DRESSES have the ability to make you feel glam, pretty and they're super easy to throw on. They add a bit of groove to your day-to-day wardrobe.
Whether you’re running errands in a skater cut just to be comfy, or are dressing up to the nines in an uber-tight bodycon and heels – there’s a dress for ANY occasion.
Throughout history dresses have oozed glamour, just take a look at Christian Dior’s iconic New Look in 1947, accentuating hourglass silhouettes to re-assert femininity.
Then there were the 60s, when hemlines shrunk in size and Brigitte Bardot waved the flag for unapologetic female sexuality.
As we’ve been given such a variety of lengths, shapes, prints and patterns over the years, it only feels right to champion them all with our list of favourites.
From black tie dress codes to summer florals, wherever you’re going, we’ve got a dress for you.
What kinds of dresses are there?
The list of different types of dresses is endless- from minis to maxis, there's something for every occasion and individual.
Dresses don't have to be 'girly' either, you can punk any dress up with a leather jacket and boots if that's your style.
The main differences in dresses are length, sleeves, neckline, and cut.
The general rule is: if you're headed somewhere classy or professional, opt for something no shorter than just above the knee and make sure it's not too revealing.
Build up a shorter dress with tights, or add a t-shirt under a slip dress for extra style points AND to make your fave summer dresses work appropriate.
From shirt dresses to shift dresses, we tell you how and where to wear them all below.
1. Best Little Black Dress (LBD)
Lipsy is renowned for glamorous dresses, so it’s no surprise that they have finessed the classic LBD.
Featuring a square neckline, cap sleeves and pretty scalloped trims, this bodycon number is a party-wear staple.
We don’t need to tell you that you’re missing a trick if you don’t already have a little black dress in your wardrobe.
- Lipsy Bodycon Scallop Dress, £48 from Next – buy here
2. Best Mini Dress
Are you ready for the spotlight?
This satin high neck dress features a wrap over detail and jacquard will make sure you've got all the attention.
Dress it up for a hot dinner date with nude lipstick, hoop earrings and some black strappy high heels.
- Kendall Mustard Jacquard High Neck Mini Dress, £16.99 from In The Style – buy here
3. Best Slip Dress
Move aside LBD, every gal needs a slip dress in their wardrobe and Missguided’s budget version is taking over our Instagram feeds at the moment.
As if a midi dress wasn’t sexy enough, the cowl back and side slit really amps up the allure.
This one will take you through the seasons – layer it over a rollneck in the winter, a white T-shirt in the spring and wear it solo with strappy heels when it’s time to party.
- Black Satin Strappy Cowl Midi Dress, £25 from Missguided – buy here
4. Best Midi Dress
Worth every penny, this & Other Stories midi will work hard in your wardrobe – just switch your knee boots for trainers or sandals as the weather warms up.
It’s printed with pretty florals and has a pleated skirt that’s slit up one side – a hint of skin can really balance demure silhouettes.
From the gathered shoulders to the a-line cut, it's the kind of flattering shape that's timeless.
- Floral Long Sleeve Midi Dress, £85 from &Other Stories – buy here
5. Best Shirt Dress
Dresses don’t have to be uber-girly. This denim dress from Abercrombie & Fitch is bang on all the utility-wear trends right now.
Cut from lightweight denim in a classic shirt style, it’s punctuated with a side pocket and a slimming belted waist.
No idea what to wear? The fabulous thing about a casual dress is that it will save you hours of faffing. Throw it on with some trainers to channel street style sass.
- Classic Shirt Dress, £64 from Abercrombie & Fitch – buy here
6. Best Party Dress
Every girl needs the perfect party dress to feel fierce and fabulous – and we’ve found just the one at Pretty Little Thing.
Adorned with shimmering gold sequins, it really nods to the noughties numbers worn by Paris Hilton back in the day with its spaghetti straps and cowl neckline.
Accessorise it with some golden hoops and strappy heels – you’ll be ready to shimmy the night away.
- Gold Glitter Strappy Cowl Neck BodyCon Dress, £28 from Pretty Little Thing – buy here
7. Best Maxi Dress
We’re just saying, maxi dresses were made to be floral! And this one is giving us serious Preen by Thornton Bregazzi vibes with its meadow flowers and dusty pink devoré.
From Debut at Debenhams, this romantic number has ruffled cold shoulder straps and a subtle slit at the leg.
Perfect for sunny weddings and summer garden parties, it oozes elegant femininity – embrace it with neutral strappy heels and this season’s favourite pearl accessories.
- Debut – Rose Pink Floral Burnout Maxi Dress, £63.20 from Debenhams – buy here
8. Best Shift Dress
If you’re looking for a modest yet elegant style then a shift dress is for you – it dates all the way back to 1920s flapper girls.
This short-sleeve style from Next is cut in a flattering shape that skims your bust, waist and hips to create a structured silhouette.
It’s ideal for your workwear wardrobe – with some black stilettos you’ll look immaculate.
- Multi Check Shift Dress, £38 from Next – buy here
What's a summer dress?
A summer dress is usually made from light material, features open neck and comes in different lengths.
Dresses make perfect casual summer wear because they are easy to put on and, with so many styles to choose from, it's easy to find your fit.
Pay attention to your body type so you could find something that could really compliment your look.
There's a perfect dress for every occasion from The Met Gala to a friend's BBQ.
Looking for some inspiration for a wardrobe revamp? Check out our dedicated Sun Selects fashion section.
Whether you want to upgrade your wardrobe, find some new gym kit or get some gift-buying inspiration, Sun Selects is here to help you out.
Complete your look with a handbag, choose from one of our selected styles.
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