Best dresses: All the new-in styles to shop now

Whatever the occasion we've got the latest best dresses: From maxi to midi, petite, plus and floral prints

models wearing the best dresses from highstreet brands
(Image credit: River Island/ Cos/ Mango)

The best dresses are a must in any wardrobe. A quick way to look instantly put together, a great frock can put a halt to any sartorial meltdown and boost your confidence in one fell swoop.

The best dresses will land you straight onto everyone's best dressed list. Whatever the occasion, a great dress will carry you through in style, whether you're heading to a wedding, the office or simply out with friends, this throw on and go look can be quite the attention grabber. Whatever length you choose, the right dress will always make you feel ready to take on the world

The best dresses will take you through each season with ease, with many holding the ability to be worn all year, making them smart investment pieces. Easy to dress up, layered with jackets, or on top of t-shirts and fine knits, a great dress can be transformed time and time again with a simple switch up of layering pieces or accessories. Get it right and you'll feel like you have a never ending wardrobe. To help you avoid those nothing to wear moments, we've rounded up the best dresses to shop now.  

Best dresses: New in styles to shop right now

There is a dress for every activity. From what to wear to a wedding, to brunch outfit ideas - the best frocks will ensure you put your most stylish foot forward at all times. These are the silhouettes you need to ensure your ready for anything. 

1. Best maxi dresses

Whether you need to decide what to wear in the heat or are on the hunt for holiday outfit ideas, the humble maxi dress is a wardrobe staple - particularly in warmer months. Evoking instant holiday vibes, a maxi dress offers great coverage and has the ability to feel instantly glamorous. Easy to dress up or down with a change of accessories, opt for classic paisley, tile and floral prints for a statement look or a block color design that will be a style staple forever. 

Boden printed maxi best everyday dress

(Image credit: Boden)

1. Boden Freya Tie Back Maxi Dress

Best everyday maxi dress


RRP: $180 / £120
Sizes: US: 2-22 / UK: 6-22
Materials: Viscose, LENZING ™ ECOVERO ™

Featuring a tile print, this dreamy dress is ideal when deciding what to pack for a beach vacation. The blue and white color combination evokes hot, European holidays, while the A-line shape will ensure this dress is easy breezy for both day to day wear and for evening alfresco dinners. Just grab your best sandals and you're good to go. 

Zara boho green maxi summer dress

(Image credit: Zara)

2. Zara Long Printed Dress

Best boho-inspired maxi dress


RRP: $119 / £79.99
Sizes: XS-XXL
Materials: Viscose, polyester

When it comes to the best summer dresses, no one does it quite like Spanish clothing brand, Zara. Creating some of the best dresses, the brand knows how to make great frocks with throw on and go appeal. One of the best green dresses, this trapeze shaped, paisley print is ideal for wearing on hot days, as it will help keep you cool. As we head towards the Fall, try layering a fine knit underneath and pairing with tights and boots to transform this look. 

reformation floral maxi occasion dress

(Image credit: Net-a-Porter)

3. Reformation Tripoli Ruffled Floral-Print Georgette Maxi Dress

Best occasion maxi dress


RRP: $348 / £350
Sizes: US: 0-12 / UK: 4-16
Material: Viscose

This beautiful floral maxi dress would make one of the best bridesmaid dresses for a summer wedding or one of the best rehearsal dinner dresses for those looking for something pretty and printed. With a romantic ruffle design, this Reformation frock nails the nuptial feel with ease and with a deep scoop, this dress is flattering on busts of all sizes. The long column silhouette with angled ruffles is great for elongating silhouettes and accessories can be matched to the floral print for a pretty pastel finish. 

2. Best midi dresses

The best midi dresses work for all occasions and will become a wardrobe essential in no time. Offering one stop dressing, the most stylish of midi dresses will cover you for all occasions - whether you're wondering what to wear on a first date, or need a Sunday lunch outfit idea, we can say with almost 100% certainty that there will be a midi dress to match. 

mango yellow printed midi dress

(Image credit: Mango)

4. Mango Midi printed dress

Best patterned midi dress


RRP: $49.99 / £29.99
Sizes: US: 0-20 / UK: 4-26
Material: Polyester

Available from size 4-26, this printed yellow design is one of the best plus size dresses out there right now. A tea dress silhouette, this iteration features an empire line shape, making it one of the most stylish dresses to hide a tummy. In a summer-ready yellow hue, this midi frock can be styled up for a special occasion, or worn for the weekend with your best white trainers. A look you'll reach for on repeat. 

