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Item of the week: the pastel dress

By Rachel Douglass


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(From left) Na-kd, Madewell, Mama.licious. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

What it is:

Pastels are a somewhat predictable colour shade for the spring/summer season, yet their prominence on the 2024 runways over this period could not be doubted. The look was not limited to one colour either. Turquoise, baby pink, sky blue, citrus yellow and lavender were just some of the ways in which pastel was adopted, with each of the varying hues primarily taking the form of both slinky shapes and voluminous yet lightweight silhouettes. As such, the dresses that were donned on the runway reflected the season itself, many favouring airy, breathable cuts – such as the cami, shift and skater.
Levi's. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Why you’ll want it:

Pastel hues are colours that come back year after year, offering a timeless appeal to both retailer and consumer looking for a reliable quality in their products. The colour scheme’s most prominent period is that of spring and summer, with warmer days often requiring lighter tones and therefore raising demand over this time. The ongoing shift in menswear – through which the boundaries of gender have begun to blur – has also seen such colourings expand their boundaries and appeal to a wider market, a trend that is likely to only keep growing over time.
JJXX. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Where we’ve seen it:

Designers that favoured pastel hues took over SS24 fashion weeks with a subdued rainbow of largely neutral colourways, offering a glimpse of how these tones can enhance the lightweight feel of dresses. While Bottega Veneta opted for tones like buttermilk yellow for its laser cut camis, Carolina Herrera favoured a light lavender to adorn a slinky shift maxi. Meanwhile, others merged multiple trends, opting for pastels in flouncy, layered pieces, as seen in Adeam’s aquamarine look and Altuzarra’s skin-tone Babydoll gown. Chanel, on the other hand, stuck with a stronger fabric choice for its own use of pastel, applying the various tones to its signature tweed, updating the brand’s typical attire for the warm season ahead.
S.Oliver. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

How to style it:

All over pastels are already a bold choice in dress form, as the colours themselves can be tricky to pair. As such, the pieces can often do well standing alone as their own statement, yet can still be elevated with the use of minimalist accessories. Thin layered necklaces and shimmery clutch bags with shoes in a hue that matches the dress is a simple way to dress the look up for an evening out. For daytime, however, pair the look with a light coloured, long-form coat or a chunky sweater to add depth and layers to an outfit.
Tamaris. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.
Pastel colourways are a trend that will likely never lose favour as each spring/summer season rolls by. While subtle, when utilised in dress form they make a statement of their own, bringing life to lightweight silhouettes that typically dominate this time of year.
Selected Femme. Credits: FashionUnited Marketplace.

Similar items available for (pre)order can be found in the FashionUnited Marketplace. You can find them by clicking on this link.
Item of the Week