I’m Feeling “Pretty” for Summer—Enter These 17 Anti-Minimalist High-Street Pieces


If you’ve sneaked a glance at next week’s weather, you’ll already know that summer is arriving a little earlier than expected. With highs of 23 degrees Celcius, we’re right on the cusp of warm days, and as ever I’ve started thinking about how my summer wardrobe will look. Naturally, I’ve looked for inspiration from street style, our favourite fashion people, and what the stores are offering as summer 2024 rolls around, and one aesthetic keeps cropping up in my saved folder and wishlists: pretty.

Ethereal, soft and a little coquette—the pretty style is all about those delicate details that are charming rather than hard-hitting. There are embellishments that tie in to the style from tie-fronts to broderie anglaise, as well as more subtle design details like dropped waistlines and balloon sleeves, all of which conjure up that innate dainty feeling. This makes the style particularly fitting to embrace now, as dress and skirt silhouettes are a key component to the aesthetic, along with embellished tops that were made to be seen without the layers of winter.

Woman on stairs wears ruffled white dress with bows

With my forever wardrobe stocked with capsule pieces, these can be the backdrop to these more detailed creations, as show by Allison above. Or, they can take a back seat as I swap classic wide-leg trousers for languid dresses with soft embroidery and sweet bows. Lucky for me (and you) these coquette styles have trickled down from the high-end designers to the high street, and below I’ve pulled together a refined edit of affordable pretty pieces to add dainty details and an ethereal edge to all your summer looks.