*features some press samples, photos by Beatrice Granados
Like knitwear to autumn and the perfect cosy coat to winter- not too bulky and not too itchy; a white dress is the summer is my wardrobe staple that does a lot of heavy lifting from the months of April ‘til September. Whether that’s a broderie anglaise smock, vintage silk nightdress, ‘80s wedding dress, simple cotton maxi or a ruffled printed pavlova of a dress (my personal favourite)- perhaps except for a wedding, there really isn’t an occasion where a good LWD isn’t a total failsafe.
I know the amount of summer we’ve actually had is… questionable but as I tentatively type this in the garden with the sun shining (and a forecast that hopefully means we might have at *least* another day of this) talking about white dresses/picnics in the park/dinner outside/going swimming (cross as appropriate) feels like it might just be safe. So run with this I will! And hey, even if the weather does change- the glory of a white dress is it works just as well with a trench/oversized biker/layered with knitwear, so if this post jinxes the forecast, I’m calling its bluff!
Anyway, I thought I’d share a small edit of a few of my favourite white dresses from some of my most loved independent/smaller brands. I feel like all of these serve such different purposes, but are definitely some of the brands I’ll turn to again and again for those life-long pieces.
a.k.a the dresses made to be worn barefoot (although would always work exceptionally well with anything from a Birkenstock to a cowboy boot- so that definitely isn’t exclusively true). With a handful of their dresses (including the ‘Meadow’) featuring the most beautiful Indian block prints, the dresses from Under Prairie Moon are airy, voluminous and have a true bohemian heart to them all. Plus, they have pockets- perfect for storing all your foraged flowers and berries!
a.k.a the nightwear-meets-daywear perfect for a period drama (or just a nice warm morning at home listening to Radio 2). I have the hugest soft spot for If Only If nightwear; having bought their Pandora nightdress during my pregnancy; I swiftly fell in love with their delicate cotton offerings; all of which feel like real magic when being worn. There’s something very special about wearing something that genuinely feels beautiful to bed (something that is… not often true of me) but I very much always want to be a woman who wears things this lovely past 8pm.
a.k.a the dresses that always get it right. And get it right they do. Their Beatriz dress from their Heirloom collection is my first foray into summer crochet, and it feels every bit as Birkin as I’d hoped. There’s something that gives a little ‘60s bride when wearing a crochet mini (imagine it with Priscilla inspired hair adorned with flowers and you’ll see what I mean), but paired with Mary Janes it feels like a really fun way of making a classic a little bit more ‘now’ and wearable when you’re not an extra in The Graduate.
a.k.a the dresses that feel like fairytales. byTiMo is a newer discovery of mine; having spotted one of their dresses hanging on Charlotte’s wardrobe during a recent visit I very quickly fell in love with the brand (it went a bit like, me: ‘OKAY WHAT IS THAT MASTERPIECE??’) With all of their pieces sustainably and ethically made, they truly take a ‘white floral dress’ to another level. This chiffon beauty with clouds of pink and purple blooms feels almost bridal-like, and gives true Florence Welch vibes, which if you’re asking me (or actually, anyone) can only be a very good thing.
a.k.a the folky inspired number. East are a brand I’ve seen and heard a lot about over the years, but are relatively new to me in terms of actually being in my wardrobe. But! With dresses as good as this (the combination of crochet, layering and frills all feels very SEA New York which is a dream), it’s hard to not see this as a solid summer staple going forward- and looks just as cool with sandals as it does with chunky boots for when it starts cooling down too.
a.k.a the French girl slip dress. This girl truly has a thing for a silk slip dress come the summer months. It all began with a Rouje dress a few years ago, and then a ‘30s nightdress from Laura von Behr last summer- and now seems to be a fully fledged staple in my high summer wardrobe (a.k.a when it’s really quite hot- or over 20 degrees at least). Paired with a tied up cardigan; there’s something beautiful, fluid and sexy about a slip dress- and paired with trainers or a ballet flat also feels quite effortless too- so this Coutille number feels like a little bit of magic.
a.k.a the ultimate front woman dress. The kind of dresses that were made for movement; for charging across a stage in a cloud of ruffles and vintage-floral prints that were made to turn heads. For dancing at weddings (when playing live on stage just isn’t *quite* you, ahem) and for feeling like a front woman even if your musical abilities stretch about as far as a Spotify playlist and jokes about playing a triangle (cough). With it’s subtle jacquard dot print and speckles of gold, Bridgitte is the kind of dress that feels every bit as magical as it looks, bravo QoA. Encore! Encore!