Do you know the one I mean? The throw on, doesn't cost a lot, washes like a dream, dress up dress down (although I will admit I didn't dress mine up much), every day frock.
Last year, there was a dress in Next that honestly I wouldn't have looked twice at, but thanks to my friend's mum who had bought it, she then saw the light and bought it. Then my best friend and I bought it (different colours) and then a fair number of you bought it too. In different colours and in different lengths, it just seemed to work for so many people.
I think it will probably be hard to find another one that is so versatile for so many of us, but well obviously I'm going to give it a go.
And yes, I have already asked my friend to check out which dresses her mum has her eye on this year so that we can copy...... She's going to get back to me...
In the meantime though, I was very optimistic after the success of my grown up dress escapade the other day. It cemented in my head, it doesn't really matter if something suits you, whilst it is good to try to step outside your comfort zone, if you honestly know that you aren't going to wear something often and it's sat in your wardrobe (having cost a lot of money and screeching YOU MUG, every time you look at it), then in those instances, I've decided I'm going to stick with what I know.
Success as well in that I have found my first contender for the Summer wardrobe. Here it is again from Kin at John Lewis along with another one in different shades.
Kin by John Lewis Brush Stroke Tunic Dress £59
This one looks (as I've seen it in the flesh) exactly the same as the one above, except it's more expensive. The mind boggles. Very very Whistles like and even at the higher price, it's still a lot cheaper. Pockets and machine washable. I may have to get one in every colour.
Kin by John Lewis Artwork Print Dress £89
Similar shape but in navy again at Kin. This one is definitely more on the sober side but with a pair of white sandals or white sneakers for a dress down look, would make it just as useful as with a pair of strappy sandals or heels for a dressier occasion. Plus it also has pockets. Yay.
Kin by John Lewis Kimono Print Dress £59 in navy
More plain in my beloved Tencel fabric.
Kin by John Lewis Short Sleeve Tencel Dress in Blue £69
Different range from John Lewis but this one is in the sale - would work perfectly for both Winter and Summer.
Collection by John Lewis Bar Code Print Dress was £89 now £44
However the obvious place to look to replace the Next dress would be errrr Next? And first up - a great looking Summery option (that would easily work for night as well as day). To be honest, it looks like a similar version of the Whistles dresses from the last couple of years but at a third of the cost. Let's pray it passes the crease test.
My choice would definitely be the orange. In Petite, Regular and Tall (although I do generally find as a tallie that Next dresses are always generously cut and I don't normally need the tall)
Crepe Detail Dress from Next £35
Or for the classic look - how about Ecru? This would look great teamed with black and leopard print (I may have just found a total winner..forget the orange.) I'm thinking black tux blazer and leaopard print heels, tan clutch.... But just as great for the school run on a super summery day with black sliders. Just stay away from children and red wine (verging on impossible in my world...)
Now the one we got last year was drop waist and this looks like a really interesting option. Very Orla Kiely but at a Next price. I do think they are the one retailer that really has managed to maintain their price point and if anything they now seem more reasonable as so many others have put their prices up.
Linen Blend Dress from Next £22
Whilst we're talking drop waist, I have to throw in again this shirt dress that I've tried on and can highly highly recommend.
Charcoal Geo Print Shirt Dress £38
If you were to see this one at Matches, I don't think you'd bat an eyelid. This is absolutely going on my list - it would work on so so many occasions. Put with black sandals for dress down casual and heels for an occasion. At this rate, I'm not sure I'm going to need to buy the Velvet by Graham & Spencer one (currently my favourite option.....at significantly more money)
Mono Geo Printed Kaftan Dress £35
These shoes wouldn't be my choice but horses for courses and all that.
Another one to add to the list... the Kin one is looking less likely by the minute......
Bright Pink Tribal Notch Dress £40
Ok Next is now seriously giving Warehouse a run for their money on being on having the most gems for this season. Love this. Again in three different lengths.
Printed Kaftan Dress £30
Having mentioned Warehouse, I neglected to include any of their dresses yesterday as I was saving them for today. More of the same, simple, pocket shift dress style.
Summer Aztec Shift Dress £32
Absolutely love the colours of this one - would look amazing with tan heels or tan gladiator sandals. Ok so maybe this is now top of my list... (ooh with tan ankle boots.....)
Green Pampas Leaf Cocoon Dress £38
Speaking of tan sandals, this one is another one that would be a wardrobe staple. As it's plain, I'd also team with either snakeskin or leopard print. Not entirely sure if it's an olive khaki or a green khaki..... although I could go either.
Green Polo Knit Dress £42 from Warehouse. All a bit Ralph Lauren/JCrew no?
Finishing with some lovely summer staples from Hush. I'm off to meet them tomorrow to see their High Sumer collection (sick children depending.... 10yr old is STILL not well, bless her - managed a trip to the cinema this afternoon but has fallen off a cliff again this evening. Dosed up on every medication possible in an attempt to make her feel a bit better)
Daisy Dress in Biscuit £65
Love a bit of stripe. Again with heels (I'm thinking leopard could work yet again or keep it simple with white, navy, black or tan) this could work beautifully for a night out in the Summer.
Jessica Striped Dress £50
And a classic plain black - perfect for all occasions, just change up or down your accessories as you see fit.
Newport Dress from Hush £45
Any of those make your list? Are you planning on building up your dress reserves this Summer or do you have another cunning plan for your wardrobe essentials? What's your favourite style of dress to wear? I feel I've definitely made inroads into the quagmire that is the shopping for summer dresses although still very much in the dark when it comes to knowing what sort of sandals I'm after.
Outfit from today - managed to swerve rugby due to not being able to leave sick child at home. Plus the 6yr old is on his knees, he's so so tired and I am planning on him making it into school for the last two days of term!
We did all make our cinema trip this afternoon though - Home. Excellent film and highly recommended. We all loved it.
White longsleeved tee - H&M
Navy merino jumper - Uniqlo
Real Straight jeans - Gap
Cardigan - Zara
Stone maxi zip satchel - Anya Hindmarch
Cypress boots - Acne
Today the rain has been biblical here, I am sincerely hoping it clears up for tomorrow and my trip to London (I am such a wuss, I HATE London in the rain) and definitely for Tuesday when I'm finally having my hair done and lunch with The Husband. Then the onslaught of the holidays begins......