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SS22: Must-Have Dresses

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The Joyful Tunic



Stella Mc Cartney

Christian Wijnants

Julia Heuer

Purposeful minimalism and a toned down aesthetic are a key macro trend for SS22. Simple H-Line silhouettes are the dress shape to go for to capture this sentiment. H-line dresses can be translated into effortless and casual garments or even elevated onto a more evening and glamorous level through the choice of fabric. These tunic dresses work very well for the dress on pants trend that is going to gain increasing momentum for 2022 as well. Proenza Shouler, The Bazilika and Jil Sander are already introducing tunic-style dresses in their range. 

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The immaculate Shirt Dress



Mash Mash

Le Brand Warsav


For SS22 the Shirt-Dress is given an update. Inspired by the cottage core trend, shirts are enhanced with a modest, buttoned-up feel. To support this pure look, white is the color of choice for this piece. Integrate the trend for enlarged collars or puffy sleeves for “over the keyboard” dressing effects and give your staple a contemporary twist. Ganni and MashMash are already integrating statement collars, while Aje puts a focus on the sleeves.

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The Gathered Dress

Bottega Veneta

Anna October

Aleksandre Akhalkatsishvili

The Attico

Paloma Wool

Comfort meets elegance in this 2022 key product: the gathered dress. Emerging from current upheavals of body-positivity and acceptance, those jersey dresses are creating feminine and empowering form-hugging silhouettes. Integrate drawstring elements if you want to upgrade your pieces in terms of transformability and versatility. Jersey and knit are materials of choise for this dress and so this could also be a great update for one-size-fits-all product. While meeting the needs for comfort, The Attico and Anna October show that the gathered dress with its fitting qualities has great potential for the evening-wear categories as well.

stable trend

The Smocked Fit and Flare


Cecile Bahnsen

Molly Goddard

Proenza Shouler


The smocked fit and flare dress is one of the safe-bet products for SS22. The trend for smocking is already growing for SS21 and Livetrend technology is suggesting a continuous growth for 2022 as well. With smocking, the possibilities are endless. Integrate ruffle elements into the smocking, like Tach or Cecile Bahnsen to upgrade simple daywear dresses. Look at Steele and Proenza Shouler and how they are using the fitted effect to pronounce the femininity of the fit and flare dress.

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The Printed Second Skin



Kai Collective

Marine Serre

After the touchless world of the pandemic had taken over, the sensation of human skin and touch has become one of the main needs that consumers are longing for. Combined with a digital, avatar-inspired aesthetic printed and tight-fitting dresses are the way to go to give your consumer a second skin of your own. After Marine Serre had released her moon-printed bodysuit, the second-skin layering look had gained momentum and those printed dresses are the perfect piece to achieve this effect in 2022. Consider mesh and cut-out details if you want to enrich the second-skin dress with even more edgy elements. 

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The Build-In Bra

Victoria Beckham



The Iconic

Dion Lee

Empowering femininity has recently gained momentum again. The idea of bringing underwear out to question standards, but equally to play with sensuality, is one of the main trends for 2022. We have seen the early-2000s string-at-sight-trend increase in low-rise pants and the build-in bra is the intimate-update for the dress. Playing with cutouts and strings is key to achieve the desired look. Adaptions can vary from simple updated basics, as seen in Desordre and The Iconic, up to bold interpretations as presented by Dion Lee.

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The Nightgown

Awave Awake




Rotate Birger Christensen

For SS22 evening dresses the nightgown is a major key piece.  Post-pandemic, the possibility to go out again, should not sacrifice the comfort of the leisurewear and the coziness of the home, which consumers have grown accustomed to. The answer is the night-gown inspired dress, think: lounging in luxury. Shiny and fluid materials, deep necklines, wrapped details and smocking are some of the main elements to consider for this product. The glamorous yet comfortable nightgown dress, as interpreted by Nynne, Kamperett and Rotate Birger Christensen, resonates well with the macro trends comfort and luxurious dreamscapes, that are important for the SS22 season.

stable trend

The Ditsy Cottagecore Update

For Love and Lemons


Yuhan Wang

Olivia Rose


The cottagecore trend is here to stay. Continuously increasing, the nostalgic idea of femininity and the countryside presents us with ditsy, hyper-feminine floral dresses for SS22. Look towards Yuhan Wang to capture the dreamy mood and to Reformation to more commercial pieces. Ditsy floral prints, as well as light and feminine color palettes are a staple for the new cottage-core dresses. Consider lace-up elements, ruffles, lace or layered elements to enhance the ultra-feminine quality of those dresses.

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The Baby-Doll Shape

Dream Sister Jane



Mackgraw Love

For Love and Lemons

The joy of dressing up and the celebration of life post the pandemic results in an increased demand for joyful and youthful dresses. The babydoll dress, is the perfect garment to add to your range for SS22, as it captures this optimistic and dressy element of the zeitgeist. The babydoll dress can be adapted for daywear through floral, gingham  or monochrome cottons, as well as elevated for the evening-wear categories through taffetas, lurex yarns or a more eccentric trapeze shape.

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The Patchwork Lace



Dolce Gabbana

Stella McCartney


The lace-dress is gaining momentum again, however, with a twist. Patch-working-lace continues the big trend for patchwork and upcycling of SS21.  Interpretations can range from more sportive and causal styles, as seen in Kenzo and Stella McCartney, to romantic interpretations, as seen at Koché and Sir. The patchwork approach proposes a great possibility to repurpose deadstock material or upcycle unsold garment stocks. 

Get your bestsellers ready

Livetrend has detected the ten must-have dresses for SS22 in this report. The proposed dresses capture both, a more contemporary and minimal aesthetic, as well as and a very feminine nod to the past. The cottage core trend, a new femininity, and increased demands for comfort, value and versatility have been the key drivers to affect the development of the dresses for the season 2022.

If we take a look at the key dresses, we can sense a definite sense for dressing up and feeling feminine again. Counteracting the sweatpants-fatigue, dresses will be even more important for the Spring Summer season 2022.
Whether femininity is captured through a nostalgic, cottage core lens or through more edgy and bold body-positive elements, a sensual aspect is captured by both.

Our forecasting, which mixes data-analysis and human intelligence, gives you a mark to define a stable, increasing or an hot trends, thanks to the icon in the upper left corner of each trend. We will be updating you with more data, with the first deliveries fo SS21 collections.

15 December 2020