It would be an understatement to say that party dresses have been languishing in the back of our wardrobes for a considerable amount of time. Sure, we might have pulled them out for the odd birthday Zoom party or on Christmas Day when we wanted to be extra fancy, but most of the time, even when we've been outside, we've stuck to jeans, a tee and maybe a blazer. Party dresses, on the other hand, have continued to be ignored. Well, no longer, we say! It's time to embrace joyful dressing. Whether or not you have any actual parties coming up, there are plenty of pub-, restaurant- and picnic-ready frocks that are exactly what you need to lift your mood and break out of any style rut you might be experiencing.
I've gone through quite literally hundreds of dresses that are available right now and found 27 of the best that I'd describe as showstopping. I should point out that I've avoided too much sparkle or sequins, as I think for summer, most of us are after bold colours and frocks that are comfortable to walk around in if the weather is a little warmer. There's nothing chic about sweating in a party dress.
With this in mind, I've found a range of dresses from minis to maxis that will work for any occasion. If you are managing to get to a wedding, any of the below will work. But if you're just after something to wow friends for drinks, then we've also got that covered. Keep scrolling for more.
COS Long Crinkled Dress (£59)
This might be a simple-looking dress, but thanks to the stunning colour, it's one to snap up.
& Other Stories Jacquard Puff Sleeve Midi Dress (£95)
Zara Mini Dress With Draped Detail (£50)
Pair with gold jewellery for added oomph.
Kai Collective Bea Dress Ginger (£120)
How great is this colour?
Ganni Gathered Metallic Jacquard Midi Dress (£205)
Want to go a bit out-there? Ganni has your back.
H&M Fitted Sequined Dress (£40)
This is exactly what we want to wear for all upcoming parties.
Finery London Chiffon Floral High Neck Midi Tea Dress (£59)
One to wear with strappy heels.
16Arlington Odessa Cutout Feather-Trim Crepe Dress (£895)
This brand's take on party-wear always feels fun.
Reformation Mignon Asymmetrical Midi Dress (£250)
I love this colour.
Self-Portrait Draped Mid-Length Dress (£325)
One to keep for weddings and seasonal parties.
Free People Metallic Mermaid Gown (£398)
Reformation Britten Cheetah-Print Silk-Satin Midi Dress (£200)
Another simple dress, but it will be a knock-out with chunky accessories.
Rixo Lolita Cutout Floral-Print Cotton Mini Dress (£98)
Minis are making a comeback.
Rotate Birger Christensen Dawn Light Blue Jacquard Midi Dress (£320)
The sleeves on this!
Self-Portrait White Polka-Dot Taffeta Midi Dress (£340)
This dress was made for partying.
A classic wedding guest dress if we ever saw one.
Arket Printed Tunic Dress (£99)
Knee-high boots would work wonders with this dress.
Zara Cape Dress With Earrings (£60)
How pretty is this?
Collective the Label Curve Babydoll Puff Sleeve Mini Dress in Gold (£39)
Babydolls are also making a comeback.
Bottega Veneta Knitted Sleeveless Dress (£1320)
Another vibrant colour we can't get enough of.
Square-necks always look so elegant.
Omnes Blouson Sleeve Midi Dress in Pink Grid Print (£30)
Another great option for wedding guests.
Uterqüe Printed Flowing Dress (£155)
Satin is such a great option.
Mango Puffed Sleeves Dress (£70)
Hands up, who loves navy right now?
Hunza G Nile Mini Dress (£175)
A holiday party dress.
& Other Stories Smocked Midi Dress (£120)
The colour of the season.
This piece was published at an earlier date and has since been updated. Next up, the autumn 2021 fashion trends you need to know.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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