Cecilie Bahnsen autumn/winter 2019Getty Images
Over the past few seasons, there have been plenty of vintage-inspired, demure dress moments on the catwalk – but for spring/summer 2019, one style in particular cropped up time and time again, before sweeping Instagram as one of the key frocks of the summer: the prairie dress.
The prairie dress has roots in rural 19th century America and is defined by its high neckline, long skirt, full-length sleeves and often ruffled details or ditsy prints. While the style has had plenty of modern updates, it always retains the same romantic, bohemian feel that it has always had each time it re-emerges in fashion.
For SS19 and AW19, the style was seen on numerous catwalks, including; Erdem, Preen, Coach, Molly Goddard, Brock Collection and Simone Rocha.
There are also a number of brands that are known specifically for prairie-inspired designs, including Batsheva, Cecilie Bahnsen and the wildly popular The Vampire’s Wife, launched by Susie Cave, which has been seen on the likes of Alexa Chung, Sienna Miller, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Aniston and Keira Knightley, to name but a few.
As popular on the red carpet as it is with the street-style set, the popularity of the prairie could lie within its versatility; the dress can easily be worn from day and into the evening, but can also instantly be taken from your travels in Greece to a chilly winter night. So much more than a holiday dress, it will also make a great trans-seasonal investment piece.
Here, we show you how to wear the prairie dress for any occasion.
Embrace the most traditional of prairie dresses by opting for something floral. We suggest you let the bold print do the talking and keep your accessorising to a minimum.
For autumn and winter, team with chunky black boots and layer with a long coat, or team with crisp white trainers and a straw bag in the warmer months.
If florals aren’t your thing, brands like Cecilie Bahnsen and Molly Goddard offer great options, with block colour and monochromatic takes on the trend. Pair with some statement earrings and open-toed sandals to complement this modern approach to summer dressing or wear with elegant heels and tights come winter evenings.
If you want to embrace full vintage-inspired maximalism, then look to The Vampire’s Wife’s frill-and-ruffle embellished dresses, which look great in the evening teamed with strappy sandals. And, if you’re feeling daring come autumn, delve into the Western influence of this style and pair with some cowboy boots.
Ready to give the romantic trend a try? Shop our edit of the best prairie dresses available now.