crew clothing red linen midi dress

(Image credit: Crew Clothing)


Best linen midi dress


RRP: $90 / £75
Sizes: US: 2-14 / UK: 6-18
Materials: Viscose, cotton, linen

Ideal for the summer, this linen and cotton mixed dress draws the benefits of lightweight, breathable fabrics, making for a comfortable, warm weather wear. The punchy red color is great for the spring and summer months, try pairing with your best denim jacket for a timeless feel. The front button detailing, draws the eye down the body, for a torso lengthening finish. 

monsoon black printed midi dress

(Image credit: Monsoon)

6. Monsoon Floral print shirt dress

Best transitional midi dress


RRP: $92 / £75
Sizes: US: 4-20 / UK: 8-24
Materials: Viscose, Lenzing ECOVERO

The best shirt dresses are some of the most versatile pieces to have in your style arsenal and this monochromatic floral design will see you through all seasons with ease. The button front fastening keeps this look smartly tailored, while the floral print adds a feminine finish. In a black base, this dress works well for smarter and cooler occasions teamed with your best Chelsea boots.

3. best mini dresses

The fashion trends 2022 are all about extremes and that idea certainly rings true when it comes to hem lengths. As much as the runway embraced floor sweeping hemlines, the same is true for thigh skimming mini styles too. The mini dress is ideal for warmer months, worn bare-legged to embrace the hot weather, however this versatile silhouette still has a place as the Fall 2022 fashion trends roll around. Worn with opaque tights and styled with knee high boots, the mini dress is accessible to all body types, although, naturally, the shorter hem length lends itself well to creating some of the best petite dresses.

needle & thread knitted mini dress

(Image credit: Needle & Thread)


Best knitted mini dress


RRP: $509 / £335
Sizes: US: 2-14 / UK: 6-18
Material: Recycled viscose

A new launch from one of the best dress brands, Needle & Thread is well known for its frothy and romantic frocks, but the pretty dress brand has recently launched a selection of knitted dresses that have a more 'everyday' feel. While the brand's main range is our go to for the best wedding guest dresses, the new knit pieces will slot into your capsule wardrobe. Easily dressed up or down, the brand's classic A-line silhouette shines through here, offering a flattering finish.  

Massimo Dutti printed zebra mini dress

(Image credit: Massimo Dutti)


Best bold mini dress


RRP: $149 / £125
Sizes: S-L
Material: Linen

Animal print remains a key runway trend and this Zebra iteration doesn't disappoint. In breathable linen, this mini dress is ideal for what to pack for a beach vacation as it will slip on easily over your best swimsuit as one of the best beach cover-ups, or work effortlessly teamed with jeweled sandals for an evening out. 

all saints white linen mini dress

(Image credit: All Saints)


Best casual midi dress


RRP: $178 / £149
Sizes: US: 0-12 / UK: 4-16
Material: Linen, EcoVero™ viscose

Not all mini dresses have to feature sky-high hem lines and this simple and pretty white iteration from AllSaints has a 'just above the knee' finish, for those who want to try the trend without putting too much leg on show. Ideal for pairing with blue hues, this dress is ideal for working out how to style a denim jacket. Just add some white trainers or Converse high tops to give this dress a weekend-ready feel. 

4. Best petite dresses

The best petite dresses are much more than shorter hemlines. Well designed petite clothing takes into account the difference in torso length and build, not just height. With many brands now offering petite categories, finding one of the best dresses for a smaller stature is more accessible than ever and with the correctly designed proportions, there is no style that petites can't wear. 

karen millen petite maxi dress

(Image credit: Karen Millen)

10. Karen Millen Petite Optical Print Midi Halter Dress

Best unique petite dress


RRP: $119 / £99
Sizes: US: 0-12 / UK: 4-16
Material: Polyester

Not a silhouette you would normally expect to find in a petite range, this beautiful petite maxi frock, with halterneck fastening is quite the showstopper. Ideal for a summer occasion or vacation, the cowl neck adds curves to smaller busts, creating an hourglass body shape. 

new look green petite beach dress

(Image credit: New Look)

