Inspiration: the patterned midi dress trend

Patterned - mainly floral - midi dresses are all over the shops and you'd better start getting acquainted with them as I suspect that come spring and summer, there will be even more of them around.

They are very tempting indeed. They are focus pieces but not [necessarily] over the top, they ooze laidback chic, are stylish, grownup, and offer plenty of scope for creativity -- dress up/down, footwear and belt possibilities, styling for different seasons...

And whilst one may be mistaken to think they are all the same, they are not! Granted, the vibe and length are mostly a given, but there is a variety of cuts, necklines, sleeves, colours, patterns and embellishment levels on offer.

For those who, like me, do not do floral, thankfully there are all kinds of versions with other types of patterns too. And for those who, like me, have shorter legs, there are plenty of more flattering asymmetric and sheer-panelled solutions available.

Let's have a look around...

Zara is awash with different styles, from belted floral through geometric with attitude to double-layered star-patterned [a personal recommendation] and delicate ruffled wrap:

Warehouse have a divine rainbow patterned version, albeit in a harder-to-wear pleated style. I also adore their simple but elegant high-waisted number, one-sleeved asymmetric dress and this bold floral piece, which [possibly their colour aside] are all easier to pull off.

Even the usually pattern-averse Allsaints ventures into this zone, albeit sticking to neutral tones -- check out this very cool prairie chic piece:

Other Stories tend to have longer, almost maxi styles, like this dramatic but feminine wrap number:

A sexy, belted, snake-print offering from Sosandar which I am in love with - the belt is perfect for elongating shorter legs:

A gorgeous velvet piece from Oasis:

Anthropologie, the haven for boho dresses, have a huge selection, but this intricate peplum dress and this laidback summery one stand out:

Urban Outfitters offers an off-the-shoulder version, amongst many others:

Marks & Spencer, an exquisitely feminine piece:

And finally an utterly gorgeous one from Topshop Unique, at an affordable price [be quick!], courtesy of The Outnet:

As for how to wear them? Especially now, in full winter-time?

Note how many of the shops themselves style the dresses with sock ankle boots - this is my choice too for wearing them in winter.

And don't forget that you can also wear jumpers over them, effectively transforming them into skirts [see this post for more]; a great solution in particular for making sleeveless ones winter-friendly.

I think they are a stylish and comfy choice for the Christmas season: be it lunches, dinners, parties, even just strolls. And refreshingly different from sequins or the usual casuals!