I'm a Dress Person, and These Are the 8 New Dresses I Adore

If there's one thing I know, it's dresses. My wardrobe is full of them, and I wear them 99.9% of the time. I've always struggled with casual dressing (long-time Who What Wear readers will have repeatedly read about my ongoing struggle with denim—sorry to be a bore!), so easy, good-looking frocks are my most trusted fashion staple.

I have affordable dresses that I wear each and every week. I have special, more expensive versions that come out for important occasions or big meetings. I have those in-between, mid-priced options that bridge the gap between casual and fancy days. I own styles that are ultra summery and best for heatwaves and holiday packing, but I've also got a fair number of clever, trans-seasonal styles that can work layered up and with tights in winter or with bare legs and sandals during warmer months. I even have dresses that I've made at home because I can't always find the exact colour, shape or fit I've been dreaming of. I have some It dresses, I suppose—although, I'm always very careful to buy dresses that really speak to my personal style and that I know I'll wear even when their cult status has worn off. I may own a lot of frocks, but entry into my wardrobe isn't easy. I'm a pretty discerning customer who values quality and longevity above all else.

best new-in dresses: floral dress


Michaela Efford / WHO WHAT WEAR

On Hannah: Nobody's Child Esme Cut-Out Midi Dress (£55)

So who could be better positioned to bring you a very trustworthy edit of the best new-in dresses than a self-confessed frock obsessive with a very picky taste? No one! Here are the loveliest styles I've seen this month—all with a spring vibe.

Shop this month's best new-in dresses:

It's not just the fit on this that I really like; it's the crinkly gingham fabric. It feels more premium than your average high-street piece with the added bonus of being 29% recycled polyester alongside other sustainably sourced yarns.

I tried this on the other day and felt sad to leave it behind. It keeps coming into my mind, and I feel like I regret not buying it, so anything could happen in the next few minutes… This is such a perfect fit on my hourglass figure and can be easily jazzed up for a wedding or made casual for a holiday or heatwave day.

I'm a sucker for a red dress, but this one gets extra points for that beautiful ruched neckline, puff sleeves and sassy slit. My sources tell me it's best to size up on this beauty, as it can be a bit snug around the hips.

Do I really need to spell out why I've chosen this absolute stunner? Two words: pink and backless. Such a dreamy combination yet so subtle and understated too. This is the kind of dress everyone will ask you about as soon as you turn around!

The lockdown summers of the past two years created the cottagecore aesthetic, and while life is moving on, our interest in this trend is not. I'm still here for all of the romantic prints and pretty silhouettes, with this being a particularly unique and lovely choice.

Last summer, I bought a navy linen Sleeper dress and never looked back. My style is a short-sleeve version of this new-in Atlanta, but either provides plenty of wear for many years to come.

Precisely the kind of thing I want to waft around in this summer. How chic!

The black strappy dress is set to continue its reign well into A/W 22, as these kinds of simple, cut-out styles were present yet again on the runways. This one is just the right combination of reveal/conceal for my tastes.

Shop last month's best new-in dresses:

I'm not ready to leave my knitted dresses behind in the depths of winter, but this one has a decidedly spring feel to it thanks to the subtle thigh slit and oatmeal colourway.

I wasn't into purple until a couple of seasons ago. It looks like A/W 22 is also set to be really heavy on this colour, so this isn't as crazy as an investment as you might think!

I love red. I love pleats. I love ruching. I love cut-outs. I love a sweetheart neckline. Did Self-Portrait make this especially for me? No. But I like to think it.

I feel great whenever I wear Rixo's dresses, and I'm sure you would, too!

The slinkiest of silhouettes in the most striking of colours, this hard-working dress makes an impact without ever feeling OTT or difficult to throw on.

This vintage-feel dress makes me want to literally book a one-way ticket to the sunniest place I can find. What a gem for holiday season. 

If I had an event in my diary that required a real "wow" piece that everyone would comment on, this would be the dream option.

There's a reason why so many fashion editors (myself included) own this dress in black already. It's super easy to wear and looks effortlessly cool. So now it comes in white, and I'm very tempted.

I'm such a sucker for a leopard-print dress, and this one manages to be 100% sassy while looking incredibly chic and premium. The neckline!

Did you know Jigsaw is really good at the moment? This dress alone should be reason to investigate further.

The speckle on this peachy rib makes it look far more premium than many other knitted dresses on the high street.

I haven't had a holiday abroad in almost three years, so don't hate me for planning my next suitcase right here in this column.

Jil Sander has become a hot ticket again, and it's this kind of interesting take on minimalism that's making the brand so covetable in luxury circles.

I bought a few things from Warehouse recently and was really impressed by the quality. It does really good prints for a high-street brand, and this patchwork creation is no exception.

This has all the hallmarks of something I'll wear on repeat for a very, very long time.

Many imitators exist, but if you're looking for the source of pleated fabrics, then it's Issey Miyake all the way. This new silhouette is a slimmer fit and will look chic forever. I promise you.

When you find a statement dress on the high street that doesn't look like anything else available, nothing compares to that feeling!

From the colour to the rib to the tassel zips, this H&M knit has a lot of bang for its buck.

Trust Rixo to reinvent florals for the umpteenth time and make me want another of its perfect, slinky little tea dresses. This colourful pansy print is delightful.

I'm a Christopher Esber fan, and his artfully deconstructed dresses, skirts, tops and more manage to be sensual without feeling too challenging or OTT. You can wear this fully buttoned-up or get creative, depending on your mood. 

Knit dresses are my default for most of the year, but this space-dye knit and vibrant pink colour make for a unique combination. 

The most timeless throw-it-on-and-go summer dress that will be completely sold out by the first glimpse of a new season. This would even look good creased up from being in a suitcase, and if anyone is desperate for a holiday after three years of no holidays, it's me!

I bought this dress after shopping editor Joy Montgomery recommended it to me via one of our many Slack groups, and she was right. It's so me! It has a simple, flattering shape with a cool bit of detailing in the form of a ruche-making waist brooch. The quality of the knit is what makes this look good on. It's not flimsy, and the roll-neck stands up well. 

It's the kind of stunning black dress you could wear to a wedding or formal event and never look sombre in. Flattering and timeless, this will be a showstopper for many years to come.

I have a wedding to attend in June. It's a city wedding, and I think this recycled-moiré, bow-fronted beauty ticks all the boxes. Mad to consider something already? Never!

I'm really, really not a minidress kind of person, but if there's one that could totally talk me around, it's this super-chic, timeless, elegant and ultra-flattering one from New York–based designer Rosetta Getty.

It's the kind of easy throw-on dress that I'll get so much wear out of… so long as I don't spill anything on it.

This tea-dress style from Ghost has become a regular fixture in my wardrobe. I have a more summery version in pink and now this iteration, which works well with bare legs and sandals as well as tights and boots. 

Anything in this shade of old-school lingerie pink just gets me every time. This is beautiful. 

I am head over heels in love with the super-bohemian dresses of Spanish designer Celia B. Every dress is a party with plenty of details, prints, crafty finishes and swishy cuts. This one is my current favourite.

It's back! JW Anderson's ultra-popular knitted midi dress has returned for autumn, and in a different colour: cream. It's so elegant, comfy and easy to re-style with different shoes and boots.

Next up, these are the spring trends we're planning to wear

This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated. 

Opening Images: @hannahalmassi

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