11. New Look Petite Green Jersey Strappy Mini Dress

Best petite dress for the beach


RRP: $19 / £15.99
Sizes: US: 0-12 / UK: 4-16
Material: Cotton

When it comes to packing for a beach vacation, strappy mini dresses are ideal for everyday wear. Great for throwing on over swimwear as you head to the beach, they also layer well over your best white t-shirts for a fun sightseeing outfit. Dress them up in the evening with metallic sandals and layered gold bangles for a holiday-ready outfit. 

oasis petite midi floral dress

(Image credit: Oasis)

12. Oasis Petite Printed Floral Puff Sleeve Midi Dress

Best midi petite dress


RRP: $94 / £79
Sizes: US: 2-14 / UK: 6-18
Material: Polyester

A midi dress can be a big challenge for petite frames, as unless the dress has been cut specifically, midi frocks can easily end up as ankle-skimming styles. This blue and white iteration is ideal for smart occasions such as what to wear to the races or a wedding this summer and features a fitted bodice, highlighting curves. We love the sweetheart neckline that gives this dress a retro feel. 

5. best plus size dresses

The best dresses for plus size naturally have size in mind, but to get the most flattering silhouette, the cut of the garment is of upmost importance. The dresses that made our best dress list in this section have an extended range of sizes that make them accessible for fuller figures, but they also have designs that enhance curves, contour your shape and streamline your figure for garments that will make you stand out from the crowd.

asos plus size milkmaid mini dress

(Image credit: ASOS)

13. Daisy Street Plus mini milkmaid dress in vintage floral

Best plus size dress for summer


RRP: $37 / £21.99
Sizes: US: 14-24 / UK: 18-28
Material: Cotton

A sweet, everyday design, this white printed dress features what has been coined, a 'milkmaid' cut. Exploring what is cottagecore, this dress has a natural affinity with the dress silhouettes of yesteryear, offering a squared neckline, shirred bodice and puff sleeves for a frock that hugs your bustline before flaring out into an A-line skirt shape skimming a tummy with ease. 

anthropologie formal plus size dress

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

14. Anthropologie Ruffled Tiered Floral Maxi Dress

Best formal plus size dress


RRP: $200 / £170
Sizes: 1X-3X
Material: Polyester

A sensational dress in a showstopping print, if you have an occasion this summer, then American clothing brand, Anthropologie, as an eclectic selection of dresses that will help you discover, what is boho style. This bohemian printed and ruffled design is ideal for taller, plus size silhouettes. With a halterneck style design, this dress will need you to acquire one of the best strapless bras. It is worth noting that due to the style, this dress is probably best suited to plus size women with a smaller bust, as this is ideally worn braless. 

river island plus size midi floral dress

(Image credit: River Island)


Best versatile plus size dress


RRP: $67 / £36
Sizes: US: 14-24 / UK: 18-28
Material: Polyester

Giving a nod to the '50s, this nostalgic midi dress is ideal for plus size silhouettes. With a flattering V-neck shape, the knotted detail at the bust will draw the eye down and along the body, creating an elongated torso. With slight gathered detail over the midriff area, this dress will skim a stomach for a soft finish. We love the directional floral print too. 

6. best black dresses

A woman should be two things, 'classy and fabulous' - and the best Coco Chanel quotes pay homage to the designer's style ethos, in the same way that are continued obsession with finding the perfect little black dress, pays tribute to Coco's creative genius. 

Chanel created the notion of the LBD and since then it has become a wardrobe essential. A black dress is incredibly versatile, making a great choice for so much more than simply: what to wear to a job interview or what to wear to a funeral. The black dress is synonymous with elegance and class and can be reinvented over and over again with new accessories. One of the most important investment styles you'll ever buy. 

h&m black cutout midi dress

(Image credit: H&M)

16. H&M Balloon-sleeved Cut-out Crêped Dress

Best black dress for the evening


RRP: $39.99 / £29.99
Sizes: XS-XXL
Material: Polyester

Tapping into the cut-out trend, this black dress falls into the 'smart/casual' category. The side slits are ideal for those wanting to highlight or show off their waistline, while the balloon sleeve offers a directional feel. The midaxi length hemline helps to balance the flesh flashing middle and the classic black hue ensures that even if the cut-out trend falls out of fashion's favor, you can wear this dress time and time again. 

