In Praise of the Granny Dress

It’s a modern fashion marvel

Reading Time: 3 minutes

If conversations overheard in the office, on the tube or on social media over the last week are anything to go by, you and everyone you know is having a wardrobe clear out. We are, after all, in the season of fresh starts. If there’s one thing that naturally follows a wardrobe purge, it’s the temptation to treat yourself to something new to fill the gaping void left by moth eaten jumpers and skirts you bought a size too small thinking they’d fit one day.

Granny dresses are my crack.
Along with really good sourdough and musical theatre.

Ladies, let that something new be a dress. More specifically, let that something new be a granny dress. Granny dresses are my crack. Along with really good sourdough and musical theatre. To really be considered worthy of the ‘granny’ moniker a dress should meet three criteria; loose (or elasticated) enough to still be comfy after a roast dinner with all the trimmings and a bowl of rhubarb crumble (mmmmm, crumble), patterned (preferably floral, but leopard print or harlequin will do nicely) and lastly, hit somewhere below the knee. All of which adds up to something confusingly situated between man repeller and bohemian goddess.

Old before it’s time, but completely up to date, the granny dress can be worn with block heels, tights and boots, flat sandals, 70s platforms, with a chunky knit, a denim jacket, a leather jacket, layered over a polo neck, the list goes on…

I have a favourite one from Toast, which is equally as at home at a music festival as it is visiting the grandparents at Christmas. I wore one on New Years Eve, happy in the knowledge that I could eat all the pavlova I wanted without feeling the strain, and when Annabel and I last met in London to discuss this very blog, we both turned up in granny dresses, she with fabulous suede 70s platforms, me with old beaten up tan wooden sandals. We laughed, we swapped dress shopping notes and then we got down to business.

It’s a trend that’s already outlasted multiple seasons, and has many more to run. I’ve rounded up my pick of the current offerings, some of which already grace my wardrobe, others that are currently hanging out in my virtual shopping baskets, and some which I’ll most likely be dreaming about tonight. Like I said, granny dresses are my crack.


{ Crepe Dress, H&M | Blue Patterned Dress, H&M | Wrap Dress, H&M }

{ Animal Print Dress, Zara | Polka Dot Dress, Zara | Printed Long Flowing Dress, Zara }

{ Edna Floral Maxi Kimono Dress, AnthropologieSonja Printed Wrap Midi Dress, Anthropologie | Stella Silk Floral Maxi Dress, Anthropologie }

{ Oversized Maxi Dress, & Other Stories | Ascot Ruffle Midi Dress, & Other Stories | Frilled Wrap Dress, & Other Stories }

{ Ditzy Print Skater Dress, ASOS | Dutch Print Balloon Sleeve Dress, Warehouse | Mono Print Midi Check Dress, ASOS }

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  • I love, love granny dresses!! Especially the Rixo beauty above (I have the blouse in the same print and it gets so many compliments). But at 5ft 2 it seems I am yet to find one that falls at the right length on me 🙁 xx

    • I’m only 5’ 4”, but where there’s a will there’s a way! Keep looking. If you find one you love, you can always get it shortened, most dry cleaners do basic alterations.

  • Those Anthropologie dresses are giving me all the heart eyes!! I’m on a shopping ban until house move is a go-go, but after that I’m filling the whole place with granny dresses!! xx

  • Off the back of this post I made a total impulse purchase on a granny dress today in TKMaxx! I love the look on other people but still need to work out how to do it myself. Time to play with accessories…

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