s micro trends in one: checks, shirring, mini dresses and puff sleeves. Of  course Ganni has created yet another ‘it’ dress. 

    £240, Ganni

  • Ghost joy dress

    Image of Ghost red dress
    Milkmaid dresses: Ghost red dress

    Holly Willoughby’s actual dress is under £100. A member of the Stylist team also has it and can confirm it fits like the dream. Snap it up before it goes. 

    Ghost, £95

  • Zara draped polka dot tulle dress

    Image of Zara polka dot dress
    Milkmaid dresses: Zara polka dot dress

    Zara already has a £39 polka dot dress that has been spotted (quite literally) on multiple people all over London, and beyond. Now, there’s another style we predict will be doing the rounds. 

    Tulle, polka dot and puffy sleeved — it’s the mini dress summer has been asking for. 

    Zara, £29.99

  • & Other Stories floral puff sleeve midi dress

    Image of & Other Stories wrap dress
    Milkmaid dresses: & Other Stories floral dress

    When we need a good dress we always head in the direction of & Other Stories. Their ‘new in’ section has so many styles to choose from but we’re drawn to this wrap. Instantly flattering, we suggest wearing it with a straw bag and sliders. 

    & Other Stories, £79

  • Kitri Lenora check midi dress

    Image of Kitri checked dress
    Milkmaid dresses: Kitry pink checked dress

    This hot pink dress has been so popular, Kitri had to post on Instagram to let all the fans know when it was getting re-stocked. Thankfully, it finally has and you can shop it now at Harvey Nichols. 

    Kitri, £125

  • Zara voluminous dress

    Image of Zara dress
    Milkmaid dresses: Zare

    The belted dress is a hero in itself. Go for grown-up gingham and we predict you’ll wear it on repeat, year after year.

    Note: add a straw bag for summer and ankle boots come autumn.

    £17.99, Zara

  • & Other Stories puff sleeve midi dress

    Image of & Other Stories dress
    Milkmaid dresses: & Other Stories

    Update your mbd (that’s midi black dress) by going for puffy sleeves. The side split style is perfect for daytime or after dark. 

    £85, & Other Stories

Asos shirred bustier maxi dress in seersucker check print

Image of Asos dress
Milkmaid dresses: Asos checked dress

We’ve already spotted at least three women in London wearing this dress since it dropped online last week. Naturally it’s a winner for obvious aesthetically pleasing reasons, along with the under £40 price tag, that is. 

£38, Asos 

Reformation Elle shirred floral-print georgette mini dress

Image of Reformation dress
Milkmaid dresses: Reformation mini dress

Yes, it’s another “it” dress from LA brand, Reformation. Luckily, it’s available from Net-a-Porter so you can skip the shipping fees. We can imagine you’ll take it to warmer climates and wear with a straw bag and sliders on holiday. 

£265, Reformation

Miss Selfridge petite yellow gingham dress

Image of Miss Selfridge dress
Milkmaid dresses: Miss Selfridge yellow checked dress

In true milkmaid style, of course there’s gingham. This mini dress will look just as good with trainers and a straw bag as it will with mules and a chunky headband.  

£10, Miss Selfridge

& Other Stories cotton silk blend plaid dress

Image of & Other Stories dress
Milkmaid dresses: Green & Other Stories dress

Green is one of the key colours for s/s 19 and you can see why. There’s a shade to suit all skin tones, and this & Other Stories winner is so flattering. Switch the matching tie belt to a raffia style to make it even more summer-ready. 

£79, & Other Stories 

Nicholas smocked checked cotton-poplin midi dress

Image of Nicholas checked dress
Milkmaid dresses:: Nicholas pink belted dress

It’s all in the detail with this beauty. Covered buttons, matching belt and shirred elasticated detail on the waist and hips is what makes it even more flattering. Of course, the perfect sleeve and dress length add to the full package. 

£229.99, Nicholas

Sleeper Brigitte belted linen midi dress

Image of Sleeper dress
Milkmaid dresses: Sleeper

This is one of those dresses you can throw on anytime and you’ll most likely have someone ask you where it’s from. Add simple gold jewellery and tan accessories to keep it sleek. 

£231, Sleeper

Kitri Lenora green midi dress

Image of Kitri dress
Milkmaid dresses: Kitri green dress

Many of Kitri’s dresses sell-out within hours of launching online and we can only predict this will be one of them. The square neckline, white buttons and cute tie sleeve detail is dress perfection. Team with pink sandals for a cool colour clash. 

£125, Kitri

Nanushka Miro dress

Image of Nanushka cream dress
Milkmaid dresses: Nanushka beige dress

We can always rely on Budapest-born brand Nanushka to create pieces that have longevity – we guarantee this is one of those dresses you’ll bring back out year after year. This helps to justify the higher price point, right? That’s what we’ll tell our credit card provider anyway!

£605, Nanushka

Rixo Tammy button down midi dress

Image of Rixo green dress
Milkmaid dresses: Rixo lime dress

Rixo, the queen of prints have gone and dropped another winner on site. The button down midi is available in size xxs to xl and whether it’s a summer wedding, a boujee bbq or just a Sunday stroll – it’ll do it all, in serious style. Thanks, Rixo. 

£310, Rixo

Opening image: Courtesy of brands


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Harriet Davey

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