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Karen Millen

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The Summer dress edit

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It’s been a while since my last blog post. I have been desperate to write one these past few weeks, but work has been super busy that it hasn’t given me alot of time for anything else.

As the temperatures are finally increasing it feels right to talk about Summer dresses. Dresses to wear now, through the Summer and in Autumn with some stylish layering ideas. Dresses are a go-to for me in the Summer months because they are comfortable, easy to wear, no brain power required, they can be dressed up or down, styled your way, cool and breezy and what I love most – they are flattering. And they can be your uniform too.

Dresses are a no brainer one-stop style solution, but they can also be a blank canvas to style your way. And I have found five styles to inspire you and your shopping…


DRESSES FOR SUMMER

THE SHIRT DRESS

Shirt dresses are so effortless and versatile. They can be worn loose and oversized for that relaxed vibe, whatever your shape, but are particularly favourable for skimming ‘mummy tagged’ middles. The shirt dress doesn’t grip, has a flattering v-style neck and depending on how much you like your legs, can be mini, midi or maxi. If you want to show off your curves or create/define your waist for a more sculpted silhouette, simply cinch the waist of the dress with a belt.


THE SPOTTY DRESS

Aside from the Zara dress (see above photos), polka dots are having a bit of a moment. Although to be fair they have never really gone out of fashion and are always a great print option.


THE MIDI DRESS

No longer old fashioned and twee and just worn by your Granny, midi dresses or tea dresses, the sort with a midi hemline, sleeves and in light, floral or print fabrics, are so easy to wear and so flattering. Just make sure the tailored point (seam/waistline) is at your slimmest part (under boobs or nipped at the waist), choose a hem that cuts you off at a good part of your leg below the knee, go button down for elongating shorter or wider torsos and keep prints smaller the more petite you are and vice versa and for the most flattering silhouette.


THE WHITE DRESS

A white dress is a timeless classic but can be completely impractical too. But the Little White Dress (LWD), is the only way you can ditch your black dress in the Summer time. There’s just something unapologetically summery and optimistic about this shade, be it lacy and whimsical, or linen and minimalist. Throwing one on signals that yes, the sun is going to shine.


THE WRAP DRESS

This shape has had an update, as it no longer exclusively ties at the side, but can be tied at the back or the middle. With its super slimming tie or knot waist, v-neckline and non-gripping A-line skirt it is universally flattering. It defines the waist and can add curves for more straight up and down figures, skims and slims over hips and bottoms for those conscious of this area. If you feel short in the torso, choose a deeper, plunging neckline to lengthen, and those with a bigger bust, the v-neckline and fit and flare style waist, will balance your top and bottom halves.

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Going dotty for super spots

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Polka dots are back for Spring say all the magazines! Trends may come and go, but there are few prints that truly never go out of style. Spots, stars, leopard print are the only prints I advise my clients to buy for longevity, these never look old or out dated. But polka dots are absolutely everywhere this season so if you are looking for something to refresh you current transitional wardrobe, then you should invest in the super spot.

 It often gets a bad rap, and if you associate polka dots with Minnie Mouse or the party dresses you wore as a little girl, it's time to rethink the surprisingly versatile and elegant print. In the right hands, polka dots can strike that tricky balance between modern and elegant. Cropping up repeatedly on the SS18 catwalks, including Balenciaga, Self-Portrait, Mary Katrantzou, Giorgio Armani and Dior, we were offered multiple ways to wear polka dots, from Demna Gvasalia's chiffon dresses worn with sock booties to Maria Grazia Chiuri's monochrome sheer skirts and blouses. Additionally, street style stars have been giving us a masterclass in putting together perfect polka dot ensembles, proving the print isn't just for the catwalk but can be incorporated into a casual look too. Read my 5 style tips for inspiration and follow my pinterest board for more looks - Going dotty 2018.

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Double spot

Wearing 2 different pieces in spots gives the print a fresh take and you an updated look.

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Spots &frills

Mixing high & low styling, pair a jumper with an evening skirt for a fresh daytime outfit.

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Jump to it

You can't go wrong with a spotty jumpsuit. You can play with colour too - using tones such as brown, red and navy give a cool impact.

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Biker it up

By adding a biker jacket over your dress or jumpsuit you have instantly created a chic day to evening look.

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Office dots

The spot print is perfect for the office, lunch out or a meeting - presentable yet stylish.

Marc Jacobs said “There is never a wrong time for a polka dot”. And how can you blame him? Polka dots are a timeless classic that always see come back on trend in their many changes of style. Probably it’s because dots take us back to 50's elegance, to the curvy pin-ups and unforgettable style icons like Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe. Or can be seen in many iconic movies, style moments and even royalty.

Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman

Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman

Princess Diana

Princess Diana

Kate Moss

Kate Moss

So while ‘mix and match’ still takes centre stage with the street styles, its' the black & white polka dots that are stealing the scene. So make dots the newest addition to your wardrobe because if there was one trend that works in all seasons it's this one, so if you invest in a polka dot top or dress you can wear it all year round. See my picks to shop now.


TOP 5 POLKA DOT BUYS

1. Soft spot jacket, Topshop £39.99

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