If there’s one thing I know, it’s dresses. My wardrobe is full of them, and I wear them 99.9% of the time. I’ve always struggled with casual (long-time Who What Wear readers will have repeatedly read about my ongoing struggle with denim—sorry to be a bore!), so easy, good-looking frocks are my most trusted fashion staple.
I have affordable ones that I wear each and every week. I have special, more expensive ones that come out for important occasions or big meetings. I have those in-between, mid-priced options that bridge the gap between casual days and fancy ones. I own styles that are ultra summery and best for heatwaves and holiday packing, but I’ve also got a fair number of clever, trans-seasonal styles that can work layered up and with tights in winter or with bare legs and sandals during warmer months. I even have dresses that I’ve made at home because I can’t always find the exact colour, shape or fit I’ve been dreaming of. I have some It dresses, I suppose—although, I’m always very careful to buy something that really speaks to my personal style and that I know I’ll wear even when its cult status has worn off. I may own a lot of frocks, but entry into my wardrobe isn’t easy. I’m a pretty discerning customer who values quality and longevity above all else.
On Hannah: a Mango dress from a long, long time ago. So who could be better positioned to bring you a very trustworthy edit of the best new-in dresses than a self-confessed frock obsessive with a very picky taste? No one! Here are the loveliest styles I’ve seen this month.
I’m such a sucker for a leopard-print dress, and this one manages to be 100% sassy as well as look incredibly chic and premium. The neckline!
Did you know Jigsaw was REALLY good at the moment? This dress alone should be reason to investigate further.
The speckle on this peachy rib makes it look far more premium than many other knitted dresses on the high street.
I haven’t had a holiday abroad in almost three years, so don’t hate me for planning my next suitcase right here in this column.
Jil Sander has become a hot ticket again, and it’s this kind of interesting take on minimalism that’s making the brand so covetable in luxury circles.
I bought a few things from Warehouse recently and was really impressed by the quality. It does really good prints for a high-street brand, and this patchwork creation is no exception.
This has all the hallmarks of something I’ll wear on repeat for a very, very long time to come.
It’s pure joy!
Many imitators exist, but if you’re looking for the source of pleated fabrics, then it’s Issey Miyake all the way. This new silhouette is a slimmer fit and will look chic forever. I promise you.
When you find a statement dress on the high street that doesn’t look like anything else available, nothing compares to that feeling!
From the colour to the rib to the tassel zips, this H&M knit has a lot of bang for the buck.
Trust Rixo to reinvent florals for the umpteenth time and make me want another of its perfect, slinky little tea dresses. This colourful pansy print is delightful.
I’m a Christopher Esber fan, and his artfully deconstructed dresses, skirts, tops and more manage to be sensual without feeling too challenging or OTT. You can wear this fully buttoned-up or get creative, depending on your mood.
Knit dresses are my default for most of the year, but this space-dye knit and vibrant pink colour make for a unique combination.
The most timeless throw-it-on-and-go summer dress that will be completely sold out by the first glimpse of a new season. This would even look good creased up from being in a suitcase, and if anyone is desperate for a holiday after three years of no holidays, it’s me!
I bought this dress after shopping editor Joy Montgomery recommended it to me via one of our many Slack groups, and she was right. It’s SO me! It has a simple, flattering shape with a cool bit of detailing in the form of a ruche-making waist brooch. The quality of the knit is what makes this look good on. It’s not flimsy, and the roll-neck stands up well.
I have a wedding to attend in June. It’s a city one, and I think this recycled moiré, bow-fronted beauty ticks all the boxes. Mad to consider something already? Never!
I’m really, really not a minidress kind of person, but if there’s one that could totally talk me around, it’s this super-chic, timeless, elegant and ultra-flattering one from New York–based designer Rosetta Getty.
It’s the kind of easy-peasy throw-on dress that I’ll get so much wear out of… so long as I don’t spill anything on it.
This tea-dress style from Ghost has become a regular fixture in my wardrobe. I have a more summery version in pink and now this iteration, which works well with bare legs and sandals as well as tights and boots.
Anything in this shade of old-school lingerie pink just gets me every time. This is beautiful.
I am head over heels in love with the super-bohemian dresses of Spanish designer Celia B. Every one is a party, with plenty of details, prints, crafty finishes and swishy cuts. This one is my current favourite.
It’s back! JW Anderson’s ultra-popular knitted midi dress has returned for autumn, and in a different colour: cream. So elegant, comfy and easy to re-style with different shoes and boots. This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated. Next up, these are the winter trends we’re planning to wear. Opening Images: @hannahalmassi