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6 dresses, styled by Louise O’Reilly

The blogger and body image activist shows us the styles she loves this summer

“Dresses are without a doubt a style preference for me throughout summer. It’s about practicality whilst still feeling dressed. Today, I wanted to put together a dress essentials guide that works for all shapes – from sizes 8-22 – and covers everything from the everyday to summer occasions you might have coming up too. The pieces I’ve picked are wonderful go-tos, whether it’s a last-minute fashion panic, a new wardrobe staple or a holiday must-have you’re looking for.”

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Workwear chic

“Whether you work in the city, travel regularly for work or you’re in need of a smart look for a meeting, this midi dress oozes classic chic. And most importantly, the fabric is extremely breathable. It has a delicate A-Line cut that smooths over the hips and with a tie detail in the middle, you can define your waistline as much as you please. In terms of colour, rust tones were a huge hit across the SS18 catwalks and it’s no surprise, as this is an incredibly flattering shade on all skin tones.”

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Day to night  

“Wrap dresses and summer florals will always be winners in my book and this dress teams the two in one. It’s a style that’s suitable for any body type and shape, and thanks to its vibrant colours, it’s is perfect for day to night style – an essential in the holiday suitcase. For those who may not be too keen on spaghetti straps or perhaps look for more coverage across the chest, try a white round neck tee underneath for a cool vibe that won’t compromise your summer style.”

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The wedding guest dress

“Weddings are an expensive time for a lot of people but finding something stylish yet comfortable doesn’t have to cost the earth. I picked this particular dress for a number of reasons. One: it’s a solid colour so accessorising it is incredibly easy. Two: it has a high neckline with wide straps, giving you the option to wear any bra style of your choice. And three: the drop waist, frill hem effect is one of my favourite styles, as it’s extremely flattering on the lower tummy area.”

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The trend staple

“You might have noticed the widespread popularity of the white dress this season… but not just any white dress. Think South of France meets Italian Rivera with soft linens, broderie anglaise and feminine cuts. It’s a style that’s set to stay again next season and for just £30, this is the ultimate bargain find in terms of both quality and fit. Want to add ultra-glam to the look? Opt for a clean-cut pointed stiletto or embrace more of a holiday feel with a comfortable wedge sandal.”

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Summer zest

“This year, the fashion world got extra-fruity and I’ve been all for it. This Dolce and Gabbana inspired find works for a variety of busts and can only be described as a complete and utter comfort dress with a stylish twist. It has a square neckline that’s fantastic for balancing out the proportions of an athletic build or broad shoulders. Simply add heels for a summer party feel or keep it cool with flat sandals for a barbecue with friends.”

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Weekend vibes

“For me, weekend style is something that needs no effort whatsoever. That means no ironing or accessorising and this bold polka dot number does all the hard work for you. Pair it with simple trainers for exploring the city or clean white espadrilles for a more dressed up feel. Add a denim or biker jacket for the cooler evenings or white jeggings underneath if you want to create a different look altogether.”

Want even more tips from Louise? Check out her swimwear edit here.