Simple? Sexy? Day-to-night? Let us help you nail that fabulous forever frock

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Right, I’m here to tell you what the fashionable summer dress you need to buy this year looks like. I’m about to lay down the law on whether rose prints are more on trend than forget-me-nots, and explain whether a bell sleeve or a trumpet one will hoist you up the best-dressed lists. I’m going to map out those postcodes in which a cold shoulder is still de rigueur and those neighbourhoods in which you must switch to a kimono sleeve. And, after that, I’m going to explain how to break into your own house at the end of the night, if you are unable to take your keys out with you because they don’t fit into your on-trend miniature circular basketweave clutch bag.

Or none of the above, actually. I’m here to help you find the perfect summer dress, which is absolutely not the same thing as the most fashionable one. The search for this dress transcends fashion for the simple reason that the perfect summer dress is an almost holy object. The days on which this piece will be worn are the most precious of the whole year, and that makes the dress itself a kind of talisman.

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