It’s that time of year again – the stores are bursting with hundreds of light, summery sundresses. And whether you are dressing up for a summer wedding, keeping cool in the office, or dancing the days away at a music festival – there’s always an excuse to buy a new dress.

Look for natural, breathable fabrics such as cotton and linen, which will keep you cool when the temperature rises. And don’t forget to think about your underwear situation – backless dresses are everywhere this summer, but the look is spoiled a little by visible bra straps.

Read on for our edit of the best summer dresses for 2017…

Boohoo Gingham Skater DressBoohooGingham Skater Dress£15SHOP NOW

The gingham summer dress

Gingham is everywhere this summer, so now is the time to invest in a retro gingham summer dress. This ruffle-hem version ticks a lot of fashion boxes (ruffles, gingham, straps, bows), and at just £15, it's an inexpensive way to be on trend this summer.

VILA Off The Shoulder Lace DressVILAOff The Shoulder Lace Dress£48SHOP NOW

The Bardot summer dress

The Bardot trend is not going away any time soon. Show off your tanned shoulders in this romantic white VILA dress with delicate embroidery around the hem. Wear with nude sandals for a timeless holiday look.

Vero Moda Strappy Lace Midi DressVero ModaStrappy Lace Midi Dress£52SHOP NOW

The lace summer dress

Self Portrait took the fashion world by storm when it debuted its laser-cut 'Azaelea' dress last year. This year, a slew of copycats have taken over the High Street, so anyone can channel the likes of Gigi Hadid, Daisy Lowe and Miranda Kerr for a fraction of the price. This Vero Moda lace dress is one of our favourites and is available in both red and blue. Just add block heels and you're good to go.

Michael Kors Halter DressMichael KorsHalter Dress£225SHOP NOW

The midi summer dress

A midi dress has the magical power to become glamorous or casual, depending on how you accessorise it. Add flat strappy sandals and a fringed bag, and this halterneck Michael Kors midi dress is bohemian and beach-ready. Change into stiletto sandals and a clutch and you have a slinky evening look.

Missguided Ruched Bodycon DressMissguidedRuched Bodycon Dress£15SHOP NOW

The 'new' bodycon dress

Bodycon can he a hard look to pull off over the summer. Unless you can afford to drop the guts of a grand on an original Herve Leger, you face spending the hottest months of the year in clingy, static-ridden fabrics. Thankfully, the 'new' bodycon dress is a lot more forgiving. Ruched rather than bandaged, it is flattering and comfortable, with shades of Kim Kardashian. Wear with heels – always.

Glamorous Smock DressGlamorousSmock Dress£38SHOP NOW

The peasant summer dress

Peasant dresses are big news this year, and luckily they look great on just about everyone. Look for a big, swishy silhouette with intricate, 70s style embroidery, and wear it with wedge heels and long, flowing hair. The Glamorous dresses collection is a great place to start for styles that won't break the bank this summer.

Topshop Moto Pinafore DressTopshopMoto Pinafore Dress£36SHOP NOW

The denim summer dress

A denim dress is the hardest working item in your summer wardrobe. Wear over a white t-shirt or crisp white shirt for an office-friendly look, or pair with Sam Smiths and a bralet for a sunny, festival vibe. This Topshop pinafore is the only denim dress you'll need all summer – customise it with a few rips and bleach stains for a shot of 90s chic.

Ted Baker Tropical Oasis DressTed BakerTropical Oasis Dress£136SHOP NOW

The tropical print dress

Every summer brings with it a new breed of floral dress. And this year it is tropical florals. Think pastel backgrounds, hummingbirds, deep jungle greens, and quirky botanical prints. This Ted Baker printed dress nails the trend without going over the top. Keep accessories to a minimum and let the pattern speak for itself.