SS20 trend to go: the do-everything dress

SS20
Clockwise from left: Carolina Herrera, See by Chloé, Co, Roland Mouret, Oscar de la Renta

There have been so many column inches written in the past few months about that Zara dress. You know the one – costs less than 40 quid, comes with polka dots and ignore all you lumps and bumps that are in the wrong places. You can wear it belted, you can wear it loose. It goes with trainers, slides, heels, anything. However you choose to wear it, it’s just, well, easy.

Admittedly, for every woman who’s embraced it there’s probably a man who doesn’t quite get the appeal, but women don’t seem to care.

The fact is that making comfort cool is so on-trend right now. Why do you think athleisure and casual looks generally have been so important for the past few years now?

All of which is a long way of introducing what’s turning out to be a key dress silhouette on the SS20 runways. Designers in New York cottoned on and London seems to have done so too: if you want to sell dresses today, forget couture and think comfort.

The do-everything dress (which could also be called the forgive-everything dress as the silhouette is so forgiving) is likely to be as big news for next summer as it was this time at all levels of the market.

It’s great for day, for night, for special occasions, for holidays, even for the office.

Most designers are going for maxi lengths but think of this as an option for mid-calf, knee-length and short too — either on its own or combined with leggings, shorts or slim pants.

Marc Jacobs, Co, Temperley London, M Patmos, Victoria Beckham
Clockwise from left: Marc Jacobs, Co, Temperley London, M Patmos, Victoria Beckham

A triangular silhouette starting from the shoulders and flaring (but in ultra-fluid materials is key), while the look can also be more restrained, with just a slight flare or as a relaxed play on the night-shirt or caftan.

For added interest, an empire line or dropped waist, encrusted embellishment, a gentle floral print or pyjama stripes all keep it feeling free and easy. This really is one to back.