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The Best Summer Dresses of 2023

Feature: Long Read
Words by Eleanor Hibberd

When temperatures are soaring and spirits are high, only a summer dress can match the mood. Whether you’re packing for the tropics, headed to the countryside or trying to keep cool in the city, these are the seven styles you’ll need on hand (and in your wardrobe).

Maxi Impact

Breezy maxi dresses and kaftans will be your saving grace in sweltering conditions. Play to tropical surroundings with head-to-toe prints courtesy of La DoubleJ and Emporio Sirenuse, or keep things cool and chic in pared-back silhouettes by Matteau, Sir. and Christopher Esber that work just as well in the city as they do by the beach.

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After Dark

That feeling when you slip into your eveningwear after a post-beach shower? Sublime. Hit golden hour in style with a few glamorous options for dinner reservations or nights on the town. Lurex, silk and sparkles from Oséree, Cult Gaia and Paco Rabanne will catch the last light come sundown, while micro dresses are primed for a party.

All in White

The search for the perfect white dress is an annual affair. This year, our efforts are rewarded in the form of lacy, broderie-anglaise styles from Three Graces, Zimmermann and more, while Piece of White can always be counted upon for the crisp cottons and linens you exclusively want to wear during a heatwave.

Woman wearing a yellow and blue midi dress

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Sheer Fun

Spring/Summer 2023’s sheer dress trend may be dominating the red carpets, but it’s never more at home than at the beach. From fisherman-net crochet to fine knits and see-through silks, these styles work perfectly over swimwear – though there’s nothing to say you can’t wear them away from the water, too.

Keep it Short

Hike up your hemlines – itsy-bitsy mini dresses are set to put in some serious legwork this summer thanks to the likes of Jacquemus’ signature skin-baring cuts and Loewe’s viral ‘Polly Pocket’ dresses. Show off your sun-kissed glow with cut-out details and spaghetti straps, or lean into ‘cottagecore’ with Sea and Agua by Agua Bendita’s bucolic, embroidered-cotton silhouettes.

Back to Black

Perhaps more traditionally a winter colour, black finds its way into our year-round rotation through the chicest summer dresses by Christopher Esber, Sir., Matteau and more, where the shade is styled in warm-weather fabrics and sundress silhouettes. Bring in bright and beachy elements via polished gold jewellery and natural textures – an Eliurpi raffia hat or a Loewe Paula’s Ibiza basket bag – and you’ll find yourself the height of summer glamour.

In the Midi

The sartorial sweet spot of dress lengths, the midi has long been a mainstay of our summer wardrobes. Thrown over a bikini or styled up for a sunset dinner, this multitasking cut proves versatile and stylish whatever the destination – leaving you room in your luggage for yet another pair of sandals.

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  • Shot on location atPassalacqua Hotel in partnership with Abercrombie & Kent

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