If there’s one thing you need to know about team Eliza, it’s that between us, we have the best collection of summer dresses I’ve ever seen. No, really. Each day, a team member walks in to the office to (basically) applause and a ton of compliments.
It’s particularly lovely because our team is so diverse: from size 8 and 5 ft 9, to size 14 and 5 ft 7, plus a few petite girlies in there too, it means we can advise on dresses to suit a range of body shapes, as well as ages and budgets.
It was only right then that I asked the team where they buy their summer dresses and how they spot a great one, so that I could pass the shopping knowledge on to you all. So, here you go! Happy heatwave dress shopping.
Picked by Krissy Turner, Fashion Editor
Why I love it: I’m naturally a cold-weather-dresser. I’m much more at home styling coats, lovely knits and boots, so when heatwave weather comes around, I’m always in a bit of a flap. But when I look at the dresses I comfortably wear year after year, that are just as modest as they are sleek, feel timeless but with a fun edge and look much more expensive than they were, they have a few things in common. They’re all maxi-length, in a block colour and made from linen. Knowing this handy formula means I never end up with duds I’ll never wear in my wardrobe since I know what works.
British brand Mint Velvet always comes up trumps with frocks that tick each of my boxes. This Barbiecore pink dress with a cute cut-out back detail is the latest on my heatwave wish list. Stunning.
Picked by: Hannah Thompson, Beauty Content Creator
Why I love it: I love COS for my wardrobe all year round, so obviously summer is no different. I’ve been making a conscious effort to shop for timeless, staple pieces rather than hopping on a never-ending carousel of trends, and COS is the first place I’d recommend going to do this.
Its pieces are classic, designed with better materials than other high street names (cotton and linen for summer are a must), and offer a simple yet elegant point for the rest of your outfit to build from, meaning a single COS dress can be styled as a centre piece in a multitude of outfits.
I spotted this linen-blend bandeau dress when passing a COS store window and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.
Picked by: Annie Wells, Creative Director
Why I love it: Free People makes the ultimate ethereal summer dresses, and this dainty, cottagecore style mini is no exception. The lightweight fabric is perfect for the hot summer months, and the ruched A-line style means it’s super comfy and the ideal throw-on piece. It comes in a ton of shades, from white to pastel pink, but my personal favourite is the black as it looks great both dressed down with tan sandals or dressed up with chunky gold jewellery and wedges.
While it’s more than I’d usually spend on a summer dress, this is a true investment piece. The timeless style means it’ll have a great cost-per-wear and will see me through many summers to come.
Picked by: Ruby Cox, Social Media Lead
Why I love it: Mango has always been my go-to brand for affordable clothing that’s chic and good quality. I’m obsessed with wearing prints and bright colours and this year’s summer collection did not disappoint. The crochet trend is everywhere, and this little halter neck mini is *perfect* for all my summer plans. While the dress is aesthetically stunning, the lightweight, comfortable fabric means it’s ideal to wear in this never-ending heatwave. I plan to dress it down with simple slip-on sandals and a vintage denim jacket for a carefree summer look.
Read more on summer dressing:
- Chic outfits for summer evenings on holiday
- The best Hunza G swimsuit and bikini dupes on the high street now
- Can I wear a denim skirt or shorts to work? And other workwear heatwave dilemmas solved
Picked by: Hannah Blake, Managing Director
Why I love it: Since discovering the brand last year (I know, so late to the party but I’ve quickly caught up), I’ve been hooked on their amazing prints and designs. It’s relatively expensive but I think the quality and wow-factor make the price worth it.
I have a gold star print one-shoulder dress I wore at Christmas that I adored, and a cute little linen mini dress I wore to death last summer. I’m now obsessing over this bold floral 80s mini dress, which will look so good with a tan (fake for me!). I’ve got a holiday coming up in Croatia and this will do just nicely for going from beach to bar.
Picked by: Lottie Franklin, Fashion Content Creator
Why I love it: Despite its global scale, Anthropologie somehow still has a boutique feel, curating a selection of fashion and lifestyle brands all under one name. Step inside any of its stores and you know you’ll find an eclectic mix of brands from all over the world, exploding with colour, prints and out-of-the-ordinary designs. Prices are often on the higher end of the high street, but Anthropologie is that shop for picking out something special, whether for occasions like weddings and birthdays or memorable holiday dresses.
On a recent holiday to Croatia, I wore this puff sleeve linen dress, which was super easy to throw on at the end of a hot day, but still felt glamorous. It’s half price in the sale right now so it’s the time to snap it up!
Picked by: Lucy Robson, Audience Development Lead
Why I love it: When I was undertaking the arduous annual task of swapping over my winter/summer clothes, I realised that my summer wardrobe is basically dominated with black Uniqlo dresses. A disclaimer: my wardrobe barely changes all year around, so I while I have some thicker, more structured black numbers to get me through the autumn/winter months, in summer the dresses get floatier and more strappy.
What I love about its dress range is it tends to have the exact silhouette I always gravitate to every year: fitted on top but wafty and A-line from the waist. I love that its dresses always combine classic work-appropriate styles and premium quality materials in a range of colourways, in case I’m feeling a bit more exciting.
Picked by: Sally Newall, Acting Editor
Why I love it: I discovered Object in a local boutique, Wild Swans, which stocks almost exclusively Scandi brands, including Ganni, Stine Goya and Stella Nova. Those are very much payday buys, but it has also introduced me to some more affordable options like this Danish import.
Dresses sit around the £40-£70-mark and have that Scandi vibe: cool, effortless cuts, playful prints and textures and bold injections of colour. For a super-easy midi, the gingham Azana with ruffled sleeves is one you can throw on and go. I love it in coral for summer – pair with chunky sandals to add an edge. You can find lots more styles on ASOS, too.
Picked by: Tivina Elliott-James, Picture Editor
Why I love it: When I think of Nobody’s Child, I think of prints, and for someone who counts rocking stripes as pushing the boat out, this wouldn’t be my natural go-to brand. BUT since discovering the ‘plain’ filter, I’ve been in my element.
Nobody’s Child has a great array of dresses in styles that tick so many boxes every time. Want a sleeve that actually covers your upper arm? Hello! Here we are. V-neck that doesn’t go crazy low that you risk falling out of it, but just enough to show off a great necklace stack? Here you go. I love a fabric check, and this dress in linen will make it super cool for all summer occasions, sweaty trip to the office included.