This is a glorious summer for dresses of all styles and fabrics, from modern to retro. Nothing beats the ease of slipping into a dress for work or weekend and finishing the outfit with sandals and a bracelet. Dresses that suit the wearer's figure radiate elegance and confidence, and could not look less like a uniform. They are easy to wear from work to dinner out, or from the beach to the gallery, dressed up or down with accessories, jackets, and nearly any flat or heeled shoes. The biggest trend this year is the biggest dress of them all, the Maxi. This blast from the past is still gaining popularity in lengths from mid-calf down to the ankles. The long length creates a showcase for sheer floral fabric, or for the most minimalist black jersey column that accentuates curves and statement jewellery. This summer dress can be worn everywhere, and is especially appropriate for summer parties. Depending on the fabric, it can span three seasons; worn with boots and cropped sweaters or jackets, it makes a wonderfully versatile element for your wardrobe.
Minimalism continues to be another strong trend. Simple shapes, simple colours, and simple fabrics let you the wearer be the focus and not your clothes. These pieces are also ideal for layering in creative and flattering ways. Nothing, however, is more minimalist than a dress, one single all-purpose item of clothing. Along with the above-mentioned black columnar Maxi dress, there are knee-length versions, and variations on the T-shirt dress. The minimalist look is urban, and fits in well at any place that is elegant or artistic. Wear this to the next gallery opening.
The T-shirt dress comes in various weights of jersey and of course in a variety of patterns. The big trend is stripes, wide, narrow, or mixed-width stripes, and in any direction and in any colour combination. Go crazy with stripes for T-shirt dresses that double as beach cover-ups, and more subdued with stripes for work. Always keep in mind your shape and height with the striped T-shirt dress, and avoid horizontal stripes on the bits you'd rather not emphasize. Vertical stripes are slimming and lengthening, and the newest versions break away from preppy straight stripes, favouring the more watery lines of tropical prints in deep, vivid colours. Sun dresses are the classic summer treat, strappy and breezy and absolutely essential for garden parties. They are their most charming when embellished with embroidery or in special fabrics. This summer look for floral and ethnic prints in both regular and sheer fabric weights. If your arms are not your best asset, add a long, lightweight lace or linen scarf as a shawl. How to top off any of these dresses? With the cropped denim jacket, of course. This is such an icon it never really goes out of style and never takes itself too seriously: it can be and has been worn simply everywhere! The ruggedness of denim jackets perfectly play up the lightness of summer dresses.