Our Fave Summer Dresses for 2023

Our Fave Summer Dresses for 2023

a blend of four model images wearing items by Diva Catwalk (and those mentioned within the attached article).

As we celebrate dropping a new collection at Diva Catwalk, we thought it best to go through our favourites for your summer. But first, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Choosing a dress for summer can be a fun and exciting process. So, here are some tips to help you find the perfect dress for the season:

Consider the fabric

Opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen, chiffon, or silk. These materials will keep you cool and comfortable in the summer heat.

Choose vibrant colours and prints

Summer is the perfect time to experiment with bold and vibrant colours. Opt for cheerful shades like pastels, bright hues, or floral prints that reflect the season's energy.

Select the right length

Depending on your personal preference and the occasion, you can choose from a variety of dress lengths. Shorter dresses are great for casual outings, while maxi dresses offer a more elegant and flowy look.

Pay attention to the style

Consider the different dress styles available, such as A-line, fit and flare, shift, wrap, or sundresses. Choose a style that flatters your body type and suits your personal taste.

Focus on comfort

Look for dresses that allow for ease of movement and comfort. Avoid tight-fitting or restrictive designs that may make you feel uncomfortable in the heat.

Consider the neckline and sleeve length

Choose a neckline and sleeve length that you find flattering and appropriate for the occasion. Options like V-neck, scoop neck, off-the-shoulder, or spaghetti straps are popular choices for summer dresses.

Don't forget about accessories

Complete your summer look by accessorising your dress with the right jewellery, shoes, and handbag. Consider adding a floppy hat, sunglasses, or a lightweight scarf to protect yourself from the sun. 

Try it on and trust your instincts

Finally, always try the dress on before making a purchase. Pay attention to how it fits, and how it makes you feel, and trust your instincts. If it makes you feel confident and comfortable, then it's the right choice for you.

Remember, the most important thing is to choose a dress that makes you feel beautiful, confident, and ready to enjoy the summer season.

Why Dresses are the Best Items to Wear in Summer?

Dresses are often considered best worn in warmer weather for several reasons:

Breathability

Dresses, particularly those made from lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, or chiffon, allow air to circulate around the body, helping to keep you cool. They provide better ventilation compared to pants or heavier clothing, making them ideal for hot and humid conditions.

Comfort

Dresses offer a greater level of comfort in warm weather. They allow for freedom of movement and don't cling to the body, providing a relaxed and breezy feel. Dresses often have looser silhouettes and flowing designs that allow for better airflow, preventing you from feeling restricted or overheated.

Heat dissipation

Dresses expose a larger surface area of the body to the air, promoting heat dissipation. When your skin is in direct contact with the air, it's easier for the body to release excess heat through the process of convection, helping you feel cooler.

Versatility

Dresses come in various lengths and styles, ranging from maxi dresses to sundresses, which offer versatility in warmer weather. You can choose a style that suits the occasion, whether it's a casual outing, a beach day, or a summer party. Dresses allow you to feel stylish and put together while still keeping comfortable.

Aesthetic appeal

Dresses are often associated with femininity, grace, and elegance, and they tend to evoke a sense of carefree and vibrant energy. Wearing a dress in warm weather can enhance your mood and contribute to a lighter and more joyful atmosphere.

Choosing a dress based on the occasion

Beer Garden Dress

When choosing a dress for drinks, it's important to consider the venue, occasion, and your personal style. Here are some suggestions for a stylish and appropriate dress for a drinks outing:

Little Black Dress (LBD)

A classic and versatile option, the LBD is always a safe choice for a drinks event. Look for a dress that fits you well and flatters your body shape. Consider details like a flattering neckline, interesting sleeves, or a fun cut-out to add a touch of sophistication.

Cocktail Dress

If you're attending a more formal or upscale drinks event, a cocktail dress is a great option. Opt for a knee-length or slightly above-knee-length dress in a luxurious fabric. Choose a style that showcases your personal style, whether a fitted sheath dress, an A-line silhouette, or a flirty fit and flare design.

Our Amelia Pencil Dress works perfectly as a cocktail dress, giving a touch of formal with informal, as well as in a choice of gorgeous shades.

A photo of a model wearing the Amelia Pencil Dress in Magenta.

Amelia Off Shoulder Pencil Dress £130

Wrap Dress

A wrap dress is a versatile and flattering option that suits various body types. It cinches at the waist, creating a feminine silhouette. Look for a wrap dress in a vibrant colour or a playful print for a fun and flirty look.

Slip Dress

For a trendy and chic option, consider a slip dress. These dresses have made a comeback in recent years and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Pair a silky slip dress with heels and statement jewellery for a sophisticated look, or dress it down with a denim jacket and sandals for a more casual vibe.

Maxi Dress

If the drinks event is more casual or outdoors, a maxi dress can be a stylish choice. Look for a lightweight fabric with a flowing silhouette. Opt for bold prints or vibrant colours to make a statement, or choose a simple and elegant solid-coloured maxi dress for a more refined look.

