Perfect summer dresses – 15 mums share their favourite new frocks
I find the mainstream fashion press so frustrating. A lot of the clothes are lovely, don’t get me wrong, but completely impractical when you have small children to run around after. It’s also hard when your body has been up and down through pregnancy and perhaps also breastfeeding. So many mums tell me their body shape has changed since having children and as a result they don’t know what clothes suit them any more.
I had three children in just over four years and lived in maternity and feeding-friendly clothes. When I got out of that bubble, I realised I had nothing to wear that wasn’t baggy, stretched or completely out of fashion. I felt so dowdy and ‘mumsy’ so I have been slowly trying to revamp my wardrobe… as much as I can on a limited budget, anyway! Just because I’m a mum, it doesn’t mean I can’t attempt to look stylish too.
I bought a gorgeous dress to wear on our recent holiday to Italy. It’s from Warehouse, which is always one of my favourite places to shop. I’ve pretty much lived in the dress this summer.
It’s lightweight and floaty, which has been wonderful in this heatwave, but it’s also practical for life with three kids. It’s long enough that there’s no risk of flashing my pants. It doesn’t show any cleavage, it doesn’t cling to any lumpy bits, it’s dark in colour, so less likely to show dirt from mucky little hands… and it’s also, I hope, stylish. I love it!
But one dress is not enough for the summer. I really want to buy some more dresses to get me through the rest of the summer but was struggling for inspiration. And so I asked the people I knew would be able to help…. my fellow mummy bloggers! Don’t they all look gorgeous?!
Have you found the perfect summer dress? Any of these take your fancy? Do let me know in the comments below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or tweet me on @cardiffmummy
Alana of Baby Holiday
“This dress is from ASOS and is a recent purchase. It’s not my usual style as it’s so colourful, but I really liked how summery it looks … plus it has sleeves for those not-so-hot days! It must be quite a popular one as I was umming and ahhing over it and it kept going out of stock! I’d recommend getting a size down as it’s quite generous.”
Jodie of Maidenhead Mum
“I bought this dress a few weeks ago to wear to the Chelsea Flower Show on a rare day off from the kids. I suffer from IBS and my stomach gets so bloated I look pregnant. This dress from Dorothy Perkins was £20, patterned, black and fit and flare: the perfect trio for disguising my mum-tum! I even wore it over leggings for a recent blogging event too.”
Leanne from A Slice of My Life Wales
“The dress is from Peacocks and I was lucky to be sent it to review for my blog. I love it because it’s long enough to hide my legs but cool enough to stop me losing my sanity! The right waist band and flared skirt are super flattering and it’s very comfortable.”
Katie from Cardiff Girl
“I bought this dress from Next on a bit of a whim, thinking I would probably send it back, but I love it! I rarely buy prints or patterns but my one and only print dress fell foul to an overly hot iron and I’ve missed having a patterned dress I could chuck a denim/leather jacket over and go. Since buying it I’ve worn it to dinner with the girls, a family birthday party and two work events and have had compliments every time. Most people are amazed it’s only from Next!”
Laura from Mama, Eden & Me
“I bought this from Cath Kidston from their 101 Dalmations range. It’s like wearing a long t-shirt! It’s so comfy and has pockets, which I love. It’s also quite generous sizing. And whenever my daughter sees it she points and shouts ‘A DOGGY!’ She has the matching toddler one!”
Louise from Pink Pear Bear
“I was sent it this dress to review from Me & I, priced £39. I do genuinely love it though! I never thought to wear green before, but this colour is lovely on, really bright and vibrant. You can adjust the length by moving the elasticated waistband up or down and it skims (most of!) my wobbly bits!”
“I got this from Amazon. The material is really silky, so soft and really light weight so perfect for this heat. Also it doesn’t crease so it will be great for holidays in the suitcase.”
“This was a cheapie from George at Asda, costing just £14! I like it because it lets my shoulders get some sun so helps to get rid of those strap lines!”
Kerry from Kerry Shaw, Mummy of Four
Romeca from Beauty, Bump and Me
Emily from Emily and Indiana
Sophie from Mama Mei
“I love this comfy maxi dress from Primark and it is only £13.”
Hayley from Mam in the Mountains
Zoe from Lycra Widow
I’ve bought loads of dresses recently, both from Asos and EBay and all under £15. This is one of my favourites, from Asos.
I love this, such a great post and so many beautiful mamas! Thanks for including me 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous dress. Everyone looks amazing and it’s so lovely to see dresses that are both practical for life with kids and stylish too, and also it’s good to appeal to different tastes. x
Hi Cath! I’ve bought a couple of summer dresses from M&S that have been good for running round after children:
It’s amazing how hard I’ve found it to get one long enough, when I’m not even 5″4! How short must they be on taller people?!
These are lovely, Claire. I especially like the first one. Yep, a lot of dresses are so short, aren’t they! I tried a gorgeous dress on recently in a supermarket and it was half way up my thigh and let’s just say I wouldn’t want to reach my arms up in it and reveal all! I’m only 5ft0 so goodness knows what it would be like on average height women! I had to double check it wasn’t a top, but no it was definitely a dress. Crazy! x
Ooh so many new dresses to go searching for now! Fab post x
I am so with you on the warehouse front, i buy a few from there each summer and pull them out every year, they’re great!
Also loving Laura ashley dresses this year and also Seasalt Cornwall for some funky prints!