This Under-£100 Dress Is the Answer to Looking Polished in the Heatwave

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there’s a heatwave coming. In fact, as I sit here writing this with my face as close to a fan as possible without my hair getting dragged in, I’m pretty sure it’s already arrived. Temperatures will be reaching crazy highs next week (does anyone remember a time when the UK was 35°? Me neither), but it also looks set to be really warm throughout the whole month of July and likely into August and September, too. Better late than never, I guess?

I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m very grateful for the rising temperatures after summer never really arrived last year. It’s lovely weather for sitting in the garden and doing nothing. The problem arises when we’re expected to leave the house and still look polished. Whether you’re going to the office, a meeting, a date, or drinks with friends, not looking like you’ve just left a hot yoga class feels like a challenge equivalent to climbing Mount Everest. So what the heck do you wear to stay cool but also appropriately covered up?


(Image credit: COS)

Well, that last part I can help you with. I’m not great in the heat, and so I’ve been scrolling through my go-to summer brands this week to find pieces that are not only heatwave-appropriate but also office-appropriate. These are pieces that I can wear comfortably over the next few weeks but that I know I’ll want to pull out when the mercury rises next summer as well. I’m a sucker for a good investment, after all. Obviously, my first thought was to find something linen, which, as we all know, is the true secret to looking chic in the heat. And when I came across COS’s Linen Shirt Dress (pictured above), I knew I wouldn’t find anything better.


(Image credit: COS)

The under-£100 dress is a short-sleeved, floaty, throw-on, button-down midi dress that comes in three colours: white (ideal for heatwaves and beach days), navy (very French), classic black and a soft lilac for the colour fans amongst us. The natural linen won’t stick to your back or show sweat patches, and it won’t make you hotter than you already are. Plus, the midi length keeps it feeling elevated and suitable for all sorts of occasions. Dress it up with heeled sandals or dress it down with classic leather slides or Birkenstocks. It even works with trainers and a trench coat or over trousers as we head into autumn. What more could you really ask for in a dress?

Keep scrolling to shop the dress, and see more of my heatwave shopping picks below.

Shop COS's Relaxed Linen Shirt Dress

Shop More Under-£100 Heatwave Dresses

Up Next: 24 Heatwave-Proof Dresses That Come in Under £100

Emily Dawes
Affiliate Editor

Emily Dawes is the very definition of a fashion multi hyphenate. An editor, stylist and writer with over eleven years’ worth of experience in the industry, Emily is known for her impeccable taste, elegant outfit choices and being able to spot the next big thing in fashion from a mile off. Our readers loyally trust her advice and shopping suggestions; so much so she began her own column documenting the most expensive-looking pieces on the high street, which has become a top-performing piece of content for the Who What Wear brand.

Emily has worked for Who What Wear UK since 2020 in a myriad as roles, spanning from contributing editor and branded content editor. Now, she holds the position of affiliate editor and is responsible for the brand’s overall affiliate strategy, ideation and content execution. Working closely with Who What Wear UK’s affiliate manager, Emily has been instrumental in securing and nourishing brand partnerships, surpassing her goals as standard. Leading the team in tentpole shopping moments including Black Friday and Peak Trading, with Emily’s guidance and leadership, team Who What Wear is in a stronger affiliate position than ever before.

Prior to joining the Who What Wear team, Emily served as YOU Magazine’s acting fashion editor where she managed the fashion team and oversaw all fashion content output for the fast-paced weekly title. Emily is a stylist in her own right, having worked with a slew of VIP clients including writer and television personality, Elizabeth Day, as well as styling and art directing several celebrity cover shoots for glossy print publication, Grazia. Her adept fashion knowledge means brands regularly sought out to work with her as a consultant: previously she has developed marketing and content plans for brands for Cocoon and Edge of Ember. Before entering the industry, Emily obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and American Studies with International Study from Nottingham University. Fun fact: Emily spent a year studying in America which saw her join a sorority during her time there.

When she’s not working or tracking down the chicest, new-in items to share with our audience, you’ll find Emily bestowing her East London home with her stylish flair, reading everything from the classics to cowboy romance novels and escaping to the country with husband, baby boy and dog, Roo, whenever she can.

Emily is currently on maternity leave.