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5 Dainty Dresses Taking Over Our Instagram Feeds—and How to Style Them

These feminine frocks will keep you fresh at home, too!
5 Dainty Dresses Taking Over Our Instagram Feeds—and How to Style Them
IMAGE Instagram/juliabarretto,gabbi
These feminine frocks will keep you fresh at home, too!

Dresses have undoubtedly been de rigueur and it’s not just because we’re all stuck at home. Even before quarantine started, the dainty dress trend was worn by everyone from your fave local celebrities to fashion influencers. This movement can be credited to the romanticism craze in 2019, which Lyst named as one of the year’s biggest trends. It was all about huge puff sleeves, pretty pastels, and babydoll dresses (we blame Cecilie Bahnsen!). Now that we’re well into the last quarter of 2020, the dainty dress trend still proves to be a contender.

Here are the 5 different kinds of dainty dresses and how to style them:

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1. Puff sleeve dresses

The puff sleeve trend emerged in Spring 2018 but has since been reimagined in various iterations from subdued to the overblown. However, when it comes to dainty dresses, our Instagram feeds say that summery and fresh is the way to go. Think white cotton dresses, poplin fabrics, and linen frocks in summery hues. A puff-sleeved prairie dress (with ruffled tiers and all) is also au courant!

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How to wear them

Go for a fun, summery look with statement earrings and strappy heels like Mikka Padua or take the minimalist route with nothing but a simple white frock like Julia Barretto’s.

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2. Smocked dresses

We’ve already reported on the rise of smocked dresses and how they were once worn by rural workers in 18th-century England. Just like the puff sleeve dress, trendy smocked dresses also take on the form of prairie fashion, with midi lengths and shirred details. In fact, many smocked dresses also feature puff sleeves.

How to wear them

Give the centuries-old smocked detail a Y2K spin by putting on a headscarf and rectangular sunnies like Rhea Bue. Or, you can also keep it simple like Tricia Gosingtian who opted for an earth-toned frock and nude sandals.

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3. Ruched dresses

Unlike smocking and puff sleeves, ruched details are subtle elements but are very striking nonetheless. In case you didn’t know, “ruching” is when fabric is tightly pleated together to create texture. Celebs are wearing them dressed down (pardon the pun) with barely any jewelry to evoke lightness. However, you can also take the runway route by wearing them with heels and vibrant handbags.

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How to wear them

Keep it neutral like Martine Cajucom and Liz Uy (who completed her look with extra, beachy accessories) or you can take cues from Heart Evangelista who wore hers with a chinoiserie print jacket and matching Dior slides for a pop of color.

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4. Eyelet dresses

Although eyelet dresses have always been a timeless piece, especially during the summer season, it appears that fashionistas have taken a keen interest in them lately. Perhaps it’s the breathable cotton fabric, but we’re pretty sure it’s the ultra-feminine silhouettes that have them hooked. What makes current eyelet day dresses different would be the use of puff sleeves, and sometimes, ruched details, too!

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How to wear them

Give a dainty eyelet dress a little grit with cowboy boots a la Jeline Catt, or have fun with layers by wearing it on top of pants like Lovi Poe!

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5. Babydoll dresses

As mentioned, babydoll dresses were a huge hit in 2019 but they aren’t going anywhere—designers like Cecilie Bahnsen, Simone Rocha, and Molly Goddard are vying for it. Often with rounded, subtly puffed sleeves, the babydoll features a flared silhouette (sometimes in tiers) that make it chic and cozy at the same time. There are no rules as to which colors to wear—you can go for sorbet hues or bright and bold ones.

How to wear them

Pare down a pastel babydoll dress like Sarah Lahbati’s with casual leather sandals, or turn up the fun with layered necklaces and colorful slides like Camille Co!

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