If in doubt, a clean and neutral palette is a reliable fall-back.

There's nothing like new-season deliveries to inspire a clean slate, providing the perfect opportunity to focus on gentler pieces for the wardrobe such as lightweight linens and easy-to-wear shirt dresses that suit any occasion's dress code.

Claire Waight Keller, artistic director for Chloe, has focused on the brand's heritage for several seasons now, and that romantic prairie aesthetic is a large part of the brand's DNA. It makes sense that the designer hasn't ventured too far from that each season, with her recent spring collection highlighting whimsical peasant dresses and silk blouses in flaxen tones that team well with crisp white.

The wrap dress is one wardrobe classic that works well for several body shapes. It is an easy throw-on-and-go solution for those who are time-poor and need clothes that require little thinking. Isaac + Lulu's "Walker wrap dress" (#6) is a great example. It
comes with three-quarter-length sleeves and drapes around the waist with simple gathering details. Available in a variety of colours, the white and beige options in particular inspire a fresh approach to spring neutrals.

Several designers have also explored the easiness of the shirt dress for the new season, and designer Kate Megaw from Penny Sage has arguably one of the best. The "Sanda" shirt dress (#5) comes in a striped linen fabric that can be worn as a dress with heels or styled as in the designer's look book, tied skew-whiff at the waist and worn with a pair of pants and flats. It's a look that's effortless in its simplicity and modernity, translating easily to after-five occasions without any fanfare.


1 Gregory top, $249. Kate Sylvester skirt, $365. Sills trench, $439. Mi Piaci heels, $280.
2 Junya Watanabe trench coat, $2305, from Scotties. Penny Sage top, $239, and pants, $340. Stuart Weitzman heels, $590. Kate Sylvester belt, $175.
3 Ruby frill top, $189. Karen Walker "Adeline" tiered skirt, $565. Benah for Karen Walker "Milly" bag, $330. See by Chloe heels, $490, from Runway.
4 Deborah Sweeney blouse, $295. Gregory sleeveless coat, $479. Mi Piaci sandals, $230. Louis Vuitton "Dora" handbag, $4650.
5 Penny Sage shirt dress with belt, $420. Benah for Karen Walker handbag, $550. See by Chloe heels, $490, from Runway.
6 Isaac & Lulu wrap dress, $299. Tiffany & Co fine gold bangle $2460, matching ring, $1465 and matching necklace $1700, from T by DFS Galleria. Gucci sandals, $710. Stool, $289, from Republic.


• Deborah Sweeney Gregory (09) 378 8645
• Gucci (09) 368 1138
• Karen Walker (09) 361 6723
• Kate Sylvester (09) 307 3282
• Isaac & Lulu (09) 445 3356
• Louis Vuitton 0800 586 966
Mi Piaci
Penny Sage
• Runway (09) 5220808
• Sills (09) 445 3356
• Scotties (09) 366 1664
Sunglass Hut
• Sylvester (09) 307 3282
• T by DFS Galleria (09) 308 0700
• Wallace Rose (09) 376 0572

- Canvas