How to wear spring dresses

Whether the sun is shining or it’s bitterly cold outside, we’ve got all the outfit ideas you need to perfect transitional dressing. The key? Layering! With a few hero pieces, you can master how to dress for spring, whatever the weather.  To give you a helping hand, here are five midi dresses for your next weekend shop at Centrale & Whitgift along with our top styling tips:

party fashion wk44 content image ct 1

Smart spring dresses

With a colour palette inspired by the Chloé SS19 show, this look feels incredibly premium – making it ideal for your working week (and any weeknight engagements, too). Think tonal shades of khaki and beige, coppers and mustard hues. Don’t forget the print of the season (or should that be decade), too: animal print.  The Mango wrap dress (modelled above) has an elegant side split and is made from a slinky fabric, so it’s great for layering as it won’t look bulky at all. Pair it with a classic trench coat – it’ll see you through spring and beyond, and work with every outfit imaginable.  Feeling the chill?  Knee-high boots are back, and we love this white pair from Mango. Along with a layered cotton roll-neck, the hits of white help keep the look fresh. This quirky lattice bag is an absolute find from M&S, and adds a statement finishing touch.  Things warming up?  Ditch the roll-neck and swap your boots for block heel courts or Mary-Janes. Take advantage of the dress’ V neck and pile on some necklaces. Sun’s out, sunnies on: grab some tortoiseshell ones to compliment the outfit.  Main image: Whistles Imra balloon sleeve trench, £179, House of Fraser; Mango yellow satin gown, £69.99, House of Fraser; ribbed turtle neck long sleeve T-shirt, £8.50, M&S; Mango leather high leg boots, £159.99, House of Fraser; tan weave basket bag, £32.50, M&S Dresses: Horse coin midi dress, £49, Topshop; animal print shirt dress, £40, Next; Warehouse twist knot dress, £49, House of Fraser

party fashion wk44 content image ct 12

Printed spring dresses

We feel pretty, oh so pretty. But this is pretty with a big ol’ dose of attitude. Go as daring as you like: pastel hues, ditzy or graphic florals, checks, spots, stripes… Look for buttoned fronts or slashes at the front, wrap dress styles or roomy kaftans, then play down the prettiness with cool sporty additions and casual denim. Perfect for all your weekend plans.  With its polka dot print, this blue Zara frock (modelled above) certainly ticks the patterned dress box. It’s a wrap dress and its silky material helps to counterbalance the jeans underneath, keeping the silhouette sleeker and more wearable.   Feeling the chill?  Throw on some straight leg jeans and add an oversized hoodie in a clashing pastel shade. Sky blue and dusky pink is a good combo. Chunky white trainers are still big this season – pop them on with some sports socks.  Things warming up?  Ditch the jeans, but keep those trainers on. Dresses worn with trainers were a huge hit last summer, and is set to continue this year too. It instantly adds edge to any dress. Sunglasses are a must, as is a tote bag – throw your hoodie in, for when the sun disappears. Can you believe this shopper is from H&M? We love it. Main image: Polka dot wrap dress, £39.99, Zara; oversized hooded top, £19.99, H&M; mid stone raw hem straight jeans, £40, Topshop; Chicago lace-up trainers, £39, Topshop; striped tube socks, £3.50, Topshop; mesh shopper, £24.99, H&M; sunglasses, £8.99, H&M Dresses: Ditsy smock dress, £49, Topshop; polka dot blue dress, £39.99, Zara; printed dress in pink, £39.99, Zara (order, collect and try in store)

party fashion wk44 content image ct 13

Colourful spring dresses

Save colour blocking for a night out on the town – evening attire just got a lot brighter! There are many ways to pull off this look. First up, full on colour clashing – yellow, orange and pink go well together. You could pair colours tonally – red with purple. Or use neutrals such as caramel to tone things down.  We all need a red midi dress in our wardrobes. This vibrant wrap dress from Zara (modelled above) will see you through many spring get-togethers. Its deep V-neck and long puff sleeves are elegant, while its silky sateen fabric skims the body and hangs really well.  Feeling the chill?  If it’s cold, then a caramel roll-neck and yellow blazer make for a spicy colour mix. Don’t just save this Karen Millen jacket for special occasions. It’ll work thrown on with your jeans, too. (For a slouchier look, go up a size.) Stay away from black boots: we love these Next red ankle boots. Don’t worry if it’s a different tone to your dress – anything goes! Things warming up?  Whip off the roll-neck and swap the boots for some bright, strappy heels in the same colour mix. A magenta clutch adds (another) pop of colour. Main image: Sateen wrap dress, £39.99, Zara; roll-neck sweater in ginger, £18, Next; Karen Millen yellow tailored jacket, £235, House of Fraser; kitten heel ankle boots in orange, £38, Next; Karen Millen folded clutch in magenta, £99, House of Fraser; metal disc earrings, £12.50, Next Dresses: Long fuchsia dress with belt, £25.99, Zara (order, collect and try in store); Warehouse button red midi wiggle dress, £49, House Of Fraser; Warehouse yellow satin frill sleeve tea dress, £69, Debenhams

party fashion wk44 content image vl 12


Fancy some help updating your spring wardrobe? Join us at Centrale & Whitgift and indulge in some VIP personal shopping. At Debenhams they offer free personal styling services, whether you’re after a full wardrobe refresh or an outfit for a special occasion.  Your personal stylist will call you before your appointment to find out a little bit more about you. On the day, you’ll head to the private personal shopping suite and relax with a cup of coffee. All your pre-selected clothes will be waiting for you, ready to talk through and try on. We spoke to personal stylist Mandy Bosher and asked her what spring trends she can’t wait to wear: ‘Neon is going to be a big trend. I look forward to seeing more people embracing florescent fashion and wearing bold coloured statement pieces. Expect the wedding season to be a bright one for guest outfits.’ For more information, or to book an appointment, visit the website.