I Predict These Summer Dresses Are About to Take Over Your Instagram Feed

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(Image credit: @LILYRUSSOBAH)

One of my favorite pastimes is deep-diving into Instagram and spotting the buzziest pieces everyone is wearing, especially before they become a thing. Finding trends and predicting which items are set for cult status is my USP, and this is great for me, as it means I can snap up said cult buy before it sells out (not so great for my bank balance, I might add) and share said info.

This summer, dresses continue to be a key focus for most designers and retailers. After all, who doesn’t love an outfit in one piece? Dresses that require minimal styling and make getting ready a breeze will always have my attention, and this ease is the secret to their popularity. If you’re wondering which particular dress style or trend is most popular right now, the answer is pretty much anything goes. As you’ll see when you scroll down below, there is a broad spectrum of shapes, colors, and prints, meaning there’s something for everyone. I’ve put together the eight dresses I’m predicting will fill your Instagram feed this summer, from the must-know emerging labels to the dress brought back by Carrie Bradshaw in the SATC remake, And Just Like That….

1. Norma Kamali’s Diana Dress

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(Image credit: @LILYRUSSOBAH)

The Diana dress was first designed by the legend that is Norma Kamali back in the ’70s, and whilst popularity for the dress has only just resurfaced in the last 12 months, the designer has reportedly said its selling so well that it’s as if it is being given away for free—which must also explain why it’s available in 24 colors! Sarah Jessica Parker may have had a little part to play in the popularity of the dress after wearing it in the hit comeback SATC show And Just Like That…, but it also seems to tick all the boxes at a time when people are traveling freely again post-COVID lockdowns and when body-con is once again a trend many influencers want to be seen in. From Alessandra Ambrosio to Ashley Graham, the Diana dress has a long list of A-list fans and is always selling out.

2. Mary Benson’s Zelda Dress

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(Image credit: @LILYRUSSOBAH)

British label Mary Benson is my most recent Instagram discovery, and this is the Zelda dress. In vibrant retro-inspired floral prints, these dresses instantly uplift from the moment you put them on, and the best bit is they require minimal styling and speak for themselves. They’re perfect for summer occasions such as weddings, Wimbledon, and more, and you can also team them with some white plimsolls or flat sandals for a smart-casual lunch with friends.

3. Alémais’s Ships Ahoy Dress

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(Image credit: @LILYRUSSOBAH)

If you’re unfamiliar with Alémais, it’s a new Aussie brand fast becoming the go-to under-the-radar label for influencers. The brand has a unique outlook with particularly unusual prints, all at a pretty reasonable contemporary price. The brand’s signature patterns often transcend seasons, which is part of their appeal and why this dress, like the rest of its collection, won’t stay in stock for long.

4. Aje’s One-Shoulder Dress

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(Image credit: @LILYRUSSOBAH)

Australian label Aje is currently the coolest dress name to drop. Filling a gap in the market for attainable luxury at a competitive price point, its designs are a modern take on occasionwear. Think less twee and more effortless cool. This one-shoulder dress is already one of the brand’s key styles for 2022.

5. Rixo’s Sardinia Dress

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(Image credit: @LILYRUSSOBAH)

Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey know how to make a good dress. Their vintage-inspired designs are the secret to their success, as they rarely follow trends. It’s unlikely their dresses will date, and they are always cut for a woman’s curves, suit everyone—mothers and daughters alike—and have been offered in a more extensive size run in recent seasons. This dress, aptly named the Sardinia, screams summer. What I love about it is the structured crochet top, which means no bra is required. 

6. Free People’s Southwest Lace Dress

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(Image credit: @LILYRUSSOBAH)

Free People knows how to create buzz around a dress, and this one in white has been filling my Insta feed for the last month. It’s now sold out, but this earthy colorway is the one I’m predicting will be the brand’s next hit. Not to mention it’s also a way to buy into the boho trend in a slightly more grown-up fashion.

7. Kika Vargas’s Adriana Dress

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(Image credit: @LILYRUSSOBAH)

Bogota-born Kika Vargas was inspired by her childhood memories of watching her mother dress up, so she created her own collection of dresses that feel like you’re playing dress-up, too. Her signature voluminous silhouettes feel surprisingly easy to wear and, as you can imagine, require minimal accessorizing. If you’re looking to stop your followers in their tracks or make an entrance this summer, then put Kika Vargas on your radar.

8. Bamford x Martha Ward’s Scallop-Strap Dress

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(Image credit: @LILYRUSSOBAH)

Stylist Martha Ward is known for her unapologetically romantic style and rarely deviates from her delicate color palette. For summer, she has created a capsule collection of the prettiest pieces with British lifestyle brand Bamford, and this is my favorite one. She has quite a following, with many trying to emulate her romantic-Brit style, so I expect these dresses won’t be in stock for long. I’ve styled mine with a pair of Scholl’s iconic Pescura sandals. They’re set to be the sandals of the summer and will give all your dresses a new-season vibe.

Next: I Keep Spotting French Girls in These 6 Affordable Summer Trends

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.

Freelancer Fashion Editor

Lily Russo-Bah is a London-based freelance fashion editor and the founder of beachwear shopping destination Beachflamingo.com. A fashion expert who started her career at Grazia magazine in 2008, where she worked across both digital and print as fashion editor, compiling shopping pages and styling main fashion, and in 2014 was awarded Gold as one of the top five journalists in MHP’s Journalists to Watch. She is known for her expert eye, compiling killer edits and her obsession with anything pink. She is a self-confessed swimwear obsessive with so many bikinis she doesn’t have the time to count them. From runway trends to the high-street hits you need to add to cart right now, one of her favourite pastimes is spotting the next cult buy and under-the-radar designers. When she isn’t scouring the shops for the next must-have trends, she can be found dancing Brazilian samba and booking her next sunshine getaway.