The fashion trend of the summer has been all about big milkmaid energy

29th Aug 19 | Beauty

In the dog days of summer, this is the kitsch look to really liven up your wardrobe.

Randox Health Grand National Festival 2019 – Ladies Day – Aintree Racecourse

This summer has seen a lot of strange fashion trends, whether it’s teeny tiny bags that don’t fit anything or denim Bermuda shorts. It just goes to show that sartorial inspiration can come from anywhere – even traditional Austrian clobber.

One of the biggest – and weirdest – fashion trends has been all about milkmaid energy. On face value it sounds strange, particularly as most people wear these ruffled dresses in cities and towns, unlikely to be milking any cows in them.

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Baby we should hit the South of France✨

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At its core, the milkmaid trend is fun, frivolous and girly. It’s a vintage style of dress with certain defining features: puffy sleeves, ruching, square necklines and a whole lot of whimsy.

Just because it’s uber feminine it doesn’t mean those who wear it shouldn’t be taken seriously. It’s actually the kind of fashion trend which is aptly described as ‘man repeller’ – women are wearing it for themselves, rather than to impress any suitors.

Everyone from Kylie Jenner to Rowan Blanchard have become obsessed with this trend, but Instagram shows us it’s not just for celebs – and here’s how you can nail the milkmaid look yourself.

The colour palette

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a visit to the dreamy @areyouami loft 🦋

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This is a trend inspired by a country scene drenched in sunshine, so the colour scheme matches this. Most of the milkmaid dresses you’ll see on Instagram are in white, with some experimenting with pastel colours like pale pinks or powder blues.

However, there is definitely room to have fun with colour. Patterns are a good way to make a milkmaid dress feel youthful and fun: think ditsy prints or floral motifs.

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That Friday feeling ✨

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If you’re going to stray from whites, creams and pastels, keep it on theme and go down the gingham route – and basically dress like the fashionable version of a picnic tablecloth.

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Dreamy 🎈 Yesterday we spent early evening with one of our most gorgeous friends ~ my maid of honour. After a blissful hour feeding fish and swans by the lake, our small people have now added a kitten and silky chicken to their ever expanding dream pet list {previously comprising French bulldog, chameleon and bearded lizard🦎} Don’t you just love the magic and wonder of childhood ~ anything is possible ✨Happiest of Thursdays to you loveliest of instafolk 🎈 ~ ~ ~ #myfeelgoodfashion @thestylecoop #theseclothesmakemehappy @sarahrobinslikestoshop #stylesisterhood @_mummy_moi_ @pleatedcotton #mumstylecrush @the_minimalist_magpie @nineby5 ~ ~ ~ #motherhoodlens #motheringittogether #styledujour #visualvogue #outfitoftheday #mumsthatshop #ginghamdress #prettylittleiiinspo #theeverygirl #theeverydaygirl #frenchstyle #fashionover30 #fbloggers #missguided #styledaily #mylooktoday #stylemum #momstyle #milkmaid

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The sleeves

Bold sleeves are something which really sets the milkmaid trend apart – the bigger the better. A lot of outfits have capped or Bardot-style sleeves, but whatever form they come in, just make sure they’re puffy and voluminous.

To really level up, go full Maid Marian and have the princess full-length sleeves of your dreams – just be careful not to accidentally dip them into your food when you’re eating.

The detailing

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Bank Holiday 🍡

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You can’t really go half-heatedly into a milkmaid look. You’ll need to find an outfit with ruching, bows, ruffles, eyelet detailing and seersucker material – not necessarily all at once, but  incorporate as many as you can to be bang on trend.

If you’re feeling really brave do like Kylie Jenner and add a corset on top of your dress for a vintage feel.

The tops

It’s not just dresses getting the milkmaid treatment. If you’re reticent to go all-in on the trend, dip your toes into the water with a top instead, which goes perfectly with high-waisted jeans.

Most of these tops are cropped, using this as an excuse to go even bigger in the sleeve department.

Where to buy it

Urban Outfitters dress
(Urban Outfitters/PA)

UO Melody puff sleeve mini dress, £44, Urban Outfitters

Missguided dress

White bardot milkmaid bodycon mini dress, reduced to £15.40 was £22), Missguided

Influence dress

Influence gingham milkmaid dress, reduced to £20 (was £28), ASOS

ASOS dress

ASOS Design denim milkmaid crop top in white, reduced to £22 (was £28), ASOS

© Press Association 2019