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9 dresses to suit every occasion this summer (and every summer after that)

Photography By Nagnata, Michael Comninus for RIISE, Fredric
Published 27.01.22

We don’t really need to spell out all the reasons why we love summer.

But if we were to tell you one thing that’s high on our love list to the hotter months of the year, it’s the excuse to wear dresses every day.  

For the next few months, we’re forgetting all about jeans and complicated layering. A handful of carefully selected and highly versatile dresses are all we need to get through this season.  

If you’re also looking to simplify your wardrobe options this summer, we’re here to help. From outdoor dining to long days at the beach, these are the nine dresses the RIISE team will be wearing throughout the warmer months of the year.  

Michael Comninus for RIISE


There’s something about al fresco dining, sunny weekend mornings and an all-day breakfast menu (especially one with an unlimited prosecco option) that just feels right. For all your brunching or late lunching needs, look no further than Fredric’s Bella Midi Dress. Made from 100 per cent organic cotton, this strapless midi has a flattering fit and is sweet enough to run solo or with bold accessories (like a cute crocheted hat from RUTT or this statement necklace from Monarc Jewellery).   

Leif Prenzlau for RIISE

Beach throwover

Spending time at the beach (or around any body of water) is the one summer activity we prize above all others. Aquatic days call for something simple to throw on after swimming – like UNIKSPACE’s Sofia Tunic. Lightweight, breathable and cut from a premium 100 per cent linen, in our humble opinion, a more beach-worthy dress doesn’t exist.  

Michael Comninus for RIISE

Special occasions

One minute you’re spending your weekends rugged up under a duvet on the couch, the next you have two engagement parties and four birthdays to attend. If the warmer weather sends your social schedule into overdrive, invest in a dress you can rely on whenever a special occasion comes knocking. Personally, we can’t go past Arnsdorf’s Faye Dress, made from a demi-satin blend of hemp and silk and featuring a flawless cowl neckline and low back combo.  

Leif Prenzlau for RIISE


Those extra hours of sunlight and balmy evenings make a riverside restaurant or rooftop bar all the more enticing. If you’re planning to eat your way through a few nights this summer, we suggest keeping a little black dress at the front of your closet. Our personal pick for an LBD is Fredric’s  Hattie Mini Dress. The pleated mini skirt, relaxed bodice and puffy sleeves are crafted from soft organic cotton, and it’s easy to dress up or down with heels or sneakers. (That means a dress you can rely on if a meal out turns into a night of partying.)

Michael Comninus for RIISE


If you’re planning to throw down a rug, surround yourself with packets of dips and spend an afternoon picnicking, a maxi dress is a frontrunner for comfort and practicality. We have our eye on NICO’s Juliet Pleat Dress, made from an ultra-soft blend of undyed certified organic cotton and hemp jersey. FYI, the neutral colouring also looks rather nice against all those grazing boards you’ll be parked up next to.  



There are moments when being an adult doesn’t feel that rewarding. But a run of live music, food and wine, and arts festivals through the hot months of the year is not one of those times. If your local council is making up for lost time with the events calendar this year, consider adding Nagnata’s Prism Dress to your outfit wish list. It’s made from 85 per cent GOTS-certified organic cotton and is knitted to shape to minimise yarn waste. A bright, comfortable, off-the-shoulder number that you can definitely dance from day to night in.  



Every summer wardrobe needs at least one heavy lifter. A versatile all-rounder that you can dress up or down and reach for day or night. Enter NATALIJA’s V-neck silk slip dress. Made from silk satin crepe (or linen if you prefer), this classic slip will quickly become your hardest working (and longest serving) seasonal staple. What’s better, every NATALIJA dress is made to order and customised to fit your body shape and style preferences. That means no more gaps, long straps or overly tight fits.  

Leif Prenzlau for RIISE

Date night

When the time calls for date night – be it with a romantic partner or your best friend – we all want a little number on standby that we know will impress. For a dress that is sure to catch all of the compliments, look to Loomes’s  The Kahlo Mini Dress in ebony. Made from 40 per cent organic cotton and 60 per cent silk, it features a classic neckline and scooped back (which you can adjust to go lower if you want to show off a little more skin). It’s also loose fitting with a profile that was designed to suit a range of different shapes and sizes.

Leif Prenzlau for RIISE

Summer wedding 

Even if the matrimonial event on your calendar doesn’t land in the peak of summer, in Australia at least, the surrounding months can still be quite warm. So opt for a sartorial option that you won’t feel hot and bothered in. Autark’s  tie front dress fits that bill. Its relaxed shape and organic cotton fabric (which the brand describes as “light as air”) will keep you cool no matter how hard you go on the dancefloor.

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