10 Under-the-Radar Dress Brands Our Editors Wish They Could Keep a Secret


(Image credit: @ali_tate_cutler)

Is it just me, or did loungewear lose its appeal in a big way this year? Until recently I've found myself reaching for leggings far more than anything else, but now that spring is here and summer is on the horizon, I have the overwhelming urge to wear beautiful dresses once again. Which is actually rather handy since there are so many excellent options to choose from right now.

A good chunk of my wardrobe is made up of dresses: party minis, romantic midis, and elegant maxis, and no matter how expansive my collection may be, I can always make room for another (it's the easiest instant outfit after all), mostly because I know I'll return to them again and again. Choosing which styles to invest in this year is proving difficult, though, as there are an array of gorgeous brands on my radar, each of which has countless styles that I can visualise sitting happily in my wardrobe.


(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Jess wearing a Matteau dress.

Of course, I'm a big fan of the go-to dress labels—both luxury and high street—but I (and the rest of the Who What Wear team) have a particular soft spot for discovering lesser-known, under-the-radar dress brands too. It doesn’t mean turning our backs on the labels we already know and love, but when it comes to dress shopping, it often pays to think outside the box, broaden your horizons, and find something that you’re less likely to see everyone else wearing. 

With that in mind I’ve listed 10 impressive under-the-radar dress brands below that, honestly, I wish I could keep a secret. But we don't gatekeep here at Who What Wear, so lucky for you I'm sharing these beautiful dresses that will no doubt inspire many a compliment (and prying questions about where it's from) at your next summer event.

From fabulous frocks you’ll want to wear to all of those summer weddings, to the everyday pieces that you'll throw-on all year long, there's a lesser-known dress brand for every mood, taste (and budget, no less). So keeping scrolling to see and shop the under-the-radar dresses I'm adding to my wish list now, I promise, you'll forget all about your failsafe jeans and leggings in no time. 





(Image credit: @_jessicaskye








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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.