Swears by: best summer dresses
Whether you're jetting off for some fun in the sun or setting up your sun lounger next to the paddling pool, stock your wardrobe with these MN favourites and soak up the sun in style
Next Sleeveless Pocket Dress, £20
Next is a great one-stop shop for bright, summery and reasonably-priced dresses – like this sleeveless cotton number. Easy enough to throw on over your swimsuit, but pretty enough to wear out for a bite to eat, plus it's got pockets for
poolside snacks essentials. We want one in every colour (and there are seven to choose from).
“Love that dress – I'm off to order the giraffe one!”Buy now from Next
Fatface Serena Dress, £45
The perfect throw-on-and-go summer dress. The Serena dress is a FatFace classic – they bring them back every year in a range of prints and we can see why: made from cool comfy cotton, with a flattering waist tie and – praise be! – pockets. Style your Serena with a denim jacket and trainers for the school run, or with tan sandals and a straw bag on holiday. With four prints to choose from, you may end up with more than one.
“I have several different patterns of Fat Face Serena dresses. They do them every year and they are quite flattering and cool and summery.”Buy now frin Fatface
Hush Alanis Dress, £59
According to the aficionados over on the Style & Beauty boards, a key part of looking put-together all summer long is draping oneself in floaty, slightly oversized dresses – just like the Hush Alanis. Available in a gorgeous star-patterned white style or (if you're going to be around small children or eat anything) a far more sensible – and equally lovely – black.
“The Alanis dresses are brilliant for hot holidays.”
“A fantastic dress. I bought it for my holiday in Italy a couple of years ago and it was so fantastic. So cool and light and I felt great in it with sandals or trainers.”Buy now from Hush
Next Cobalt Maxi Dress, £34
Another Next find, Mumsnetters recommend this Next maxi for petite women but it's available in the main collection too. It's machine washable, the crinkled fabric means it won't look creased when you unpack it, and the cobalt blue colour looks great with a tan. Better still, the strapless design makes it easy to change out of if you decide to go for a paddle.
“I've got this, it's a lovely colour and fit for me at 5 foot – there are others available too.”Buy now from Next
ASOS Bardot Skater Dress, £22
An LBD is a year-round wardrobe essential and we love this bardot version from ASOS. The cotton-rich jersey has just enough stretch to ensure a great fit and makes sure this dress is comfy enough to wear from day to night. Plus, the bardot style is a great way to show a little skin whilst still providing some upper arm coverage – a rare combination in a summer dress.
“I find skater style dresses look good on me – emphasise my boobs and small waist but flare over the heavy thighs!”Buy now from ASOS
Boden Phoebe Dress, from £42
It's no secret that Mumsnetters love a dress with pockets, but that is only one of the reasons they love this Boden dress. They also love the flattering cut, soft cotton jersey, and range of prints to choose from. The pockets are pretty great though: they're cleverly stitched into the seams meaning they're roomy but basically invisible to the untrained eye.
“I'm finding this dress very handy for work in the summer, but because it's jersey and has lovely roomy pockets, I don't feel overdressed wearing it casually too. I have it in navy but thinking of getting one of the prints too. Looks great with sandals or ballet pumps, and with or without a cardigan.”Buy now from Boden
Boohoo Dahlia Dress, £8
As well as being an absolute bargain, these Boohoo swing dresses are surprisingly versatile and flattering. They might look a little skimpy, but they're unbeatable on a hot day and a real Swears By favourite. Plus, with eight colours to choose from, you'll struggle to pick a favourite.
“I've got two of these. They're super comfortable, a pretty style, can be dressed up or down, and don't need ironing. I'm wearing one today, I've had it for at least two years and it still looks new.”Buy now from Boohoo
Uniqlo Bra Dresses, from £19.90
Women have been grumbling about wearing bras in hot weather for decades and, finally, our prayers have been answered – Uniqlo have created a range of dresses with integrated nork support. Sewn-in cups and a gently elasticated band shape and support you so you can be comfy without feeling self-conscious: win-win.
“Bra-incorporated camisoles/dresses/T-shirts are probably one of my favourite clothing related inventions ever. Thought they sounded ridiculous when I first heard about them but now I'm a convert.”Buy now from Uniqlo
And the ultimate summer accessories…
Sloggi Long Briefs, from £14.71
Skirts and dresses are a great option for keeping cool all summer, but with their less restrictive shape also comes the threat of the dreaded thigh chafe, or, as it's affectionately known on MN, “chub rub”. Not to be deterred from making the most of their summer wardrobes, MNers are always swapping tips on how to dodge the discomfort and these Sloggi shorts get rave reviews. Made from Sloggi's usual quality cotton-Lycra blend, these long-leg knickers are super-comfy and won't ride up.
“Yes to Sloggi long leg knickers! Can get them on Amazon, pure cotton and an absolute life-changer. In the past year I've gone from a size 18-20 to a size 10-12, but I will still be wearing these this summer.”
“For day to day I love the Sloggi long legs. Cotton, really light, and have a little bit of elastic on the thighs so they don’t ride up.”Buy now from Amazon
Udderly Smooth Chamois Anti Chafing Cream, £8.89
Alternatively, if you don't fancy adding an extra layer, try this smoothing butter. It was developed for runners and cyclists to prevent chafing, so it will certainly be long-lasting enough for day-to-day use – no matter how much running round you have to do. Plus, if you need to top up on the go, it also comes in this nifty handbag-sized tube.
“I use Udderly Smooth Chamois cream on my thighs which revolutionised my summer wardrobe. No more chafing!! Put it on once and I can walk all day in comfort.”Buy now from Amazon
If you want even more tips, check out Swears By a weekly roundup of the best shopping recommendations from Mumsnet users.
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