No Doubt About It—These Are the 5 Dress Trends Everyone Will Be Wearing in 2022

January 08, 2022 at 08:00AM

As we wave goodbye to one year and welcome another, there are certain traditions that we all like to indulge in. You might be busy planning your NYE outfit or hurriedly making lists of your resolutions. Us? We’re focusing on one of our own much-loved traditions here at Who What Wear UK: our annual dress report.

If you know us well, you’ll know just how much we love a dress. And really, why wouldn’t we? They always seem to swoop in to save us when we need it most—when we have nothing else to wear, when we need to look put-together in an instant, when we suddenly can’t fit into our favourite jeans or when it’s just too darn hot to wear anything else. Whether you’re a dress person or not, it’s likely you have at least a couple of hero styles you turn to for weddings or work events.

It’s our responsibility to bring you the most up-to-date predictions for the new year’s dress trends, and we take that responsibility very seriously. After all, you guys need to know which styles to keep hold of in your annual wardrobe refreshes and which dresses to add to your 2022 shopping lists. This year is especially exciting. After a good few seasons of repeating dress trends—puff sleeves, smock dresses and wrap dresses, to name a few—there are some fresh new shapes on the horizon.

Hemlines are going to new extremes. naked dresses aren’t just for red carpets anymore. The coolest designers are doing very clever and covetable things with draping. There’s also some evolution of the classics: The knitted dress is getting a more slim-fit and ribbed (it has to be ribbed) upgrade; the mini, which has been gaining traction for a couple of seasons, is well and truly here to stay. And brides-to-be are in luck: Pretty white dresses are back on the agenda in a big way.

We could go on about 2022’s new major and micro dress trends for days, but for the purposes of keeping things top-line, we’ve picked the five we think are set to be the most important below. Keep scrolling to find out more and shop the trends now.

Naked dresses are no longer simply a penchant of the Kardashian clan. 2022 sees a new naked, mostly thanks to rising star and LVMH prize winner Nensi Dojaka and her strappy designs. Instead of see-through sparkles, we’re talking sheer materials, cutouts galore and barely-there straps. This trend isn’t for everyone, but go for it if you dare.


A knit dress is a perennial wardrobe item that evolves with each coming year. The classics will always work, but for 2022, knit dresses are looking ribbed, slim-fit and maxi length (if Chloé has anything to do with it). Completely the opposite of the naked trend, this trend is sexy in a more covert way.

“The Great Shrinkage” is real. Fashion is still reacting to so many months spent in sweats, after all. So it’s unsurprising that when it comes to dresses in 2022, the general word is to be brave. If you’re not in a floor-skimming knit dress, you should probably be wearing a mini. Chrissy Ford knows the drill.

Draping and gathered fabric were huge trends on the S/S 22 catwalks, and given that it’s a look that can be adapted for colder months, we predict it will be sticking around for a while. Look to Loewe, Proenza Schouler, Rick Owens and Jacquemus for inspiration.

Whether or not you’re getting married in 2022, fancy white dresses should be on your radar. Who What Wear UK’s editor in chief, Hannah Almassi, reports in our S/S 22 trend round-up, “We have seen a veritable banquet of delicious white dresses coming in strong. Short, long, day, evening, fancy, beachy, sexy, modest… You name it. There’s a white dress to match.” Look out for special detailing like unique fabrics, ruffles and gathering to add extra interest.

Next Up: The Only 17 Spring/Summer 2022 Looks You Need to Know About

Author Emily Dawes | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC

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