We Try Before You Buy: 6 Joyful Dresses We Really Love for Summer

Emma Spedding
·4-min read

Our We Try Before You Buy series aims to take the stress out of shopping and eliminate the number of post office visits you make each month to return failed online orders. We test new-season buys and styling ideas so you don’t have to.

On the day the country begins to reopen, there is a new sense of optimism and finally a reason for us to dress up once again. Dresses had become redundant for many over the past 12 months—apart from those who took the bins out in ball gowns, of course. However with weddings rescheduled and restaurants back open, dresses are the joyful item we’re certain will end the loungewear era.

Our We Try Before You Buy series sees us try on items to give a closer look at the pieces that we truly love and explain why we think they are worth it. As many plan their re-entry looks, dresses was an obvious focus for this month. We video called some of our favourite fashion friends from Ghana to Surrey, and asked them to answer our call wearing their favourite dress for 2021. There was no grey jersey in sight—the one thing all of these dresses have in common is they are all designed for fun and for a summer spent making memories. Think colour, loud prints and statement silhouettes.

Keep scrolling for the six dresses we really love for summer.

Dior Bediako, Founder of Pepper Your Talk, answered in this amazing sand-coloured dress with dramatic puff sleeves and a fitted bodice. "Pistis is a Ghanaian brand known internationally for their custom gowns, which take months to construct, so I love that they incorporated the signature corset detail into their ready-to-wear collection. The 'Christie' dress is a piece I know I'll have in my wardrobe forever and will definitely be worn to the next big post-pandemic event. In a way, getting this dress is a sign of 'hope' and keeps me looking forward to better times."

Nicole Ocran, influencer and co-host of the Mixed Up podcast rented her floral dress from Hurr. "I love this style because it's a modern cut with a vintage print and feel, light and airy and so easy to throw on," she says. "I'm still very much loving anything remotely cottagecore related. The mini florals are perfect for spring, especially now that we get our picnic on as it gets warmer."

Rent the Dress:

Naya Rea Karola Dress (£41)

Fisayo Longe is the founder and creative director of buzzed-about label Kai Collective, so she answered her video call from Mexico wearing a preview of one of the upcoming designs from her brand. It's a new twist of the signature Babita dress, and is the definition of a joyful dress.

Rent the Dress:

Kai Collective Babita Dress (£80)

Influencer Jessica Skye often wears simple, minimal pieces, so of course she's opted for the dream white sundress. “I was instantly drawn to this beautiful dress, having already been a huge fan of Sleeper for many years. I knew it was the perfect piece to carry me through summer. I’m always drawn to floaty silhouettes, but this is extra special thanks to the lace trim detail and effortless shape.”

Shop the Dress:

Sleeper Linen Paloma Midi Dress (£260)

Karina of Style Idealist is another Who What Wear favourite, most known for her ability to spot the next cult dress. “According to Net-a-Porter’s spring/summer 2021 trend report, one of this year’s shopping trends is “joyful dresses”, Karina says of her Stine Goya mood-boosting frock. "After the year we’ve had, I’m so ready to ditch the habit of ‘saving things for best’, wear pieces that bring me joy and give me an instant mood-boost! I can 100% confirm that the vibrant colours and print from this Stine Goya dress does just that. My summer motto is: the bigger (and brighter) the outfit, the better this 2021.” That's a motto we can get behind.

Shop the Dress:

Stine Goya Amira Dress (£488)

And our final call was with double act Olivia and Alice, who are known for their colourful, jolly approach to getting dressed. "We designed this dress with spring in mind, hoping that the colour, length and style would mean it could work well for the changing of weather from winter to spring. It’s the perfect dress to take a busy girl from day to night, swapping trainers for a sling bag kitten heel, mini bag and a bold pink lip. We are also a sucker for a puff sleeve!"

Buy the Dress:

Labelrail x Olivia & Alice Floral Embroidery Midaxi Dress in Green (£85)

Next up, see our edit of more spring dresses for 2021.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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