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28 best smock dresses to beat the heat

From tiered mini dresses to midis, the smock dress is the easiest, breeziest summer dressing

Carla Challis

I find summer dressing more of a faff than winter, especially in this heat. Wearing a tight or restrictive high street summer dress during a hot and humid UK June day has me starting to sweat at the thought of it.

My secret solution, for staycations to swanky soirees? Breezy and billowy summer smock dresses, all tiered and terrifically loose to waft around a British beach in.

Finding the sweet spot between summer loungewear and cute fashion, a smock dress is as stylish as it is sweat-free. Typically tiered, they’re voluminous in shape and oversized, without a pinch of a button or a restrictive strap in sight; some come with shirred busts to add a little definition, the best smock dresses are nothing but big, beautiful swathes of material.

SHOP: The & Other Stories summer dresses we’ll be wearing on repeat

Wondering how to wear a smock dress? They’re the perfect pairing to a chunky dad sandal (helps to balance out the width of the dress), a light loafer reminiscent of a 00s Alexa Chung or dressed up with a block heel; you can even rely on them come autumn, by swapping your sandals for boots and a pair of tights if needed.

And if you’re missing your loungewear, or still firmly stuck in it, a smock and it’s loose-loveliness will help transition you back into the real world - and non-elasticated clothing. It’s not far off, but it won’t cause a raised eyebrow when you meet the girls for that long-awaited Aperol Spritz.

MORE: The best luggage brands to invest in for your staycation

From staycations with the family to al-fresco drinks, these are the best smock dresses on the high street right now…

ASOS-gingham-smock

Gingham smock dress, £32, ASOS

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FP-smock-denim

Denim smock dress, £59.95, Free People

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rust-smock-dress

Rust smock dress, £60, River Island

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ms-ghost-dress

Nobody's Child cotton floral smock dress, £39, Marks & Spencer

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coast-smock-dress

Floral crochet smock dress, was £149, NOW £111.75, Coast

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MORE: This is THE print of the summer - gingham dresses to shop right now

white-smock

Textured ruffle smock dress, £49.99, Mango

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acc-dress

Embroidered cotton smock dress, £40, Accessorize

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green-smock-dress

Broderie anglaise smock dress, £20.99, New Look

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omnes-poppy-dress

Poppy print smock dress, £75, Omnes

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whisltes-dress

Animal print smock dress, £75, Whistles

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gingham-smock-dress

Gingham smock midi dress, £95, & Other Stories

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ri-pink-smock-dress

Frill sleeve mini smock dress, £25, River Island

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polka-smock-dress

Polka dot smock dress, £35, Simply Be

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daisy-st-smock-dress

Daisy Street rainbow midi smock dress, £28, Urban Outfitters

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oliverbonas-dress

Oliver Bonas shirred smock dress, £48, eBay Brand Outlet

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hush-smock-dress

Hush tiered smock dress, £60, John Lewis

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READ: The best places to book a dreamy staycation this year

boohoo-dress

Broderie anglaise mini smock dress, £21, Boohoo

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warehouse-snock-dress

Printed smock dress, £44, Warehouse

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asos-curve-dress

Curve embroidered smock dress, £38, ASOS

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gingham-weekday-dress

Gingham smock dress, £25, Weekday

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gap-smock-dress

Shirred smock dress, from £27.48, Gap

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freepeople-dress-white

Embroidered maxi smock dress, £158, Free People

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RI-smock-tie

Tie-dye smock dress, £25, River Island

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allsaints-smock

AllSaints smock maxi dress, £153, John Lewis

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MORE: 15 gorgeous pieces we're shopping from Next's new collection

debenhams-smock-dress

Yumi Curve smock dress, £44, Debenhams

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selected-smock

Selected Femme midi smock dress, £65, Marks and Spencer

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nastygal-linen-smock-

Linen smock dress, £24.50, Nasty Gal

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arket-smock-dress

Puff sleeve smock dress, £49, Arket

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