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.
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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.
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From staycations with the family to al-fresco drinks, these are the best smock dresses on the high street right now…
Gingham smock dress, £32, ASOS
Denim smock dress, £59.95, Free People
Rust smock dress, £60, River Island
Nobody's Child cotton floral smock dress, £39, Marks & Spencer
Floral crochet smock dress, was £149, NOW £111.75, Coast
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Textured ruffle smock dress, £49.99, Mango
Embroidered cotton smock dress, £40, Accessorize
Broderie anglaise smock dress, £20.99, New Look
Poppy print smock dress, £75, Omnes
Animal print smock dress, £75, Whistles
Gingham smock midi dress, £95, & Other Stories
Frill sleeve mini smock dress, £25, River Island
Polka dot smock dress, £35, Simply Be
Daisy Street rainbow midi smock dress, £28, Urban Outfitters
Oliver Bonas shirred smock dress, £48, eBay Brand Outlet
Hush tiered smock dress, £60, John Lewis
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Broderie anglaise mini smock dress, £21, Boohoo
Printed smock dress, £44, Warehouse
Curve embroidered smock dress, £38, ASOS
Gingham smock dress, £25, Weekday
Shirred smock dress, from £27.48, Gap
Embroidered maxi smock dress, £158, Free People
Tie-dye smock dress, £25, River Island
AllSaints smock maxi dress, £153, John Lewis
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Yumi Curve smock dress, £44, Debenhams
Selected Femme midi smock dress, £65, Marks and Spencer
Linen smock dress, £24.50, Nasty Gal
Puff sleeve smock dress, £49, Arket
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