Your ultimate summer 2024 clothing guide for work and weekend – from statement florals and denim to the new boho

Let’s not jinx it, but it looks like we emerged from our fifth winter of spring 2024 somewhat unscathed. So may I present this season’s most useful new collection of dresses – dresses that should work just as well in the office as they do at a party and even on the beach, with just a little extra lift. There’s been a lot of fashion talk lately about pants beating wardrobes full of dresses. But I’m here to reassure; While, yes, separates and costumes go their own way, those of us who find the thought of belted pants somewhat horrifying are fully catered for. Versatility is key for any hardworking wardrobe and dresses are an excellent wardrobe staple to avoid as much wear and tear as possible. If you can’t think of at least three ways to wear something and five things to wear it in, don’t add it to the cart.

Bold flowers

Floral Ruffle Dress £175 ( (& Other Stories)

Floral Ruffle Dress £175 ( (& Other Stories)

The much-hyped death of the floral dress is like most clickbait: just a minor distraction at best. Dame Anna Wintour’s Monday evening party in New York was a floratopia of garden-inspired looks, while Net-a-porter reports a 127 percent increase in searches for floral dresses in the past three months. There are still piles of floral print smocked dresses in the shops, and probably in your wardrobe too. If you’re looking for an update, may I point you to the bold florals. More extensive, more powerful and a lot less simplistic than the ones that have dominated recent summers.

Floral jacquard mini dress, Sister Jane, £89 (Sister Jane)Floral jacquard mini dress, Sister Jane, £89 (Sister Jane)

Floral jacquard mini dress, Sister Jane, £89 (Sister Jane)

The Sister Jane mini is great and DÔEN also has a flirty floral mini dress (£245, – the short length feels a lot less momfluencer-y. Meanwhile, & Other Stories’ messy track makes for the standout guest. I love the idea of ​​really spicing up the look: hard-edged accessories, a chunky walking sandal or gladiator instead of a white trainer (please). Think Power Player instead of Trad Wife if you’re not sure. More Bond Street than barn dancing, etc.

The cool knit

Knitted and crocheted dresses are rising in trend — and are perfect for a more streamlined silhouette if ruffles aren’t your thing. At Net-a-porter, searches for crochet knits have increased by 33 percent, while John Lewis has reported a 27.5 percent increase in sales in the past week. The neutral shade makes it a super versatile garment.

Ikat jacquard knit dress, £295, (Jigsaw)Ikat jacquard knit dress, £295, (Jigsaw)

Ikat jacquard knit dress, £295, (Jigsaw)

I love the idea of ​​wearing it over trousers for work and then only when it’s warmer (crochet knit dress, £65, Sezane’s Reneka dress (£190, comes in ivory with a pretty floral stripe and has more of a romantic feel; The Jules maxi from Mother of Pearl has a cool tassel edge (£350,; while Jigsaw’s knitted Ikat dress with a touch of red crochet on the hem is really cool. Ideal for work with a black blazer, and sexy in the evening on holiday.

Crochet knit dress, £65, (John Lewis)Crochet knit dress, £65, (John Lewis)

Crochet knit dress, £65, (John Lewis)

All-day denim

Aligne Cora dress (Aligne)Aligne Cora dress (Aligne)

Aligne Cora dress (Aligne)

I love denim dresses and am glad they are having a hot minute (ideally more). Aligne – the emerging independent brand that’s worth a look – has turned the category into a specialty (all with pockets). I’ve been living in the easy Gabriella midi style, which now comes in short and sleeveless varieties.

Ganni maxi dress, £325 (Ganni)Ganni maxi dress, £325 (Ganni)

Ganni maxi dress, £325 (Ganni)

I also love the Cora mini, which can easily be worn with trousers or jeans as a tunic when it’s colder, and also the Rosa pinstripe pinafore style (£125, If you want more structure, Ganni’s chic full-length button closure has a cool edge. Slip dress fans will love Hush’s Saskia maxi (£99,, which would be fun over a T-shirt for a full Nineties rehash.

The new boho

Carmen dress, £220 (FAUNE)Carmen dress, £220 (FAUNE)

Carmen dress, £220 (FAUNE)

Hold on to your Sienna Miller mood board, thanks to Chemena Kamali, Chloé’s sparkling new creative director, floaty, balloon-sleeved, seventies-nostalgia-adjacently boho, is back. For next season, Net-a-Porter has bought 20 of its runway looks, most of them dresses (take that, sharp suits). To get the look before then, and for much less eye-watering prices, take a look at Faune. It’s a sleepwear label that’s way too good for bed (bear with me). The beautiful pieces, inspired by vintage French and English Victorian sleepwear, are meant for all occasions. I wore the Camelia style everywhere from the beach to the super hot Paris Fashion Week last September, and I was eager to get back into it.

Cheesecloth Modern Daisy Print Dress, £195, (Me and Em)Cheesecloth Modern Daisy Print Dress, £195, (Me and Em)

Cheesecloth Modern Daisy Print Dress, £195, (Me and Em)

Tiered Ruffle Midi Dress, £175 ( (& Other Stories)Tiered Ruffle Midi Dress, £175 ( (& Other Stories)

Tiered Ruffle Midi Dress, £175 ( (& Other Stories)

See also the cream puff-sleeved Jo dress from Loeffler Randall (about £300, and & Other Stories, which features this rather fabulous flounce with extreme ruffles. For true fabric accuracy, Me+Em has had success with cheesecloth – I love the giant daisy print.

The SBD (black summer dress)

Asymmetrical jersey dress by Iris, £169, (Whistles)Asymmetrical jersey dress by Iris, £169, (Whistles)

Asymmetrical jersey dress by Iris, £169, (Whistles)

Black for summer is the underrated style flex that’s often missed in jazzy magazine spreads full of brash, brightly colored options. Ahem. Some of us are more than excited to blend in with the landscape instead of looking like an exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show. I would look out for interesting details that can transcend the boring – see here the one with the asymmetrical hem from Whistles, while DÔEN’s hugely popular Ischia style ties in with the boho trend with a light touch.

Ischia dress in black, £325, DÔEN, (DÔEN)Ischia dress in black, £325, DÔEN, (DÔEN)

Ischia dress in black, £325, DÔEN, (DÔEN)

There are also endless versions of tank dresses, which you can easily pull off on the weekend with a denim or chore jacket (Norma Kamali is a specialist here). If you want something less tight, Albaray has a great linen drop-waist style (£99,

Super shirts

Oversized shirt dress, £97, (Arket)Oversized shirt dress, £97, (Arket)

Oversized shirt dress, £97, (Arket)

For an instant glow, a shirt dress can go a long way. Warning: You may need to iron. Cefinn’s practical linen Lyra dress, available in navy, khaki and cream, is one of those great usable pieces that you can wear endlessly (Lyra linen maxi shirt dress, £375,

Lyra linen maxi shirt dress, £375, (Cefinn)Lyra linen maxi shirt dress, £375, (Cefinn)

Lyra linen maxi shirt dress, £375, (Cefinn)

Floral print linen shirt dress, £450, Alemais, (Mytheresa)Floral print linen shirt dress, £450, Alemais, (Mytheresa)

Floral print linen shirt dress, £450, Alemais, (Mytheresa)

While for those who like it lean and louche, Arket has come up with an excellent, oversized maxi shirt dress – in a pretty pink and blue pinstripe – that I think you could put on now and not take off until October. See also Toteme’s black and white striped tunic (£530,; or for something completely more cheerful: the vibrant yellow-flowered version of Alemais is heaven. Two trends in one? Bingo.

Leave a Comment