All hail the midi dress. Through rain or shine, dinner dates, important work meetings and snoozed alarms, she’s always there for us. Comfy, classy and totally versatile. In heatwaves especially, she comes into her own – a light, easy outfit-in-one (just add sandals). For those of us sick to death of our loungewear but not quite ready to embrace waistbands, a midi is the perfect middle ground. A surefire way to look put-together, even when you’ve been working from bed all morning.
Better yet, midi dresses never really go out of style. We may flirt with maxis in the colder months and have summer romances with our mini skirts but midis take us season to season and always return year after year.
In honour of our favourite style of frock, we’ve pulled out the top 10 midi dress trends making up the backbone of our wardrobe. From the classics (simple black and white midis, florals and sleek satin numbers) to our SS21 favourites (lightweight knits and psychedelic tie-dye), read on to find out how we’re styling each one, now and later.
Black Midi Dresses
When in doubt, opt for a black midi dress. Sure, an LBD is iconic but in a midi length you can switch between day or night effortlessly. It’s all about material choice and styling. For a day of running errands, we like jersey tent dresses (basically an oversized version of your favourite black tee), cool linen blends and cotton poplin, worn with chunky sandals or sneakers. Dressing up, opt for satin, organza or lace details, or for another big SS21 trend: cut-outs.
Smocked and Shirred Midi Dresses
Smocked and shirred midi dresses, like the square-neck designs we saw everywhere last summer, are a true wardrobe staple. Dubbed the nap dress for their ease and comfort, they don’t have to be just a lockdown friend. A pair of strappy, lace-up sandals or ‘90s-style kitten heels, miniature shoulder bag and statement earrings transforms your look from cute and cosy to date night ready.
Floral Midi Dresses
spring summer? Groundbreaking. But if something’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it. Ditsy prints or bold botanicals, English countryside garden or lush tropics…there’s no end to the choice. Currently, inspired by TikTok’s #coconutgirl aesthetic, we’re adorning ourselves with playful hibiscus blooms and SS21’s ‘70s revival, retro paisley prints.
Puff Sleeve Midi Dresses
2019’s statement sleeve trend isn’t going anywhere. In fact, thanks to 2020’s cottagecore fantasy, puff sleeves have had a resurgence, earning a spot on our list of top midi dress trends. From bold colours to playful patterns, the midi dress world is your (puff sleeve) oyster. Personally, we love the romanticism of a white or pastel design; bonus points for picnic-ready gingham.
Knit Midi Dresses
Knits in summer? Yes, really. Kicked off by House of Sunny’s iconic Hockney dress and Paloma Wool’s Ikebana dress, lightweight, knitted midi dresses have truly taken over our SS21 wish lists. Now, the coolest girls on Instagram and TikTok have moved on to the next iteration: crochet midi dresses. Amp up the retro summer vibes with beaded jewellery and platform sandals now; layer up with knee-high boots and a leather blazer come autumn.
Shirt Midi Dresses
Combining the polish of a button-up with the ease of a midi dress, this is the perfect option for heading back to the office – especially in a summer heatwave. Tighten up the silhouette and opt for a slinky, stretch material and the midi shirt dress becomes an evening staple. For a flash of skin, undo the last few buttons. Best served with strappy heels and a glass of something cold.
Wrap Midi Dresses
‘Invented’ by Diane von Fürstenberg in the early 1970s, the wrap dress instantly became a classic for its flattering silhouette. It’s no wonder why it’s still a fashion favourite – it really does suit every body type.
White Midi Dresses
Nothing says summer more than a flowy, white midi dress, especially when worn with natural materials (woven leather sandals, macramé bags and straw hats).
Satin Midi Dresses
Bias-cut satin midi dresses aren’t only incredibly flattering, they’re also incredibly versatile. Alone they make for a gorgeous evening look but you can layer one over a simple white T-shirt for day, under a jumper for the cold or tucked into jeans as a top.
Tie-Dye and Marble-Print Midi Dresses
Inspired by the ‘70s, SS21 is proving a summer of psychedelia part two. Tie-dye is back as our favourite summer print, this time joined by retro kaleidoscopic and marbled prints. If you’re not sure where to start with this trend, go simple with one colour in a classic midi dress silhouette, like this tie-dye Realisation Par design.
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