British summer means bouts of sunshine with a side of rain, wind, and potentially, hail. What to wear for tepid temps? A knitted dress! Don’t panic – visions of long baggy jumpers may spring to mind, but these woolly wonders have had an upgrade. Think thick, curve-skimming and ribbed bodycon fabrics, with cut-outs, v-necks and off-shoulder accents that are perfect for the UK’s temperamental spring and summer weather.
Best knitted dresses on the high street to shop now
Celebrity fans include the Hadid sisters – Gigi even rocked hers whilst pregnant. Dua Lipa is also a follower of the trend, choosing styles with daring slits and asymmetric necklines. Other wearers of note are the Kardashians, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Sienna Miller. So, if you’re ready to try the trend, these are the six brands to shop:
Best for bold colours: Warehouse
If you’re looking for colourful statement styles with budget-friendly price tags, look no further. Try the short-sleeved, patchwork check dress, £51.35 – a bestseller for the brand – in a funky mix of blue and green.
Simply pair it with white trainers or blue strappy heels. I also love the green rib knit number with a contrasting pink hem and matching buttons, £63.20.
For a full colour-clash moment, opt for the backless polo dress in rainbow stripes, £55.20. I will be wearing mine to Glastonbury with my wellies. With designs from just £10 in the sale section, you’re sure to find a knitted number you love.
Best for classic cuts: COS
For simple and striking designs try COS. Many of its fabrics are recycled and the fit is hard to match. The knitted maxi tube dress comes in a jolly, power pink, £79, which is guaranteed to boost your endorphins.
With a close cut at the waist, this silhouette will accentuate curves in all the right places. If you’re looking to show some leg, the minimal black tank-style mini, £69, is for you.
This timeless dress will become a wardrobe staple as it’s not too short, hitting mid-thigh. The plain backless knitted slip style, £79, is also a winner. Wear this one for dinner with a 90s baguette bag and barely-there heels.
Best for your holiday wardrobe: Free People
No one does boho style like Free People. Shop here for care-free 70s styles and, like most of their range, the knit designs work well for breezy beaches. My pick is the Kirsty sweater midi, £68, in ‘melon’ green, with a tie halter neckline and open back.
The Rio maxi, £78, is also just as good; it comes in four colours but the ‘ginger spice’ burnt orange shade is my favourite – don’t forget to layer on some gold necklaces with this strapless silhouette. Throw on a denim jacket over any one of these styles when the sun goes in.
Best for evening styles: Reformation
This brand’s sustainability credentials are seriously impressive – there’s a RefScale on every product page which tells you how much CO2, water and waste you save by shopping their designs, as opposed to buying elsewhere, meaning you can splurge, guilt-free!
And importantly the clothes are fun and flirty, too. The cotton sweater Bruni dress, £198, in ‘café’ brown is a button-down which will work with heels, trainers, loafers and more – just take your pick. For when the sun really does come out, try the mini Paso dress, £98, which has a deep V-neck. Thinking of date night? The turtleneck Mill dress, £98 – also a mini – comes in three great colours, including a show-stopping ‘lipstick’ red. Sexy and comfortable!
Best all-rounder: H&M
On the high street, H&M’s Premium collection offers some of the best knits around – and the prices are brilliant. I love the slightly thicker fabric that seems to suck you in in all the right places, without making you overheat.
The light beige sleeveless maxi in a rib-knit silk, £59.99, is a must-have. Pair it with a black blazer from the same range for cooler evenings. If you’re after styles with sleeves, the cashmere-blend pale blue midi, £69.99, is one to buy. I love the super subtle glittery threads that run through it, along with the flirty leg slit.
Best for a statement dress: Staud
This LA-based label knows its knits. Most of its dresses are made from the same signature stretchy ribbed fabric this brand is renowned for – and the designs are always statement.
Take the signature two-tone the signature two-tone Shoko sweater style, £125, which comes in 17 – yes 17, different clashing colours. From navy and white, to pink and orange, to yellow and green, to brown and black – the list goes on.
The Berry dress is also great if you want something low-key that works for both the office and evenings out – the black and cream combo is my pick for a sultry monochrome moment.
For something more statement, the Space-dyed dress complete with a pretty pastel rainbow design is a favourite.