Our relaxed look Senza Maxi dress can pair perfectly with heels or casually with flats for that afternoon and evening in a local beer garden this summer.

A photo of a model wearing the Senza Sleeveless Maxi Dress.

Senza Maxi Floral Sleeveless Dress £29 (was £89)

Another favourite for our maxis is our Kafka Printed Maxi dress in a choice of two patterns. Made using our Metallic Georgette fabric, it features a round neckline, and belt detail and is fully lined.

A photo of a model wearing the Kafka Maxi Dress.

Kafka Printed Maxi Dress £49 (was £129)

Jumpsuit

If you're looking for an alternative to dresses, a jumpsuit can be a stylish and fashion-forward choice. Look for a jumpsuit with a flattering cut, such as a wide-leg or tailored style. Consider details like a plunging neckline, interesting back design, or a belted waist to enhance your figure

Dresses to Wear Out For Dinner

When choosing a dress for going to a restaurant, it's essential to strike a balance between style and comfort. Here are some suggestions for a dress that is suitable for a restaurant outing:

Midi Dress

A midi dress is a versatile option that is both stylish and appropriate for a restaurant setting. Look for a dress that hits below the knee or mid-calf for an elegant and sophisticated look. Choose a fabric that drapes well and is comfortable to sit in.

 A photo of a model wearing the Mimi Midi Swing dress in Passion Red.

Mimi Midi Swing Dress £135

 A photo of a model wearing the Padstow Midi Swing Dress in Spectrum Indigo.

Padstow Midi Dress £129

Summer Wrap Dress

A wrap dress is a flattering choice for a restaurant outing. It accentuates the waist and creates an hourglass silhouette. Opt for a wrap dress in a classic colour or a subtle pattern for a timeless and chic look.

Summer Shirt Dress

A shirt dress is a stylish and effortless option for a restaurant. It offers a polished yet relaxed vibe. Look for a shirt dress in a breathable fabric like cotton or linen. Consider details like a belted waist or interesting buttons to add some visual interest.

Fit and Flare Dress

A fit-and-flare dress is a feminine and versatile choice. It cinches at the waist and flares out, creating a flattering silhouette. Choose a dress with a modest neckline and a length that falls at or just above the knee.

 A photo of a model wearing the Pinto Swing dress in Navy Blue and Crystal Pink.

Pinto Swing Dress £159

 A photo of a model wearing the Islay Swing Dress in Oxford Blue.

Islay Swing Dress £99

Tailored Sheath Dress

A tailored sheath dress exudes sophistication and elegance. It's a sleek, polished option that works well for upscale or formal restaurants. Look for a well-fitted dress with clean lines and minimal embellishments.

A photo of a model wearing the Elphine Short Sleeved Dress in Black.

Elphine Tailored Dress £125

A photo of a model wearing the Bouvier Sleeved Pencil Dress in Wine.

Bouvier Dress £99

Culottes Jumpsuit

If you prefer a more contemporary and fashion-forward look, consider a culotte jumpsuit. It combines the comfort of trousers with the style of a dress. Look for a jumpsuit in a luxe fabric and pair it with statement accessories for a chic and modern ensemble.

Dresses to Wear to the Beach

When it comes to beach days, the focus is on comfort, style, and practicality. Here are some dress options that are perfect for enjoying a day by the beach:

Summer Maxi Dress

A flowy and lightweight maxi dress is an ideal choice for the beach. Look for a dress made from breathable fabrics like cotton or linen to keep you cool. Opt for vibrant colours or playful prints to embrace the beachy vibes.

 A photo of a model wearing the Corina Sleeveless Maxi Dress in Silver and Black.

Corina Sleeveless Maxi Dress £49 (was £79)

Summer Sundress

A classic sundress is a versatile option for the beach. Look for a dress with a relaxed fit, adjustable straps, and breathable fabric. Choose a sundress in a cheerful print or a solid colour that reflects the summery atmosphere.

Kaftan or Cover-up Dress

A kaftan or cover-up dress is a must-have for beach days. These loose-fitting, lightweight dresses are designed to be worn over swimwear. Look for styles with fun patterns, tassels, or lace details for added flair.

A photo of a model wearing the Asquith A-line Maxi Dress.

Asquith Maxi Dress £24.99 (was £125)

Off-the-Shoulder Dress

An off-the-shoulder dress can be a stylish and trendy option for the beach. Choose a dress made from breezy fabrics and with an elasticized neckline to keep it in place. Opt for pastel colours or boho prints for a relaxed and beachy look.

Summer T-Shirt Dress

A comfortable and casual t-shirt dress is perfect for a laid-back beach day. Look for a dress made from soft cotton fabric that allows for easy movement. Choose a dress in a solid colour or with a playful beach-inspired graphic for a fun and effortless look.

