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Fashion Agony: I’m beachy keen to get into holiday mode with a dress, but I’ve got nowhere to go!

Our Fashion Agony Aunt Janet Reeder writes: OK, so the nearest we might get to sun-soaked shores this year is watching A Place in the Sun but I can recommend splurging on a few new frocks to make you get that flirty, fun holiday feel.

And let’s not rule out the possibility that come August/September, Europe might get the green light just as the shops start stocking Autumn/Winter clothing.

But what looks fabulous on the dazzling beaches of Majorca or Malibu may not look so good in Manchester or Mansfield, you might say. Oh don’t be such a dreary Deirdre!! Any glimmer of sun is worth dressing up for and if you need a few pointers about what to wear, here’s my handy guide.

The kaftan

It’s everywhere and for good reason. It works for a glamorous cocktail in the back garden evening, looks great as a poolside cover up and it’s comfortable enough to be leisurewear. I absolutely adore a kaftan. I was wearing one to take our friends’ Pomeranian out for a walk the other day and was complimented on it. If you want a kaftan with all-out glamour check out Kaftan Heaven, a Cheshire-based label that takes the shores of the Caribbean as inspiration. From sexy minis to floaty, bejewelled styles, they’re designed to make you feel beach-bar ready and totally happy!

Who suits them? Everyone. The great thing about the kaftan is how forgiving it can be and yet it is still sexy!

Where to wear? Garden, poolside, at home on the sofa.

Accessorise with: Flat strappy sandals, espadrilles, big statement earrings.

The sun dress

Accessorize kaftan, £58,
Accessorize chiffon kaftan, £35,

Sun dresses as their name suggests can be distinguished from other dresses by the fact they usually give the body a bit more exposure. They can be strappy, long or short. They can be bandeau style or halter. My tip: Give the cold shoulder styles a cold shoulder. They’re worn by every middle-aged woman, buying a 40 grand flat on a Place in the Sun (I’m obsessed), who doesn’t fancy exposing her arms and they’ve totally had their day. Choose Bardot style instead!

Who suits them? Anyone who wants the most exposure possible.

Where to wear? Garden, seaside.

Accessorise with: Flats, wedges, minimum jewellery.

Strappy sun dress, £49.99,

The maxi

The maxi dress is the ultimate holiday fantasy dress. It’s the dress that brings out your inner hippie, or romantic heroine. The maxi works because it’s all about feeling luxurious and feminine. Enveloped in its sensual folds you can be anything you want to be.

Who suits them? Lovers of luxury, new bohemians.

Where to wear? Seaside, cocktail parties, out to dinner.

Accessorise with: Wedge or flat sandals (heels can get caught in the hem so they’re a no-no).

Pebble flower maxi, £120, NoLoGo Tina Malhame

Main pic: Lottie B kaftan, £420,

Janet Reeder
Janet Reeder has a 30-year career in journalism. She is a fashion expert who has interviewed top designers Calvin Klein, Vivienne Westwood and many others. She also loves to travel and write about her experiences.

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