How to Make Your Casual Summer Dress Look More Expensive

If there’s one thing we do well in Australia, it’s taking advantage of the warmer weather when summer rolls around. And as you’ll often find us heading straight to the beach or a bar after leaving the office, when we find a couple of summer dresses that really work, they can quickly become a bit of a wash, wear, repeat situation.

But nailing your summer wardrobe doesn’t need to be complicated. If you have mastered your 15-piece wardrobe and are trying to keep things simple, all you’ll need to do is add a few styling tricks, plus a couple of investment accessories, to take your casual summer dresses to the next level, and make your whole outfit a little more luxe.

We’ve rounded up some of the key summer dress trends for this year, and there’s sure to be a style that work for you.

Keep scrolling to discover the latest summer dress trends and the accessories to pair them with, and to shop similar styles.


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Style notes: Mules are a simpler option to pair with your floaty floral maxi dress, and don't forget the mini top handle bag. 

Similar style: Rue Stiic Hadley Maxi Dress ($279).


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Style notes: Slip on a white T-shirt underneath a floral dress, and cinch the waist with a woven leather belt. 

Similar styles: Karen Millen Yellow Floral A-Line Dress ($345); ASOS Waist Belt ($14).


(Image credit: Collage Vintage)

Style notes: You can't go wrong with a bright, embroidered dress and you the addition of coloured sunglasses brings extra drama. 

Similar style: Figue Minette Embroidered Cotton-Voile Midi Dress ($1212).

Related: The 7 Sandal Styles Redefining Our Look This Spring


(Image credit: Collage Vintage)

Style notes: Invest in a quality black slip to dress up and down for everything from summer weddings to Sunday drinks. 

Similar style: Paris Georgia Basics Emma Slip Dress ($320).


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Style notes: Opt for a play on patchwork prints with delicate satin and style with hoop earrings for date night. 

Similar styles: Acne Studios Dilona Printed Satin Midi Dress ($1050); ASOS Gold-Plated Hoop Earrings ($12).


(Image credit: Collage Vintage)

Style notes: Layer a button-down shirt underneath a low-cut style and play around with the cuffs, collar, and sleeves. 

Similar style: Ellery Magik Dress ($1750).

Related: We're Taking Sara Donaldson's Lead and Wearing This Trend 7 Days a Week


(Image credit: Collage Vintage)

Style notes: Investing in quality leather sandals and a pretty woven basket bag to pair with feminine ruffles is a must. 

Similar styles: Sea Cold-Shoulder Ruffle Poplin Mini Dress ($607); Sportsgirl Large Circle Woven Bag ($60).


(Image credit: Collage Vintage)

Style notes: Wear a delicate floral dress with leather loafers for a more casual look in the office. 

Similar styles: Zimmermann Painted Heart Tier Dress ($1250); Gucci Princetown Leather Slippers ($820).

Opening images: Collage Vintage and Getty Images


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Lara Burnell
Writer & Producer

Who's your style icon? 

Jenny Walton. She has a quirky, French, feminine style I adore. She mixes designer, vintage, high street really well and isn’t afraid of colour and print. My style board on Pinterest is full of street style images from her at fashion week events.

Who are your 5 favourite people to follow on Twitter/Instagram?

@unconditionalmagazine, @ilona_hamer, @thefatjewish, @glossier, @giorgiatordini

What's the fashion essential you can't live without?

My vintage red tartan jacket. It's timeless and bold. I love wearing it with a red matte lipstick. 

What's your desert island album?

Any '70s playlist will do!