The right day dress can take you from home to work to lunch out to casual evening functions with flair and ease. Stephanie Smith picks out some lovely suggestions on the High Street and online. Fashion assistant: Amie-Leigh Claricoats.
DETAIL: Eye-catching and bold, with black silk chiffon underslip, the dress has been purposely cut to flip back as you walk, revealing the black silk underneath, but not revealing too much at all. Perfect for dates and parties, when you want to be noticed and look sexy.
Suits: Petites and curvy types
Key accessory: Tan peep-toe wedge, coming soon at Urban Outfitters.
Arlene Phillips sequin detail dress
From: Arlene Phillips for www.marisota.co.uk.
DETAIL: Technically, this is a long top, but it's definitely dress length, very easy to wear, and the shoulder embellishment gives it a real lift, making it perfect for all sorts of smart-casual occasions such as lunch with the girls. Tummy skimming and good upper arm coverage.
Suits: All, especially curvy, pear and apple shapes.
Key accessory: Grey shoes, 25 at www.marisota.co.uk.
Black and grey stripe jersey ruffle dress
Price: Was 45, now 13.
DETAIL: Called the Ella ruffle dress, this striped knee-length jersey dress is made in 100 per cent organic Fairtrade cotton, and the long sleeves and diagonal frill make is surprisingly flattering, but even more so if worn with long black cardi. There's a great online sale just now at People Tree.
Suits: Tall and statuesque.
Key accessory: Pink block heel dress, 70, also available in black, at Schuh.
Navy front knot long sleeve jersey dress
From: Autograph Weekend at Marks & Spencer.
DETAIL: With its scoop neck, long sleeves and tummy-disguising draped knot detail, this dress is ultra flattering and seriously stylish, not to mention easy to wear. Try with leggings and ankle boots and it also looks great under more structured jackets.
Suits: All, except the very slim.
Key accessory: Cut-out bar peep-toe shoe, 24.99, also available in tan, at Schuh.
Purple pansy print wrap style dress
From: Fearne Cotton for www.very.co.uk.
DETAIL: Lovely fresh colour and print, and another flattering wrap style with contrast underslip, plus that distinctive tulip hemline that so suits petites and the curvy, though looks a bit weird (for once) on the tall and/or leggy .
Suits: See above, plus pear shapes.
Key accessory: Cream bow bar courts, 67, also available in red, at Schuh.
Red Forties style long sleeve crepe dress
From: Jasmine Guinness for www.very.co.uk.
DETAIL: Jasmine Guinness designs clothes that suit women of all ages and sizes, and this dress is no exception. With its low V-neck and button detailing to the front, and its mid-length, floaty skirt, perfect for creating an hourglass figure.
Suits: All shapes and sizes, especially curvy and pear.
Key accessory: Tan sandals, 22, by F&F at Tesco.