Dresses

Best mini dresses 2022: Women’s black, white and cut-out designs

Whether you’re venturing on holiday or enjoying time at home, when the sun’s out to play, it pays to have a wardrobe full of seasonal items that you can wear on repeat. And for us, there’s no staple better than a mini dress for summer.

Despite being long-term lovers of the midi, the sky-high hemline craze is well and truly back. And, frankly, we’re here for it. During the SS22 shows, major fashion houses championed the micro trend.

The design house to look to for inspiration has to be Valentino and its hot pink mini dress. It’s everything we could ever dream of – a serious dose of the colour of the season and a cut-out design.

Elsewhere were the designs that are likely to cause division. Sheer, bodycon and cut-out dresses were sent down the runway by newcomers and heavyweights alike. But it was the new designer Nensi Dojaka who showcased the most showstopping of designs.

For something more low-key, turn to the likes of Jacquemus, which opted for linen, shirting, cut-out blazer dresses and, of course, bold colours. All against the backdrop of a Hawaiin beach – a recipe for a seriously dreamy collection.

But it needn’t be all trend-led. With a whole host of patterns and silhouettes on offer, there’s plenty to choose from, all of which will give off that carefree, fun look a mini dress emulates.

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How we tested

When it came to curating this round-up, we looked for trend-led designs but also those that could be worn year and after year. During testing, we assessed the sizing, quality of the fabric and fit. Be prepared to wear these on repeat this summer. Here’s to the micro hemline.

The best mini dresses for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Omnes riviera mini dress in fuchsia pink: £49, Omnes.com
  • Best white shirt dress – Asos Design organic cotton mini shirt dress in white: £20, Asos.com
  • Best satin slip – Free People like me or love me slip: £52, Freepeople.com
  • Best for cut-out sides – Missguided white poplin cut out puff sleeve mini dress: £30, Missguided.co.uk
  • Best hot pink denim dress – Nasty Gal oversized denim shirt dress: £34.30, Nastygal.com
  • Best cotton dress – Nobody’s Child Cicily mini dress: £59, Nobodyschild.com
  • Best LBD – Urban Outfitters kamaryan mini dress: £44, Urbanoutfitters.com
  • Best white dress – Topshop shirred channelled poplin flippy mini dress in white: £29, Asos.com
  • Best wrap dress – Never Fully Dressed white cotton linen wrap dress: £89, Neverfullydressed.co.uk
  • Best floral mini – New Look blue floral shirred square neck mini dress: £25.99, Newlook.com
  • Best silk mini – Realisation Par the isabelli: £180, Realisationpar.com
  • Best cut out mini – Never Fully Dress black cut out mini dress: £69, Neverfullydressed.co.uk

Omnes riviera mini dress in fuchsia pink

Best: Overall

Rating: 9.5/10

Omnes is one of our firm favourites – the brand is all about keeping things sustainable and affordable, yet still on-trend. If you’re yet to be acquainted with it, we’re here to change that. This bright pink mini is everything you could want and more; fuchsia is the colour of the season, and the design is one of our favourites. The tie detailing at the back is a gorgeous design feature and means you can adjust how it fits around your waist. We found that it fit perfectly in length, skimming our mid-thigh. It’s a great all-rounder that we’ll be spotted wearing to everything from nights out to days in the park. The piste de resistance is the fact the label is made from seeded paper, so you can plant it and grow wildflowers.

Asos Design organic cotton mini shirt dress in white

Best: Shirt dress

Rating: 8/10

A shirt dress is undoubtedly a summer wardrobe staple – it’s the perfect throw-on-and-go piece that can be worn on repeat. This one from Asos has an oversized silhouette, which makes it comfortable yet considered. Owing to it being white, we’d recommend sticking to underwear that matches your skin tone. In terms of styling, the options are endless: wear with trainers, ankle boots or sandals and throw on a spring jacket over your shoulders in case the temperature drops.

Free People like me or love me slip

Best: Slip dress

Rating: 8/10

Slip dresses are a sartorial must-have during the warmer months, but not all are made equal. This one from Free People, though, is a firm favourite. The wrap feature adds extra shaping, and the slinky design makes it ideal if you’re looking for something that you can easily wear day and night. As for sizing, it fits true to size and is comfortable and easy to wear – unlike other satin dresses we’ve tried in the past, this one didn’t cling. While we’ll be wearing this all summer long, we’ll also be donning it when the weather cools with tights, ankle boots, a jumper and a leather jacket. It’s safe to say we’re here for how this one can transcend seasons.

Missguided white poplin cut out puff sleeve mini dress

Best: For cut-out sides

Rating: 8/10

If you’re looking to tap into the cut-out detailing trend in a more modest way, this dress from Missguided feels very Jacquemus and offers the perfect solution. The high neck and puff sleeves contrast brilliantly with the length. The fit pleasantly surprised us – the cut out on the sides made the waistline appear smaller. Should you be concerned about going for white, the same design is available in black.

