The perfect summer dress for you is out there: here’s how to find it

Whether you opt for floaty, flared, fitted or maxi, it should make you feel like the sunniest, most carefree version of yourself

Henry James said the two most beautiful words in the English language were “summer afternoon”. And the only thing that can make a summer afternoon more perfect is a perfect summer dress.

The perfect summer dress is the one that makes you feel the way you do on that blissed-out afternoon: a sunnier, more carefree, more relaxed version of yourself. The perfect summer dress is pretty, but easy to wear. It is poetic, or a little romantic, rather than dramatic or provocative. Not too formal – it has to work with espadrilles, or bare feet. It shouldn’t be too screamingly trendy, because it is a love letter to the platonic ideal of summer, rather than to summer 2023 or any other fashion season.

But that doesn’t mean we agree on what the perfect dress looks like. We all get the vibe, but that vibe means different things to everyone. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all summer dress. The dress that makes you happy is your perfect dress. Which means that your perfect summer dress tells the world quite a lot about who you are.

If the dress of your dreams is fit-and-flare, your vision of the perfect summer is a nostalgic one

If your go-to frock is a loose, airy maxidress for instance – even something long-sleeved from Albaray – then you have main character energy. By which I mean, you are a little bit of a drama queen, in a good way. Your vibe is sophisticated, but not formal. Surfing the zeitgeist comes naturally, and you tend to be in step with whatever the vibe of the moment is. You love eating dinner alfresco. You have a kind of hostess-vibe going on: great at entertaining at home, a dab hand at “tablescaping”. (For your birthday, your friends give you artisanal drip-painted serving platters, and scented candles.)

If the summer dress of your dreams is a fit-and-flare sundress – as pictured here – your vision of the perfect summer is a more nostalgic one. On a warm evening you team your sundress with a flick of cat’s eye kohl liner and a cold glass of white wine. You never leave the house without fragrance – and you love a basket bag. You secretly believe Saint-Tropez is your spiritual home, even though you’ve never been there.

Or maybe you’re all about a puff sleeve? In which case, you love and embrace fashion year round, but especially in summer. You have an extensive collection of sunglasses and statement flat sandals, and are the life and soul of every picnic. If your puff-sleeve dress is black – and this version by Nobody’s Child is proof it can be – that is because you are a night owl, and evenings are the best part of summer; if you lean into white – maybe a Swiss dot cotton, or broderie anglaise – that flags you as a daylight lover. (Floral dress girls? They live for the golden hour between the two.)

If your most beloved summer frock is a shirt dress, the truth is probably that this is not, in fact, your favourite season to dress for. You are not the let-it-all-hang-out type. You’ll be happy when September rolls around and you can unroll your knitwear and zip into knee-high boots. Until then, you’ll lean into crisp shirting, perhaps investing in a a white broderie version by M&S to show you can do summer. You also like wearing linen.


Source/Full article: The perfect summer dress for you is out there: here’s how to find it | Dresses | The Guardian


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