Whenever I have gone looking for dresses to wear in the daytime in the finish finally year or two, I have found myself choosing between two inimical armfuls.
Piled over the left arm: the daytime TV presenter tell off. This is pretty much skintight, but makes itself businesslike by being on of suit-tailoring wool or felted cotton and having sharp angles at the take on or an asymmetric hem. In its unadulterated form, it is in a plain, bright colour (upper-class under the cameras), but is also available in monochrome. It claims to be a express descendent of Roland Mouret’s Galaxy, although this provenance is indistinct. It can be sexy in an Ivanka Trump Does Date Night kindly of way. Sort of high-class bad taste.
In the opposing pile, the modern floral frock. This is a clothe for Instagram, rather than daytime TV. It is long and loose, purposes with a floral print on a dark background, and constructed in files that get wider towards the bottom, like a Fab lolly. It may unclothed the shoulders, but conceals your legs and arms. It probably has shoelacey segments which you tie at the neck or wrist or both. It is more me-time than man night. More free-spirited than power dressing. It is basically a nightie you are earmarked to wear in the daytime.
But next time I go shopping, I reckon items will be different. A compromise is emerging. The newest shape to hit the catwalks for come into being will be in all the shops soon, mark my words, and it looks something identical to the dress I’m wearing here. The silhouette is fit-and-flare. Some spheres are taken from the first genre of dress: crucially, the decree acknowledges the fact that you’re a flesh-and-blood human being to a certain extent than an airy wood nymph. But in other ways, the inclination is more similar to the second style of dress. The shape at the top is delicate and unshowy, without darting or upholstering, which makes it fancy relaxed and unarmoured.
This is a dress, then, which you can be involved in either direction. Go a bit more dressy and add sparkle or an elbow-length sleeve and you’ve got a date-night bedeck, although hopefully without the Ivanka angle. Make it floral and experience it up a size, and you’ve got this summer’s picnic-selfie frock. (The stripe is somewhere in the mesial.) Wear it with a heel to stride in one direction, trainers to accelerate out in the other. Choose from a double-breasted blazer as a cover-up, or shoulder-robe a denim jacket. This outfit comes in guises to cover all bases. Sometimes a compromise is the beat of both worlds.
• Jess wears dress, £79, warehouse.co.uk. Boots, £115, dune.co.uk
Designing: Melanie Wilkinson. Hair and makeup: Samantha Cooper at Carol Hayes Directing.