10 Under-the-Radar Dress Brands I'm So Impressed By

Maxine Eggenberger
·5-min read

Is it just me or did the appeal of wearing loungewear wear off sometime around September last year? While I haven't fully subscribed to the tracksuit life, I have found myself uncharacteristically reaching for my leggings more than any other item which, although enjoyable, is becoming tedious. Perhaps it's the first signs of spring that are beginning to emerge, but I have the urge to wear dresses once again, which is timely, seeing as there are so many excellent options to choose from right now.

I'd estimate that around 80% of my wardrobe is made up of dresses, and however ridiculously expansive my collection may be, I can always make room for another. But choosing which dresses (yes, plural) to invest in this season is proving difficult, as I'm currently lusting over ten exquisite dress brands, each of which has countless frock styles that have made it onto my wish list.

From fun prints by Queens of Archive and cotton house dresses from &Daughter to the cult cut-outs at Marcia and the gargantuan sleeves at Crawley, these ten dress brands are going to dominate 2021—I just know it. Read on to snap up one of the pretty picks from the cool-girl brands below.

&DAUGHTER

Arguably just as comfortable as tracksuit bottoms, &Daughter's roomy dresses are perfect for lounging, working, and taking your daily walk in. Come summer, I'll pair checked styles with leather-strap sandals and my vintage basket bag.

Shop the brand:

&Daughter Rosalie Curved Waist Dress (£425)

&Daughter Maxime Collared Tiered Shirt Dress (£425)

&Daughter Rosa Modern Frill Shirtdress (£425)

CAWLEY

Cawley is British brand that has been on my radar for a while now, but after actor Nicola Coughlan wore one of its incredible puff sleeve dresses post-Bridgeton, Cawley's popularity soared. Expect to see big things from this quiet but mighty label.

Shop the brand:

Cawley Silk Robyn Dress (£490)

Cawley Georgie Gingham Cotton Dress (£200)

Cawley Silk Isobel Dress (£525)

FRANKS

Franks aims to help you look good, but with a conscience. Made using upcycled materials, Franks keeps its production small, but its quality high, making its appeal all the more tangible.

Shop the brand:

Franks The Frankie Dress (£205)

Franks Patsy Polka Dot Wrap Dress (£210)

Franks The Talia Dress (£200)

GHOSPELL

Releasing a new capsule collection every six weeks, London-born Ghospell is set to become the next must-own dress brands to its potent combination of could-be-designer creations, at very reasonable prices.

Shop the brand:

Ghospell Short Stories Midi Dress (£79)

Ghospell Curtain Call Shirring Midi Dress (£89)

Ghospell Starting Point Drawstring Mini Dress (£72)

MARCIA

Marcia's dresses, particularly its cut-out midi, are proving cult in fashion circles right now; for reasons that I think are quite obvious. They dresses are standout, but the jersey fabrications still make them a joy (and comfort) to wear.

Shop the brand:

Marcia Tchikiboum Dress in Navy (£286)

Marcia Mireille Dress in Piña Colada (£238)

Marcia Tchikiboum Dress in White with Crystals (£248)

NAYA REA

Getting dressed up is good for the soul, and something many of us have sorely missed these last few months. So, I invite you to feast your eyes on Naya Rea's beautiful, dolly-like dresses, which are helping me feel more polished, even just by looking at them.

Shop the brand:

Naya Rea Lilou Dress (£400)

Naya Rea Stella Dress (£320)

Naya Rea Eliza Dress (£270)

O PIONEER

O Pioneers is a slow fashion label that takes inspiration from vintage fashion patterns and turns them into dresses that have romanticism built in. Just looking at them is the perfect lockdown escapism, so just imagine how glorious they'd be to actually wear.

Shop the brand:

O Pioneers Prudence Dress (£410)

O Pioneers Nora Dress (£330)

O Pioneers Susie Dress (£320)

OMNES

When I first stumbled upon Omnes, I assumed the prices of its dresses would easily surpass three-figures. I'm pleased, however, to say I was wrong; not that you'd know it by their high level of quality or design, with the gingham midaxi dress serving as a highlight in the collection.

Shop the brand:

Omnes BCI Cotton Daphne Square Neck Tiered Midaxi Dress in Blue Squiggle Floral (£75)

Omnes Organic Cotton Midaxi Dress with Tie Straps in Gingham Check (£65)

Omnes Organic Cotton V Neck Midi Dress in Pink Jersey (£65)

QUEENS OF ARCHIVE

We first introduced you to Queens of Archive last year, though my personal obsession with the brand has only grown the further into 2021 we go. I have visions of wearing one of these dresses to sip rosé wine alfresco in. And I'm banking on the powers of manifestation to make it happen.

Shop the brand:

Queens of Archive Chrissie NYC Dress (£220)

Queens of Archive Grace Dress (£180)

Queens of Archive Viv Scarlet Dress (£230)

SPIRIT & GRACE

Spirit & Grace's beautiful dresses began dominating my feed last summer, though I expect this season will really see the brand go stratospheric. With the classiest mini dresses I've seen in a long while, it might also help me break my midi habit.

Shop the brand:

Spirit & Grace Angelite Mini Dress (£135)

Spirit & Grace Celeste Dress (£145)

Spirit & Grace Aurora Dress (£145)

Next Up: 8 Pieces Later, And You've Got the Perfect Cold-Weather Capsule

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

Read More from Who What Wear