Shopping the high street is all about the edit – it’s hunting down those sartorial gems and developing an understanding of what makes something feel premium and, in turn, stand the test of time. When it comes to dresses specifically, the process is no different, however, unlike more clean-lined pieces, such as jeans or blazers, it can be harder to find the wardrobe winners, as brands can sometimes fall prey to the “throwing everything at it” approach to design, and we find that less is definitely more in the high street dress stakes.
So what makes an affordable dress look high-end? Often it’s having one stand-out feature from which the garment is built around: a striking shade, a dramatic silhouette, a premium fabric or unusual sleeve detail. Take Cos’s striped mini shirt dress, which brings a directional twist on a traditionally corporate print with wide sleeves and a more playful length. Or, Massimo Dutti’s linen dress, which suddenly feels runway-worthy when the internal darts are placed on the outside of the dress. Sometimes the smallest details make the biggest difference. Of course, you also can’t go wrong with a paintbox bright and All Saints’s classic 2-in-1 dress comes in a very spring/summer 2023 shade of flame red – just style with a beige trench coat and loafers this season.
But if you don’t have the time to trawl through the “new in” sections of your favourite online stores, allow us to do the hard work for you. Scroll down to see and shop the 14 high street dresses that get the Vogue seal of approval.