The “Naked” Dress Trend I’m Actually Buying Into This Summer

I’m about to initiate you into one of the biggest dress trends of the season. 

Ever since the cut-out dress revival in the spring and summer of 2020, skin-bearing dresses have become the most coveted statement piece of the summer. The trend dates back to the ’60s, when Diana Rigg donned the infamous cut-out jumpsuit in The Avengers. It then funnelled into the ’90s as a playful addition to liberal, slinky dresses.

What re-emerged on the runway as an editorial look is now gracing e-commerce sites as a fresh take on summer eveningwear. Be it lower-than-average scooped backs, perforated side holes or centrally aligned keyhole detailing, the prevalence of cut-outs can’t be escaped. The design brings an edgy look to flirty frocks and transforms typical summer ensembles into contemporary styles with one or two mere punctures. There’s no one-size-fits-all, either. The cut-out trend comes in a host of variations, from barely-there crevices (no wider than a bra strap) to exposed side panels to O-shaped holes.

Perhaps most famed for its cult style is the aptly named Cult Gaia. Its sultry Serita dress gained cult status with celebrities and influencers alike in the summer of 2020. The release of sweeping side-to-back cut-out styles coincided with the penultimate UK lockdown lifting, and it suddenly became the “going out” dress. More recently, designers including Staud, Jonathan Simkhai and Christopher Esber are fashioning knee- and floor-length dresses with cut-outs as core pieces in their collections. The high street is following suit. Retailers from Mango to Free People have introduced cut-out pieces to their collections for the second year running. No retailer is left behind on this hot trend—even conservative labels have released styles as an ode to the peek-a-boo creation.

It may be a dominant trend right now, but I believe we’ll be revisiting this conversation in summer 2023, too. Keep scrolling to see my edit of the most beautiful cut-out dresses from high-street to high-end.

Who says you need to stick to midi hemlines? Mini cut-out dresses are a vibe all on their own.

This colour is so 2022—kudos to Lauren-Nicole for picking up on that. 

You can never go wrong with a white cotton dress. 

Cut-out dresses can work for those with minimalistic aesthetics.

This Cult Gaia dress has been crazy popular. 

I love the juxtaposition between the subdued khaki colour and the striking cut-outs.

We’re spoilt for choice with this number. The broderie anglaise, trimming and side cut-outs make for the perfect summer dress.

The lace-up detail adds an extra sweet touch to this bold botanical print.

The contrast between the sexy cut-out and the full skirt is magic.

Bearing this year’s sweet circle keyhole and side cut-outs on a vibrant green background.

& Other Stories recently introduced this black midi with a welcomed 2022 twist.

The chicest mini I’ve ever seen with an asymmetric hem for added inches.

The most gorgeous rusty hue with a complementary gold keyhole.

Low cut-out backs are here just in time for the summer sun. Fingers crossed!

The centrally placed twisted knot adds a casual touch to this dress.

Sir has this column cut spot on. This is perhaps my favourite cut-out dress this season.

This is a classic style to suit many occasions from beaches to barbeques.

A subtle cut-out if you’re easing your way into the style.

Ocean blue ruching with triangle cut-outs.

Full drama in the skirt!

This knotted detail brings a twist to the style (quite literally).

A premium-looking high-street gem!

I seldomly shop at H&M, but this piece looks like it’ll last for years to come.

Staud’s design is a ’60s style with a longer length.

The tiniest cut-out reference on a slim-fitting design.

A fluted neck paired with back and side cut-outs is the perfect marrying of designs.

This sweet midi with a streamlined fit is available in a host of colourways.

A ruched side cut-out has a high-end feel. The taught design also effortlessly enhances shaping.

This dress is simple in design with well-considered placements for a modest take on cut-outs.

The linen fabrication softens this statement look.

A sculpted masterpiece made to follow the curves of your body.

Shoulder cut-outs are a subtle way to don the cut-out trend.

Silk and cocoa hues are the perfect combination. Imagine how it’ll glisten in the sun.

The placement of cut-outs under the shirred bustier is clever as it breaks up the shirring.

Front cut-outs are just as popular. This chic midi has the perfect ratio of fabric to cut-out.

Rosetta Getty created a truly jaw-dropping number for fancy evening occasions.

This forever dress is selling fast, and it’s no surprise why.

The A-line skirt references the ’50s-style fit and flared shape.

Up Next: Suddenly, Everyone’s Wearing Dresses With Giant Holes in Them

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