As the world begins to open up and the prospect of an actual summer looms, it can be challenging to decide on what to wear. Should you keep it casual or should you go all-out glam? The truth is there is no wrong answer. But after more than a year of dressing down in sweats and loungewear, it’s the right time to embrace the transformative effect of getting dressed up again. As the warmer weather descends and a new season arrives, just the thought of wearing lightweight dresses and colorful prints is enough to lift the spirit, which is why the latest designs from the SS21 collections are a really good idea right now.
If that wedding that was postponed multiple times is finally taking place this summer, or you’ve got a brunch date with a friend you haven’t seen in forever, figuring out your look is one way of preparing for the big day out, no matter the occasion.
Whether you’re after the goddess vibes you can only get from a floor-sweeping gown, or you’re drawn to romantic styles that can go from day to night, this season’s key pieces are a failsafe way to up the chic levels of your closet this summer.
For a wedding
Shop the Nali Bubble Sleeve Robe dress by Andrea Iyamah
A statement dress is one of the easiest ways to effortlessly standout and a floor-length style is universally flattering. These qualities and more can be found in the Nali Bubble Sleeve Robe by Nigerian brand Andrea Iyamah. With its striking jewel tone, thigh-high slit, and silk finish fabric that moves when you do, it’s a timeless design that will see you through many seasons. Accessorize with the Sia Stud Earrings by Kenyan jewelry brand Soko and barely-there strappy sandals, and you’re sure to be the best-dressed guest at every nuptial you attend.
For an intimate dinner
Shop the Strappy Pencil Dress by SELFI
We’re going to be social distancing for a while yet so it’s safe to say that any dinner party you’re throwing or attending will be an intimate affair. For such events, a simply tailored dress like this Strappy Pencil Dress by sustainably minded brand SELFI is a chic choice. The delicate straps, shirring fabric and pocket detail all create a low-key effect without lacking in impact. Dress it up with neutral heels and gold-tone accessories for a sophisticated look.
For a garden party
Shop the Face in Cloud Slip Dress by Orange Culture
If you’re going to be spending time outdoors, then why not look the part? Orange Culture’s printed slip dress is crafted from lightweight Habotai silk and rendered in a whimsical cloud print. The halter neck and asymmetric hemline add to the vibrant design, making it an instant mood booster that is set to cheer up everyone who crosses your path.
Shop the Basket Skirt by Gozel Green
The eclectic basket-weave construction of this Basket Skirt by contemporary Nigerian label Gozel Green is just the perfect amount of elegance for a daytime look. Whether, you’re having brunch with friends or out on solo lunch date, it’s an effortless way to elevate your off-duty look. Style it with a plain T-shirt or white button-down, and a chic pair of shoes and you’re good to go.
For a museum visit
Shop the Warning Tunic by Orange Culture
If your first post-lockdown excursion is to a museum to get some much-needed dose of culture, then you’ll need something practical yet stylish to do the job. Enter the Warning Tunic by Orange Culture, a button-down longline shirt with plenty of unisex appeal, available in navy, black and white colourways. Inspired by the popular graphic caution of imminent danger, the text printed at the bottom reads: “Warning: Wear at your own discretion. All advice reserved”.
For a date night
Shop the Animal Print Dress by W35T
Whether you’ve been cooped up with your partner for ages or you’re finally getting to spend some quality time together, date night is the perfect time to make a lasting impression with your look. Few garments exude as much sensuality as a slip dress and W35T’s Animal Print Dress is no different; it’s figure-skimming yet comfortable. When it comes to styling a slip dress, less is definitely more, so just keep it simple with a pair of hoop earrings.
For a spa day
Shop the Clear Hybrid Dress by Orange Culture
Yes, any time you spend outside your home counts as an occasion, so if you’ve booked a spa day for some much-deserved R&R, then it is definitely an event worth dressing up for. The Clear Hybrid Dress by Orange Culture is the perfect garment for downtime activities. Made in Lagos from a jacquard blend, its relaxed fit offers plenty of versatile ways to wear it, as a standalone dress or as outerwear on chillier days. If you’re going to the beach, wear it as a coverup over a swimsuit by Salt and Sunscreen or Andrea Iyamah.