Swears by: the best dresses

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The right dress can make you feel invincible; put your best foot forward in one of these Mumsnet favourites

Best casual dresses

Hush Ivy Dress, £55

Hush Ivy Dress, £55

Cool and casual, these Hush T-shirt dresses will become a summer wardrobe staple both at home (weather permitting) and on holiday. They're comfy enough to wear all day, then just add a swipe of lippy for the evening.

“The Ivy dress is lovely. It's good quality jersey and covers a multitude of sins.”

Buy now from Hush

Boohoo Dahlia Strappy Swing Dress, £8

Boohoo Dahlia Strappy Swing Dress, £8

Though they might look a little skimpy, these Boohoo swing dresses are actually a great length, finishing on or just above the knee. The flowing trapeze shape flatters most body types and is deliciously breezy on a hot day. Better still, the Dahlia dress is available in eight different colours, so you're sure to find (at least) one that works for you.

“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

Best occasion dresses

Boden Lisa Ponte Dress, from £33

Boden Lisa Ponte Dress, from £33

This classic party dress can be worn pretty much anytime, anywhere (ok, maybe not the school run). The fit and flare silhouette is flattering on most body types and the v-shaped back adds a sexy, but elegant, flash of skin. Wear it with tights in the winter and bare legs in the summer.

“It's absolutely lovely”

Buy now from Boden

Lady Vintage Elsie Dress, £48

Lady Vintage Elsie Dress, £48

This retro-inspired dress is glamorous, summery and incredibly flattering. The cross-over bust and draped ruching at the waist create an enviable hourglass shape, but – and this is crucial – the dress is made from a stretchy jersey fabric, meaning you don't have to suffer for fashion.

“It's perfect for a summer wedding”

Buy now L

Best plus-size dresses

M&S Curve Printed Short Sleeve Swing Dress, £15

M&S Curve Printed Short Sleeve Swing Dress, £15

A Swears By favourite, this M&S dress is pretty, practical and an absolute steal at £15. We love the summery print and classic colour scheme, plus, it's made using a special witchcraft technology that prevents pilling or fading – even if you wear it to death.

“Went from beach to bar. Genuinely the most practical and flattering summer dress I have ever owned.”

Buy now from M&S

Next Linen Blend Dress, £26

Next Linen Blend Dress, £26

Available in a huge range of colours and prints, this breathable linen dress is an everyday staple for Mumsnetters in the sun. Not least because – hallelujah – it's got pockets: proper, sensible pockets that are perfect for storing snacks/sunnies/whatever you please. Plus it's available in petite, regular and tall styles, so you can find one that fits just right.

“I bought a couple of these to wear on holiday last year – they were fab.”

Buy now from Next

Best maxi dresses

Uniqlo Short Sleeve Long Bra Dress, £24.90

Uniqlo Short Sleeve Long Bra Dress, £24.90

If you gleefully fling your bra off as soon as you get home of an evening, but don't quite feel up to being out and about completely au naturel, Uniqlo's bra dresses will be a revelation. They have soft integral cups and elasticated under-bust support to create a great silhouette without compromising on comfort.

“I have one and it's lovely. Supportive enough for on holiday.”

Buy now from Uniqlo

Boden Jordana Jersey Dress, from £48

Boden Jordana Jersey Dress, from £48

Ok, so this is technically more of a midi than maxi, but the tiered skirt and subtle ruffle details give this soft jersey dress a beautifully boho feel. Whether you keep it classic in navy or stand out from the crowd in red, this versatile dress will become your go-to for the summer months.

“I bought this – lovely in real life. I'm curvier than these models and it does a lovely job of skimming rather than clinging.”

Buy now from Boden

Best maternity dresses

Check out the full list of maternity dresses Mumsnetters swear by here.

Boden Casual Jersey Dress, from £35

Boden Casual Jersey Dress, from £35

Boden re-work this classic shape in new colours and patterns every season – thank God, because we don't know how we'd get by without it. They're perfect for early pregnancy, too (especially if you're trying to keep it under your hat for a while). Comfortable, flattering and easy to dress up or down – it's a bestseller for a reason.

“Empire line dresses can be really flattering as they make the most of your new 'assets' whilst providing plenty of space for the dress to flow over any bump.”

Buy now from Boden

Isabella Oliver Jenna Maternity T-Shirt Dress, from £74

Isabella Oliver Jenna Maternity T-Shirt Dress, from £74

We've never met a Breton stripe we didn't like, and these Isabella Oliver T-shirt dresses are no exception. They're available in red or navy stripes and made from super-soft, breathable jersey – a life-saver if pregnancy tends to make you a little, ahem, warm. The boat neckline and waist ruching of these dresses make them a flattering option throughout pregnancy, and beyond.

“I had a couple of IO dresses and tops when I was working and pregnant. I wore them to death – in fact wore little else for the last 2-3 months”

Buy now from Isabella Oliver

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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