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: An old Ghost dress I wear at least once a fortnight. 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 week…
The colour! The collar! The ribbed jersey! The waist tie! This amazing high street dress has everything going for it, in my opinion.
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.
Should I just turn this into a ribbed knit dress gallery? Quite possibly! It’s my favourite trend for the season, and there are so many good options out there. Add a big vintage belt to this and it will look really unique.
It’s the dramatic sleeves for me!
I have this easy day dress and it’s even lovelier IRL. The skirt is really full, the jersey fabric is quite heavy (and so more flattering) and I style it up to have a ’70s feel with knee boots and a gold medallion.
The SS22 shows have proven that black cut-out dresses are still going to be popular well into next year and this one looks really premium. Nice for party season but also great for next summer’s holidays…
This green is just glorious!
I’m at the stage where this gallery should just become a story full of COS dresses, they’re THAT good right now.
This dress is haunting me! Ever since I spotted it in Zara’s new-in section a few days ago, I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t know if I’ll be able to pull of the matching hat, scarf and gloves, but the dress alone with knee boots would be ultra chic.
I have two plain dresses in this shape and wear them on repeat each winter. The look cool worn loosely, but also feel a bit sassier with a vintage belt.
RI Studio has just landed and it’s full of the kind of throw-on, super-easy pieces you want right now. This is a pretty timeless shape that will look good for many seasons to come.
If you have a party, wedding or fancy do coming up, this is the dress to beat!
Chloé’s new collection has been created by designer Gabriela Hearst and to say it’s going to be popular is an understatement. Expect to see this incredible striped dress (along with the matching bag) during fashion month and on Instagram in no time…
Tove’s signature ruched dresses now come in a more autumnal form with long sleeves, slinky fabrics and a slightly shorter hemline. Divine.
Rixo strikes again! This time I’m hooked on their autumnal paisley prints, a trend that I think we’ll see a lot more of next season.
There are a couple of great denim dresses in this gallery. Why? Because they’re so chic and easy to wear. This cinched-waist style is elegant and will look good forever.
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.
From the collar to the swingy back, the big cuffs to the muted blue… everything about this dress just looks SO premium.
I know we are months away from a potential party season, but if I were being super-organised, this is the fancy dress I’d get.
Marant’s autumn paisley prints are coming in and they’re lovely. Styled on the runways with chunky waist belts and cowboy boots, you can toughen up these pretty patterns or keep them light and sweet with strappy sandals.
There’s a big movement for modestly-cut knitted dresses and this is a very chic version I’d regret not having when the temps drop.
Australian designer Christopher Esber’s cut-out waistlines have become something of a phenomenon this year, and his summer pieces have been selling fast. The trend is set to continue well into autumn/winter (no, fashion people don’t feel the cold), and I think this cashmere-blend version does the look in a very sophisticated, subtle way (yes, fashion people are already thinking about shopping for autumn). Next up, these are the autumn trends we’re planning to wear. This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated. Additional imagery: @hannahalmassi