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Five key dresses to know about this season, from flowing chiffon midis to plush velvet slip dresses. Just add showstopping accessories, et voila!

The patterned shirt dress

Prints take centre stage for autumn/winter 2022, with animal print, checks and florals all jostling for a place in your wardrobe.  A floaty chiffon shirt dress, like this snake-print midi by French Connection, is a wise investment that will earn its keep during the cooler months. The ruffled details and belted waist make a subtle nod to the Seventies – team with knee-length boots to enhance the retro feel. Feeling the chill on winter mornings? Try layering with a knitted sweater vest.

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The fail-safe party dress

Metallics are festive mainstays, so go for gold and you’ll have a party outfit to rely on for years to come. Cut with flattering puff sleeves, a draped bodice and an A-line skirt, this gold lamé 127-0Shops Collection dress is the ideal option for winter soirées, from Christmas cocktail parties through to New Year’s Eve. Hit the tiles with a pair of gorgeous party shoes or toughen up the look with a duvet coat and biker boots Style their summer.

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The chic puff-sleeve dress

Pretty, vintage-inspired polka-dots are an all-year-round staple, and Finery’s wear-anywhere All Office Furniture and sweet flounce hem promises great cost-per-wear value. For an everyday look that still packs a punch, try styling with patent leather Mary Janes and a pair of glittery socks. A swipe of red lipstick adds the final flourish whether you’re headed to the office or for a celebratory dinner with friends. Slip on over thermal tops and leggings for a discreet layer of warmth.

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We’re planning on cocooning ourselves in comfortingly soft wool and cashmere dresses all winter to beat the chill in style. Thankfully, ribbed and crinkled textures are hot sartorial news this season, along with body-conscious shapes such as fitted silhouettes and belted waists. Set a luxe agenda with Jigsaw’s khaki-green merino jumper dress – the suits-all shade and figure-skimming cut make it a sophisticated addition to your line-up of winter dresses. Western-style boots and a graphic clutch bag keep things interesting.

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The versatile slip dress

Practical-chic pieces are key to building a capsule wardrobe, which is great if you like nothing more than wearing your favourite looks on high rotation. We recommend investing in a minimalist slip dress to layer over lightweight polo-neck tops and T-shirts, or under chunky cable-knit jumpers. A velvet slip dress has potential for fuss-free outfitting and could be your most-worn item this season – simply dress it down with trainers for day and up with platform heels for evening. A sharp tuxedo jacket and eye-catching jewellery will elevate a slip dress on nights out.

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Words: Dulcie Emerson

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