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Joanne Hegarty: Dresses your grandma would hate

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Wearing a backless silk dress by Hayley Menzies.  Gold sandals by Jimmy Choo

Wearing a backless silk dress by Hayley Menzies. Gold sandals by Jimmy Choo

I recently read a brilliant quote from famed restaurateur Jeremy King: “A great restaurant should be a catalyst for whatever you want it to be – a meeting, an interview, a seduction, a divorce…”

It struck me that the same premise should apply to a great dress. Dressing season has officially begun, and while the weather hasn’t quite got the fashion memo just yet, our minds have already wandered to the freedom that summer brings.

When I recently interviewed legendary style icon Jane Birkin, she revealed that she no longer wears dresses, only men’s pants. She says the wrong dress can age you incredibly quickly – and she’s right.

Finding the right dress for fun and frolic is extremely important. Because at the end of the day, we all want to feel like we can interview, seduce, or divorce as one — rather than looking like our grandma.

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The chic day dress

This is so popular mainly for practical reasons. This is an airy, simple and no-frills outfit that’s stylish enough for work or for a drink with co-workers afterwards. But in addition to being simple to wear, it should also be elegant, flattering and, above all, have that feel-good factor.

Die-hard clothing fanatics may insist on florals for spring, but there are plenty of other options. I’m a fan of the light knit version, which is going to be a hit this summer, and the very simple T-shirt dress. Both look fabulous with strappy sandals, slides or clogs. Cos, The Row, Phoebe Grace, Raey and Arket all have great selections.

The bad can age you; I want to have fun in mine

The shirt dress accessorized with a thin leather belt, a chunky gold chain and a blazer is also a great option for the office. There are also plenty of tangy undertones for maximalists to consider.

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The sexy evening dress

This is the fun part. An evening dress for a party, a restaurant dinner or a party should always be a little sexy. Something that makes you feel like a million bucks, like you could seduce the waiter between classes if you wanted to! Some like ruffles and ruffles; I prefer them simple and clean. Whatever your appetite, the right dress should always flatter your best features, so think carefully about what they are.

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Backless dresses give a subtly sexy vibe, and a well-placed side slit can show off just enough leg. Chic wrap dresses flatter the tummy, just ask wrap queen Diane von Fürstenberg.

And this season, you can glamorize your evenings in a trendy maxi or mini. Khaite, Joseph, Massimo Dutti, Anna Mason, The Collection and Hayley Menzies all have a terrific line-up.

Follow me on Instagram @thestylistandthewardrobe

Subtle block colors for the maximalist.  £260, essential-antwerp.com

A clean, streamlined mesh.  £89, costores.com

Subtle block colors for the maximalist. £260, essential-antwerp.com. A clean, streamlined mesh. £89, costores.com

Manifest the sun with this puff sleeve number.  £129, mintvelvet.co.uk

Perfect for the garden party season.  £225, phoebe-grace.co.uk

Manifest the sun with this puff sleeve number. £129, mintvelvet.co.uk. Perfect for the garden party season. £225, phoebe-grace.co.uk


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