& Other Stories black strappy midi dress

(Image credit: & Other Stories)
Best timeless black dress


RRP: $89 / £65
Sizes: US: 0-12 / UK: 4-16
Materials: Lyocell, linen

A simple LBD, such as this delicate slip style makes for a great layering piece. An ideal base to any look, once you learn how to style a slip dress, you'll never 'have nothing to wear' again. With a figure-hugging fit, it will work for both hourglass and rectangular body shapes. 

To add a more tailored finish, use this dress to learn how to style a blazer, and opt for a block color, tailored jacket for a smart look that shows you're brimming with confidence. 

To give the overall finish a softer and more feminine feel, lean into the dopamine dressing trend and try pairing your black dress with a hot pink or bold green cardigan. 

Selfridges sandro premium black cotton dress

(Image credit: Selfridges)

18. Sandro Fifi ruffled cotton mini dress

Best premium black dress


RRP: $340 / £279
Sizes: US: 2-8 / UK: 6-12
Material: Cotton

If you're looking for a dress to create enviable curves, then this ruffled, tiered mini black dress is ideal for the summer. Made from cotton, it's lightweight and breathable, while the pretty, full skirt is great for nipping you in at the waist before skimming over fuller hips. Team with heels, wedges or ballet flats for a chic summer outfit. 

7. best white dresses

White dresses are just as versatile as black dresses, so unless you're heading to someone's wedding, a little white dress should be on your shopping list. Great in the warm weather, as white reflects the heat - keeping you cooler on the hottest of days - white dresses instantly conjure up the notion of tanned skin, summer holidays and beach waves. From evening dinner looks to what to wear to a bridal shower (if you're the bride), white is one of summer's favorite color choices.

cos white long sleeve dress

(Image credit: Cos)


Best trend-led white dress


RRP: $135 / £79
Sizes: XS-L
Material: TENCEL™

This gathered mini dress is one of the best dresses for nailing heatwave style. The cool cotton fabric is breathable - meaning you'll sweat less and cool down quicker, while the trapeze silhouette will also help with airflow to your skin. The collarless, shirt-style silhouette adds elegance to this casual design that can be dressed up with gold jewelry and a statement, directional rattan bag.

accessorize embroidered off the shoulder dress

(Image credit: Accessorize)

20. Accessorize Pop floral embroidered bardot dress

Best seasonal white dress


RRP: $61 / £45
Sizes: XS-XL
Material: Viscose

A stylish beach cover-up, this off the shoulder design with floral detailing gives us instant vacay vibes. Ideal for pairing with your best beach bag and your best sunglasses, this dress can be worn in the city too, teamed with a denim jacket for a more casual, city feel. 

fatface midi shirt dress

(Image credit: Fatface)

21. Fatface Colette Linen Shirt Dress

Best white shirt dress


RRP: $116 / £75
Sizes: US: 2-20 / UK: 6-24
Material: Linen

When it comes to how to style a shirt dress, a white linen shirt dress is a warm weather hero and gives your look instant elegance. White shirt dresses team tailoring and femininity together and suggests to the world that you're the kind of person who can go a whole day without spilling a latte on yourself. A transformative piece, this white shirt dress design features a self-fabric belt to allow you to highlight your waist, you can however forgo the belt for a more relaxed feel or swap it for slim fit leather design.

8. Best floral dresses

'Florals, for spring? Groundbreaking' - one of the best fashion quotes, when it comes to bloom prints, they might not be revolutionary, but they are guaranteed to always be in style, particularly in the spring and summer seasons. Giving any look a softer and more romantic feel, whether you opt for oversized or micro florals, you can guarantee that the best dresses in gorgeous floral prints will be with you for a lifetime. 

Arket floral midi dress

(Image credit: Arket)

22. Arket Floral Tier Dress

Best subtle floral dress


RRP: $140 / £109
Sizes: US: 4-14 / UK: 8-18
Materials: Viscose, cupro

The tiered, trapeze silhouette has been one of the best dress shapes of the season. Smart enough to dress up for an event - just learn how to wear headbands to style it up. But still chic paired with comfortable flats, relaxed fits are becoming an ever increasing part of the fashion landscape. In a post-lockdown era, designers understand that many consumers are trying to hold on to the comfort and the laidback lifestyle many undertook when the hustle and bustle was taken away and this has certainly started to shape silhouettes and styles.