… a word from Amanda

Hola everyone.

I’m super happy as the Balearics are now on the Green List, meaning I’m OUTTA here. It’s time to start packing for the Med and I’m starting with this summer’s must-have GINGHAM DRESSES.

Cast your minds back to the heady days of summer 2019… the champagne flowed, nightclubs thronged, and at any barbeque or work drinks (remember those?) you breezed into maskless there was a 98.5 per cent chance you would find at least two women wearing the exact same dress.

I am of course talking about that £40 black and white polka dot Zara maxi that went so explosively viral it even got its own Instagram account.

Fast-forward two years and the Champagne’s been switched for post-EU sparkling wine, the barbeque guestlist dwindled and office parties are as rare as Matt Hancock now , but it would seem our appetite for a giant sack dress is undeterred. The 2021 version of thatZara dress? A £59.99 yellow gingham cotton maxi from Mango.

Puff-sleeved, v-neck and as capacious and easy-to-wear as its Zara cousin, the dress has already been spotted EVERYWHERE.

 In fact, it has completely sold out (there are just a few left across the whole of Europe apparently) and, unfortunately for those herd dressing hopefuls, will not be restocked. I am going to Mallorca on July 16th and my first stop before I even reach my house is a stop at Porto Pi shopping centre to grab a couple of Gingham numbers at Mango and Zara – if I’m lucky.

There are several other equally lovely ways to dress like your favourite picnic blanket. H&M has a sweet smock-front spaghetti strap gingham maxi that comes in baby pink and buttercup yellow (£39.99 H&M.com) and ASOS, which has seen sales of its own-brand gingham maxi dresses increase 300 per cent year on year, has a range of 60-odd gingham dresses, among them an excellent monochrome v-neck maxi (£35, asos.com) and a tiered red number (£32, asos.com) that’s flying off the shelves. I want this ASAP.

So, what is it we love so much about a giant gingham maxi? Well, what’s not to love? It’s timeless, it suits all shapes and sizes, it’s put-together without being dressy and in a summer of stalled freedom days and restricted dancefloors, a hit of sunshine yellow gingham is just the sort cheerfulness we all need. 

Anyway… Enjoy this week’s instalment of Zips It Up, containing masses of Summer Sports Fashion.