I Write About Fashion for a Living, and This Is the Only Dress I Want to Wear This Summer

If I’ve written about it once, I’ve said it approximately million times: I am not a summer person. I know that’s akin to saying I don’t like puppies or I despise rosé, but as an eternally sweaty person, I view the time period between mid-May and early September as an unfortunate pit stop on the way to sweet, sweet fall and glorious winter.

After years of experimenting, I’ve finally figured out my summer beauty routine, but fashion is a different story. I’m not much of a sundress gal, I don’t do shorts and 85 percent of my wardrobe is black. Each year, like clockwork, I have the same sartorial crisis on the first warm-ish day: What the hell am I going to wear for the next few months? Yeah, writing about fashion is part of my job, and yet still I kept coming up empty where summer styles for sweat-prone folks were concerned. 

Then, I found it. My ideal warm-weather dress. Behold, the Frilled Sleeveless wonder: 


Made by COS, a Swedish brand, this ruffled tent dress is my Platonic ideal.

I’ve worn the long sleeve version of this dress—which, sadly, is no longer available in stores—constantly for the past year. But I had no idea they’d be making it in a sleeveless iteration, a style that somehow feels as if it were designed exclusively for my benefit.

The roomy A-line silhouette means that I don’t have to have any more fabric touching my skin than absolutely necessary, while the above-knee length keeps it from looking too much like an actual tent. It’s cotton and machine-washable (score) and ideal for twirling—if you’re into that sort of thing. For work, I’m wearing it with these platform sneakers from Superga. For alfresco Aperol spritzes, I’ll add a low, block-heel sandal and a bold lip color.  

To say I want to live my life in COS is an understatement. Pieces from this brand look put-together and polished, but they always have a fun, unexpected detail, like a comically large asymmetrical ruffle hem. Basically, these clothes are what you thought you’d be dressing in as a grown-up—when you pictured adulthood as a five-year-old.

If you’re not vibing on this particular tent-shaped style, COS does offer a ton of other summer dress options, from this paneled midi to this gathered hem number. And none of them are expected, boring or remotely similar to anything else you’d find at Zara or H&M.

As for my next COS purchase? Well, I’m seriously considering buying the white version—and I haven’t worn a white dress since my first communion in second grade.