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How to wear spring dresses

Whether the sun is shining or it’s bitterly cold outside, we’ve got all the outfit ideas you need to perfect transitional dressing. The key? Layering! With a few hero pieces, you can master how to dress for spring, whatever the weather.  To give you a helping hand, here are five midi dresses for your next weekend shop at Westquay, along with our top styling tips:

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Smart spring dresses

With a colour palette inspired by the Chloé SS19 show, this look feels incredibly premium – making it ideal for your working week (and any weeknight engagements, too). Think tonal shades of khaki and beige, coppers and mustard hues. Don’t forget the print of the season (or should that be decade), too: animal print.  Thanks to its black ditzy floral print, the New Look midi dress (modelled above) has a vintage feel. Its lightweight fabric makes it great for layering as it won’t look bulky at all. Pair it with a cotton trench coat – it’ll see you through spring and beyond, and work with every outfit imaginable. Feeling the chill?  Knee-high boots are back, and we love this classic brown pair from New Look. Add a cotton roll-neck underneath the dress and you’re all set. This quirky wicker bag is an absolute find from Next, and adds a statement finishing touch. Things warming up?  Ditch the roll-neck and swap your boots for block heel courts or Mary-Janes. Sun’s out, sunnies on: grab some tortoiseshell ones to compliment the outfit.  Main image: Cotton-blend trench coat, £139.99, H&M; mustard floral long sleeve midi dress, £29.99, New Look; polo-neck top, £12.99, H&M; tan knee-high boots, £39.99, New Look; large round earrings, £9.99, H&M; tan weave circle bag, £30, Next; sunglasses, £8.99, H&M Left to right: Cream zebra print buckle dress, £38, Next; shirt dress in dark khaki green, £24.99, H&M; snakeskin print midi dress, £199, Karen Millen

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Printed spring dresses

We feel pretty, oh so pretty. But this is pretty with a big ol’ dose of attitude. Go as daring as you like: pastel hues, ditzy or graphic florals, checks, spots, stripes… Look for buttoned fronts or slashes at the front, wrap dress styles or roomy kaftans, then play down the prettiness with cool sporty additions and casual denim. Perfect for all your weekend plans.  With its delicate nature print, this pink Zara frock (modelled above) certainly ticks the patterned dress box. Its silky material helps to counterbalance the jeans underneath, keeping the silhouette sleeker and more wearable. Feeling the chill?  Throw on some straight leg jeans and add an oversized marl hoodie. Pale pink and grey is such a good colour combo. Even though chunky white trainers are everywhere this season, these Next retro pair are another dressed-down option.   Things warming up?  Ditch the jeans, but keep those trainers on. Dresses worn with trainers were a huge hit last summer, and is set to continue this year too. It instantly adds edge to any dress. Sunglasses are a must, as is a tote bag – throw your hoodie in, for when the sun disappears. Can you believe this shopper is from H&M? We love it.  Main image: Pink printed dress, £39.99, Zara; logo fleece hoody, £80, Tommy Hilfiger; mid-rise slouchy jeans, £29.99, Zara; gum sole lace-up trainers, £35, Next; socks, £8.99, H&M; mesh shopper, £24.99, H&M Dresses: Crepe dress, £34.99, H&M; pleated stripe dress, £155, Tommy Hilfiger; polka dot blue wrap dress, £39.99, Zara

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Colourful spring dresses

Save colour blocking for a night out on the town – evening attire just got a lot brighter! There are many ways to pull off this look. First up, full on colour clashing – yellow, orange and pink go well together. You could pair colours tonally – red with purple. Or use neutrals such as caramel to tone things down.  We all need a red midi dress in our wardrobes. This vibrant wrap dress from Zara (modelled above) will see you through many spring get-togethers. Its deep V-neck and long puff sleeves are elegant, while its silky sateen fabric skims the body and hangs really well.  Feeling the chill?  If it’s cold, then a caramel roll-neck and yellow blazer make for a spicy colour mix. Don’t just save this Karen Millen jacket for special occasions. It’ll work thrown on with your jeans, too. (For a slouchier look, go up a size.) Stay away from black boots: we love these Next red ankle boots. Don’t worry if it’s a different tone to your dress – anything goes! Things warming up?  Whip off the roll-neck and swap the boots for some bright, strappy heels in the same colour mix. A magenta clutch adds (another) pop of colour. Main image: Sateen wrap dress, £39.99, Zara; roll-neck sweater in ginger, £18, Next; yellow tailored jacket, £235, Karen Millen; kitten heel ankle boots in orange, £38, Next; folded clutch in magenta, £99, Karen Millen; metal disc earrings, £12.50, Next Dresses: LK Bennett Reina tie waist red dress, £295, John Lewis & Partners; long fuchsia dress with belt, £25.99, Zara; mustard side split short sleeve midi dress, £24.99, New Look


Fancy some extra help updating your wardrobe for spring? Lucky for you, you can come join us at Westquay and indulge in some VIP personal shopping. Book a free appointment at John Lewis & Partners’ brand-new Style Studio.  You’ll be taken to the private styling suites. There you’ll have a one-to-one consultation, followed by a complimentary hot drink or Prosecco, while their stylists hit the store to pull together a fabulous selection for you to try on.  We spoke to stylist Laura Gillings and asked her what spring trends she can’t wait to wear: ‘This season, polka dots have really evolved from their traditional monochrome and uniform ways – think bold colours and abstract dots in juxtaposing scales. It’s such a fun print, which I think everyone should have in their wardrobe!’ For more information, or to book an appointment, visit the John Lewis & Partners website or ring the Experience Desk on 02380 216 326.

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