The "Ugly" Summer Dress Trend Comfy-Girls Will Love

Over the last 12 months, the stereotypical image of the fashion girl has been turned on its head. Forget leg-sculpting stilettos and waist-whittling frocks because right now the Insta crowd only has eyes for "ugly" fashion trends. From chunky trainers and nerdy knits to slime green and Hawaiian shirts, ironically, it looks like bad taste has become the gold standard for style in 2019.

If you need further evidence of this shift, look at the latest dress trend to grace Instagram feeds: smock dresses. Originally worn by labourers, the smock style went on to become a popular style for children's fashion in the 19th century. It can be identified by its voluminous silhouette that hangs loosely on the body and the ruched fabric, which typically features on the shoulders and bust. 


(Image credit: Isabel Mundigo-Moore)

Yes, it does vaguely resemble a granny's nightgown, but in true Instagram style, it has been transformed into a must-have item. Luckily, there is a broad spectrum of styles—from full-on florals by M.92 to a slightly less challenging moon-print mini by Ganni.

We're not going to pretend it's an easy trend to style, because many of us have become accustomed to not wearing items with such volume. I would recommend heeled, knee-high boots during winter (this'll stop your legs from looking short), and barely there sandals come summertime with a colourful bag and statement earrings (think pearls or chunky gold hoops).

Ultimately, however, you have to own the tent-like proportions if you're going to wear a smock this season. Hey, if the petite Olsens can do it (they've been wearing oversized clothes for forever), you can too.


(Image credit: @katherine_ormerod)

Style Notes: We've spotted Sister Jane's collared smock dress on so many influencers in the last month, and luckily it's super affordable, too.


(Image credit: @maria_bernad)

Style Notes: María Bernad goes all-out with her mid-length floral smock dress, which she pairs with a colour-coordinating green bag and nude heels. 


(Image credit: @daisy___murray)

Style Notes: A black tiered smock is the ideal summer dress solution for minimalists. 


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Style Notes: We can totally imagine ourselves wearing this checked iteration. Suzanna Gembege sets the tone nicely with oversized earrings and Western-style boots.


(Image credit: @brittanybathgate)

Style Notes: Brittany Bathgate's flower-strewn maxi is just on the right side of nightie. Ideal for your summer hols.

Shop Our Smock-Dress Edit

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This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.