Romper

If you prefer a more playful and versatile option, consider a romper. It combines the ease of shorts with the style of a dress. Look for a lightweight and breathable fabric with a relaxed fit. Choose a romper with adjustable straps or an elasticized waist for added comfort.

Flowing Skirt

Whilst comfortable, dresses might not be on the top of your list when looking for something to wear outside on a warm day, when there may be sand involved! So, how about our Huxley Maxi skirt? Perfectly paired with a fitted vest top. Simple!

A photo of a model wearing the Huxley Maxi Skirt in Floral Blue.

Huxley Maxi Skirt £39.99 (was £89)

Office Wear for the summer

As much as we hate to say it, even when it is summer, work has to continue. So, when it comes to choosing dresses for the office, it's important to prioritise professionalism, comfort, and appropriateness. Here are some suggestions for office-appropriate dresses:

A-Line Dress

An A-line dress is a classic choice for the office. It is tailored at the top and gradually flares out at the waist, creating a sophisticated silhouette. Look for a dress that falls at or below the knee for a modest and professional look.

Our new drop includes the Laura A-line dress (with pockets!) that’s available in eight stunning shades including Navy, Black, Indigo Blue, Parasailing Green and Magenta. Oh, and did we mention it has pockets?!

A photo of a model wearing the Laura A-line in Magenta.

Laura A-Line Dress £165

A photo of a model wearing the Palmerston A-line Dress in Amethyst Purple.

Palmerston Swing Dress £175

Shift Dress

A shift dress is a versatile option that works well in the office. It has a straight, loose-fitting silhouette that skims the body without being too tight. Opt for a shift dress with clean lines and minimal embellishments for a polished appearance.

three model images with text showcasing the new Harriet Jacquard Pencil Dress in Lemon

Harriet Jacquard Dress £79

Wrap Dress

A wrap dress is a universally flattering and professional option. It accentuates the waist and offers a feminine silhouette. Choose a wrap dress in a modest length and a fabric that drapes well.

Tailored Sheath Dress

A tailored sheath dress is a classic and sophisticated choice for the office. It is fitted and has a straight silhouette, creating a polished and professional look. Look for a dress with a modest neckline and a length that falls at or just above the knee.

Shirt Dress

A shirt dress can be a stylish and comfortable option for the office. It offers a polished and put-together look. Choose a shirt dress in a conservative fabric and opt for a length that falls at or below the knee.

Midi Dress

If your office environment allows for slightly more relaxed dress codes, a well-tailored midi dress can be a chic option. Look for a dress that falls below the knee but above the ankle, and choose a modest design with a professional print or solid colour.

What to Wear as a Wedding Guest, in Summer

As a wedding guest in the summer, you'll want to choose an outfit that is stylish, appropriate, and comfortable for the warm weather. Here are some suggestions for what to wear:

Dresses

Opt for a lightweight and breathable dress in a cheerful colour or a pretty floral print. Consider the wedding dress code when selecting the length and style. A knee-length or midi dress is often a safe choice or a specific shift dress for wedding guests but be mindful of the venue and any specific dress code requirements.

A photo of a model wearing the Ellen Contour Dress in Waterlily.

Ellen Contour Stretch Dress £129

A photo of a model wearing the Ellen Print Dress in Hummingbird Print.

Ellen Print Dress £69 (was £129)

Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits are a stylish and modern alternative to dresses. Look for a well-tailored jumpsuit in a summery fabric like linen or lightweight cotton. Choose a jumpsuit with a flattering neckline and a cinched waist to create a polished and sophisticated look.

Skirt and Top

Pair a flowy skirt with a stylish top for an elegant ensemble. Opt for a lightweight fabric like chiffon or silk for the skirt. Choose a top that complements the skirt and adds a touch of sophistication. Consider a crop top and skirt set or a blouse tucked into a high-waisted skirt for a chic look.

A photo of a model wearing the SEED Elixir Skirt in Navy Blue.

SEED Elixir Skirt £55

A photo of a model wearing the Brandcombe Top in Floral Mist Navy.

Branscombe Top £69

Light Layers

If the wedding takes place in the evening or if the venue has air conditioning, you may want to bring a light jacket, shawl, or cardigan to keep warm. Choose a layering piece that complements your outfit and adds a touch of elegance without overwhelming your look. For example, many have matchy ‘wedding gowns bolero’ teams, so if you are close with the bride or groom you may find it best to match their colours via your chosen cover-up.

A photo of a model wearing the Weston Sleeved Bolero in Electric Red.

Weston Sleeved Bolero £69

Footwear

Select comfortable yet stylish footwear for a summer wedding. Opt for dressy sandals, wedge heels, or block heels that you can comfortably wear throughout the day. Avoid stilettos or shoes with thin heels that may sink into grass or sand if the wedding is outdoors.

Accessories

Complete your wedding guest look with the right accessories. Consider statement jewellery, a clutch or small handbag, and a hat or fascinator if the wedding has a more formal or themed dress code. Ensure your accessories complement your outfit without overpowering it.

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