It’s the question we find ourselves asking most mornings: what to wear today?

The answer is almost always a dress. Forgiving and flattering on all body shapes, a great frock (or three) should always be waiting in the wings of everyone’s wardrobe.

In design terms dresses are nearly perfect (although most of them could do with more pockets), offering an entire outfit in one piece.

There’s a style to suit every taste and flatter every body, and the selection is only becoming more exciting as more brands and designers actively make their collections more size-inclusive instead of just offering a separate collection for plus size shoppers.

British high street sizing charts categorise a dress size 18 and above as plus size. Making dresses for curvier shoppers isn’t simply a case of sizing up the existing collection. It’s about designing specifically with a plus size customer in mind, from the initial sketch to investing in plus size fit models for toiles that address concerns and preferences.

While some designer brands offer extended sizes, the vast majority can be found on the high street with price tags to match - welcome news for your bank balance.

To that end, we’ve rounded up the best frocks for every occasion this season, from garden parties and BBQs to formal looks for the office and big events like weddings and birthdays.

Bid farewell to baggy sacks masquerading as dresses, gaping chest areas and upwards-riding hemlines. Our haul of the best dresses to buy right now will mean you’ll never look forlornly into your wardrobe again.

Shop the edit now

Monsoon Talia tea dress orange

Sizes: 8 - 24

Weddings, graduations, birthdays and the races; there's few special occasions this tea dress can't be worn. The generous sizing, empire line and blouson sleeves offer a flattering fit, while the floral print adds elegance and interest. Pair with straw coloured accessories.

Buy now £160.00, Monsoon

Hope & Ivy Arna Cotton Puff Sleeve Midi Dress

Sizes: 10 - 28

Why pick one colour when you can have them all? This multi-hued midi is easy to finish with accessories thanks to the rainbow shades involved in the pattern. A sweetheart neck shows off a little skin, while the 100 per cent cotton keeps the whole show breathable, making it suitable for wearing in high temperatures.

Buy now £95.00, Simply Be

LK Bennett Maud Neon Garden Print Organic Cotton One-Shoulder Dress

Sizes: 6 - 20

Accept every garden party invite that comes your way, safe in the knowledge that LK Bennett's floral print dress will see you through. The blue and green design is cut as a one-shoulder piece and comes with a coordinating belt to cinch in the waist.

Buy now £167.00, LK Bennett

Never Fully Dressed Dreaming In The Clouds Denim Dress

Sizes: 10 - 28

A good denim dress is an easy throw-and-go option when you're in a rush. NFD's offers a bit more decoration than usual with tropical-themed embroidery and a scalloped neck and hem in contrast indigo thread. One to wear practically everywhere.

Buy now £89.00, Never Fully Dressed

Reformation Le Marais Velvet Dress Es

Sizes: 18 - 26

A little black dress should be part of every woman's sartorial playbook. Reformation's velvet number is lifted with a hint of white at the bandeau neck, adding lightness to the look.

Buy now £348.00, Reformation

M&S Pure Cotton Printed Bardot Midaxi Beach Dress

Sizes: 8 - 24

Get ready for warm weather and long-awaited holidays in M&S's uber-chic beach midaxi. It's perfect for hot climes as it's made from cotton while the full sleeves and bardot neckline offer classic appeal. Team with sandals and a wide-brimmed floppy hat.

Buy now £39.50, M&S

Little Mistress Sequin Velvet Wrap Dress

Sizes: 22 - 26

Lots of wrap dresses fall to midi length, but when you want to turn up the heat and show off your pins - only a mini will do. This frock is made for partying with velvet and sequins ensuring you shine from dusk to dawn. The long floaty sleeves balance out the dramatic neckline and hemline so you won’t look out of kilter. Add some heels and you’re good to go.

Buy now £60.80, Simply Be

Chi Chi London Plus Size V Neck Floral Wrap Midi Dress in Multi

Sizes: 22 - 26

In need of a semi-formal frock for a big event? Chi Chi London is an excellent port of call with plenty of options in the plus-size department. This satin-look wrap dress adds a bright floral print to the look which is both celebratory as well as distracting from lumps and bumps you might feel self-conscious about. Fluttery sleeves balance out the long skirt, which skims the shins.

Buy now £75.00, Chi Chi London

Ulla Popken Colorful Rainbow Print Wrap Look Midi Dress

Sizes: 16 - 38

If this dress could speak, it would yell “party time!”. Streaked with candy-coloured hues and finished with a fun frilled hemline, this wrap is what to reach for when you’ve got a big party beckoning in the calendar. The tie-waist is adjustable while fluted sleeves give the silhouette 70s appeal.

Buy now £85.00, Ulla Popken

Register now for one of the Evening Standard’s newsletters. From a daily news briefing to Homes & Property insights, plus lifestyle, going out, offers and more. For the best stories in your inbox, click here.

2023-03-09T18:37:24Z dg43tfdfdgfd