I grew up on the idea that a new season brings a whole new wardrobe- eagerly waiting for the magazines to publish their bi annual trend reports, then spending all season struggling to make them work. I have spent much of my career writing these reports, authoritatively passing on that we should all immediately start channeling 'cowgirl' or 'dominatrix', just for the next 6 months of course. Suddenly that's all been turned on its head; now the emphasis is on slow fashion and buying things to last. (As it always has been for the sensible amongst us; Me? I'm packing that cowgirl outfit away as soon as I finish this article.) I was due to run a workshop this week about sustainable styling - thank you house of covid for causing postponement - and high on the agenda were season-less pieces.
Enter the wear all year day dress: A dress that we can layer up with t-shirts and roll necks underneath, cardigans and jumpers on top and boots on the bottom during winter, and swap for sandals, plimsoles and a perky little spring in our step as the weather gets warmer. And not only is it pretty much the easiest throw on item in our wardrobes, but the one most likely to brighten our mood, and make us feel like we're making an effort without actually making an effort at all. Surely fashion's meant to be A LOT more complicated than that?
So, start shopping your wardrobe for last years dresses you can start to wear now; or if you have a wardrobe gap there are currently bargains to be had, including at small brands with longevity. Here are 20 of my current favourites.