Isn't it lovely when a major trend comes around and appears to genuinely suit everyone? That idea is thrown around a lot in the fashion industry. For example, I'm always told wrap dresses should look good on me because they're supposedly universally flattering, but they really don't work with my figure. Occasionally, though, something magical comes along and really does live up to the hype.
One such wardrobe winner is this year's batch of shirred dresses. Don't know what shirring means? Let me explain: It's when a fabric has many horizontal lines of thin elastic thread stitched into it in order to draw the fabric together and create a stretchy, flattering panel that will snugly fit waists but happily expand over boobs, tummies, bottoms, and more. It's like body-con but bohemian, and it looks seriously good on everyone—not to mention it's comfy.
One of my favorite shirred dresses—a style from Rhode Resort from last year.
Such is its sudden presence on the scene. There are already multiple beloved frocks featuring this modern kind of smocking. Some are super affordable (like a leopard-print maxi from ASOS) whilst others take the trend to a more extreme, experimental, and expensive end of the spectrum. (I'm looking at you, sold-out Totême midi.) But what they all share in common is that they love your body—no matter how you feel about it. And for that, during the summer months, I am eternally grateful. Keep scrolling to shop the shirred dresses with fan clubs forming, and then carry on with the best of the rest.
Since Lucy Williams wore this pretty blue floral dress in March, we've seen it suddenly appear in many more cool wardrobes across the land. It's now available at Urban Outfitters, and with its easy beach-to-wedding-to-work flexibility, I don't expect it to hang around for long.
I own Free People's Oasis Dress in a mustard color and adore it. It's so comfortable to wear, features so many cool design details and has quite a lot of fabric, so it feels very luxe for the price point. This has been trending all over the world and now comes in many different hues and finishes, but I love how Rachel Zeilic has discovered her white version is just as great in her third trimester of pregnancy. Shirring, I tell you, is genius.
It's gingham, it's red, and it has huge statement sleeves, so I'm not surprised this has been such a hit on Instagram (despite the fact that it's from a brand you might not know yet).
There are hundreds of pretty dress on ASOS right now, but the shirred bustier dresses are flying out fast. They come in both Curve and straight sizes and in many different fabrics and colors. This leopard one has already been notching up proud owners left, right, and center.
Where many of the loveliest shirred dresses naturally veer bohemian, this minimalistic one really stands out from the pack. Created by influencer Elin Kling for her brand, Totême, it has garnered a lot of likes across the internet and is currently sold out. Add yourself to the waiting list before I do.
Dôen is one of the independent brands that Net-a-Porter is now stocking globally online. It means you can finally get your hands on signature beauties like this, no matter where you live. Say buh-bye to those import taxes!
Shop more of the best shirred dresses on the market right now:
Now all you need is a field to run around in.
Enjoying the modest neckline on this one.
Add a basket and sunhat, and you're good to go.
One of the best things about this trend is how accessible it is at any budget.