If summer were a dress it would be a maxi. There’s something so enticing about a floor length maxi dress, all that fabric swishing around your (bare) ankles. Throw in a great feel-good print, bold block colour or sun-bleached white finish and the exotic holiday appeal goes way off the scale.

H&M’s chiffon maxi dress is all kinds of right with its billowing shape, tie sides and spaghetti straps. A non-apologetic tribute to Chloe’s Spring/Summer 2016 runway gowns, here you have elegant romanticism in spades, and at such an accessible price, it’s a yes from me.

What these photos can’t tell you is that the ombre print is really luxurious and special. The teal, ochre and white each has punch, yet they blend together well. It’s almost like a painting that you can’t stop staring at – the eye travels and it all feels rather satisfying!

On the practicality side of things, there’s not many maxi dresses out there that I’d happily wear both on the beach and to a formal summer wedding. Lift with metallic 70s platforms or a heavily embellished evening bag and this dress suddenly becomes occasion wear.

Here are the top maxi dress buys out there right now, plus tip-off’s of where fashion insiders head when a floor-sweeper is on the hit list. Vacay, wedding, city break, day at the races, big night out and shopping trips with the girls approved.

Maxi Dress Shopping Heroes

Best For Bohemian Luxe: Freepeople

The American boutique label epitomises bohemian, care-free glamour. Think surf chicks on a night out. Prepare to spend hours drooling over the rock n roll styling.

The Designer Choice: Alice + Olivia

Since 2002 Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet has given us sophisticated floor sweepers with added edgy twists to really make impact.

Top Spanish Export: Mango 

The Spanish maxi dress go-to can count Kendall Jenner and Kate Moss as famed supermodels who’ve fronted its campaigns. Fast overtaking Zara in the chic stakes when it comes to dresses this season.

London’s Boutique Buy: Ghost

Quintessentially British brand famed for its uber elegant, cut-on-the-bias bridesmaid dresses. Don’t be put off by the slinky fits at first glance, these are seriously flattering on.