If this is the summer of the dress then why don't we dress up more?

There's a lot of short shorts being worn by young women these days. There's also a lot of skimpy skirts, boob tubes, bandeaux tops and playsuits (the latter I have never understood...). It's not unusual behaviour in a heatwave. We're experiencing levels of sunshine the likes of which we usually have to travel to Spain to enjoy, so as the temperatures rise, our hemlines do too. At the risk of blaming the weather, which we spend far too much time doing in winter, this super-casual dress code is probably more the result of our continued obsession with athleisure and utilitarianism, two trends that continue to define most of our wardrobes and are dominant in the coming AW18 collections once again.

Dressing down became the new black. But this season is the summer of the dress. From modern but elegant tea dresses reminiscent of Louisa Durrell (if you haven't seen The Durrells on Netflix, you should) to floral fantasy frocks fit for an Olivia Palermo cover shoot, the stores are full of fabulous dresses just waiting to be chosen by women on a mission to make dressing up the order of the day again. I'm one of those women, and these are my dream dresses for the season that's in it.

This gorgeous tiered dress looks so effortlessly chic. I love the patchwork design (a big trend coming through for AW18) and the tiered effect, which adds a sense of volume without creating an oversized feel.

Tiered printed cotton dress, Yvonne S, €680 at net-a-porter.com

There was so much yellow in the stores this spring/summer, and it's set to return next season too. This dress has so many lovely elements to it; the chiffon pleated skirt, the two-tier elasticated waistband and the deep V-neck. It's sexy but pretty at the same time. I love how it's been styled with coral shoes for real impact.


V-neck empire-line dress, Pinko, €230 (was €307) at farfetch.com

This looks like a two-piece but it's actually a dress. The patchwork lace top looks so fresh and delicate, while the bright blue skirt injects this piece with a real modernity.

Two-tone dress with pleated skirt, €207 (was €295) at Sandro

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