Smocking – an embroidery technique used where a bit of stretch was required – has been used since the Middle Ages, but until recently was associated with decades gone by or maternity wear. Thankfully, people are seeing how great it can look when used wisely – and our five favourite pretty smock dresses today demonstrate just that!
Chambray Smock Dress, Light Blue – £22 (was £42), Warehouse
We start with a simple take on the trend, the practical yet fabulously feminine Chambray smock from Warehouse. It’s made from a lightweight linen blend, and cut in an oversized smock silhouette, though that basic shape is set off with beautiful voluminous three-quarter length sleeves that are smocked around elbow length so they kick out around the hems. This round neck mini dress fastens at the back with a zip and is currently available at twenty quid off its original price so act now if you fancy adding this pretty frock to your collection!
Floral Tiered Smock Dress – £39, Miss Selfridge
Miss Selfridge’s smock dress is super-pretty, made from a lightweight woven fabric printed with a bold flower design in shades of pink, grey, yellow and white. Its bodice has a high neckline with the same narrow frill around it that edges each of the two tiers of the skirt as well as the above the elbows of the long sleeves. This dainty dress – which has a smock shape but no actual smocking! – fastens at the back with a single button.
Smock Sheered Bandeau Dress in Coral – £14 (was £28), V by Very
It might not seem super-seasonal, but we believe in layers and this bandeau smock dress from V by Very is such a bargain – currently at half-price – that we couldn’t resist bringing it to your attention! With smocking around the bodice and the oversized, fluted sleeves, it has a swing silhouette and is available in this bright coral as well as in a navy blue colour. So layer up or maybe stash it away for the next festival season!
Stripe Smock Dress – £201 (was £670), Kenzo
Another dress with a smock shape, now, from the designer end of the spectrum – though it’s been reduced fairly substantially with £469 off (though we reckon you might be able to haggle them down to a round £200!) The Kenzo striped smock dress is made from a cotton-rich fabric with a pinstriped metallic finish. It has a pointed collar with long sleeves which, like the waistband and cuffs of this dress, are finished off with eyelet detailing and a metallic trim (which also extends around the hem).
Potters Denim Smock Dress – £59, Maison de Nimes
If you’ve been watching Ghost (or indeed The Great British Pottery Throwdown) one time too many recently – or you just fancy a practical dress with some cute style details – you might find yourself drawn towards this Maison De Nimes Potters smock dress. Made from 100% cotton denim, it this striking shift dress fastens up the front with buttons and has frills around the high neckline (where a pussy bow finishes off the look) and the cuffs.