The Summer Dress Trend That Suits Every Body Type

Designed by Meg O'Donnell
The catwalks of SS19 were strewn with dress trends: Prada went for '60s embellished minis, Burberry highlighted lace detailing and Altuzarra made crochet well and truly contemporary. It can become a bit of a minefield. With so many dress styles at our disposal, how are we supposed to choose just one to invest in this season?
Happily, one microtrend is gaining approval across the board: shirred, smocked fabric. The gathered and elasticated area usually sits around the bust, making this dress universally flattering, from big boobs to itty bitty titties. Thanks to the stretchy nature of the shirring, it adjusts to your chest size, meaning there's something for everyone.
While cult labels including Reformation, Faithfull The Brand and Ganni are leading the pack with seersucker, lime and printed iterations, the high street has also created several sellout pieces, like ASOS' already popular prairie number.
The styling rules? There are none. Any length (from minis and midis to maxis) and any style (puff sleeves, off-the-shoulder or strappy) goes, and the best part is that you can forego a bra thanks to its snug fit. Goodbye sweaty summer underboob. Click through to see our favourite shirred summer dresses.
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The milkmaid-esque design with a square neckline and puffy sleeves is basically 2019's aesthetic in a dress.
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Sustainable LA-born brand Reformation is always a go-to for winning dresses – and tops, and jeans, and even shoes for that matter. Imagine this blue beauty with white strappy sandals and a raffia bag. Swoon.
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What would smocking be without Molly Goddard? The London fashion scene's sweetheart single-handedly brought back hyper feminine details, so you can thank her for all the shirring out there right now.
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Be it leopard, tiger, zebra or even cow – animal print isn’t going anywhere fast. Available in sizes 16-30, Callie Thorpe has already worn this leopard number; pair with box fresh trainers and a red lip.
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We can always rely on high street hero Warehouse for stellar holiday looks. Pair this blue striped frock with white chunky sandals for ultimate summer vibes.
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We predict yet another cult hit from Ganni. Meet the zesty lime checked dress of dreams. Add dad sandals and go.
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This wear-everywhere dress also comes in the petite and tall collections – finally a maxi dress that’ll suit all heights.
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Floral dresses may be a no-brainer for summer, but a cliché is a cliché for a reason. Opt for bright statement colours and Bardot shoulders. Simply Be has the perfect style and it's available in sizes 12-32.
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If the words 'dress with elastic waist' don’t sell it to you, then the perfect midi length, wide straps to allow even larger chests to wear a bra unnoticed and the fact it comes in sizes XS to XXL will. Team with a bright red lip and mules for after dark.
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If you haven’t got a Santorini-style holiday booked in already, then this red striped number will make you want to, stat.
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More lime green, a key colour for SS19. Tick off three trends in one with this shirred, puff sleeve number from influencer favourite, Faithfull The Brand.
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The new-in section at & Other Stories never fails to bring us instant joy. This time, it’s the cream dress that everyone’s summer wardrobe needs. The shirred detail goes down to the hips so it stretches most around the tummy area ­– hello, new all-you-can-eat brunch dress.
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This one is super romantic. Wear with wedged espadrilles for walking the Italian coastline. Add '50s shades for extra retro glamour.