Designers were playing fashion peekaboo on the spring/summer catwalks, with cut-out details that revealed a subtle flash of flesh.
Offering a more demure alternative to the super-skimpy halter and bra tops that were also big (or should that be small?) news for SS21, these statement dresses have become a major summer trend.
It’s not hard to see why. Splits and vents on the waistline (as seen at Fendi Boss and Gabriela Hearst), or lower on the hips (Kenzo and Versace) gave a fashion-forward edge to an otherwise plain midi dresses.
At Victoria Beckham keyhole cut-outs added interest to slinky black maxi dresses, while Balenciaga’s open-back designs took the focus away from the midriff.
Now, the trend has exploded on the high street, and you’ve got some fabulous frocks to choose from.
Unless your workplace benefits from an extremely laidback dress code, you’ll probably want to save these party pieces for weekends and holidays.
The great thing about a cut-out dress is that it requires very little effort. Floral or brightly coloured numbers are best teamed with neutral-toned sandals and a straw bag by day or a cute clutch for evening.
Whether long or short, darker dresses look chic paired with gold statement jewellery.
Keen to try the peekaboo trend? Here’s our pick of the coolest cut-out dresses on the high street…
(Abercrombie and Fitch/PA)
Abercrombie and Fitch Side-Cinch Linen-Blend Cutout Mini Dress, £34.99 (was £52.99; bag stylist’s own)
Misspap X Miss Joslin Cut Out Maxi Dress, £20 (was £40)
Little Mistress by Vogue Williams Red Cut Out Maxi Dress, £75
Lipsy Cut Out Detail Maxi Dress, £59, Next
Warehouse Coral Satin Dress With Cut Outs, £55.20 (was £69)
River Island Green Floral Cut Out Midi Dress, £38
Nasty Gal Petite Floral Print Side Circle Cut Out Mini Dress, £22.75 (was £35)
Oasis Bright Pink Floral Print Cut Out Side Skater Dress, £25 (was £49)