Floaty summer dresses that are perfect for life in lockdown

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After weeks of wearing casual, “stay at home” attire it can be easy to find yourself stuck in a sartorial rut that consists of nothing but baggy tracksuit bottoms, stretchy leggings and, when you’re feeling really fancy, a matching loungewear set.

But, as the weather warms up and Boris Johnson gives us the green light to have socially distanced picnics in the park (alone or with other members of your household), now is the time to give our wardrobes a much-needed upgrade.

You’d be forgiven for assuming that dresses should be reserved for fancy occasions, but with no way of knowing just how long we are going to have to wait for bars to reopen or how summer weddings plans will pan out, why deny yourself the luxury of seasonal style’s biggest asset?


Summer dresses are without a doubt the easiest way to ease yourself back into wearing “normal” clothes as you don’t need to worry about coordinating complicated outfits. Simply throw it on, add a pair of sandals, a classic handbag and your favourite pair of sunnies, and you’re ready for anything – be it a BBQ in your back garden, a trip to the supermarket, or maybe even a Friday night Zoom party.

Despite the ongoing lockdown situation, retailers have not let their standards slip, with a multitude of floaty frocks designed to suit every taste, and budget, hitting the new-in section of our favourite brands.

Puff Sleeve Dress, £49.99, Zara; Black and White Gingham Smock Midi Dress, £35, Topshop; Long Lyocell-Blend Dress, £39.99, H&M; Voluminous Open Back Midi Dress, £135, & Other Stories​

For those who prefer a minimalist take, square necks and breezy linen are on the menu at retailers such as Topshop and H&M, while those who have a penchant for pastel shades and florals should head straight to Ghost London.

Thanks to the current heatwave, there has also never been a better time to invest in a LWD (little white dress) which are often the solution to any summer style problem. Not only are they appropriate for just about every event—except a virtual wedding, of course— but they allow for endless accessorising options, from leather flatforms to chunky trainers and brightly coloured bags.

Love Shack Fancy, Ensley Shirred Floral Mini Dress, £376.19, Net-a-Porter;  Ganni, Floral Print Satin Midi Dress, £205, Net-a-Porter; Faithfull The Brand, Sage Floral Crepe Mini Dress, £150, Selfridges; Floral Print Dress, £49.99, Zara

Puffed-out, billowing sleeves and prairie gowns are also big news this season, meaning you will be hard-pressed to scroll your way through a website without coming across one and instantly adding it to your basket. Danish fashion designer Cecilie Bahnsen does this style particularly well but you can easily replicate the look for less on the high street thanks to stalwarts such as Zara and & Other Stories.

When it comes to length, midi-dresses continue to reign supreme and promise to serve you well in the months ahead, whatever the weather. However, those keen to make the most of the sunshine should opt for mini dresses in lightweight materials and floaty silhouettes, such as smock styles and broderie anglaise.

Embroidered Dress with Gathered Panels, £55, Cos; Puff Sleeved Dress, £19.99, H&M; Laser-Cut Details Dress, £29.99, Mango; Olivia Rubin, Annie Puffed-Sleeve Midi Dress, £350, Selfridges

Whether you’re spending the foreseeable lounging on the sofa, heading for a stroll or simply want to wear something else other than jogging bottoms, give yourself a reason to get dressed with our pick of this summer’s most covetable frocks.

Our fashion roundups are unbiased. On some occasions, we may earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to affect our coverage.

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