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Make a statement with this summer’s must-have dresses in striking fabrics – and go from beach to barbecue in style

Pretty patchwork

Tapping into this summer’s laid-back seventies vibe, mixed with a homespun Americana feel, pattern-clash patchwork-style dresses are a joy to behold, inspired by designs at Chloe, Marni and Alexander McQueen. Packing for warmer weather has never been easier – simply add one of these light and airy cotton dresses to your suitcase and you’ll be ready to float effortlessly into vacation mode. Whether you choose a patchwork maxi for more coverage or a smock style in a shorter length, they’re the best printed dresses for pulling over a swimsuit or bikini to enjoy lunch in the sun, or for teaming with chunky sandals for a sightseeing trip. Just add an armful of simple gold and tortoiseshell bangles to carry on the free-spirited feel.

Standout ikat

If you fancy a change from florals, a striking ikat pattern could be your print of choice this summer. Ikat is a traditional Indonesian fabric design, producing stunning graphic repeating patterns. With the ideal loose shape for keeping you deliciously cool on hot days, together with an on-point tiered frill, this ikat-print dress works from beach to dinner (and everything in between) – just switch up your accessories to suit. Try sliders for beach strolls and days out and switch to dressier sandals or wedge heels when it’s time to elevate your look for evening. Team with bold yet simple jewellery and seventies-style oversized sunglasses for a touch of drama.

Bohemian bandana

Bandana print has always been a firm street-style favourite, from the hippie movement of the late sixties to eighties hip hop culture, and even spotted on noughties babes Christina Aguilera and the Olsen twins. It’s now firmly back in vogue for 2022, with its decorative swirls of paisley-style pattern lending a distinctly laid-back vibe to everything it adorns. In striking black and white, this bandana-inspired print dress firmly tops our summer wish-list. With relaxed sleeves and an airy maxi length, it’s perfect for tapping into your inner bohemian. Wear this must-have summer dress pretty much anywhere when the temperature soars, whether it’s to keep cool on the school run or for balmy nights abroad. Add a pop of colour with accessories in this summer’s crayon-bright shades.

Words: Sarah Lafarge


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