My perfect summer dresses

It’s only taken 18 years but I’ve finally had an item of Kettlewell named after me! The Melissa Maxi Dress in 100% cotton has just arrived in stock and it’s quite simply my favourite piece from the Summer collection – comfortable, stylish, easy to wear, super versatile and available in six gorgeous colours, Hot Pink, Apple Green, Lobelia, Cornflower, Flint and Sunset Saffron. While it’s not always a given that a dress we’ve designed will make it all the way through to production, on this occasion I was determined to sneak it in the Summer collection. Having fallen in love with it the moment I tried on the sample, I immediately named it the Melissa before John could get any ideas about culling it!

The Melissa dress, four ways


Melissa styles her Sunset Saffron Melissa Dress with a Soft White Cotton Rib Shirt, a Rachel Jacket in Provence and a Flamingo Pink Short Tie Wrap.

What’s great about the Melissa Dress is that it works for so many different occasions and is perfect for holiday (as I write I can just picture myself wearing it as I amble down to a market place in flip-flops, a straw basket over one arm; then out later for dinner, dressed up with a little heel, a Short Tie Wrap and jewellery). What’s more, because of its soft slub texture, it will pack like a dream in my suitcase, as it doesn’t need any ironing. That, for me, is the epitome of easy summer dressing.

Get holiday ready with the Hannah


The Hannah Dress in Watermelon with a Chinese Blue Short Tie Wrap

If you’re not one for a maxi, then the fit-and-flare Hannah Dress might be more your thing. It’s made of slightly thicker cotton than the Melissa Dress, but is similarly loose-fitting so perfect for hot weather (I’d recommend sizing down if you’re in between sizes). I’ve pulled together a couple of looks to show you how you can dress the Hannah Dress and the Melissa Dress – as well as the Carly Skirt and Gabriella in matching colours which create another summer dress option – but I’d love to see how you style yours… preferably against a backdrop of blues skies and never-ending sunshine!

When two become one


Melissa wears the Gabriella Tee and Carly Skirt in Cream and added colour with a Rachel Jacket in Leaf

Kerry Allen on Jul 27, 2022 4:12 AM

Oh how I would love to order from you! Your clothes are wonderful and the color range outstanding. Alas, I wear a UK size 24. Please consider extending your size range and I promise I will be the first in line to order.


Carolyn on May 15, 2022 9:22 PM

Love a maxi dress. However, I agree with Barbara - the Autumns colors won't work for me either! I might consider the Hannah, as the colors are more suited to me. Either way, I love sleeveless anything - I live in a hot climate and appreciate not having sleeves. If I get chilly indoors from air conditioning, I can always pop on a wrap or a light jacket.

Betty Richmond on May 15, 2022 3:25 PM

I like the look of the maxi dress, what length is it? I feel it may be too long on me as I am only 5FT 2ins

Mirabelle hatch on May 15, 2022 12:26 PM

I just love the new Melissa dress and the wow colours - but, sleeveless ! Afraid not for me as an ‘older’ customer. I do not want to show tops of my arms. Even a cap sleeve would be less exposing.

Marian on May 15, 2022 11:28 AM

Devastated that almost the minute the Lobelia maxi dress became available in Australia it was sold out in my size, small. How can that be?

Helen williamson on May 15, 2022 9:22 AM

Fabulous demo of lovely summer pieces. All gorgeous on you. Watermelon is so pretty on you. Love the aqua earrings with it too. Love Provence with the saffron. X ❤️💙💛

LindaM on May 14, 2022 8:26 AM

Thanks for the expansion button on the top photo! Now we need it on all of them. You look lovely in the watermelon, Melissa.

Una on May 13, 2022 9:38 PM

Autumn yellow just perfect for me. After consulting my consultant of nearly twenty years, Fiona Ingham, this afternoon in London, I shall see if it fits and suits. Don't do minis!

AK Minnick on May 13, 2022 7:25 PM

And to think I almost dismissed the Carly skirt because of the rounded hem! I’m kind of obsessed with the two-piece dress look, mostly because it’s a fabulous springboard for a wider capsule. And, Melissa, you shine in that watermelon!

Barbara on May 13, 2022 5:16 PM

I love a maxi. Sadly, the Autumn colours are not for me.

Melissa on May 13, 2022 3:54 PM

The styling here is brilliant and so very helpful! As a woman a little bit further down the road of life, I am always looking for summer outfits that do not look too relaxed, too dressed up or worse that I am stuck in times past! LOL. Finally, practical summer outfits for real women and real life that are also stylish!

Lynn Nadjarian on May 13, 2022 1:23 PM

The colours are so gorgeous n Springy n joyous! Lovely dresses, wish the T shirt dress came in watermelon, as I can't wear Hannah or Melissa. Cheers

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