There is, in a perfect summer dress, the promise of something. Of balmy days and ice-cream for dinner and long, sticky nights where anything could happen.
There are caveats for a summer dress—it needs to be something you could throw over swimmers but also add a few gold accessories and some sandals and dance all night in. It should be in fabric that breathes such as linen or cotton and that travels well in case of spontaneous road trips, getaways with a new paramour or because you really do need to go from ‘beach to bar.’
Stylist Lucy Wood, who pulled together the PRIMER summer dresses edit, recommends looking Australian brands for dreamy warm weather options.
“No one does resort dressing better than our local designers. I love Matteau’s range of cotton dresses, so light, breezy and easy to wear. And for a chic summer occasion dress, ESSE Studios will have one you’ll love forever,” says Wood.
This season, Wood says summer dresses have a longer hemline and flowing, fuller skirts that are either tiered or fall straight down. She says blouson, flowing sleeves have been popular among Australian designers this summer too. Thanks to La Nina it’s been a steamy summer, and Wood says this feeling of volume and movement is perfectly suited. As is choosing a solid and saturated colour to keep things fuss-free, versatile and elegant.
“I’m loving the amount of billowy dresses around. Anything that is breathable and looks this put together works for me. With these gorgeous block colours they can easily be accessorised so they can work for day or night,” she says.
As for Wood’s favourite dress from her edit?
And perhaps that is the best thing about a perfect summer dress— its particular breeziness and thrown-on elegance actually never goes out of style. You can wear one summer in, summer out, and always feel that the possibilities are endless.