A grownup edit of special occasion dresses

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L.K. Bennett pink floral midi dress

The hotel where we’re currently staying seemed to be hosting quite a few events on the terrace over the weekend. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, women here in London do “frock up” for parties and occasions. And almost to a woman, they were wearing some iteration of a floral dress.

So many of you have asked for some ideas for special occasion dresses. It can be so hard to find dresses these days that aren’t too exposed, frilly, floofy, frumpy, or twee. I went hunting, and turned up a few.

When it comes to investing in special occasion dresses, it’s a good idea to think outside the box and skip the one-hit-wonders. Many of the ones I’ve shown here are styles that could dress up or down depending on what shoes and accessories you wear them with.

Special occasion dresses for spring & summer

L.K. Bennett is a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge, and has a very nice selection of pretty-but-sophisticated dresses for spring. They’re spendy, but I think many of these would be wearable season after season, and can dress up or down. Above, the soft sleeves provide some arm coverage while not being constricting.

L.K. Bennett apple blossom dress

If the occasion or your preference requires a long sleeve, here’s a pretty option.

L.K. Bennett botanical print dress

I am not a wearer of dresses, but might make an exception for something like this one in a lovely botanical print.

LK Bennett pink cotton lurex dress.

And if you prefer solids to prints, this one has an interesting shape and details (pockets!) in a cotton lurex fabric.

But I get it, these are expensive. So I searched out some more budget-friendly options.

Eliza J. polka dot dress

If you’re not into florals, polka dots are a nice option, and it doesn’t get more classic than black and white.

Kiyonna lace overlay dress plus.

Lace sleeves are always a nice option for arm coverage with ventilation. This lace overlay a-line dress is available in several colors up to size 5X.

Talbots belted floral shirtdress.

Yes, it’s a shirtdress, but could be easily dressed up with a different belt, shoes, and accessories. Available in Misses, Petites, Plus, and Plus Petite sizes.

Eliza J. floral dress

If knee-length is workable for you (remember, the model here is probably 5’9″ or so) this is another easy, It-Has-Pockets option.

Boden print maxi dress

Don’t be afraid to wear something bold and colorful if that’s your style. The print on this maxi dress is really fun. Available to size 20/22.

Chico's puff sleeve dress blue print

With a more subtle blue and white print, this cotton-blend dress is machine washable.

In a future post, I’ll round up some shoes and accessories to style your special occasion dress.

Do you have any special occasions on your calendar this spring and summer?

Stay in touch.

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