If you look at any of the major online boutiques you'll find that 'Dresses' heads the category list and for good reason, because they're the best selling item carried, usually. As any self respecting dress collector knows, dresses are perfect for just about any occasion (ok ok forget the sporting occasions and days when only a great pair of jeans will do), I mean anything from smart casual to business smart, to smart dinners to glammed up evenings.
I became a collector several years ago and have never looked back. Dresses for meetings, dresses for dinners and dresses for Glyndebourne, they're all just waiting to be pulled out of my cupboard - excellent confidence builders (most of the time) and great in winter with boots, or summer with sandals, they answer pretty well every dressed-up need.
Dresses are the hardest item of clothing to buy online because they have to fit from shoulder to hem, although with the onslaught (or should I say return?) of jersey, silk or otherwise in the stores and in all its wondrous styles, this is no longer quite such a problem. The most important thing of all is that they flatter, and to make sure of that you have to really know your own style very well and whether you prefer classic shifts to grown-up sexy glamour. Then once you've worked out what works best for you you can collect to your heart's content.
Of course one of the major difficulties of getting it right is that then it does become all too easy and you just have to spot something and it leaps right into your shopping cart (or to the till, depending on how you're shopping).
I've had a scout round the stores both online and off (well I would, wouldn't I?) and come up with six favourites which rank high on my personal wearability scale.
Now this little collection, I reckon, would take you from summer work and right on down to your next vacation in the South of France, with perhaps a little less emphasis on work and more on the relaxing side of things so for good measure I'll add in Coast’s perfect black and white printed fixed wrap dress (and it is, I know, because I've tried it on), which would carry me through any extra meetings on the way. By the way if this is sold out on Coast's own website you'll find it also at Selfridges.com where the pic is much better as well.