Having the confidence to pull out a favourite dress in the morning and take it out of the house (whatever the weather, with conviction) isn’t something that instantly strikes us all as ‘easy’. It’s far simpler to reach for the jeans and cosy sweatshirt, maybe throw a well-cut trench coat on top to add punch, grab our trainers and sunglasses and be done with it.

I’m here to show you how to put your dress collection on equal footing with those jeans/joggers/leggings on repeat. To put your much-loved dresses first. Being stuck in lockdown, we’ve all come to realise that there really is no best right now. We’re using a walk in the park, Zoom call and supermarket trip as the ‘new normal’ for wearing old favourites and a few fresh online purchases.

When a dress makes it onto my rail it will generally fall into one of three categories…




For a dress to happily slot into the ‘Everyday’ collection (which is the biggest category I have, making up around 70% of the dresses in my wardrobe!) then it generally is easy to wear, super comfortable, great quality, has an excellent cut and the ability to be layered up with knitwear, blazers and other tops. These are the dresses that look good with a chunky pair of Grenson stompy boots, a plimsoll or a sandal (even a flip-flop), without batting an eyelid. These dresses are KEY.


What is it? Midi, maxi or just below the knee in length. Printed with florals, botanicals, graphic shapes and ditsy, confetti patterns. A great gingham or picnic check. Bold, feel-good colours, blazing brights or soft sorbets. Retro, bohemian, definitely with a 70s feel. Often a little bit grungy. Swishy – it moves well. And there’s definitely a helping of detail in there – dainty buttons, embroidery, trims, pockets and pintucks.

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Next up, Glam. We’ve all missed the glam over the past year haven’t we? Pandemic Loungewear 1 – 0 Glamorous Evening Attire. But the gatherings, socials, date night suppers, parties and events will be back (we just don’t quite know when yet!) and for that 10% of my dress line-up that’s firmly in the ‘Glam’ zone, I’m sure their time will come again.

What is it? Glam to me isn’t short, tight and skimpy. That’s definitely not a look I can get behind, but give me a disco luxe maxi dress, something with grecian undertones or a beautifully draped Italian or Spanish cut, and I’m in. Think silhouette-enhancing, amazing metallic fabrics, lots of flouncy hems and long, billowing sleeves. Rixo, Tory Burch, Reformation, Love Shack Fancy and Needle and Thread are go-to’s. On the high street, Ghost gives good maxi.


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Finally, Beach. The fun one! These make up the final 20% of my dress army that is typically reserved for holidays on beachy shores, or a really, really hot heatwave day in England when the only thing to do is recline in the garden while the kids splash in the paddling pool. These are often very playful frocks, tipping into kaftan territory and should (mostly) only be spied poolside or on sunlounger, cocktail in hand, huge straw hat on head and most definitley not in the supermarket aisle when popping in for a basket of essentials.


My beachy line-up includes a lot of Aussie brands and labels like Seafolly, Camilla, Melissa Odabash and VIx always take the lead when finding the perfect sunshiny vacay dress.

What is it? Lots of fresh and light cottons and linens. Broderie Anglaise details, crochet, lace. Printed silks, tie-dye. Kaftan-appropriate details like pom poms, lacing, tassels and charm-details too. Essentially, if it makes you want to throw it over your Hunza G crinkle bikini immediately, it’s going to be joining the beach tribe.



Now, time to step away from the Levi’s and joggers for a minute!

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For the best knitwear to layer over your dresses, head to Sleeveless Knits To Throw Over Every Dress.

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