Summer is coming, lockdown is ending, and it’s almost time to interact with our fellow humans again en-masse. For everyone – but particularly those of us in NSW and Victoria – it’s been a weird few months. There’s less sourdough baking during this lockdown, and a lot more staring into space for hours at a time.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have stopped buying new clothes that aren’t activewear a long, long time ago. What even are pants? I hear you say. (Nobody knows! They are a mystery, much like Bigfoot or people who put their clothes away immediately after washing them.)
My point is: very soon, we’ll be expected to put on real clothes again. Terrifying, I know. I decided to put together a little fashion round up inspired by a tweet I haven’t been able to get out of my head since July:
I wasn’t made for a 9-5 I was made to be railed in a sundress
— ???????????????????????????? (@justky1018) July 22, 2021
“I wasn’t made for a 9-5 I was made to be railed in a sundress,” it said.
“True!” I thought, then continued to work at my silly little 9-5 instead of getting railed in a sundress. (To my boss reading this, please don’t fire me.)
So what does it mean to get railed in a sundress? In my mind, it’s part of our Hot and/or Vaxxed Girl Summer. It’s about emerging from lockdown, feeling the sun on your skin, living with wild abandon and nary a care in the world… and also maybe boning a hot stranger behind the public loos. Lockdown is nearly over, and YOU, my friend, deserve a new dress to galavant around in.
Not sure what a dress even is anymore? Never fear, I have you covered. Presenting: the best sundresses to get railed in, or at the very least throw on for a picnic or two.
As always, let your own style and need for a rail-me sundress guide you: if you’d only wear it once (and not the 30-ish times recommended for sustainability), then don’t buy it!
Matilda Anne Midi Dress Steel Blue – Auguste The Label
LOOK at this print. Just look at it. The softest blue and tiny dainty flowers and a 90s-style scoop neckline is just perfect for sitting on your picnic, eating your cheese, and thinking about getting absolutely railed in later.
BUY IT: Here for $189.
Let The Sunshine In Crochet Top & Skirt – Spell
This is a slightly different look for Spell and I LOVE it. The crochet, the pops of colour, the chance to appear cool and casual after 18 months of wearing the same holey pair of leggings everyday? It’s a vibe and a half.
BUY THE TOP: Here for $179
PRAY THE SKIRT IS RESTOCKED: Here for $299
Chrissy Dress – Sister Studios
It was a hard pick between featuring this green gingham dress by sustainable Melbourne label Sister Studios, and the exact same dress but in a purple gingham – but the green won out by a smidge. A SMIDGE. The 70s shape and a-line skirt are a winner, but what’s really getting me is the tiny little sleeve detailing. Love, heaven, get this dress to a picnic with strawberries and a water bottle full of spicy marg mix, stat.
BUY IT: Here for $220.
Daphne Dress – Mabel the Label
Joining the Sister Studios green gingham dress at that boozy picnic is this purple gingham one from Mabel the Label, a Melbourne-based brand that uses locally sourced and upcycled materials. Everything is hand-made by a mother-daughter team and is really goddamn cute, so if you don’t know about this brand yet, add it to your rotation. Also this dress deserves the best picnicing summer of her life, I can just feel it.
BUY IT: Here for $240.
Noa Bralette & Midi Skirt – Bec and Bridge
Another one that’s technically not a sun dress but I don’t care, allowing it anyway. This Bec & Bridge honey-coloured bralette and midi skirt screams summer to me. Particularly: your post-lockdown hot girl summer. We’ve earned this, we deserve this, now put on your sun dress (or skirt and bralette) and enjoy it.
BUY THE TOP: Here for $140.
BUY THE SKIRT: Here for $170.
Tiered Open Back Midi Dress – Glassons
Ignore the boots the model is wearing (very on-trend, but WAY too much for an Aussie hot girl summer IMO) – a cotton black dress will steer you well for all sunshine-based activities. This one, like most backless dresses, is made for the smaller-boobed among us. Pair it with all the gold jewellery you already own and some kind of sun hat and you’re good to go.
BUY IT: Here for $69.99.
The Isabella – Réalisation
This is the dress that inspired this article: I have visited it no less than 12 times, and will probably be buying it next pay day. It screams summer picnic date, getting caught in the rain, and making out behind a tree until you’re veering on public indecency territory. This is my hope for your hot girl summer, and also my hope for me. We deserve this.
BUY IT: Here for $180.
