Women, it seems, like a nice frock. No matter how hard the designers try to wean us off dresses and back on to separates, we (and I emphatically include myself) are resisting. The message from the designers is: "Getting trousers or a pencil skirt to work with a shirt or a top isn't that hard. Get over it."
But we are addicted to our dresses, and since there's no health risk, as with an addiction to, say, Cosmopolitans or Louboutins (bankruptcy bad for health, no?), we're not giving up that easily.
We love dresses because, unlike skirts, they forgive us the chips we pinched off our husband's plate last night; unlike the combining of a bottom half and a top half, a dress doesn't make us think about proportions or colour-matching; and we just slip on a dress and we're good to go.
And since we remain so devoted to dresses, the JC has found the 35 frocks that rock for summer 2011. We haven't gone for the Primark-level cheapies, but we have pretty, wearable frocks at under £30, on-trend, desirable ones at £50 to £110, and gorgeous, won't break-the-bank babies at £150-£200, as well as objects of desire at designer prices.
Trend-hounds will note that summer's paintbox stripes feature among the 35 (the Marc Jacobs original and one at ASOS) as do fruit prints, florals, lace, fringeing , block colour and the season's favourite shade, orange. And if you have lusted after the ethereal green floral Erdem maxi, you will love our green floral maxi from Topshop at £75.