The Dress has made a big comeback after several seasons in which separates were taking the lead in the style stakes, so here's our easy-to-follow guide to the key dress shape trends this season.
1. Asymmetric Hemline
If you are petite an asymmetric hemline below the knee is a flattering way to wear longer dresses without overwhelming your figure. Pear shapes are complimented by asymmetric lines which distract the eye from wider hips and a fit and flare shape like this Ted Baker dress will enhance your slim waist and show off shoulders while flowing over your bottom half.
Ted Baker ‘Simbah' Dress, £149 (available in orange and black).
2. The Shirt Dress
It's a timeless dress option which can take you from desk to dinner and - depending on the fabric and print - even to a special occasion. The versatility of this simple dress and ability to change the shape to suit your figure make it a wardrobe staple. Don't judge your shirt dress the minute you step into it in the changing room; roll the cuffs back, unbutton or button-up the neck, add or remove the belt and tweak it for the most flattering finish.
Take a fashion forward step and wear a lightweight narrow fit shirt dress unbuttoned over a slim trousers and camisole. We have seen the dress over trousers look on the catwalks for a couple of seasons now (and it's set to continue) and long kimonos are also coming through as an alternative summer jacket so combine the two ideas for an elegant look.
Linea ‘Sabrina' shirt dress at House of Fraser, £69 (available in floral print and navy).
3. The Midi
The midi dress can be a tricky length to wear and will always be most flattering when worn with heels or wedges but once you have the footwear sorted (remember to avoid ankle straps!) the mid calf length feels more elegant than a mini and more practical than a maxi. If you need a little more convincing on this length, try a style with a sheer or lace overlay and a shorter lining to work the midi hemline in a subtler way to soften the effect.
Biba midi dress, £89 Available in blue and oyster.
4. The Embroidered Boho
Your dressed-down dress option this season is the embroidered dress with more than a hint of boho: look for off the shoulder necklines and tassel ties with contrast stitching. One of the key features of this style are the long sleeves, ideal for those conscious of upper arms, while still offering a summery twist with the open neckline. Wear with sliders or wedge espadrilles and add a straw bag to complete the outfit.
5. The Wide-leg Jumpsuit
Yes, we admit it's not technically a dress, but it'll really update your occasion wear for SS17 if you're more at home in trousers than skirts. The wide leg, whether in a straighter, tailored cut or lightweight flowing fabric will give the illusion of a maxi or midi dress depending on your chosen length, while offering the practicalities of trousers. This Whistles version combines an on-trend retro floral print with the jumpsuit shape for a great alternative wedding guest outfit. With its V-neckline and delicate cap sleeves it will flatter an hourglass figure and create shape on a rhubarb; add a skinny belt to finish the outfit.