Where to find the hottest dresses this summer…for less

There was a time when the High Street stores were full of catwalk-inspired imitations, drawn from the collections of big names such as Gucci, Prada and Versace.

Fast forward to this summer, however, and instead of turning to the fashion houses of Paris and Milan, High Street retailers are turning to mid-range independent brands that have achieved cult status among the fashion pack.

Although these brands are more affordable than the creations of fashion houses, they are still expensive enough to guarantee quality. But, as the cost of living skyrockets, even those labels are getting out of reach for the average shopper.

A Rixo dress or a cute Reformation number are perfect for summer weddings and parties, but if you’re counting the pennies, these cut-price copies might just be the answer to your dreams. Here’s how to get the look for less, be on-trend, and fool your friends this summer…

Orika dress by Ba&Sh

Named after best friends and brand founders Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief, Ba&Sh was launched in 2003

Named after best friends and brand founders Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief, Ba&Sh was launched in 2003.

The French fashion label has captured that je ne sais quoi of effortless chic Parisian style.

The duo now have over 400 stores worldwide and a celebrity following that includes actress Olivia Palermo, model Daisy Lowe and TV’s Holly Willoughby. The Duchess of Cambridge was spotted wearing the brand’s belt over a Derek Lam dress earlier this year.

If the price of the Orika dress (left, £255) isn’t enough to put you off, the care details might, as it’s not machine washable. Instead, the tiny floral midi tea dress from Marks & Spencer’s collaboration with Ghost is as practical as it is pretty, and under £70 too!

Paloma dress by Yolke

Launched in London in 2013, Yolke began as a luxury sleepwear brand, renowned for its silk pajamas that were too good to simply sleep in.

Launched in London in 2013, Yolke began as a luxury sleepwear brand, renowned for its silk pajamas that were too good to simply sleep in.

Launched in London in 2013, Yolke began as a luxury sleepwear brand, renowned for its silk pajamas that were too good to simply sleep in.

Her first ready-to-wear collection debuted in 2018, and fashionista Alexa Chung, singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and presenter Laura Whitmore are all fans.

The label’s versatile £225 Paloma maxi dress (right) in petal green offers two looks for the price of one, with an optional belt and delicate bust button, allowing you to wear the style open as a collar in V or closed for a round neckline.

For those of us who can’t justify the £225 price tag, Morrison’s has you covered with its Nutmeg label. Just pick up a fancy dress for £20 when you do the weekly grocery shopping, thanks to her dupe in an almost identical colorway and pattern.

Lacey Dress by Reformation

This Los Angeles-based brand launched in 2009 with a focus on sustainability, making everything from leftover fabrics and repurposed vintage garments.

This Los Angeles-based brand launched in 2009 with a focus on sustainability, making everything from leftover fabrics and repurposed vintage garments.

This Los Angeles-based brand launched in 2009 with a focus on sustainability, making everything from leftover fabrics and repurposed vintage garments.

After launching an exclusive collection with London boutique Browns in 2018, Reformation opened its first stand-alone store in the UK in September 2019. Its simple yet chic silhouettes have earned the brand a list of celebrity fans, including actresses Florence Pugh and Lily James.

The £248 sweetheart neckline, cap sleeves and ditsy print of the label’s Lacey dress is one of its most popular styles, and now there are a host of tributes on the High Street. My favorite is this New Look number (right, £14 on sale) which nails the cut, with no leg split, so it’s office-appropriate.

Deia dress by Rixo

Debuting in the London salon of best friends Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey in 2015, Rixo quickly became the go-to brand for occasion dresses.

Debuting in the London salon of best friends Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey in 2015, Rixo quickly became the go-to brand for occasion dresses.

Debuting in the London salon of best friends Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey in 2015, Rixo quickly became the go-to brand for formal wear.

Wanting to create pieces that are easy to wear and feminine, the designs possess a timeless feel, which has helped the brand gather a huge audience of all ages – from Killing Eve star Jodie Comer to Holly Willoughby and Helena Bonham Carter.

Easily identifiable thanks to the hand-painted floral prints, thigh-high slits and playful details that make each dress a statement look, High Street brands have long emulated this cool-girl style. The £275 Deia midi dress (left) is a more wearable number from the label, thanks to its more demure style, with its high ruffled collar and bias-cut skirt.

Nobody’s Child, Ro&Zo at John Lewis and River Island give their money’s worth.