Carnival Mini in Fern – One Fell Swoop
This is the dress you wear to your FANCY picnic – you know, the birthdays / engagements / baby showers that couldn’t happen in lockdown and are now taking place in a park. It’s a picnic, but an elevated picnic: someone probably brought those boho style cushions that cost $300 to sit on, and there might be balloons. You’re getting Insta content today, so dress the damn part in this very on-trend green.
BUY IT: Here for $399.
Dimitri Puff Sleeve Mini Dress – SIR.
Stunning, stunning, stunning. Just the type of dress to take you from ‘picnic’ to ‘railing’, if you happen to meeting someone cute at your five-person picnic. It’s a lightweight silk and cotton blend dress, so while it’s perfect for surviving those picnic moments where the sun RUDELY moves and your shade disappears, it’s also not something you accidentally want to get mayo on. Tread wisely.
BUY IT: Here for $380.
Leopard Print Gown – Vagary
Thank god leopard print never actually goes out of style, because it’s endlessly flattering and always makes you look a bit cool. It’s like red lipstick: you chuck it on and the mere act of making the EFFORT to wear red lipstick (or leopard print) makes it cool. Also: let’s banish trends forever and keep wearing what makes us happy in a sustainable way. But before I get too off topic… the leopard print gown is one of Vagary’s most comfortable styles, won’t show your knickers if a strong breeze comes along, and works just as well at the music festivals we’ll eventually go back to as your picnics and/or afternoon delight sessions.
BUY IT: Here for $219.95
Cut-Out Linen Mini-Dress – Aere
Yes, yes, I know – florals? For spring? Groundbreaking. Well not to rail against the great Miranda Priestley, but some things make sense for a reason, and wearing a vintage-style floral dress in the sun makes perfect sense. This one from Aere is part of The Iconic’s considered edit, which makes it even more of a winner IMO.
BUY IT: Here for $160.
Sadie Balloon Sleeve Mini Dress – Posse
Posse is one of my fave Aussie brands both for its heavenly linen cuts and its slow fashion philosophy: pieces are designed to last and are timeless, rather than super trendy! Given every drop feels like summer you could probably pick just about any dress currently online, these balloon sleeves pared with a mini skirt length are speaking to me.
BUY IT: Here for $249.
Alice Maxi Dress – Jillian Boustred
There is nothing that screams picnic more than rocking up dressed as a chic picnic blanket yourself. Aussie label Jillian Boustred has this stunning linen one with an elastic waist (good if you have hips like me and therefore need a waist line like other people need oxygen), AND a little gap at the back. LOOK AT IT:
Also, the skirt detailing and simple neckline is sending me, this is another dress I’ll be buying as soon as payday comes around. Find me in it all summer, drinking an Aperol in Centennial Park.
BUY IT: Here for $419.
Kateryna Dress Polka Dot – Hansen & Gretel
You know what else literally never goes out of style? Polka dots. This dress by cult Aussie label Hansen & Gretel takes it a new level IMO, pairing a sweetheart neckline with slightly ballooned sleeves for that devil-may-care, I’m getting day drunk at a picnic vibe. Will also work as a transeasonal dress when the colder weather roles around again, just chuck on a pair of knee high boots and a coat and go.
BUY IT: Here for $399.
Willow Dress Meadow – Nobody Denim
Fancy your summer dresses a little more structured? Don’t worry, Nobody Denim have you covered. This Melbourne-based denim brand has sustainability in mind in everything it does (including making its gear locally), so this dress doesn’t just look cute and a lil bit edgier than your standard florals – it gives you that warm, smug feeling of buying sustainably. I’ll drink to that any day of the week (hopefully in a beer garden, surrounded by 19 of my closest friends).
PRE-ORDER IT: Here for $199.
Retro Stripe Dress – Nagnata
Lucky last is also one of my faves, from cult brand Nagnata. Apart from being the uniform of every cool girl everywhere, Nagnata is one of those brands with sustainability (and inclusivity) at the heart of everything it does. (Are you noticing a trend here?) It has a series of retro-style dresses out which make me immediately want to pick up a tennis racket and start swinging wildly. Personally this neon pink one is my pick of the bunch, but the jade and lemon were a very close tied second. All up, there’s 12 different colour ways, and if you have a mid-size body (like me), then you don’t need to imagine what it looks like: Nagnata uses an array of different sized models online, which I couldn’t love more. Catch me wearing this for every single one of my hot vaxxed girl summer activities.
BUY IT: Here for $380.