Dressing up again: 20 dresses to get you back in the mood

Fed up of lockdown loungewear? Look on the bright side with this colourful summer wear

Green dress by Ghost €109 at Marks+Spencer

Green dress by Ghost €109 at Marks+Spencer

 

It’s May and most of us are dying to get out of lockdown loungewear (if we haven’t already) and into sunny dresses that lift the spirits and the mood – and in flattering and forgiving shapes. The famous fashion forecaster Li Edelkoort said that, post-lockdown, we’ll want to wear something exotic and romantic, and there’s nothing dreamier or cooler than a long, comfortable summer dress, ideally in a floral or animal print that has that extra bit of swish and flounce, tiers or ruffles. If tired of florals, there are alternatives: stripes, block colours, plaids and ginghams.

Pandemic dressing kept everything functional and rudimentary, from gym gear for home workouts to quilted jackets, woolly hats, leggings and tracksuits for outdoor dressing that often continued inside. Now it’s time to pack all that away, swap function for fun and dress up again. Long dresses can cover a multitude and the more covered-up look prevails, especially in the discreet sexiness of those from The Vampire’s Wife currently so much in vogue and everywhere on the (virtual) red carpet. Balloon, puff sleeves and frilly hems are back, keeping the look a little frivolous.

Floaty maxis offering glamour day or night stalked the international catwalks, tamed with cardigans, cutaway sweaters or hoodies and grounded with tractor soles or stumpy boots for a subversive flourish. A bra top over a long, full skirt was another runway combo displayed with open blazers or jackets, not an easy one for those without a toned body – Roland Mouret,for example, paired bralets with flares. For those who prefer trousers to dresses, sweatpants can be swopped for flares worn stylishly with high heels. But we’ll stick to dresses and here are 20 to get you into a celebratory mood, from nautical prints to stripes, florals and animal metallics, priced from €22.29 upwards. 

Drew dress in Bordeaux collection by Katie Ann McGuigan, £274 www.katieannmcguigan.com
Drew dress in Bordeaux collection by Katie Ann McGuigan, £545 (currently down to £274) www.katieannmcguigan.com
Strappy green animal print metallic dress €259 from Whistles
Strappy green animal print metallic dress €259 from Whistles
Sleeveless dress by J W Anderson €1,590 at Brown Thomas
Sleeveless dress by J W Anderson €1,590 at Brown Thomas
Striped dress €29.99, hoop earring €9.99, rings and string bracelet €14.99 all by LemLem by Liya Kebede for H+M
Striped dress €29.99, hoop earring €9.99, rings and string bracelet €14.99 all by LemLem by Liya Kebede for H+M
Black and white animal print dress €39.95 Zara
Black and white animal print dress €39.95 Zara
Nautical print dress €49.95 Zara
Nautical print dress €49.95 Zara
Floral kimono €49.95 Zara
Floral kimono €49.95 Zara
Blue and white striped print dress €49.95 Zara
Blue and white striped print dress €49.95 Zara
Peony print dress by Chiara Boni €615 at anastasiashop.com
Peony print dress by Chiara Boni €615 at anastasiashop.com
V-neck organic cotton seersucker dress €195 by Ganni at matchesfashion.com
V-neck organic cotton seersucker dress €195 by Ganni at matchesfashion.com
The Elle kimono dress by Faye Rochford made from deadstock €279 feri.ie
The Elle kimono dress by Faye Rochford made from deadstock €279 feri.ie
Polka dot dress by Hache €550 havanaboutique.ie
Polka dot dress by Hache €550 havanaboutique.ie
Isla, pink dress by Heidi Higgins €250
Isla, pink dress by Heidi Higgins €250
Floral print Vampire’s Wife dress €522 from the Outnet
Floral print Vampire’s Wife dress €522 from the Outnet
Essential Antwerp dress €245 from anastasiashop.com
Essential Antwerp dress €245 from anastasiashop.com
Tiered pale floral dress €1,120 by the Vampire’s Wife at the Outnet
Tiered pale floral dress €1,120 by the Vampire’s Wife at the Outnet
Long coral chevron dress €230 by FeeG
Long coral chevron dress €230 by FeeG
Printed poplin dress €27.99 H+M
Printed poplin dress €27.99 H+M
White lace dress €238 by FeeG (also comes in pink)
White lace dress €238 by FeeG (also comes in pink)
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