Nasty Gal oversized denim shirt dress

Best: Hot pink denim dress

Rating: 7/10

With hot pink the colour of the season, this denim shirt dress is the perfect way to tap into the trend. It’s not for the fainthearted as it is seriously bright, but if it’s a statement piece you’re looking for, this certainly ticks that box. In our opinion, the oversized cut of this dress is best when wearing something of this colour, and we found it to fit true to size. Because it’s denim, it’s a good one to have on hand for a cooler summer’s day. Our 5ft6in tester noted it came up quite short, so it might not be the best option for those with longer legs, and we’d recommend wearing cycling shorts (£35, Gymshark.com) underneath. When it comes to accessories, we’d keep things simple and wear the dress with a pair of white trainers.

Nobody’s Child Cicily mini dress

Best: Cotton dress

Rating: 9/10

Nobody’s Child has delivered the epitome of a summer dress here. The prairie design means it has a floaty silhouette, which makes for the perfect fit for a hot day. Similarly, the cotton fabric is breathable, only adding to its appeal as a piece to wear this summer. The ruffle detailing and tassel around the neck offer a feminine touch.

If you’re yet to order from Nobody’s Child, this one is true to size. In terms of styling, the options are endless – while white trainers or sandals are our favourites, opt for a pair of cowboy boots if you’re looking for an edgier look.

Urban Outfitters kamaryan mini dress

Best: LBD

Rating: 8/10

Few things work harder than a little black dress, and while perhaps not a colour many lean towards for summer, this one is the ideal pick if you’ve been searching for one for the warmer climes. It has a fitted bodice, which then goes out into a flared skirt – a design that really works to accentuate the waistline. The neckline can be adjusted to fit how you like it, thanks to the tie detailing. The fabric is lightweight, and you’ll want to wear it year after year – it’s timeless. If you like the design but don’t need another LBD in your wardrobe, it’s also available in red.

Topshop shirred channelled poplin flippy mini dress in white

Best: White dress

Rating: 8/10

Nothing quite says summer like a white mini dress, and Topshop has certainly delivered. This particular style is giving us real Tove on a budget vibes thanks to the tie detailing on the front, while the frilled straps are a pretty addition. As for the fit, the ruched bodice works to accentuate the waist but isn’t too figure-hugging, so it isn’t uncomfortable – quite the opposite. On scorching days you’ll be glad for the cotton lining and its breathable properties. Should you wish to dress it up, pair with wedges or heeled sandals. A versatile dress you’ll reach for time and again.

Never Fully Dressed white cotton linen wrap dress

Best: Wrap dress

Rating: 8/10

Summer calls for loose linen (or a linen-cotton blend, in this case), and this wrap dress is the perfect option for holidays. While it serves as a fantastic throw-on-and-go design, it can be dressed up with a pair of espadrille wedges or down with sandals or white trainers. We were pleasantly surprised with this one, and the best thing of all is that it is not at all see-through. It screams summer and deserves a spot in your suitcase.

New Look blue floral shirred square neck mini dress

Best: Floral mini

Rating: 8/10

While florals might not be for everyone, this vintage-inspired print is a firm favourite of ours and the perfect design for summer. The square neckline draws attention to the collarbone, while the fit and flare cut is comfortable and flouncy. Should you be worried about the short length, the puff sleeves work to counter this while also adding an additional fun detail. We’d recommend wearing this dress with chunky white trainers.

Realisation Par the isabelli

Best: Silk dress

Rating: 8/10

If you’re the type of person who likes investing in seasonal garb, this Realisation Par dress deserves a spot in your summer wardrobe. Thanks to the simple, floral design, it transcends trends, meaning you’ll be wearing it for years to come. The deep V-neck accentuates the collarbone, and we like that you can tie it at the back to adjust how it fits against your silhouette. The silk fabric means it’s breathable, which you’ll be glad for during stifling summer days. If you’re unsure about this exact print but love the design, it’s also available in four different patterns, including one of our favourites, the rosalita (£180, Realisationpar.com).

Never Fully Dress black cut out mini dress

Best: Cut-out dress

Rating: 7/10

Okay, this one might not have universal appeal, but if you’re obsessed with the cut-out designs that were all over the SS22 catwalks, you need to see it. Never Fully Dressed’s mini offers the perfect way to emulate the look of one of Nensi Dojaka’s dresses. It has a slinky, body-skimming silhouette that packs a real punch. It’s arguably best saved for a night out, but you’d easily be able to rock it as daywear; just throw on a chunky knit cardigan or a bomber jacket over the top to dress down the look.

The verdict: Mini dresses

When it comes to finding the perfect mini dress, it is, of course, down to personal preference, and we hope we’ve curated a round-up that covers every style. If it’s a shirt dress you’re after, the Asos white cotton number is the ideal throw-on-and-go design.

But if it’s a slinky slip you’re leaning towards, it’s got to be the Omnes riviera mini dress in fuchsia pink. It taps into the dopamine dressing trend, while the backless design adds an extra element of interest. If you’re worried about its versatility, we found it easy to dress up with heels and a blazer or down with a lightweight jacket and white trainers.

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Looking to keep the chill away? Read our guide to the best spring jackets

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